February is peak season here in the West Palm Beach area. There are more theatres, parties, exhibits, and restaurant rendezvous than we ever experienced in the northeast. It's sort of like being a teenager again, ne'er a night at home. If I wrote about every such instance in this space, each would be like an expanded Twitter entry. So, instead, this is a roundup of some of the happenings in the first part of the month, in no particular order.
But segueing from my last entry in which there is an implied correlation between boating and art, we visited this weekend's noteworthy Palm Beach Jewelry, Art &Antique Show where international dealers, "attracts tens of thousands of private collectors, museum curators, investors and interior designers." Red carpet night was on Friday and we were lucky enough to be invited by our friends Harry and Susan to mix with the rich and famous (they seem to be able to get tickets to anything!). This show is like Art Palm Beach but on steroids.
Although paintings and antique furniture and jewelry seem to be the standout exhibits (all for sale of course at breathtaking prices), I was attracted by the antique marine engines, refinished to be exacting models of the originals, sparkling in chrome and painstakingly restored. Boating and art can be compatible.
Part of the fun of attending such an event is to see and be seen. Where else can you find a dog being escorted through the exhibit in a baby stroller? I found a rotund object of art looking up and decided to pose there myself looking up. In just a few moments a number of people stopped to look up themselves.
Earlier in the month Ann and I had made several trips to The Society of the Four Arts on Palm Beach proper. The Society hosts a number of cultural programs that are unique, starting with Jeffrey Siegel's "Keyboard Conversations." The Feb. 3 program was devoted to Claude Debussy and, as usual, Mr. Siegel first explained each piece, highlighting some of the themes at the piano first, and then playing the piece in its entirety. It is better than a concert. I wish I had learned classical instead of "popular piano" skills, but had I gone that route, perhaps I would not play at all at this point in my life. (How many people do you know who say they "used" to play the piano?) That is the problem with the classical technique -- use it or lose it. So, perhaps I should be grateful as my skills are easily retained and although I cannot sight read the bass clef and have to improvise with chords, I can play some classical that way, as the brief video below attests (naturally, Debussy inspired by Mr. Siegel, but apologies to you, sir).
On Feb. 6 we found ourselves back at the The Society of the Four Arts for a performance of Pride and Prejudice by the L.A. Theatre Works. As this is a traveling group, don't miss it if it comes to your town! The actors are in costume but the work is presented as a radio program, the performers standing at microphones, but not reading from the script -- acting their parts -- and the productions have sound effects, just like an old time radio show. Some of the actors play multiple parts with on stage costume changes. It is very effective and Ann and I were briefly able to enter the world of Jane Austen (Ann's favorite author and one of mine).
Ann returned, yet again, to The Society of the Four Arts the following week for an all day special lecture on Downton Abbey, to which we are both utterly addicted. Naturally, high tea was served. Alas, tonight is the last episode of Season 3.