Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday September 26: Sniglets On Ziff, Marlins and Villela

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Life happens. And mazel tov, I suppose, to Sanford Ziff for apparently finding happiness months after losing wife Dolores.

But that's no excuse for Dolores Ziff's name to be taken off the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Opera House at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami in favor of Ziff's new wife.

Dolores Ziff's contributions to the arts in South Florida are beyond question. Her name remaining on the concert hall is a fitting tribute to that. The Arsht Center board - and any board that oversees tributes - should protect the legacy of those, such as Dolores Ziff, who have supported the arts.


To paraphrase Erica Kane in last week's televised swan song for "All My Children," this isn't the ending Marlins fans wanted for the team's time in what I still call Joe Robbie Stadium.

After a promising start in April and May, the season collapsed into one of a manager change, injuries, poor performances and even a pitcher who wasn't going by his real name.

Even the team's move into its new stadium has triggered questions; one rumored new logo resembles the Miami Dolphins' logo. (Why does the team need a new logo in the first place? Just replace "Florida" with "Miami.")

The Marlins' move to the old Orange Bowl site should be filled with optimism. But skepticism abounds - chiefly because the team is owned and run by two men - Jeffrey Loria and David Samson - who don't seem to understand that while they own the team, it's the fans who know best how a team should relate to the community it's in.


Finally, news late last week that Edward Villella, founding artistic director of the Miami City Ballet, will retire after the 2012-13 season.

After a glorious career as possibly the greatest male American ballet dancer to date, Villella worked with support from Toby Ansin to create the Miami City Ballet in 1986. In 25 years, the troupe has established itself as arguably one of the best in the United States and one that is celebrated internationally. On October 28, the company will be featured in PBS' "Great Performances."

Besides steering the Miami City Ballet to greatness, Villella is a class act. Years ago, as a college student on an internship at the late South Florida Magazine, I had the pleasure of interviewing him. The tough kid from New York learned to show Miami hospitality easily.

Bravo to him and his wife, Linda!

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