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Culinary dynasties. Centennial celebrations. Artists chasing light. The penultimate of an important composer’s work. Talent at work. Hot spots. Givers. Doers. It’s February, it’s our town, and there’s so much happening. 

In our cover story, the Seidensticker family – known for its local successes Libby’s, Louie’s Modern, The Francis, and Modern Events Catering and Venues – embark on a new hospitality concept called TableSeide. Read all about it in Sue Cullen’s interview with this talented family, led by patriarch Steve. 

From the Beatles to Robin Williams, John Moffitt has worked with a host of illustrious stars, and he gives Gus Mollasis the inside story in Scenes from an Interview. 

We all enjoy history. So what, “looks quite comely for 100 years of age, but like many other well-preserved Floridian beauties, she’s had some work done”? No, it’s not me, silly. According to SCENE contributing writer Steve Smith it’s the former Woman’s Club of Sarasota, Sarasota’s first library and social center, which is now Florida Studio Theatre’s Keating Theatre. This year, FST proudly celebrates the centennial of this building so rich in history and meaning. 

Love the visual arts? Well this is an event you won’t want to miss. It combines art and history. The Plein Air Painters’ 3rd Annual Paint Sarasota Paint Out event and the Master Artists Show takes place from February 19 through February 26. If you’re rusty in your French, Plein Air means outdoor painting. Funds raised from the sale of the art will help complete the restoration of the Keith Farmhouse in Philliippi Estate Park. Read more about it on page 80. 

Figaro, not the cat, returns to the stage as Sarasota Opera’s winter season begins this month. And what a line-up it is starting with Puccini’s Tosca, then Mozart’s comic opera The Marriage of Figaro, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, and ending with Verdi’s Don Carlos. Don Carlos marks the penultimate of Sarasota Opera’s Verdi cycle, a massive artistic undertaking exquisitely executed by Sarasota Opera. If you’ve never been to a production by Sarasota Opera, you are missing something very special. Our opera company is one of the best – anywhere. 

Creative artist John Revisky captures talent at work and our Bradenton reporter, Susan Wilcox, tells us of some of her favorite hot spots. 

Of course we have our usual features on people who give, events that shined, and businesses that are a community mainstay. 

And to all of our many SCENE readers, Happy Valentine’s Day. May your hearts continue to love not only romantically, but love others who need your care and support.

                               – Julie Milton