The Divine Miss B
This grand painting by Alfred Stevens portrays a Who's Who of 1889 Parisian society. But we recognize only one of the people, making us ponder the temporal nature of "celebrity." The figure who stands out is Sarah Bernhardt, painted in the white costume she wore in Victor Hugo's Ruy Blas. Sarah would have been recognized by Americans, as she made six tours of the United States, and Stevens has captured her famous grace and wavy shock of red hair. Called "The Divine Sarah" by Oscar Wilde, Bernhardt is remembered for her determination, extraordinary performances and fiery personality.
Although it looks complete, this painting was actually cut from an almost 400-foot panorama created for a special pavilion at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889. The painting then traveled to Barcelona, Brussels, Chicago and St. Louis; when it did not find a permanent home, Stevens cut it into sections. John Ringling bought this section, which now commands great attention in the recently installed 19th-century gallery of his museum, where an interactive touchscreen program provides information about the almost 650 people who were part of the original.
Palm Avenue Gallery. The gallery presents acrylic paintings by Kurt Larisch through July 6. Next up: a Summer Showcase featuring works by Rich Fizer, Bill Hanlin, Don Michael Williams, Eric Boyer, Leonard Cave, Peter Swedenborg and others, through September. 953-5757.
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art. Continuing through July 30 is the exhibition Lots of Landscapes, which offers works by, among others, Joyce Ely-Walker, Bruce Marsh, Bill Nichols, Heidi Edwards, Luke Steadman and Leslie Neumann. 366-2093.
Galleria Silecchia. The Palm Avenue gallery presents ongoing summer exhibitions opening the first Friday of July, August and September, featuring new works by Goodacre, Aguilar, Darni, Tamanian, Gerstein and Yamano. 365-7414.
Salvador Dali Museum. Salvador Dali and a Century of Art from Spain: Picasso to Plensa continues on view at the St. Petersburg museum through July 30. (727) 823-3767.
Ringling Museum of Art. The Early Modern Painter-Etcher, on view July 1 through Aug. 19, centers on the etched works of artists who were primarily known as painters in the Europe of the 15th through the 18th centuries. 359-5700, or 358-3180 for advance tickets.
Apple & Carpenter Galleries. The galleries' summer exhibition of American and European paintings continues through July and August. 951-2314.
Art Center Sarasota. Continuing through Aug. 5, Dreams, an open themed juried show. 365-2494.
Museum of Fine Arts. On view through Aug. 6: A Complex Eden: Photographs of the American West, including works by Ansel Adams and Lewis Baltz. Also on view, through Sept. 10, is Keris Invincible: Sword Handles from Indonesia from the Birmingham Museum of Art. And prints and sculptures by Alexander Archipenko can be seen through July 23. (727) 896-2667.
Venice Art Center. A Glass Invitational continues here through Aug. 18, with a solo show of works by Andree Schroeder also on view. 485-7136.
Selby Gallery. The gallery's summer season includes a show of works by the late Sarasota sculptor Jack Cartlidge, July 7 through Aug. 4, followed by Art & Design, featuring large-scale paintings from the FBI by Arnold Mesches and graphic design work from the Russian Constructivists from the collection of Howard Schickler, running Aug. 11 through early September. Opening Sept. 15 to run through Oct. 7 is the Faculty Show, Part I, presenting work from illustration, graphic and interactive communication, photography and digital imaging and liberal arts faculty members. 359-7563.
McCurdy's Comedy Theatre. Mitch Fatel entertains July 1 and 2 at the North Trail comedy club. 925-3869.
St. Armands Boat Show. The fifth annual event on the circle, July 1 and 2. 388-1554.
Book Signing. Longtime SARASOTA Magazine contributor Regan Dunnick turns up to sign copies of his new book, The Louds Move In, at 11 a.m. July 1 at Barnes & Noble; 7 p.m. July 7 at Borders. 923-9907 (Barnes & Noble); 366-7970 (Borders).
Fourth of July Celebration. The patriotic holiday commences with vendors, food and kids' activities at 3:30 p.m. at J.D. Hamel Park (corner of Gulfstream and U.S. 41) and continues with fireworks over the bay at Sarasota Bayfront Park, at 9:30 p.m. The day's events are also the conclusion of the Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix fest; call 371-8820 ext. 1800 for more details.
Bromeliad Society Show & Sale. At Selby Gardens, July 15 and 16. 366-5731.
Friday Fest on the Bay. Have some refreshments and listen to music from Les Sabler and City Heat (July 14), The Venturas (Aug. 18) and Suzette Jennings and MoodSwingz (Sept. 15), each from 5 to 9 p.m. along the Van Wezel's bayfront grounds. 953-3368.
Cocktails at the Cà d'Zan. The band Eclipse provides the music for this event, from 6 to 9 p.m. July 20. 359-5700.
Selby Sunsets Jazz in the Gardens. Music in the gardens' beautiful setting, from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, and also Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27. 366-5731 ext. 221.
Memorial Concert. The Florida West Coast Symphony's resident musicians will present a free memorial concert to honor the fifth anniversary of 9/11, performing Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time. At 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at Holley Hall. 953-4252.
Fall Fest. The Florida West Coast Symphony's ensembles present a Salon Afternoon, at 4 p.m. Sept. 24 at Holley Hall, including music from Schumann, Reicha, Dahl, Beethoven and Rota. 953-3434.
Sarasota Reds. The Florida State League team continues its summer at Ed Smith Stadium, with baseball games against other Florida teams throughout July, August and the beginning of September. 954-4464.
Suncoast Offshore Grand Prix. The 2006 Grand Prix event winds up with a powerboat dry pit party at the Sarasota Fairgrounds, along with a motorcycle poker run, a bike show and a car show (all July 1), followed by the 21st annual 6.5-mile boat race July 2 (best viewing from Lido Beach). All to benefit the Florida Center for Child and Family Development. 371-8820 ext. 1800.
The Big Bang. This two-man musical history of the world-told in just 90 minutes-continues on Florida Studio Theatre's mainstage through July 2. 366-9000.
Mrs. Warren's Profession. Shaw's classic about a woman who succeeds in her business but has less luck in her relationship with her daughter, onstage through July 16 at the Cook Theatre, in a Banyan Theater Company production. 358-5330.
Bad Dates. A comedy examining one woman's struggle with the dating scene and a closet full of shoes, by Theresa Rebeck. Continuing through July 16 at FST's Gompertz Theatre. 366-9000.
Big. The musical about a young boy who finds himself in an adult's body continues through July 23 at the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. 366-5454.
Players of Sarasota Playreading Series. Running July 10-15, with the winner of last year's series, Blackout, also being performed in a staged production July 21-23. 365-2494.
As You Like It. A summer Shakespeare offering, at the Island Players, July 12-16. 778-5755.
Fiction. A play by Steven Dietz about a happily married couple dealing with the sudden intrusion of a wounding secret and a mysterious woman, onstage July 12-30 on FST's mainstage. 366-9000.
The Retreat from Moscow. William Nicholson's play centers on a long-married couple who receive a visit from their son at the precise moment their relationship seems to be coming to an end. A regional premiere presented by the Banyan Theater Company at the Cook Theatre, July 20 through Aug. 6. 358-5330.
Thoroughly Modern Millie. Spirited small-town girl Millie finds adventure and romance in New York in this bouncy musical, onstage July 25 through Sept. 3 at the Golden Apple. 366-5454.
Life (x) 3. A new play by Yasmine Reza (Art) that focuses on two couples and one evening of impending disaster, in one act. Onstage at the Cook in a Banyan offering, Aug. 10-27. 358-5330.
The Producers. Mel Brooks' comic romp about two guys trying to pull off a theatrical debacle finally makes its way to Sarasota, in performances Sept. 29, 30 and Oct. 1 at the Van Wezel. 953-3368.