On Tuesday, March 3, the Gadabouts hosted by Carolou Marquet, a UPWC member and volunteer at the Sarasota Ballet hosted (along with several of her fellow tour guides) a peek behind the curtain of the upcoming production premier performance of Sir Frederick Ashton's Romeo and Juliet. Fifteen members of the Gadabouts attended. Our arts education began with some history of the Ballet Company, its 29 seasons and wide-ranging repertoire and its evolution to the critically acclaimed and internationally famous shows/performers whom we enjoy today. The Ballet "travels" locally among three venues - sharing the Asolo, the Sarasota Opera House and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, with other art productions groups, and performers, depending on the Ballet to be performed. In addition to meeting the marketing director, Jason Ettore, we had the privilege of meeting the Ballet director and moving force, Iain Webb, who lends his artistic sense and experience to this extraordinary and unique organization. We watched with awe as the performers practiced in a session with the ballet master, and met the costumer who organizes, procures, and modifies the needed appropriate attire for every performance by the company. Additionally, we learned of several volunteer opportunities to support the Ballet, a special after school program sponsored by the Ballet, and of upcoming events to raise funds and support this amazing art form. We ended our visit with a new appreciation for this enriching and unique community asset and then enjoyed a pleasant lunch and opportunity to socialize at the Muse. We look forward to seeing the actual production of Romeo and Juliet on March 28 at Van Wezel! From backstage to center stage! What a treat!
Sweethear Royal Tea at Flynn's - February 7th, 2020
With Valentines Day a week away, Gadabout members enjoyed a relaxing royal tea in Flynn's valentine themed room in Venice. Venice was a perfect place to toast the gathering of friends who appreciate and enjoy some time together. The royal tea menu featured champagne, cucumber, chicken salad, and egg salad tea sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, an assortment of teas, and chocolate and traditional pound cakes. A wonderful way to enjoy our friendships.
Top left (from L to R): Carrie Hayden, JoAnn Snedeker (Gadabouts Chair), Kay Bair and Carol Zimmer
(from L to R): Lynn Pisani, Joan Magiet, Bobby Love, Carole Shabe and Connie Blair
Missing from photos: Linda Zuffa and guest, Ann and Gadabouts Chair and Photographer, Maria Meredith
Variety in Venice - February 7th, 2020
Beautiful weather was the backdrop for a Gadabout trip to Venice, Florida on January 7, 2020. First stop was the Venice Theatre for their ‘Behind the Curtain’ tour. A wonderful experience, giving major credit to Cara Herman, actress and our tour guide. She shared the theatre’s history and amusing anecdotes while leading us through various theatre areas. We also met Camille Cline, Deputy Director of Development, and Murray Chase, Producing Executive Director who helped us understand their important message of “the power of art.” Our biggest take-away from the tour was appreciating the breadth of their performances and witnessing the love and devotion of staff, the many dedicated volunteers and the pride of the Venice community for the Venice Theatre.
The second stop was lunch at Cafe Venice……very good food with speedy service allowing enough time for the last stop, shopping on Venice Avenue [great for browsing and buying!]. FULL is a great description for the day…. full of knowledge, good food, fun and filled shopping bags!
Note: Additional photos are available on the Galleries, Photo Album webpage. Click here to view
VENICE THEATRE AUDITIONS? No but, Gadabout members are ready to start the Venice Theatre Tour
TAP ON ENERGY, Silver Foxes rehearse their tap dancing routine for their March performance ‘Broadway by the Sea’. This talented retired volunteer entertainment troupe sing, act and dance.
On December 16th twenty five members and their guests enjoyed walking through Selby’s Botanical Gardens for their annual ‘Lights in Bloom’ event, and several enjoyed dinner afterwards at Libby’s Neighborhood Brasserie. We knew it was going to be a good night because the weather was warm, no rain, and everyone found a space to park at Selby - an understated achievement! The various holiday light designs included Reflections [lights reflected in a Koi pond], butterflies, a secluded forest, horned flamingos amusingly entitled ‘Florida Reindeer’ and more….. the photos below are a small sample of the beauty and colored glow seen at Selby. If you haven’t been, don’t miss it!
Did you know that ‘Lights in Bloom’ is the 9th place winner from a field of 20 nominees around the country in the 2019 USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights.
(L to R) T. Suchma, Sharon Garden, Shirley Alesczyk, Maria Meredith, Lynn Meredith, Adele Fine, Donna Larson, Marjorie Stem, Kay Winsauer, Barbara Isaacs, Joni Pensack, Cari Lyn Vinci, Barbara Williams, and Bob Stem. [Photograph taken by E. Suchma] Other members who attended were Mary Lou Brunetti, Briana and Werner Knoop, Nancy and Bill Lavelle, Elizabeth Muessle, Gwen and David Murphy, Marcia and Gary Selep
Above: Lights reflected on to the Koi Pond
Left: Secluded Forest
On November 8, 2019, Gadabout members attended and participated in a Tai Chi demonstration. Instructors provided an overview of Tai Chi history and the health benefits that can be gained through the combination of gentle physical exercise and stretching with mindfulness. The session had a relaxed ambiance and was very informative. It was also a little surprising to some participants because of being reacquainted with specific muscle areas. It was a great introduction to another culture’s form of exercise that has gained a lot of popularity in the USA. To finish off the function, the group enjoyed lunch at a local Asian restaurant.
On October 17, 2019 twenty members of the UPWC Gadabouts attended a HopitaBull Bulls Bistro tasting at the USF Sarasota-Manatee Culinary Program. The tasting menu was picnic-themed and the four courses included devilled eggs, watermelon salad, Waldorf salad sandwiches and caramel apple nachos for dessert. The students managed all aspects of the function - menu selection, food prep, reservations and seating under the watchful eye of their instructors. The attendees had the opportunity to engage with the students as well as with each other while enjoying the tasting session. This outing allowed us to support the university and the hands-on student effort. It was a new way to experience Happy Hour for many of us - and who knows we may have just met and encouraged a future famous chef or restaurant owner!
On April 26, 2019, this season's Gadabout Volunteers enjoyed a brunch hosted by JoAnn Snedeker and Maria Meredith as a thank you for their efforts in organizing successful functions for our membership (see first 4 photos in photo album above). Afterwards the group shared and discussed ideas of what activities would be pursued for the 2019-2020 season. The collective decision was to revisit some favorite locations with a new slant, and to offer several new functions. We’re excited and looking forward to announcing our plans as soon as they are finalized. Stay tuned for next season!
Photo Album - Click on Upload to add photos
The Gadabouts joined up with the UPWC Francophiles met for a splendid tour of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on April 12th, 2019. Twenty four ladies were delighted with the Gauguin exhibit and the beauty of the Selby Gardens.
On February 1, 2019 the Gadabouts took steps together in a line dancing class at the Dancing on the Suncoast Studio. Perhaps starting a little rusty, it didn’t take long to discover our synchronized talents. Following the instructor’s lead, everyone picked up the steps quickly, with hints of personal style. Missteps were few, but laughter was contagious. It was a great way to ‘get moving’ and shake up the day! Lunch followed at the Apollonia Grill.
On January 11th, members of Gadabouts met for lunch at The Rosemary, followed by a tour of ABC7 Studios. The tour was given by Amber Casart, executive producer of the station. We met with various personnel including news anchor Scott Dennis and weatherman John Scalzi. All agreed the experience was most informative and enjoyable!