Friday, January 2, 2015

JANUARY 4, 2015


Beginning Tuesday you can purchase tickets for the first LEN MAZUR MEMORIAL LECTURE on Global Anti-Semitism featuring well known attorney, television commentator and Israel's most visible defender, Alan DERSHOWITZ.  Len's wife Ros and family are making this possible for a small donation of $15 per ticket 7:00 PM February 25, The Ritz Carlton Sarasota.  Free parking available (gratuity not included).  There are only 800 seats and they could be gone by tomorrow's end. To order tickets starting Tuesday, click here.

With the rise of Anti-Semitism around the world and the continued deteriorating race relations in the US, the Mazur family  could not have picked a better time or spokesperson to address these issues.  No matter what your faith, I urge you to attend this important lecture.

Now and continuing through January 30,  good friend and artist extraordinaire, Janet Mishner, will have many of her collages and recent works on display at Art Uptown Gallery at 1367 Main Street.  Janet and the gallery are hosting a wine and cheese reception Friday January 9th from 6pm until 9pm.  This is not a first Friday, so crowds and parking should not be difficult. 

 While there, please look for the many new shops and restaurants on Main St.  I wrote about several in my last blog of 2014, and Justine Griffen featured many in her Business Article in Monday's Herald Tribune.

A few weeks ago, we re-visited  one of SARASOTA'S first go to restaurants, Captain Brian's at 8421 N. Tamiami Trail.  I believe they offered one of the first Sarasota  Early Bird Special Dinners and still do 4pm-5:30pm.  But at any time their prices are ridiculously low and include one of the best salad bars in our city.  The fish is fresh, always available, and they have some of the best stone crabs in the area.   You can also shop in their Seafood Market where much of the fish served on the menu is available to take home for your own creative recipes.

Years ago, long lines were the norm. That's not the case anymore.  It does not mean the restaurant is empty.  To the contrary, the night I was there they were busy with a short wait.  BUT over the years, their quality and service have remained consistent.  Dress casual and enjoy dining like it used to be.  Brian's is also open for lunch with most of the dinner menu at even lower prices. For complete menu click here.

TONIGHT (Sunday, 1/4) at 9pm on CNN is the first television showing of a sure to be Academy Award nominee for best documentary, LIFE ITSELF.  This is the amazing story of Roger Ebert as he fights throat cancer while it takes away his speech but never his determined spirit to live life to the fullest even bedridden and in and out of hospitals.  This movie played the festival circuit in 2014 and was featured at Burns Court Cinema as well.  Filmed until his death, it will break your heart as well as uplift your spirits.

  It also tells in detail his rocky relationship with Gene Siskel, a Chicago movie critic competitor, who reluctantly joined forces with Ebert  to create one of the most popular shows ever on PBS.  As Roger would say, "two thumbs up" for this terrific movie.  Don't miss it, but at least DVR for future viewing.  I saw it and highly recommend.

Also returning tonight on PBS Downton Abbey, and later this week my favorite on FX American Horror Story/Freak Show.

HOLIDAY MOVIES....A few weeks ago I recommended THE IMITATION GAME finally showing at Burns Court.  Their recent Golden Globe nominations and Oscar buzz make this one a must.  It is taut, well acted, and is based on a true story during the tumultuous days of WW11. This movie is another reason NOT to miss CINE WORLD come November.  At least one movie from this event goes onto Oscar consideration.

STILL ALICE, not playing in Sarasota yet, is sure to be an Academy Nominee for best actress Julianne Moore.  Her performance is raw, real, emotional, heartwarming, exceptional....I could go on, but you get the point.  This is the most real performance of her career if she doesn't win the Oscar it will be a travesty of justice.  Alec Baldwin plays her husband, Kristan Stewart one of her daughters and her son in real life is her son here.  If you know someone who has Alzheimer's you will totally relate to this movie.  NOT TO BE MISSED!!!!  Opening in a few weeks.

INTO THE WOODS is a treat for all ages.   Adapted by Disney from the Sondheim Broadway musical, it weaves several well known Grimm  fairy tales into an eye popping movie featuring  Meryl Streep as A wicked witch.  Her voice is much better than in Mama Mia which leads me to believe her singing in dubbed.  I cannot find anything to back me up, but I stand by this.

The cast includes Emily Blunt, James Corden, Christine Biranski, Chris Pine and many more.  I am not a lover of Sondheim, but his music along with the Disney special effects, and charming story make this one of the better Broadway musical adaptions in memory.

A week from today,  the Temple Emanu-El sisterhood is presenting a one time only showing of TO LIFE! a dazzling insight into Jewish composers and lyricists who created the American Songbook.  Richard Friedman, instructor of American Musical Theatre at The Institute for Life Long Learning will be your host for this mixed video/talk presentation. Some of the composers include Ocsar Hammerstien 11, Kurt Weill, Richard Rogers, Jules Styne and more who  were at the epicenter of Broadway musicals.
The program on Sunday, January 11th includes a light lunch. It begins at 12:30 at Temple Emanu-El.  Tickets for the event are $18, available at the door, and OPEN to the Entire Community.  For $25 you can get a wine and hors d'oeurves reception following the presentation.   Temple Emanu-El is located 151 McIntosh Rd. Sarasota.  Email Wendy Barnett for more information.

JIM'S RANT....This is the heart of flu, cold and cough season.  Many of you are trying to get through the day without sneezing.  If sick, please don't go to your nearest fitness center where germs are bad enough.  But if you must then use the wipes provided to wipe off the equipment!!  More don't than do.  I've called out a few at CRUNCH.  I'm sure you've seen them at your club. Stay home and get well before spreading your germs around......

Tracy is aboard again as editor this year.  Until next week......JIM




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