Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Valentine's Concert at Leu Gardens.

Pam Schwartz and I went to Harry P. Leu Gardens, (1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803) to see a concert featuring  Ricky and the Buzzcatz. We packed a picnic basket and a couple off lawn chairs along with a sparkling red wine. Although members, we found out that the members parking lot was blocked off from use. Street parking was packed and we ended up parking a few blocks away on Iowa Place. Pam is from Iowa so that seemed a happy accident.

The stage was set up in front of a small hill which is usually set up as a botanical clock. Two red hearts made from illuminated tubes defined the heart shapes. Most of the stage lighting was red for the first set, and I stayed with the limited palette since I could barely see the sketch page. The songs in the first set were mostly mobster ballads by crooners like Frank Sinatra and  Tony Bennett. Between songs the musicians would occasionally break into the Godfather theme song and everyone was supposed to take a drink. The wine we had was sweet, bubbly and delicious so I looked forward to the Pavlovian Godfather theme.

I finished this sketch in the first set and when done, we broke open the picnic basket. It was an old school basket with the two hoop handles and a flip open hinged top. Those two handles however aren't comfortable to hold. They pinch the palm as you carry it. We ended up lamenting not bringing the roller cooler (as it seems less romantic than a woven basket). Regardless we had a handsome feast of sandwiches and fruit.

The second set was far more lively with contemporary songs that got us up and dancing. Theatrical smoke billowed out from behind the stage and stage hands ran around with fans trying to contain and direct it. The evening's billowing breezes had other plans and being close to the stage, we were engulfed. The sidewalks leading to the stage became the dance floor. Only occasionally would someone dance on the grass. One lady just darted around on the lawn, she was comical to watch. It was a very cool night, and I felt bad for the women who decided to dress in tight skirts and high heels. Pam and I tried a few spins and danced traditionally for the slow songs. We joked that we might knock another couple out with our gesturing. If I wasn't  graceful, at least I was having fun.

A female singer sang "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor. It was announced as an anthem for women but any man experiencing separation and a new life can be equally inspired to dance with abandon and conviction. When the music ended we all walked out of the gardens in formation. It was a fun night and Ricky and the Buzzcatz must be a very popular wedding band.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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