SARASOTA, Fla. - This was a big weekend for all of us on the Suncoast. Some people ventured up to Tampa for Gasparilla, while many of us stayed close to home for Forks & Corks in the Ringling courtyard.
Well, I was all over the Suncoast like a bad rumor, hitting parties, galas, and a celebrity sighting or two.
We started off the week wishing a Happy Birthday to Jack Dusty. The restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton celebrated its one-year anniversary with a reception full of rum cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and Sarasota’s finest foodies.
Speaking of Sarasota’s finest, Michael’s Wine Cellar was the backdrop for a night of local celebrity fashionistas bartending for a good cause, Center for Building Hope. When I caught up with event organizer Michelle Brault, she was pleased with the hard work her fashionista volunteers were putting in behind the bar. “Kim Mancini and Wendy Rossiter just finished their one-hour shift and they raised five hundred dollars for free programs and services for people with cancer.”
Not to be outdone, Sak’s 5th Avenue’s own Sally Schule raised the stakes on her shift by offering Trish McEvoy lip gloss to the highest tippers. Some call it bribery, I call it an act of great charity for a great cause.
I popped in on Sarasota Ballet’s rehearsal for their upcoming triple bill this week, and got to see a sneak preview of a piece by guest choreographer Will Tuckett. In a piece inspired by the fallen soldiers of World War I, Will’s work has been a favorite of Sarasota audiences as it’s created and choreographed specifically for our dancers.
Friday night saw my favorite gala of the year, Circus Arts Conservatory, formerly Circus Sarasota, under the big top. The tent was transformed into a gorgeous backdrop of dinner and dancing. Kara Nally sang the night away while yours truly served as Master of Ceremonies. The night featured demonstrations by Sailor Circus students, but the part of the night everyone was talking about was the performance by Cirque du Soleil’s Alexis Brothers in a hand-balancing act that left us speechless.
And for this week’s celebrity sighting, you all spotted Reality TV star Madison Hildebrand in town this week. The sassy star of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles was spotted at Louie’s Modern this week. Madison was a special guest at the Sarasota Bradenton Spring Home Show at Robarts Arena.
Speaking of celebrities, Broadway star and recording artist Linda Eder will be in town this Thursday night for a concert at the Van Wezel. Hopefully with a little camping out at the stage door, I’ll be able to snag a selfie with her.
As always, if you spot any celebrities or hot spots around town, email me a photo at firstname.lastname@example.org with the keyword “What’s Up, Joey?”