The Boca Raton Symphonia quartet offers some classical
fare for partiers at the home of Patti Carpenter.
From left: Mei Mei Luo (violin), Rob Prester (piano),
Christopher Glansdorp (cello) and Jeff Kaye (trumpet). Photo by Thom Smith
By Thom Smith
Gunther Schuller welcome in Florida, at last!
“I’ve been all over, played and conducted in the greatest halls in the world, but Florida never wanted me.”
That’s Gunther Schuller, musician extraordinaire, lamenting the fact that until the Boca Raton Symphonia called, he had not had the pleasure of sharing his extraordinary talents with residents of the Sunshine State. However, Sunday at St. Andrew’s School, the audience was thrilled that Schuller was finally getting his due in Florida. He conducted a program of Mozart, Haydn, Prokofiev, Ibert and Schuller, with guest performance by cellist Sujin Lee, a protégé of Itzhak Perlman.
Gunther Schuller, left
Two nights before, Schuller and Lee were able to relax at a reception at the Intracoastal waterfront home of Patti Carpenter. Joining Carpenter in welcoming a few select guests including, Jim and Marta Batmasian and Office Depot exec Steve Schmidt were Symphony President Steve Pomeranz and Boca Raton Mayor Susan Whelchel.
The 17-year-old cellist Lee keeps a busy schedule, working in concerts when she can. In addition to studying music at Juilliard, she’s majoring in English and psychology at Columbia.
A decade of Decadence. Although the words look almost identical, they come from different roots — 10 and decay — but when it comes to the 10th year of Boca’s Chocolate Decadence, they mean the same: one incredible good time … if, of course, you love chocolate.
Set for Feb. 3 at the Shoppes at Boca Center, the bash will feature chocolate delights — with a little wine to cleanse the palate — from more than 20 restaurants, vendors and private clubs in the Boca area, including Cucina Mio, Lola, Seasons 52, The Melting Pot, City Fish, Rocco’s Tacos and Wild Olives. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door (a $75 limited VIP pass includes open bar, more food and goody bag) and proceeds go to the Junior League of Boca’s community programs.
The party starts at 6:30, but amateur chocolateurs who believe they have the end-all chocolate recipe can prepare it and bring it to Boca Center at 4:30 p.m. for the Mix and Melt contest. Entry fee is $25 (a donation to the Junior League) and the winner gets a free VIP ticket. (www.bocachocolate.com or 620-4778, Ext. 1)
If you’re not a bum, but you’ve got a good bum and a desire to serve, then you might be just right for … Butlers in the Buff.
“The male order company” offers living party rentals — in white collar and cuffs, black bow tie and black apron (not wrap-around) — to serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres. All fully above board. Conceived in England, where more than 250 tie one (apron) on, the concept spread to Australia and has now reached the colonies with the first franchise in Florida.
Prospective butlers — and customers — should visit www.ButlersInTheBuff.com or call (941) 309-5430.
With all the recent hubbub about Wikileaks, I’ll be interested to hear the take of America’s most famous “leaker,” Daniel Ellsberg. The man who released the top-secret Pentagon Papers in 1971 speaks Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. at FAU’s Alan B. Larkin Symposium on the American Presidency. Tickets are only $12 (www.fauevents.com or 800 564-9539). A day earlier, George Herring, a leading authority on the Vietnam War and the Pentagon Papers, will lead a discussion after a screening of the The Most Dangerous free VIP ticket. (www.bocachocolate.com or 620-4778, Ext. 1)
She was an understudy in the original Broadway production of Hair; she starred in films by Woody Allen and Brian De Palma; she’s stayed busy in TV for four decades; she’s made award-winning children’s recordings; and she’s a crabby cook.
So much so, that Jessica Harper (My Favorite Year, Stardust Memories, Pennies From Heaven) wrote a cookbook titled The Crabby Cook, recounting her adventures in preparing meals for her husband, who said he would eat anything (except onions, garlic, peppers, scallions, eggplant, squash, shellfish, most meat, spices, all non-chocolate desserts) and kids who “ate only white food.”
Out of this came a realization that she could cook simply but effectively and on Feb. 5, she’ll recount her adventures at the Publix Apron’s Cooking School at the Polo Shoppes Publix on Military Trail just north of Clint Moore Road. (www.publix.com/aprons or 994-4883).
The menu includes Parmesan crisps; spicy nuts; slammin’ yam soup; My Favorite Chicken (chicken with apples); hot slaw; Tom’s Brownies. Cost is $45, and guests just might learn how to save a little time in the kitchen and have a little more to watch a Harper movie on DVD.
Enjoying some down time in Delray at the Seagate Hotel, actor Morgan Freeman … Semi-hometown boy Andy Roddick headlines the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, Feb. 18-27, and John McEnroe once again will play a few games in the middle of Atlantic Avenue. Big Mac’s opponent will be Swede Mats Wilander for the “Grand Slam grudge match” at 5:30 on Feb. 18. No charge.
Last seen in these parts as chef-de-nom at The Office in Delray, Mark Militello parted company with owner David Manero last spring, and popped up at Trina on Lauderdale beach. Time’s up.
Trina’s concept changed, Militello said, so he’s trudging a few miles up the beach to create Cabo Blue, a grill and tequila bar in the new Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort. Ocean view. Authentic Mexican fare. Maybe even a taco cart on the street next to the pier … And eventually, he wants to open a Mark’s of some sort in Delray.
’Tis the peak of the season, thus ’tis the time to tour. Especially things historical, such as the Boca Raton Resort & Club and the old Seaboard railway station. In the Roaring ’20s, northern visitors stepped off the train at the station and were shuttled a half-mile east to the resort. Neither the rail cars nor the resort were air-conditioned then, but in the winter, most visitors had no trouble choosing between the snow of Boston and balm of Boca. Compared to the hurry-up-and-wait of modern air travel, a train trip was pure heaven.
The old station has been restored, and it’s air-conditioned now, as are the gleaming post-World War II streamline dining and club cars. Any chill in the caboose and vintage locomotive is aftermarket.
The station tour, offered from 1-4 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of the month through March and the first Friday in April and May, costs $5 for adults, $2 for students, nothing for kids under 6.
On the first and third Tuesdays of each month through May, guided walking tours of Addison Mizner’s spectacular resort are offered at 2 p.m. Charge is $15, plus a $10 per car valet parking charge, unless, of course, you choose to walk to the hotel. Reservations are required.
For a broader sense of the town and its history, the Society’s Trolley Tour takes visitors to the Mizner-designed town hall (now the society’s headquarters), The Addison (then Mizner’s apartment, a real estate office and small restaurant, now a big restaurant), Old Floresta and modern Mizner Park. Twenty bucks, at 10 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month through May.
Call 395-6766 or go to www.bocahistory.org for reservations.
Thom Smith is a freelance writer. He can be reached at email@example.com