Kay Kipling's guide to cultural and special events.

By staff April 1, 2005


Interactive and Intriguing

The Van Wezel's first-ever Festival Diapente (the word means a perfect fifth and refers to a harmonic blend of sight, sound, taste, touch and fragrance) has been growing by leaps and bounds since it was first conceived. Now the weeklong fest offers a host of interactive activities from April 10 through 17 and involves a wide range of community members, from children to Ringling School of Art students to adults of all ages.

A highlight of the festival will be the giant earth harp constructed by touring troupe MASS Ensemble from the rooflines of the Van Wezel to the bayfront. MASS (Music, Architecture, Sonic, Sculpture) is a renowned musical and performance group that's constructed such huge instruments before; this one will feature the strings flowing out over the audience, who'll feel like they are in fact inside of the instrument.

Other activities during the week: yoga/sound workshops, April 12, 13 and 17; adult instrument building workshops, April 12 and 13; vocal workshops, April 12 and 13; an art and business luncheon, April11; a mainstage MASS spectacular, April 15, followed by a Sixth Sense Late Night After Party complete with laser light show and a surprise guest performer; and a Family Fest on the Bay April 16, a date that also includes a City Celebration Dinner and the dedication of a permanent sculpture on the Van Wezel grounds.

For complete schedule information, call 953-3368.

On Exhibit

Wholesome Delights by the Sea

Jean Blackburn captures our fascination in this marvelous print where man lives in harmony with nature. A web-footed older gentleman treads toward the water wearing his diving flippers and carrying a snorkel. In the surf, an older woman balances on her board with her dog as rain clouds move across the yellow sun-bleached skies. Palmetto fronds frame the lower left of the composition, while the leaves of a sea grape tree frame the top right hand corner of the print. Sand crabs scuttle across a beach towel and sample the plate of shrimp left there, and a large seagull lands amidst the crabs to share the feast. A flounder, perhaps caught by the man, looks visibly surprised by the feeding frenzy.

Blackburn has deep roots in Florida, as her family has lived here for generations. She knows the residents and tourists of Sarasota-flora and fauna alike. While her color choices are high-keyed, they're more than suitable for depicting the bright light of Florida and the humid air of the sea. In this work Blackburn satisfies our desire for the perfect day, the fun sport activities that rejuvenate our spirit, and the bounty from the Gulf of Mexico that nourishes our bodies. What an appropriate work of art to contemplate while sipping soup or foraging on fiber provided from just around the corner at the salad bar and food emporium.

Ghost Crabs is part of a collection of 11 prints by Jean Blackburn permanently on view in the Café of Whole Foods in downtown Sarasota. —Mark Ormond


Selby Gallery. American Illustration from the Collection of Charles Martignette closes April 2. It's followed by the annual Best of Ringling exhibition, April 15-May 6, which showcases the work of some of Ringling's top students. Information: 359-7563.

Art Center Sarasota. Out of the Ordinary: Materials and Metaphors (featuring Margaret Murphy Reed, Roxie Thomas and Douglas Loewen) and Open to Interpretation (mixed media, printmaking and digital photography from Peppi Elona and Wendy Surkis) continue through April 10; What is Hip-Hop? through April 9, with a lecture at 4:30 p.m. April 3. Opening April 19 to run through April 30, a show of art from North Sarasota County school students. Information: 365-2032.

Ringling Museum of Art. On view through April 10: Ansel Adams: Celebration of Genius. Opening April 30 to run through July 31: Duane Hanson: Portraits from the Heartland, an exhibition of 24 life-size sculptures by Hanson. Information: 359-5700.

Longboat Key Center for the Arts. Continuing through April 21, the Anne Gunderman Exhibition in the Glen Gallery. Also showing: The Members Gallery Exhibition and the Annual Student Exhibition, the latter through April 17. A jazz concert at 7 p.m. April 12 and a Spring Fling exhibition opening with a reception at 5 p.m. April 22 are also scheduled. Information: 383-2345.

Museum of Fine Arts. Monet's London: Artists' Reflections on the Thames, 1850-1914, continues at the St. Petersburg museum through April 24. Information: (727) 896-2667.

Salvador Dali Musum of Art. Dali Revealed: Land, Myth, Perception and God continues throughout October. Also on view, Traces, a video installation by Catalan artist Jordi Colomer, through May. Information: (727) 823-3767.

Sonnet Gallery Fine Art. Renoir and the Impressionists, a rare collection of paintings, drawings, etchings and lithographs by Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Gauguin, Manet and Cassatt, continues through April 8, with Renoir's great-grandson, Alexandre, a special guest at opening receptions from 6 to 9 p.m. April 1 and 2 and from 1 to 3 p.m. April 3. The current-day Renoir will talk about his great-grandfather's legacy and also present his own original works. Information: 955-6443.

Palm Avenue Gallery. Sculptures by Peter Swedenborg are on view April 1-30. Information: 953-5757.

Galleria Silecchia. Landscapes by William Berra are highlighted April 1 through May 5. Information: 365-7414.

The Gallery in Towles Court. New York as a Three-Dimensional Experience: Photographic Constructions by Giovanni Lunardi will run April 6 through May 10 at Marilyn Helfenbein's gallery on Links Avenue. Information: 308-1986.


Cinderella. A musical version of the classic tale that welcomes new character Mortimer Mouse. At 10:30 a.m. April 2 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.

The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck & The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit. Two Beatrix Potter favorites presented by the Hudson Vagabond Puppets, complete with songs, dance, and eight-foot-tall puppets. Onstage at 10:30 a.m. April 23 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis' fantasy about four children who magically enter the land of Narnia runs April 28-May 8 in a Venice Little Theatre Theatre for Young People production. Information: 488-1115.


FSUdanceSARASOTA World Dance Festival. Community outreach from the FSU company, featuring hip-hop dance with Millcent M. Johnnie April 14 at New College of Florida, plus Argentine tango with Lebritia Sindija, a physically integrated dance workshop with the Axis Dance Company, and choreographic presentations from a world dance artist, all at the Sarasota Y's Berlin Branch April 16. For more information call 373-7812.

Sarasota Ballet of Florida. The company welcomes Ballet Florida in performances at 8 p.m. April 1, 2 and 8 p.m. April 2, and 2 p.m. April 3, at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Then the Sarasota Ballet dancers welcome spring with a new choreography festival, set for 8 p.m. April 22, 2 and 8 p.m. April 23, 24 and 25, also at FSU. For complete details call 552-1032.

Ballet Hispanico's NightClub. Three stories of passion and rhythm, choreographed by Graciela Daniele, Alexandre Magno and Sergio Trujillo, at 8 p.m. April 11 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.


Women's International Video Film Festival. Films from around the world, presented by the Gulf Coast Chapter of UNIFEM April 15 and 16 at the Players Theatre. For more info, call 954-0237.

Chinese Film Festival. Two films from China, at 5 and 7:30 p.m. April 18 at the Players Theatre; Chinese dinner is also available. Information: 365-2494.


Comedy Pet Theatre. Sixteen cats, eight dogs, and perhaps a talented rat or two, performing at 7 p.m. April 7 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.

Sharks Tooth Festival, The 13th annual salute to the shark, taking place April 8, 9 and 10 across from Sharky's on the Venice pier. Along with fossil vendors, there'll also be arts and crafts, kids' games, live music and lots of refreshments. A benefit for Special Olympics; call 412-0402 for more information.


Art Garfunkel. Garfunkel performs songs from his years with Paul Simon, as well as solo hits, at 8 p.m. April 1 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.

Florida West Coast Symphony Masterworks. Pianist Joaquin Achúcarro joins the orchestra, which performs works by Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky at 8 p.m. April 1 at Neel Performing Arts Center and 8 p.m. April 2 and 2:30 p.m. April 3 at Van Wezel. Information: 953-3434.

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. The orchestra is joined by soprano Barbara Bonney in a performance presented by the Sarasota Concert Association at 8 p.m. April 3 at the Van Wezel. To see if any tickets are available, call 955-0040.

American Big Band. A theatrically staged tribute to the Big Band era, offering 20 singers, dancers and musicians re-creating highlights of the time, at 8 p.m. April 4 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.

La Musica International Chamber Music Festival. Behind the Notes: Music for a Purpose is the theme for this year's fest, which presents works by Tchaikovsky, Kodaly, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schnittke, Prokofiev, Brahms, Mozart and Hyman. Concerts are at 8 p.m. April 5, 10, 13, 16 and 19 at the Sarasota Opera House; there are also open rehearsals and chats with musicians at the Sainer Pavilion at New College of Florida. For complete information, call 346-2601.

Chuck Berry. Does he still do the duck walk? Find out when rock legend Berry performs at 8 p.m. April 8 at the Van Wezel. Information: 953-3368.

Courtyard Concert/Cocktails at the Cà d'Zan. The first takes place April 7 at the Ringling Museum; the latter from 6 to 9 p.m. April 21, with live entertainment on the terrace. Call 358-3180 or 359-5700 for more information.

Florida West Coast Symphony Composer Series. Vienna's Golden Age is saluted by the orchestra and trumpeter Todd Craven in works by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven at 8 p.m. April 7; pianist Jonathan Spivey offers Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Haydn at 8 p.m. April 9. Both concerts are at the Sarasota Opera House. Information: 953-3434.

Engelbert Humperdinck. Balladeer Humperdinck returns to the Van Wezel at 8 p.m. April 9 to the delight of his longtime fans, mostly of the female persuasion. Information: 953-3368.

Giving Hunger the Blues. Enjoy a daylong festival featuring area bands, games, food and beverages and benefit All Faiths Food Bank at the same time, April 10 along Hillview Street. For more information call 379-6333.

Sarasota Concert Band. Bass trombonist Marc Morgan joins the band for a "Hooked on Classics" concert, at 3 p.m. April 10 at the West Bradenton Baptist Church. Information: 364-BAND.

Gloria Musicae. The choral ensemble presents Royal Treasures, music fit for a king or queen, including anthems by Handel, at 4 p.m. April 10 at the Church of the Redeemer. Information: 954-4223.

Valerie Gillespie Quartet. Gillespie and her musicians play standards and originals in a Jazz Club of Sarasota concert, at 7:30 p.m. April 10 at Holley Hall. Information: 366-1552.

Wynton Marsalis. Jazz man Marsalis returns to the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. April 10. Information: 953-3368.

Artists Series of Sarasota. The series insists "We've Got Rhythm" in a concert April 12 featuring pianists Elizabeth Joy Roe and Gregory Anderson, and declares I Hear Music, with pianist/vocalist Beckie Menzie and vocalist Tom Michael, April 26. Both are at 7:30 p.m. at Holley Hall; call 388-1188.

Florida West Coast Symphony Great Escapes. Audiences' favorites Great Escapes pieces from the past are reprised at 7:30 p.m. April 14, 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. April 15, and 8 p.m. April 16, all at Holley Hall. Information: 953-3434.

Venice Symphony. The symphony presents classical concerts at 8 p.m. April 15 and 4 and 8 p.m. April 16 at the Church of the Nazarene; pops concerts at 8 p.m. April 29 and 4 and 8 p.m. April 30 at the same venue. Information: 488-1010.

Key Chorale. The chorale inaugurates its 20th anniversary year with a concert featuring Mozart's Great Mass in C minor, Elgar's Great Is the Lord, and Three Days by the Sea, commissioned from Gwyneth Walker. At 2:30 p.m. April 17 at the Van Wezel; call 953-3368 for tickets.

Smooth Jazz on St. Armands: Fourth Friday with Style. The Eric Darius Quintet entertains St. Armands Circle patrons, starting at 6 p.m. April 22. Information: 388-1554.

Exsultate! The chorale performs Credo! An American Vision, April 22 and 24 at Grace Methodist Church in Venice. For tickets, call 484-8491.


Sarasota Ski-A-Rees. Free water skiing shows each Sunday at 2 p.m. through May 1 at the City Island location. Information: 388-1666.

Relay for Life. Several events to benefit the American Cancer Society, one at Riverview High, April 15 and 16, one at Cardinal Mooney High, April 29 and 30, and one at Siesta Key Beach Park, also April 29 and 30. For more info call 365-2858.


Museum of Asian Art Lecture Series. Dr. Steven Owang, curator of Asian art for the St. Louis Art Museum, presents the Art of Tea in East Asia, 6:30 p.m. April 7 at Selby Gallery. Information: 954-7117.

Books & Coffee. The Rev. Dr. Bennett Barnes discusses Norman Cantor's In the Wake of the Plague, at 10:30 a.m. April 12 at Selby Library. Information: 365-5228.

Palm Literary Society. Novelist Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair) is this month's luncheon guest, April 27 at Michael's On East. For ticket info call 329-2604.


The Last Schwartz. An off-the-wall comedy about a dysfunctional family (is there any other kind?) meeting at their father's memorial, onstage through April 9 at Florida Studio Theatre. Information: 366-9000.

Neighbors. This world premiere musical about the relationship between a Palestinian grandfather and an Israel one ends its run at the Players Theatre April 10. Information: 365-2494.

Extremities. William Mastrisimone's play about a woman attacked who fights back, continuing through April 10 at Venice Little Theatre's Stage II. Information: 488-1115.

The Front Page. The Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur romp through Chicago journalism, old-style, through May 3 at the Asolo. Information: 351-8000.

The Smell of the Kill. Eavesdrop as three wives contemplate the oft-asked question: Do we let our husbands freeze to death in the basement meat locker, or not? Onstage through May 5 at the Asolo. Information: 351-8000.

Cats. Andrew Lloyd Webber+T.S. Eliot+big, furry cats=box office smash in this long-running musical, presented at least through May 8 (the felines may actually hang around a bit longer) at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. Information: 366-5454.

A Midsummer Night's Dream. Shakespeare's lovers romp through the forest amid fairies, weavers and strange misunderstandings, through May 8 at the Asolo. Information: 351-8000.

Three Friends, Two Guitars (and a broken tambourine). A retrospective of folk music of the 20th century, onstage through May 28 at Florida Studio Theatre's Goldstein Cabaret. Information: 366-9000.

I Do, I Do! The Tom Jones-Harvey Schmidt hit about, love, marriage and what follows, onstage April 5-24 at Venice Little Theatre. Information: 488-1115.

The Bully Pulpit. Actor Michael O. Smith returns in his one-man show about Teddy Roosevelt, onstage April 6-17 at Florida Studio Theatre's Gompertz Theatre. Information: 366-9000.

Amadeus. Young Mozart meets his match in the scheming Salieri in this Peter Shaffer play, onstage April 7-24 at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre. Information: 748-5875.

Quilters. A musical about the lot and lives of pioneer women, April 12-17 in a Manatee Players production staged at the First United Methodist Church in Bradenton. Information: 748-5875.

Runaway Beauty Queen. Singer-actress Rhonda Coullet stars in this "sort of" story of her own life, onstage April 12 to run through June 4 at Florida Studio Theatre. Information: 366-9000.

Island of Slaves. Pierre Marivaux's 18th-century satire about the reversal of the class order among a group shipwrecked on an island. Onstage April 13-May 1 at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory's Cook Theatre. Information: 351-8000.

Late Nite Catechism. In the mood for a little interactive Catholic school humor? Drop by the Players Theatre April 19-24 for this Van Wezel show offering a class with "Sister" Patti Hannon. Information: 953-3368.

The Exonerated. True stories from people wrongfully condemned to death, told in dramatic fashion April 26 through May 19 at FST's Gompertz Theatre. Information: 366-9000.

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