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March Highlights

2. Chubby Checker and the Wildcats, Billboard’s No. 1 artist, and Lou Christie, one of the first great rock ‘n’ roll songwriters, perform at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts March 2 at 8 p.m. Call the Phil box office at 597-1900 for tickets.

4. The story of david merrick, one of Broadway’s most famous and successful producers, makes its world premiere on the TheatreZone stage in The Beast of Broadway. David Garrison stars in the show, March 4–14 at the G&L Theatre in Naples. Call the box office at (888) 966-3352 or visit www.theatrezone-florida.com for tickets.

11. Get into the spirit of spring at the Gulfshore Flower, Garden & Home Show March 11–14 at Germain Arena. See 16 blooming gardens designed and installed by top-rated landscape architects, and pick up tips for your own home with lectures, interactive cooking demonstrations, interior decorating workshops and more. Call (800) 600-0307, ext. 32, or visit www.gulfshoregardenshow.com for more details.

12. If you loved it last year, don’t miss it this year—Circus Sarasota’s impressive acts are back under the big top at Gulf Coast Town Center March 12–28. Get your tickets by calling (941) 355-9335.

27. The traditional juried Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts takes over Fifth Avenue South for its 22nd year in one art-filled weekend March 27–28. See works from 250 fine artists, and while you’re downtown, stop into The von Liebig Art Center to check out its seasonal blockbuster exhibition. For more information, call 435-3742.


Rudi’s European Cuisine Executive Chef Rudi Fers enhances Florida’s fresh grouper with a European touch. It’s grilled until the outside is a touch crispy, but still tender inside. It is flecked with black pepper, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, served over fresh arugula and drizzled with olive oil. Rudi’s German, Italian, Hungarian and other cuisines are delicious. Traditional savory schnitzels, bratwurst and goulash share the menu with Florida’s fish and fruits. 10711 Tamiami Trail N., Naples. 325-8755.   
                                                                                                                      —Ivan Seligman


Joel babb, who has been painting scenes such as this since the latE 1990s, is not only a student of nature but also one of its remarkable interpreters. He can translate its complicated elements into a visual language using masterful brush strokes of paint. His talents for illusion capture us in Big Cypress with him. This trompe l’oeil fools the eye with its realism. Babb has layered the two-dimensional canvas with oil paint in such a way that we believe we can see through the water to the sandy bottom. Our view is of silver light, the hanging moss and a dense thicket of flora that immerses us in a place of solitude and tranquility. There is no clear horizon in Babb’s composition. His palette of soft blues, warm grays, verdant greens and brackish browns is comforting. Joel Babb’s work can be seen in an exhibition at Naples Museum of Art through April 18. This work can be seen at Trudy Labell Fine Art in Naples.
                                                                                                                        —Mark Ormond


Hailed as one of the world’s leading interior designers, Bunny Williams has mastered the art of mixing old and new, texture and contrast into homes and gardens that are at once interesting and comfortable. Williams is also an author of three design books, a designer of her newly unveiled BeeLine Home collection and co-owner of Treillage Ltd., an antique garden furniture and ornament shop in New York City, where she resides. Hear her speak at the Port Royal Club as part of the Naples Art & Antique Show at noon March 2.

What will you speak about?
I’ll talk about the breakdown of interior design into different rooms and give people ideas so that when they go back to their own house, it makes them think about their rooms—how they’re arranged, how they put colors together and what they can do to perk up a room.

What’s a universal tip you can share?
Start with the arrangement of furniture to make sure people can converse with each other easily. The chairs should relate to each other; and when you sit down, if you have a glass of wine or coffee, there should be a table to put it on. Sometimes people put furniture together without thinking how it’s going to work.

Tell us about your BeeLine Home collection.
BeeLine is a furniture and accessory line I designed that came out last year. I designed things that I think were hard to find—a perfect end table to go next to a sofa, a good coffee table. I like to mix antiques with new things, so all the designs are a bit more contemporary, but made with such quality that they look good if you have antiques.

What’s your first step when beginning a new project?
When I start, I spend a tremendous amount of time with the clients, getting to know what they want and what they like. Remember, it’s their house, not yours, and it has to function for them.

Do you have a goal in mind when designing a home?
The ultimate goal is to design a house that the clients are thrilled with and that lives up to their expectations. You want a client who says, “I love staying at home. This is what I’ve always wanted.”
                                                                                                                     —Jennifer Freihofer

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