Jane Fonda has been a figure in American cultural and political life for decades; she'll talk about both aspects of her career and answer questions from the audience during An Evening with Jane Fonda, April 3 at the Van Wezel. (Call 953-3368 for tickets.) We asked a few questions of our own in advance.
Q. What has the response been like as you talk about your life and your book, My Life So Far? Very good. The questions range from what it's like to kiss Bob Redford—good for me, but he doesn't like love scenes—to what feminism means to me.
Q. And I suppose they ask if you're going to make another movie after coming back to the screen with Monster-In-Law. I am going to do a movie at the end of the summer, but it hasn't been announced yet, so I can't talk about it.
Q. Which one of your movies would you say has had the most lasting impact on people? On Golden Pond, for sure. That has had the most universal appeal.
Q. Any unfulfilled acting ambitions? I don't have too many. I'd like to do more comedy; I really enjoy that. When I took a break from acting, it was because I wasn't enjoying it. But when I was almost through writing the book, I thought, "I'm a very different person than I was when I quit. Maybe I'll enjoy it now." And I did.
Q. Does it surprise you that the Vietnam War is still so polarizing 30 years later? No, for two reasons. First, we've never really understood that war. And the right wing continues to try to make us misunderstand, saying we lost the war because of antiwar protests. That's balderdash. You can be against the war and for the troops, which I was. I probably knew more about soldiers and their lives than most civilians, and they're the ones who got me involved.
Q. Do you have the same passionate feelings about our involvement in Iraq? I do, but I'm not as active as I was, because I do carry this baggage and I don't want to hurt the movement. The right wing continues to flaunt this myth of me; they keep it alive because it suits their agenda.
Q. Do you live in Atlanta now? Yes. The organization that I founded, focusing on adolescent pregnancy and reproductive health, is here. My grandchildren live nearby. And I'm also enrolled at the International Theological Center here, where I'm studying the text of the New Testament. I'm enjoying being back in school.
Q. How did that come about? Because I became a Christian six years ago, and I need to know more about what that means. I'm a feminist Christian, which I know in my heart makes sense, but I want to understand it theologically as well.
Q. What have people been the most surprised to discover if they've read your book? I guess people think that if you're rich and famous you don't have the same problems as they do. I've had some success, but I've suffered much of my life from a lack of self-confidence.
Q. Was writing the book cathartic for you? A lot of the catharsis had already happened; I'd already found the basics of what I needed to learn. But I enjoyed writing it a lot. I recommend it to everybody, whether they get published or not. —Kay Kipling
Let the Music Play
It's "A Year of Celebration" for La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, which notes its 20th anniversary this month. That's a big milestone for the fest, which will also be marking two other significant dates through its programming: the 250th birthday of Mozart (the most frequently played composer of all time) and the 100th of Shostakovich (the most frequently performed 20th-century composer, according to festival organizer Sally Faron).
Both composers will receive their due. A Mozart work will be performed at every festival concert, while Shostakovich's genius turns up in three. That includes the final concert, which welcomes festival newcomer and young Russian soprano Dina Kuznetsova to sing his Seven Romances on Poems by Alexandr Blok, April 19. She'll be making her debut in Gianni Schicchi at Covent Garden shortly after her appearance here.
Concert dates are April 5, 8, 11, 17 and 19, all at the Sarasota Opera House. And of course there are other events associated with the festival open to the public, including Stage Side Chats, the dates of which will be announced.
La Musica musicians, including such favorites as artistic director Bruno Giuranna, associate artistic director Derek Han, violinist Federico Agostini, violist Cynthia Phelps and her husband, cellist Ronald Thomas, will be in residence at the Mildred Sainer Pavilion of New College of Florida, and rehearsals are also open to the public (passes are available).
Among the works being performed: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Schubert's Trout Quintet, both a piano trio and a string quartet by Shostakovich, Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht and the Dumky piano trio by Dvorak. For complete information and tickets, call 366-8450 option 3.
BEAUTY AND A LITTLE BEAST
Important portraits reveal much about the subject and the taste of their period. Although we do not know the identity of this woman, we can see that Titian, one of the greatest painters of the 16th century, established a rapport with her.
Some scholars speculate she could be his daughter-in-law, Lavinia, who modeled for allegorical and mythological figures the Venetian master painted. She resembles Titian's portrait of Lavinia in the collection of the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden, Germany.
The artist presents her here as a vision of opalescent skin sheathed in luxurious fabrics. Golden tresses frame an oval face marked by an elegant nose, high arched brows and rosebud lips. Her jewelry and elaborate headpiece signal a woman of some wealth and privilege, and the vista behind her signals attachment to land, through inheritance or marriage or both. Her studded-collared pet ferret nestles against her hand.
Titian seems to brush the paint on his canvas with air, it floats so effortlessly over the surface. The rich, creamy colors combine to substantiate the trappings of this beautiful creature from another culture. Titian's paintings were coveted by princes and kings in every court in Europe, so it's no wonder John Ringling wanted to have this one for his collection. It's the only painting by Titian on view in the galleries of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.—Mark Ormond
Ringling Museum of Art. Waking Dreams: Art of the Pre-Raphaelites from the Delaware Art Museum ends its run at the museum April 2. 359-5700.
Selby Gallery. Continuing through April 7: Carrie Mae Weems: The Louisiana Project. Opening with a reception at 5 p.m. April 14: the Best of Ringling annual juried student exhibition, which runs through May 6. 359-7563.
Art Center Sarasota. The Art of Travel, a show of visiting Russian artists, and works by Julie Trigg and Pat Kaufman remain on view through April 15. Opening April 26 to run through May 6 is the annual North County Students Art Exhibition. 365-2032.
State of the Arts Gallery. Continuing through mid-April: Art of Expression, featuring the art of David Peterson and other abstract expressionist artists. Next up through mid-May: Hands On, an exhibit with presentations of art being created in the gallery. 955-2787.
Salvador Dali Museum. Pollock to Pop: America's Brush with Dali remains on view through April 23. (727) 823-3767.
Tampa Museum of Art. Wild Things: The Art of Maurice Sendak continues through April 23. (813) 274-8130.
Apple & Carpenter Galleries. Continuing on view through April 29, a spring exhibition of American and European paintings dating from 1850 to 1950. 951-2314.
Museum of Fine Arts. The St. Petersburg museum continues the exhibition Photography Past/Forward: Aperture at 50, highlighting works by William Eggleston, Annie Leibovitz and a host of others, through April 30. (727) 896-2667.
Venice Art Center. The members' spring exhibition occupies the gallery from April 3 to 19. Also on view is a plein-air exhibition, April 22–29, accompanied by a lecture/reception from 2 to 5 p.m. April 23. 485-7136.
Galleria Silecchia. Flying High: Mobiles and Metals occupies the gallery starting April 7. Featured are works by Mark Davis, Paul Tamanian and Yasuko Nakamura. 365-7414.
Palm Avenue Gallery. The watercolors of Patricia Mead and the drawings of Sol Schwartz are on view April 7 through May 4. 953-5757.
Sharp-Stevens Gallery. New works by ceramic artist Walter Yovaish go on view with a reception at this Towles Court gallery, at 4:30 p.m. April 21. 365-4222.
Longboat Key Center for the Arts. Art in Motion opens with a reception at 5 p.m. April 21, continuing through July 12. Also on view this month: the faculty show in the Glen Gallery, April 26 through Sept. 28, and the members' exhibit, through Sept. 28. 383-2345.
Creators and Collectors Tour. The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota offers a chance to see seven local artists in their studios, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 21 and 22. Tickets $20; call 330-0680 for more information.
Manatee Community College Fine Art Gallery. The annual student art exhibition takes place April 21 through May 2 at the Bradenton campus. 752-5252.
Encore! The Art of the Asolo Theater. The installation of the restored 18th-century Asolo Theater on the Ringling Museum grounds is accompanied by this exhibition, which provides historical, artistic and cultural material about the theater and its significance. April 22 through June 18. 358-3180.
Selby Gardens Photography Exhibition. The annual juried show takes place April 22 through May 23 at the gardens. 366-5731.
Sleeping Ugly. A Griffin Theatre Company musical that takes the traditional fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and sets it on its ear. At 10:30 a.m. April 1 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.
Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka. The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration On Tour production about that master of chocolate, onstage at 10:30 a.m. April 29 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.
McCurdy's Comedy Theatre. Performing at the comedy club this month: John DiCrosta, April 1 and 2; Wendy Liebman, April 7–9; Scott Novotny, April 12–16; Jeff Dunham, April 21–23; and Diane Ford, April 26–30. Also this month: the McCurdy's Comedy Golf Tournament benefiting Camp Florida Fish Tales. 925-3869.
Sarasota Ballet of Florida. The company presents a "best of the best" retrospective for its season finale festival, with performances at 8 p.m. April 21, and 2 and 8 p.m. April 22 and 23 at FSU Center for the Performing Arts. 351-8000.
Sarasota Film Festival. The eighth annual festival shifts into high gear with a host of events this month, including the World Cinema Celebration April 5 (director Werner Herzog is among those expected for that), celebrations and parties with stars April 6, 7 and 8, and the screening of some 100 new films in all genres, including the brand-new Prairie Home Companion, The Notorious Bettie Page (starring Gretchen Mol as the pin-up queen) and the U.S. premiere of Fabulous: A Story of Queer Cinema, at the Hollywood 20. Ticket prices vary; call 364-9514 or go to www.sarasotafilmfestival.com for the latest.
PAL Sailor Circus. The spring production from the Sailor Circus students continues through April 8 in the big blue tent on Bahia Vista. 361-6350.
Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary. "Edutainment" demonstrations about big cats, bears and other wildlife are offered at 1:30 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday throughout the month; reservations required. 371-6377.
Shark's Tooth Festival. The annual celebration of Venice's shark's tooth reputation, offering bands, arts and crafts, kids' activities, great food and plenty of prehistoric fossils, from April 8 through 10 across from Sharky's restaurant. To benefit Special Athletes in Sarasota County; call 412-0402 for more info.
Life in the Wilderness Home Tour. The Bradenton Opera Guild presents this tour of seven homes in the River Wilderness Golf and Country Club community, to benefit the Sarasota Youth Opera. On April 8; tickets $15. Call 776-2850 for tickets; for information about an optional buffet lunch, call 776-2691.
David Copperfield. More fantastic illusions from the ever amazing Copperfield, at 6 and 9 p.m. April 20 and 21 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.
Festival Diapente. The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall comes together with other artistic entities around town to present the second annual festival, which encompasses a wide variety of events. Some highlights: a Selby Gardens wine tasting and a performance of The End of the Moon by Laurie Anderson, April 12; Phonk! Scrap Arts Music Spectacular and a Sixth Sense Late Night Party April 14; and a City Celebration billed as a "global experiential evening" April 15. For complete details call 953-3368 or visit www.vanwezel.org.
Sarasota Pops. A Pipes & Pops concert welcomes the Jacobites Pipe and Drum Band, at 3 p.m. April 1 at Van Wezel. 351-8000.
Florida West Coast Symphony Masterworks. The Masterworks season concludes with concerts April 1 and 2 at Van Wezel, featuring pianist André Watts on Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15, and Bruckner's Symphony No. 7 in E Major, Op. 2. 953-3434.
Family Music Festival. Performances by Sal Garcia & Omni, Twinkle & the Sweet F.A., Dyersburg and other groups spark this benefit event for Manasota BUDS and Project Rainbow—Children's Respite. Proceeds help local families dealing with children with Down syndrome and other special needs. From 1 to 6 p.m. April 2 at the Meadows Village Center. 358-7566.
Selby Garden Music Series. Afternoon concerts under the banyans of the gardens, set for April 2 (the Barry Johnson Jazz Affair), April 9 (Pan Magic Steel Drum Duo), April 16 (the Unique Trio), April 23 (Dulce) and April 30 (Koko Ray and the Soul Providers). 366-5731.
Lang Lang. The acclaimed young pianist performs in the Sarasota Concert Association series, at 8 p.m. April 2 at Van Wezel. For returned ticket availability, call 955-0040.
The Velvet Fog. David Pruyn presents the music of Mel Tormé in this show onstage at Venice Little Theatre, April 2 and 3. 488-1115.
Florida West Coast Symphony Oz with Orchestra. The symphony presents the Florida premiere of this event, which brings together the original Wizard of Oz movie with live music performed by the orchestra. At 7:30 p.m. April 5 at Van Wezel. 953-3434.
Ringling Museum Courtyard Concert. Featuring the Jerry White Band, at 6 p.m. April 6. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. 358-3180.
Sarasota Jazz Festival. Jazz fans will turn out for the 26th annual festival, which presents a line-up of concerts and more. The gamut runs from Jazz in the Park April 2 at Phillippi Estate Park to jazz films and lectures April 3 and 4 at Burns Court Cinema to free jazz on the Van Wezel bayfront and a jazz caravan by trolley April 5, before really getting down to it with five Van Wezel concerts hosted by Mort Sahl: a Tribute to New Orleans with the Dukes of Dixieland and Preservation Hall Jazz Band (special guest Pete Fountain) April 6; Ramsey Lewis and Marian McPartland, April 7; the Duke Ellington Orchestra, April 8; Dick Hyman and Friends, also April 8; and the Chick Corea Trio, April 9. Call 366-1552 for complete info; 953-3368 for Van Wezel concert tickets.
Venice Symphony. The symphony presents classical concerts at 8 p.m. April 7, and at 4 and 8 p.m. April 8 at the Church of the Nazarene in Venice. Also this month: a concert at MCC's Venice campus, 8:15 p.m. April 22, and pops concerts at 8 p.m. April 28 and at 4 and 8 p.m. April 29, also at Church of the Nazarene. 488-1010.
Gloria Musicae. The choral ensemble presents Handel's beloved Messiah, Parts II and III, in concert at 4 p.m. April 9 at St. Boniface Episcopal Church. Call 954-4223 for more information or 351-8000 for individual tickets.
Liberace. No, not the actual Liberace, but Martin Preston in a 90-minute tribute performance. April 9 and 10 at Venice Little Theatre. 488-1115.
The Ten Tenors. Lots of talent from Down Under with this ensemble, which performs pop, classical and original music, at 8 p.m. April 10 at the Van Wezel. 953-3368.
La Musica International Chamber Music Festival. The 20th annual chamber fest runs April 3—19, with concerts set for April 5, 8, 11, 17 and 19. 366-8450 option 3.
Cocktails at the Cà d'Zan. The Dr. Dave Band provides the entertainment for this month's event, at 6 p.m. April 20. Cash bar and food vendors. 359-5700.
Florida West Coast Symphony Composer's Series. The orchestra examines a day in the life of Mozart, with works by the late, great composer including Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major, K. 271 (Jeunehomme), and Symphony No. 31 in D Major, K. 297 (Paris), at 8 p.m. April 20 (Jorge Federico Osorio at the piano); and his Overture to Don Giovanni, Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major, K. 453, and Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550, at 8 p.m. April 22 (pianist Vassily Primakov). Both concerts are at the Opera House, and a pre-concert dinner is available for each next door at DJ's Restaurant. 953-3434.
Exsultate! The chamber chorale presents its final concerts of the season at 7:30 p.m. April 21 and 3:30 p.m. April 23 at the Grace United Methodist Church in Venice. Theme: The Sacred Flame: Music of the Church, from Britain's Tudor era to today. 484-8491 or 496-4977.
Florida Voices. The ensemble joins with the choruses of Riverview High and Sarasota Christian in a Bon Voyage concert prior to their departure for a tour of Ireland and Scotland. At 7:30 p.m. April 22 at Covenant Life Presbyterian Church. 922-6354.
Nana Mouskouri. The Greek-born Mouskouri brings her versatile voice to the Van Wezel, at 8 p.m. April 22. 953-3368.
Key Chorale. The ensemble presents its final concert of the 20th anniversary season: Rutter Plus, featuring John Rutter's Mass of the Children (performed with the Pine View School Chorus) and great oratorio choruses. At 4 and 7 p.m. April 23 at St. Boniface Episcopal Church. 921-4845.
MCC Spring Fling Concert. Featuring the MCC choirs, jazz ensemble, symphonic band and orchestra. At 8 p.m. April 27 at Neel Performing Arts Center. 752-5252.
Smooth Jazz on St. Armands: Fourth Friday with Style. The Eric Darius Quintet entertains, beginning at 6 p.m. April 28 at St. Armands Circle Park. 388-1554.
Sarasota Ski-A-Rees. Free water-ski shows at 2 p.m. each Sunday (except Easter) through May 7 at Ken Thompson Park on City Island. 388-1666.
An Evening with Jane Fonda. Fonda talks about her movies and more, at 8 p.m. April 3 at the Van Wezel. 953-3368.
Books & Coffee. Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat is reviewed by Robert Sessions, at 10:30 a.m. April 4 at Selby Library. 365-5228.
Forum 2006. Author Kevin Phillips and Sarasotan Kerry Kirschner have a conversation that touches on Phillips' latest book: American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century. At 7:30 p.m. April 22 at Holley Hall. 349-8350.
Palm Literary Society. Paul Rusesabagina, the true hero behind the story of Hotel Rwanda, talks of his experiences and his book, An Ordinary Man, at 11:30 a.m. April 27 at Michael's On East. 329-2604.
The Dunes. An Americanized modern-day version of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, onstage through April 2 at Venice Little Theatre's Stage II. 488-1115.
Nobody: The Bert Williams Story. The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe ends its run of the new play about an African-American entertainment pioneer April 2 at the Backlot Theatre. 363-9300.
Trying. David S. Howard and Deanna Gibson shine in this "inspired by the truth" story of the relationship between the aging Francis Biddle and his latest secretary. Continuing through April 8 at the Asolo. 351-8000.
Moonlight and Magnolias. What really happened behind the scenes of writing the script for Gone With the Wind? Whether true or exaggerated, this comedy offers a glimpse. Through April 8 on Florida Studio Theatre's mainstage. 366-9000.
Putting It Together. A revue of much of Stephen Sondheim's best work, onstage through April 9 at the Players of Sarasota. 365-2494.
Chapter Two. Neil Simon's funny, sad look at a man trying to forge a new life with a new wife, continuing through April 9 at the Island Players. 778-5755.
Greater Tuna. Two actors bring to life an entire Texas town in this comedy romp, running through April 15 at Venice Little Theatre. 488-1115.
Ethel Waters: His Eye Is on the Sparrow. Jannie Jones stars as actress-singer Waters in this one-woman show by Larry Parr, for selected dates through April 23 at the Gompertz Theatre. 366-9000.
Anything to Declare? A French farce about a newlywed couple struggling with coitus interruptus and the bridegroom's quest for a cure, onstage through April 27 at the Asolo. 351-8000.
To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee's classic about lawyer Atticus Finch, his family and his town runs through May 6 at the Asolo. 351-8000.
Lady Windermere's Fan. The Oscar Wilde wit sparkles in this high-society comedy about marriage and misunderstanding, onstage through May 7 at the Asolo. 351-8000.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast. A tale as old as time is retold once more in this popular musical, running through May 28 at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. 366-5454.
The Flip Side. An evening of music and comedy complete with the works of Monty Python, Barry Manilow and Shel Silverstein. A world premiere onstage through June 10 at Florida Studio Theatre's Goldstein Cabaret. 366-9000.
Dreamgirls. This musical telling the story of a girl group much like the Supremes is presented in a Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe production at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre, April 6-23. 748-5875.
Thoroughly Modern Millie. Flappers, the Charleston and young love are brought together in this Broadway hit, at 3 and 8 p.m. April 11 at Van Wezel. 953-3368.
Around the World in 80 Days. A fast-paced adaptation of the classic Jules Verne story about Phineas Fogg's circumnavigational bet, playing April 12 through June 10 on Florida Studio Theatre's mainstage. 366-9000.
The Vagina Monologues. Eve Ensler's frank, funny hit offering insight into that certain part of a woman's body, onstage April 13-30 at Venice Little Theatre's Stage II. 488-1115.
Everything in the Garden. A play by Edward Albee, offered by the Manatee Community College theater department April 14-22. 752-5252.
Steve Solomon's My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish and I'm in Therapy. Solomon's one-man show actually brings to life much of his "dysfunctional" family, in a Van Wezel offering at the Players Theatre, April 18-23. 953-3368.
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Patrick Cassidy stars as Joseph, with American Idol's Amy Adams as the Narrator, in this early Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice hit. Onstage at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center April 18-23. (800) 955-1045.
Anything Goes. The Cole Porter musical that takes place on the high seas, in a Booker Visual and Performing Arts production April 19–22 at the school's theater. 355-2967.
Pericles. FSU/Asolo Conservatory M.F.A. students tackle Shakespeare in one of his most unusual plays, about a prince whose adventures include some rather supernatural elements, April 19 through May 7 at the Asolo's Jane B. Cook Theatre. 351-8000.
Sex and the Second City. The battle of the sexes played for laughs, as a couple with the seven-year itch tries to rediscover the magic. A Van Wezel show presented at the Players Theatre, April 25-30. 953-3368.