Saturday, February 18, 2017

I wept

the performance given by Lucian Msamati was so masterful and moving that I wept for him.

Here is the blurb from the NTLive website -
Lucian Msamati plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, broadcast live from the National Theatre, with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia. In the play, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world – and he’s determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately, with God. After winning multiple Olivier and Tony Awards when it had its premiere at the National Theatre in 1979, Amadeus was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.

The production had its issues - too modernist for my taste with people walking around and in and out of the central action - especially the wandering musicians ... but OMG the performance by Msamati was so powerful. A good and pious man at war with his God. His faith and his ultimate renunciation of it - just heartbreaking.  A man gifted enough to know his own mediocrity- created his sorrow leading to his rage against the one being (Mozart) his God had chosen (in Salieri's view) to be God's voice via music.

The performances were all terrific but Msamati was arresting in his portrayal of Salieri. The actors who played Mozart and his wife were also fabulous...

A very sad tale---

all photos from the NTLive FB page-

And just by happenstance - we are scheduled next week to hear Mozart's Requiem at the Sarasota Orchestra performance (words sung by an award winning Estonian Choir)

So another WOW performance at NTLive.... look for these in your area because they are soooo worth seeing/hearing.... and next up- the opera Italian Girl in Algiers (on Tuesday night)...

Lindoro’s attempts to escape MustafĂ , the Bey of Algiers, have all been in vain. To top it off, he is now faced with a hand-me-down bride instead of his missing beloved, Isabella. But a unique turn of events brings Isabella right where she needs to be to save her lost fiancĂ©. And she knows exactly how to get them out of this bind.

so stay tuned... because the night after the opera - it is theater with an extremely well reviewed Born Yesterday - the Wall Street Journal said-

More to follow- as always....

Friday, February 17, 2017


This year's Circus Sarasota had more than enough drama to go around.  The Wallendas- the main act for the 2017 Circus Sarasota - had a terrible accident just two days before the circus was to open last Friday night.  Five members fell from the high wire act they were practicing (and several were severely injured) which was the three layered pyramid balance on the wire.

But the show must go on!

(all photos are from the program except the three above) 

the Ring Master was the same one as last year - and he does a perfect job---

the next acts are in order of how I enjoyed them- not the order they came in- 

These guys were waaaay better than last year's strong men- truly amazing feats of strength and agility- they were - to me- the most impressive act of the night - quickly followed by this 13 year old young lady who also was stunning in her capabilities of balance and strength!

the most beautiful act of the night was a reprise of last year's favorite Dolly Jacobs and partner Rafael Palacios... flying never looked so easy or elegant or graceful- beautiful performance!

although it was less ambitious than planned - the fact that the Wallenda troupe performed at all was awe inspiring- and quite emotional for them as well-

some very fancy horsemanship from these folks- three riders and a guy who cracked the whip (could do without that part for sure)

a hula hoop goddess and juggling dancers- and dogs - OK less than the group above but still entertaining in their own ways- LOL

Then the clowns - given that I hate clowns and find them creepy I was amazed LAST YEAR at how much I really enjoyed and liked Bello Nock (who also was an aerialist extraordinaire!) These guys were stupid and mostly not funny- spraying water on each other does not make it to comedy in my mind (but then I was also never a stooges fan....) I was embarrassed for them!

So another year of fun and games at the circus- and a few of the facts about the last 20

the kids who train at the Circus Arts Academy also have their own circus in the spring-

We all send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Wallendas who are still hospitalized- of the five injured - two were at the show last night (but not performing) and three remain in the hospital with two expected to be released to rehab today and one - Rietta Wallenda (who was likely in the top chair and fell the furthest) remains hospitalized... Amazingly enough one of the guys landed on his feet and only broke a few toes! Incredible athletes all of these performers - we stand in awe of their accomplishments!

today off to a National Theater Live production of Amadeus! so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

local touring

yesterday Barb and Beth and I went on a "three-hour-tour" without Gilligan and the Skipper...LOL - we stayed on land, to be exact we were on St Armands Key the whole time mostly in restaurants LOL (anybody surprised? LOL I thought not..)

Here is the blurb from their website:
Our flagship lunch tour begins in the center of St. Armands Circle.  What better way to experience some of the finest restaurants in Sarasota and learn the history of one of the most exquisite retail establishments in the nation?  Removed from the hustle and bustle of the mainland separated by Sarasota Bay, St. Armands' unique history and tropical beauty provides an unforgettable experience for natives and visitors from all over the world.  Our tours offer the opportunity to learn about this special area and taste some of the finest cuisine imaginable.

We learned a bit about the history of the place and the vision of the developers (John Ringling and Owen Burns- both big names around these parts) and the statuary along with the Circus Walk of Fame that surrounds the inner circle of what is technically Harding Circle on St Armand's Key... and that really should be St Amand's Key because the original owner was actually named St Amand not Armand but the deeds and land title documents had errors that got carried forward and we now know it as St ARmands...

but I am sure you are anxiously awaiting photos - LOL here is an aerial view of the whole key- taken from the Internet- 

Instructions were to meet at the inner circle by the Ringling statue between Crab & Fin and La Macaron... and since he wears a halo around these parts it seemed perfectly appropriate that the John Ringling statue was bathed in light LOL

The photo of the original house on - then St Amands. St Amand bought the island to farm for himself and his family food supply-

the causeway over to the island built by developers Ringling & Burns

our first food stop- for truffle fries and kung poa calamari-

a short walk to stop number two- we passed by the location of Ringling's office on the way-

 here we had the 1905 salad (made table side) and a half sandwich (Cuban of course)

then back to the main circle for a tour of some of the famous circus performers enshrined in the hall of fame around the main circle-

we saw  a number of Wallendas and Pedro Reis and Lou Jacobs and Dolly Jacobs along with Emmet Kelly and many more familiar names ---

then on to the tea and spice shopping stop (thankfully a short one as I am not a shopper) - lovely store with many nice things -

then around another spoke to Blu Kouzina a Greek place with excellent samples of the food -

some historic brochures for those wanting to know about every one of the nearly forty statues in the circle-

a final stop for Key Lime pie at the #2 Tommy Bahama of the empire of lifestyle stores and restaurants.... etc. 

fun tour - recommended as something to do with visitors from northern climates in the winter- a nice way to get out and see the circle without getting in the "weeds" of shopping every one of the 200 shops there....

St. Armands Circle - Sarasota, Florida

Sarasota has long since been a vacation attraction for the rich and famous. One of which was quite influential to this area and called Sarasota home. John Ringling, of the circus world, is that man. When John Ringling purchased a group of islands off Sarasota in the 1920s, he had plans for a major tourist attraction with elegant shops, world-class restaurants, and the finest of hotels. Although Ringling did not live to see it, his dream is reality today and has become a destination for world class visitors, better known as St. Armand's Circle on Lido Key.

St. Armand's Circle is centrally located on the lushly landscaped island of Lido Key. Not only will you find contemporary architecture of distinction, Lido Key also boasts stunning beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, year-round lifeguards, acres of recreation area along the bay, spectacular views, playgrounds and pools for lounging at our Mid-Key public beach. For those visiting Lido Key in search of peace and quiet, enjoy one of our hidden white sugar sand beaches and relax your days away. All will enjoy the charms of St. Armand's circle, just a short walk from many Lido Key areas. Superb exclusive shops, galleries, exotic boutiques, sophisticated restaurants and nightlife all located on St. Armand's Circle. While you're there, remember to visit the center of St. Armand's Circle to see The Circus Ring of Fame, a "sidewalk of circus stars." A must for any kid at heart! Or, if you are more the romantic type, treat yourself to a special view of this island by a horse-drawn carriage.

St. Armand's Circle, Lido Key continues to be a tribute to John Ringling, the man with a vision to last long past his time. Enjoy our lifestyle.... our paradise.....

so our day full of sunshine and food and history was a good one and ended before the 4 PM rain so common here in the summer- and I walked into the house just as the sprinkle of rain came... perfect timing! Tonight we are off to the circus - so stay tuned for more fun and games....