SARASOTA, Fla. – It's been such a full week it's hard to believe it's only been seven days. This past week was full of celebrities, some local celebrities plus some big names visiting the area. And I've got some hot scoop on one of our local arts organizations.
To start, Designing Women held their annual gala at Asolo Rep Monday night. I stopped by just long enough for Peter Acker to snap a photo of me with Molly Klauber. In addition to working as general manager for her dad's restaurant Michael's on East, she's also busy planning her upcoming wedding, and she promised me she'd let me tag along as she makes arrangements. Whether or not molly was kidding, I'm holding her to it.
Wednesday night was packed at Darwin's on 4th as Darwin and fellow chef Steve Phelps of Indigenous hosted the second annual James Beard Celebrity Chef Dinner. They were joined by three other visiting chefs for a flow of courses that ranged from sturgeon and duck to lamb and octopus. I ran into a few of my new lady friends, Margaret Wise, Nikki Sedacca, and Beverly Bartner.
Everyone was out in spades over the weekend. I checked out Social on First Friday Night because I love the open air layout. Clearly I'm not the only one.
At the table next to me I overheard some discussion of Sarasota Ballet. Who do I find myself next to? None other than choreographer Matthew Hart. This handsome Brit is in town staging the circus-themed Nutcracker for the second time, and was enjoying a much-deserved night off.
And speaking of local arts organizations, Asolo Rep had some visitors of their own this weekend when three sets of producers came to check out their new take on the classic Showboat. I'd just be speculating at this point, but considering Asolo Rep has led two shows to Broadway in the last few years, I've got to wonder if they're poised to send a third? We'll have to keep an eye out and see.
And speaking of Broadway, Bernadette Peters sang at the Van Wezel Sunday night. Thanks to my pal Dave Beachy, I got front row seats and was close enough to tell you that she's every bit as adorable as she ever was. You can see in a backstage photo from Don Daly, she's a tiny thing…probably about 5'3”. She's all covered up in the photo, but onstage she was all curls and cleavage. She gave a great one night only performance and had us on our feet.
As always if you spot any celebs around town, snap a pic and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.