Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The Midsummer's Night and Perseid Meteor SALON SPECTACLE was spectacular!

The event last evening, August 13, was, as hoped for and intended, the highpoint of the summer in Key West. Hosted by and at the home of Joyce Stahl, Java Studios presented an evening of magic and delight, that had people attending proclaim it as the best Key West party in memory!

Produced by Java Studios and the amazing duo team of Marky Pierson and Christa Hunt, of Desnudo, with Quincy Perkins, and a score of volunteers, especially the talented, and resourceful Linda Shield, who carried every task I asked of her, and made it look easy.

The extraordinary Joyce Stahl deserves the greatest praise and appreciation for underwriting the evening's event, and for providing her home and her equally amazing staff - Carlos, Sonia, Julietta, Gabrielato, Tand rinni - to help make things go so smoothly, with food preparation and insuring the property was ready in every respect.

The Midsummer's Night talent lineup:

Singer Maj Johnson, crooner Johnny Truelove, Leon and Lucy on the dance floor, the Marvelous Meteor Orchestra - Nick Charles on Sax and reeds, Matthew Watson on the skins, Joe Dallas on electric bass, and Mike Emerson on Guitar; Sheena as M.C. on the Pool stage, and Christa Hunt who M.C.'d the Main Stage, filling in for George Murphy, who regretfully called in ill at the last minute; Moana Amore on the KW Burlesque, writer and poet Cricket Desmarias, singer Marilyn Holderfield, singer and songwriter Ben Harrison, who also tells the best stories (!), Jimmy Wray and his incredible jugglers, throwing fire and illuminated globes (!), painter Cayman Smith-Martin on his gravity-defying 10' tall stilts - and dancing on them, no less; singer and crooner Roc Solomon, actors Mike McCabe and Carolyn Cooper, poets Rosalind Brackenbury, Connie Gilbert, and Sherri Lohr; painter Sherry Tewell (photo, r.) - who masterfully created the arts mural, (left) replicating Henri Rousseau's "The Dream", aptly titled for the night, with 35 artists each painting a panel of the iconic painting; media creators and filmmakers Steve Panariello, and Will Thompson, photographers John and Bernadette McCall, David Bethune with his art installation on digital projection, still photographer Carol Tedesco; the fabulous night faeries - Marci Rose, (photo, l.) Elany, Joele, and the wicked satyr, Landon; additional kudos to Deborah Goldman, who insured the presentation leading to the gates being open was pitch perfect; DJ Sean Sebastian, and a most special performance of One Night Stand, presenting the short play that had just been staged for the first time two days earlier at the Studios of Key West - titled "Everybody Gets Laid on Valentine's Day", with (photo, r. to l.) Mook J, Cricket Desmarais, and Chris Stone, written by Chris Schultz and originally directed by Doug Shook, with actor and director Tom Murtha doing his turn for the Midsummer's Night reprise (taking it "Off-Eaton"), and set backdrop painted by Cayman Smith-Martin. I no doubt have left off some others who made the Night so incredible, and will come back to rectify the oversight - my head is still spinning from it all, mere hours from mopping up the scene!

We expected a full house, about 200 give or take a couple dozen. We printed up 200 programs and Dream Cards. They were all given out within the first hour. Our gate keepers estimate over 400 came through in the course of the evening, and they stopped counting after three hours. Thanks go to the throngs who filled out the Dream Cards, from which we read aloud to the delight of all.

It was, as many declared, the most amazing, original, and creative party they'd been to in Key West - and for the "old-timers" within memory, and also the way "it used to be in Key West."

The Night was about discovering what your dream is.

The power of our dreams. That dreams can and do come true.

To launch the Key West Salon and continue the spirit of knowing how invaluable the arts are in defining the quality of life in the community, that the collective spirit is what makes our town as remarkable as it we know it.

As a review is underway to give further verdicts on the many elements of the Night, what worked best, what might have been created differently, and so on, we are also relieved no predicted rains fell, and also fatigued from the sheer physical demands - putting it up, and now striking the set - a day of rest is in order, to relish and bask in the afterglow. And then - to embrace the challenge of channeling the energy and begin anew for the NEXT great SALON event. Stay tuned, and more pics will be posted, too. You can also visit http://www.tropicalheart.com/ for photos of the evening, of which the ones in this post come from. A HUGE THANK YOU TO KEY WEST!