subscribe: Posts | Comments

Visual and Performing Artists and Events in the news February 1-7, 2023


This is who and what’s creating news in Southwest Florida’s visual and performing arts community this week:


1     ACTORS


Seth Balcer is sadistic dentist Orin in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at Belle Theatre

Seth Balcer plays the part of sadistic dentist Orin in Little Shop of Horrors at Belle Theatre in Cape Coral, where he previously starred as Dewey Finn, an energetic down-on-his-luck wannabe rock superstar, in School of Rock. When he’s not center stage, you will typically find Seth on drums, which is where the played for Rent at Fort Myers Theater.



Nalalie Brouwer in ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’

Natalie Bouwer performs professionally as an actor and singer up and down the East Coast, but hopes to make Florida her home base.  She appears currently for Players Circle Theatre in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Brouwer’s Southwest Florida stage credits include Miracle on 34th Street (Beach Street Repertory Theatre), Linda in Night and DayJingle Bell Jubilee, Lady in the Street in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeLaughter on the 23rd Floor and Ho! Ho! Ho! The Christmas Show for Players Circle Theatre. Go here for the rest of Natalie’s theatrical credits.



Ryan Porter Craig is the voice of Audrey II in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Ryan Porter Craig appears as the voice of Audrey II for Belle Theatre in Little Shop of Horrors. Previous credits include the multiple roles for Gulf Coast Symphony in their holiday revue, Snowbird Follies, the dual roles of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical and King Basilius for New Phoenix in Head Over Heels. A former Certified Nurse’s Aide, Ryan studied vocal performance at Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.



Kevin Crumpler makes Florida debut as Professor Bhaer in ‘Little Women’

Kevin Crumpler plays the part of Professor Bhaer for Fort Myers Theatre in Little Women. The role represents Kevin’s Florida debut. His prior credits include Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Beast in Beauty & The Beast, Lancelot in Camelot, Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, Warren Sheffield in Meet Me in St. Louis and Sonny Malone in Xanadu. Go here for the rest of Kevin’s theatrical credits.



Rosie DeLeon plays Lilly for Studio Players in ‘Need to Know’

Now through February 5, Rosie DeLeon plays Lilly for The Studio Players in Jonathan Caron’s Need to Know, for which she also serves as its Assistant Director. DeLeon has appeared often on the boards at various Lee County venues. Her credits include the roles of Corrie Bratter for The Studio Players in Barefoot in the Park, P.B. in One Slight Hitch, Lauren in Circle Mirror Transformation, and Officer Pudney in Neil Simon’s Rumors for New Phoenix Theatre. Go here to view all of her theatrical credits.



Nathan Eichhorn portrays creepy neighbor Mark in ‘Need to Know’

Nathan Eichhorn started his sojourn in the theater community in 2019. He plays Mark in Need to Know, which is his second production with The Studio Players, following on the heels of Art. Debuting in The Great Gatsby, Nathan has also worked with The Naples Players in Mary Poppins, By the Way and Meet Vera Stark.



Jorja Evans is Amy March in ‘Little Women’

Jorja Evans appears in Little Women, which plays at Fort Myers Theatre February 3-12. She plays the youngest of the March sisters, a vain young woman who fits the stereotype of the spoiled baby of the family but whose character arc exhibits the most dramatic growth over the course of the play.

Jorja’s previous credits include Mrs. McKee in The Great Gatsby, Margot Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank and Ursula in Little Mermaid Jr.



Jessie Getlik is Aunt March/Mrs. Kirk in ‘Little Women’

Jessie Getlik is a former Royal Caribbean & Disney Cruise Line performer who has relocated from New Jersey to Fort Myers. After performing for theme parks, golf clubs and cruise ships for the past ten years Jessie can be seen in various Live at Chocs! events at Chocolattes. She made her Fort Myers Theatre debut as one of the dancestors (Flapper/Moon) in The Addams Family Musical and now plays Aunt March/Mrs. Kirk for Fort Myers Theatre in Little Women.



Elijah Grant is Laurie in ‘Little Women’

Elijah Grant is an aspiring Southwest Florida actor. He next plays Laurie in Little Women for Fort Myers Theatre. His stage credits include Pete in Burnt Part Boys, Enjolras in Les Miserables, the title role in Pippin, and roles in Spamalot the Musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Sweeney Todd.



Debi Guthery to play Melissa Gardner in ‘Love Letters’

Debi Guthery will play the part of Melissa Gardner in Gold Theatricals’ production of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters on February 17 in the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda.

Debi Guthery has performed in national tours and regional theaters across the United States. She has played the title roles in Hello, Dolly!, Mame, The Drowsy Chaperone and Sylvia, for which she won a best actress award.

You can review all of the Ms. Guthery’s theatrical credits here.



Terry Lavy is Mr. Lawrence in ‘Little Women’

Terry Lavy came to SWFL in 2005 with no acting experience. Challenged by a friend, he auditioned for A Christmas Carol (2021) without knowing it was a musical. He became the Ghost of Christmas Present and sang in public for the first time since childhood.  Terry loved the people and the experience and now he’s hooked. He next appears as Mr. Lawrence in Little Women.



Aimee Naughton is Chiffon in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at Belle Theatre

Aimee Naughton appears in the role of Chiffon in Belle Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. Her previous stage credits include Lady Beaconsfield for New Phoenix Theatre in Jekyll & Hyde the Musical, Mickey in Odd Couple: Female Version for Belle Theatre, work in the ensemble of Head Over Heels the Musical for New Phoenix Theatre and Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for Cultural Park Theater.



Michael Nichols plays Andrew Ladd for Gold Theatricals’ ‘Love Letters’

Michael Nichols plays the part of Andrew Makepeace Ladd III in Gold Theatricals’ production of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters on February 17. Love Letters marks his Gold Theatricals debut.

Michael appeared on Broadway with Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf in the world premiere of David Mamet’s November. He also appeared in Steppenwolf Theatre’s Broadway production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest with Gary Sinise. Off-Broadway, he performed at The New Victory Theatre in Tom Sawyer and with The Pearl Theatre in Exit the King and Iphigenia at Aulis.

The rest of Michael’s credits can be found here.



Samantha Pudlin is Meg in ‘Little Women’

Samantha Pudlin  is Meg in Little Women for Fort Myers Theatre. Pudlin’s recent stage credits include ensemble work in Head Over Heels for New Phoenix Theatre, the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors, Marcy Park in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, all for Cultural Park Theatre. Her other credits include playing a social worker and mom in Body and Sold at Laboratory Theater, Nurse Kelly in Harvey, Protean in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, a dancer and member of the ensemble in Sweet Charity and Boylan Sister and a member of the ensemble in Annie, all for CPT. Samantha also appeared in the ensemble at Florida Repertory Theatre in 13: A New Musical and was a singer in the latest Live @ Choc’s event (Hooray for Hollywood).



Cassie Sampson is Ronnette in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at Belle Theatre

A local stage actor, Cassie Sampson has been involved in more than two dozen theater productions in Southwest Florida over the course of her career. She appears currently as Ronnette for Belle Theatre in Little Shop of Horrors. She previously appeared at Belle Theatre in the role of Cinderella’s stepmother in Into the Woods and was a member of the ensemble of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical for New Phoenix Theatre. Go here to see all of Cassie’s theatrical credits.



John Strealy plays Steven for Studio Players’ ‘Need to Know’

John D. Strealy appears for The Studio Players in the role of Steven in Jonathan Caron’s Need to Know. John’s credits include Yasmina Reza’s Art, Paul Bratter for The Studio Players in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park, Ryan in Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch, Wayne Wellcare in Inspecting Carol for New Phoenix Theatre and klepto-director Sir Frank Finger in It’s Only a Play, Jason Shelburne in Body & Sold and Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Go here for more about John.



Cassy Terwilliger plays Crystal in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ at Belle Theatre

Cassy Terwilliger appears currently in the role of Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors at Belle Theatre in Cape Coral. Terwilliger was last seen in the role of Emma Carew in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical, following her New Phoenix debut in Head Over Heels. Go here to see all of Cassy’s theater credits.



Jessica Walck branching out as freelance director, actor and acting coach

After a decade of distinguished service as associate artistic director for The Naples Players, Jessica Walck announced in December that she was leaving to pursue collaborative opportunities as a freelance director, performer and acting coach. While her decision leaves big shoes to fill at The Naples Players, Walck’s departure bodes well for the Southwest Florida theater community.

“I love challenging myself and I love collaborative relationships and people challenging me to be better, to be a better artist. And right now, I want that. I want to be a better artist and actress and director,” Walck said.

Go here to either listen or read this interview-based story.



Ted Wioncek III plays multiple roles in ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’

Ted Wioncek III is an award-winning artist, actor and performer. The Philly Review has labeled him “a master in storytelling” in recognition of his vibrant work, and his efforts as an arts business builder coupled with the use of immersive mediums to advance technology in aid of experiential storytelling has attracted features in a number of other publications. Ted currently appears in various roles for Players Circle Theatre in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. The rest of Ted’s credits are here.





Kevin Hendricks directing ‘Need to Know’ for The Studio Players

Kevin Hendricks is a local actor who was born, raised and educated right here in Naples (at Golden Gate Middle School and Naples High). Hendricks makes his directorial debut with Wendy MacLeod’s Slow Food. His next project is directing The Studio Players’ production of Jonathan Caron’s Need to Know. When he’s not acting or directing, Kevin produces Studio Players shows, builds sets and sits on The Studio Players’ board. Go here to see all of Hendricks’ theatrical credits.





Spotlight on River Basin muralist Rod Acosta

Local artist Rodney Acosta has painted two panels for the Fort Myers River Basin Mural Project. The first is the actual fort’s guardhouse and a survey map that was drawn to scale by a major who came in 1856 to find out why so much money was being spent to build the fort. The second is a rendering of Fort Myers’ colorful sheriff, Frank Tippins, in a boat on the Caloosahatchee River with three other men.

The rest of Rodney’s bio is here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Lorrie Bennett

Lorrie Bennett is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. Lorrie has painted two River Basin murals – one of Seminole Chief and feared warrior Billy Bowlegs and the other of Uncle Marion Hendry’s Grocery Store at the northeast corner of Hendry and Front Streets. Lorrie describes herself as a self-taught intuitive, contemporary, and expressive mixed media artist and illustrator who, from an early age, had an affinity for drawing and painting. For Lorrie, creating has always been a journey of experimentation and exploration. The rest of Lorrie’s credits can be read here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Sherry Lynn Diaz

Sherry Lynn Diaz is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. Sherry has contributed two murals to the project, the first being this one of the great Seminole chief and warrior Billy Bowlegs. Sherry has exhibited her art in juried local, state and national shows, earning awards on all three levels. She has enjoyed two well-received one-woman shows. Her art can be found in private and corporate collections in the Dominican Republic as well as many places throughout the United States. Please go here to see Sherry Lynn’s full profile.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Ruben Dimas

On the Hendry Street side of the detention basin next to Luminary Hotel three stanchions south of Edwards Drive is a mural of Henry Ford sitting in a Model T. It’s the car that Ford had the local dealer deliver to his friend and neighbor Thomas Edison on the occasion of the latter’s birthday in 1916. The mural was rendered by Fort Myers Mural Society member Ruben Dimas, an automotive artist born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida. He specializes in automotive illustrations, graphic design, and product design for the auto industry. Go here to see the rest of Ruben’s credits.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Michelle J. McDonald

As you walk around the basin next to Luminary Hotel, you’ll come across a mural depicting the arrival of colorfully attired guests on the pier at Thomas Edison’s home downriver on McGregor Boulevard. It was rendered by Michelle J. McDonald, who currently works primarily in acrylics and pastels. She is also known for her “Beautiful Bookmarks,” which are comprised of scraps of paper that create a collage. Michelle’s story is like that of many other later-in-life Florida artists. Go here to find out how.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Lesley Morrow

Lesley Morrow is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. Lesley painted the portrait of John Alexander Weatherford that appears on one of the stanchions across from Ella Mae’s Diner at the Luminary Hotel. Morrow is locally known for expressive oil, acrylic, airbrush and mixed media paintings that express the feminine experience and mystique. Featuring vibrant brushstrokes and a distinctive palette, Morrow’s paintings are bold, raw and eye-appealing. You can read Lesley’s full biography here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Eric Riemenschneider

Eric Riemenschneider is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. Eric’s contribution to the project is a portrait of a Miccosukee warrior named Billy Fuel who fought alongside Seminole Chief Billy Bowlegs and Miccosukee Chief Sam Jones during the Seminole wars.Eric is a portrait artist who also reimagines commercial spaces to match the theme of the business through murals and collections of paintings.  Go here to read Eric’s full bio.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Roland Ruocco

Muralist Roland Ruocco has contributed four compositions to the Fort Myers River Basin Mural Project, a homage to iconic Fort Myers banker, businessman and real estate developer Harvie Heitman that will be installed on one of the four obelisks on Edwards Drive and panels to be installed on the stanchions surrounding the basin that depict the shuffleboard courts that were located at one time next to the Hall of 50 States, the fire that claimed the Lee County Packing House on Memorial Day in 1953, and drovers unloading cattle from a barge, on which he collaborated with his artist wife, Wendy White. Go here to view Roland’s education, training and more on his body of work.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Samantha Taylor

Samantha Taylor is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. She has painted two of the murals included in the project, the first being the Father of Fort Myers, Captain Francis Asbury Hendry and the second being The King, Elvis Pressley, who performed twice during the 1950s at our City Auditorium.

A native Floridian, Samantha is known for her portrait paintings, local murals and tattoo artistry. As an avid painter specializing in oils and fluid mediums, Sam is inspired by the human form and surrealism. Go here for the rest of Samantha’s bio.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Erik Schlake

Fort Myers Mural Society muralist Erik Schlake is one of 39 artists participating in the Fort Myers River Basin Mural Project. Not only is he contributing a mural panel for the obelisks that flank either side of Edwards Drive, he is leading the team that is installing the mural panels on the stanchions and obelisks that encircle the detention basin. Schlake has been influenced over the years by traditional decorative art as well as contemporary street art. He combines various styles in his work, infusing classic painting with elements of trompe l’oeil, grisaille, and other traditional decorative art in an effort to engage and interact with the viewer a less formal mode of communication. It’s a style he often refers to as “modern traditionalist.” The rest of this post is here.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Dawn Webb

Dawn Webb is one of 39 artists who have painted murals for the River Basin Mural Project being conducted by the City’s Public Art Committee, Community Redevelopment Agency and Fort Myers Mural Society. Dawn painted a mural of Fort Myers first African-American settlor, Nellis Tillis, who, with his wife, Ellen, were also the town’s first interracial couple.

Dawn is a proud born-and-raised Southwest Florida native. Born in Fort Myers, she has watched the city develop and grow since the 1970s. On the fine arts side, Dawn works in the medium of acrylic painting. But she is also a gifted tattoo artist. Go here for the rest of Dawn’s bio.



Spotlight on River Basin muralist Wendy White

Based on a vintage 1930s-era postcard, this mural depicts the many activities that visitors can enjoy during a fun-filled trip to Fort Myers. Titled Florida Fun, it was rendered Wendy White who is an accomplished artist, curator, director, playwright, screenwriter and teacher. Born in Rockaway Beach, New York, Wendy’s palette and writings are strongly influenced by her early environment of living by the sea. Her father was a painter and while she was growing up, she and her twin brother would frequently model for him as muses. Go here to view Wendy’s impressiver resume.






IMAG celebrates 100th anniversary of discovery of Tut’s tomb with ‘Return of the King’

November 4th marks the 100th anniversary of British archeologist Howard Carter’s discovery the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Because Tut’s successors tried to obliterate his name from the annals of Egyptian history, the pharaoh had been buried in an out-of-the-way place that had prevented robbers from finding and plundering the tomb. So when Carter opened it, the tomb still held the bulk of its treasures. The IMAG History and Science Center in Fort Myes is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the tomb’s discovery with an exciting exhibition containing reproductions of scores of the artifacts found in Tut’s tomb. Listen on WGCU for the details:…/imag-history-science-center…



Late works of Helen Frankenthaler on exhibit at Baker Museum through February 5

Helen Frankenthaler: Late Works, 1990-2003 is on exhibit at the Baker Museum of Art in Naples. It is the first museum exhibition dedicated to the last phase of the painter’s prolific career. The show features 20 paintings on paper and 10 paintings on canvas. These works demonstrate the artist’s long-standing interest in the relationship between landscape and abstraction and reveal her continued sensitivity to the emotional effects of color. The exhibition is on loan from the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

Helen Frankenthaler (1928-2011) played a defining role in the history of postwar American painting. Her innovative soak-stain technique inaugurated the shift from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field Painting and influenced artists such as Morris Louis, Jules Olitski, Friedel Dzubas and Kenneth Noland. In the 1950s, Frankenthaler created saturated, luminous surfaces by applying thinned oil paint onto raw, unprimed canvas. For more than 60 years, she never stopped experimenting with new materials and tools to expand painting’s possibilities—on canvas, paper and prints.



‘Envisioning Evil: The Nazi Drawings’ at Baker Museum through February 19, 2023

On exhibit now through February 19, 2023 at the Naples Museum of Art are selected drawings of Mauricio Lasansky from his series entitled Envisioning Evil: The Nazi Drawings. Crafted from graphite and charcoal, asphaltum turpentine, and red and white wash, the series of 33 raw and haunting monumental drawings is making its first comprehensive exhibition since its inaugural tour over 50 years ago.

You can read the full advance for this exhibit here.



SWFL arts organizations conducting survey to quantify economic impact of the arts

The Alliance for the Arts and dozens of local arts organizations are surveying audiences attending their events in an effort to quantify the economic impact of the arts here in Southwest Florida. In fact, it’s part of a nationwide study by Americans for the Arts of the contribution made by arts organizations to their local economies.

This is the sixth such study and involves 387 participating communities in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In Lee County, the Alliance for the Arts is spearheading the effort to collect the data needed for the study. Go here to hear why you should participate in the study if you are asked to complete a survey.





River basin mural project creates walkable outdoor art and history museum

In collaboration with the CRA, the Fort Myers Mural Society and Public Art Committee have installed 57 murals on the stanchions and obelisks that encircle a 1.8 acre detention basin adjoining the new Luminary Hotel. Each mural features people and scenes from the days when Fort Myers was a port dominated by 7 long pierces jutting into the Caloosahatchee River. Augmented by Otocast, this walkable outdoor art and history museum is expected to draw thousands of visitors to the downtown Fort Myers River District and enhance the visitor experience of both residents and vacationers alike. Listen to some of the artists who worked on the project sound off about their experiences – and what you can expect when you tour the murals.



Identifying river basin murals and muralists

Work is underway at the river basin adjoining Luminary Hotel on an ambitious new outdoor art and history museum. When it is completed, the walkable gallery will feature 57 murals – four on the obelisks on Edwards Drive and 53 on the concrete stanchions which anchor the decorative fence that circumscribes the basin.

The project is a collaboration between the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee and Community Redevelopment Agency and the Fort Myers Mural Society. The Mural Society has engaged 38 local artists to render the murals which, in turn, tell stories about Fort Myers’ early existence as a port town on the river that many once called the most picturesque waterway in all of Florida.

The artists are painting the murals on special, high-grade cloth that is being glued to the concrete in a way that converts them into scratch-resistant tiles that prevent fading and resist damage from moisture and other elements. So far, Fort Myers Mural Society artists Erik Schlake and Roland Ruocco have installed about 14 of the mural panels, and their efforts are attracting crowds.  Their recurring question:  What will the other murals depict? Here’s the answer.





Belle Theatre brings ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ to the stage through February 12

Belle Theatre brings the beloved comedic musical Little Shop of Horrors to the stage through February 12. The show contains all of the delectable elements audiences relish in a musical – delicious song and dance numbers, good acting and marvelous costumes and sets.

The music is by Alan Menken, with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, a duo that went on to collaborate on shows such as Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

But there’s more to Little Shop of Horrors. For as entertaining as Little Shop is, the show is actually a pretty damn good allegory. On a psychological plane, the musical can be viewed as a warning that when we give in to our baser instincts, dire consequences are likely to follow. Small or modest compromises of ethics and honesty lead invariably to larger, even wholesale ethical sacrifices until no moral code remains and life becomes totally transactional.

That said, Little Shop may be better understood in the rich tradition of science fiction as an examination of the threat posed to mankind’s survival by scientific discovery gone awry – as Seymour represents no less of an historic figure than the father of the atomic bomb, Robert Oppenheimer, a personage who is sure to be on the tips of everyone’s tongue when Oppenheimer (starring Christopher Nolan, Robert Downey Jr., Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh and Matt Damon) explodes onto cinematic screens in July.

In case you’ve forgotten, Oppenheimer said as the first atomic bomb was detonated, ” Now I become Death, destroyer of worlds.” Or, as Audrey II puts it, “If you wanna be profound/if you really gotta justify, take a breath and look around/ A lotta folks deserve to die!” And just as Audrey II devours Seymour and all he loved in the end, nuclear fission has the power to annihilate the world and every living thing in it. And that makes the “Finale Ultimo (Don’t Feed the Plant)” all the more poignant and meaningful.

The point is that there’s nothing little in the message underlying all the fun, singing and dancing and lighthearted caricatures that Alan Menken and Howard Ashman have built into the storyline, characters , dialogue and lyrics of their timeless little musical.

So bravo to everyone involved in this devious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical which has devoured the hearts of theater-goers for more than three decades.



Center for the Performing Arts brings ‘Portraits of Love’ to Moe Auditorium in Bonita

The Center for the Performing Arts Bonita Springs has something special in store for Southwest Florida on Valentine’s Day. They’re hosting The Biasi and King Music Experience (BKME), featuring local vocalist Jesse King, pianist Angelo Biasi, and their full band, along with Southwest Florida artist Marcus Zotter. In an event touted as Portraits of Love, the band will perform a lineup of romantic favorites along with debut original songs (King’s “Dancing with You” and Biasi’s “Love Me Forever”) while Marcus Zotter paints a charcoal portrait live on stage.

This unique live music and art experience featuring local artists is the first of its kind.

“We love writing and performing love songs and wanted to bring something special to this area,” pianist Angelo Biasi explains. “What better way to celebrate the love among us than through music and the arts – and on Valentine’s Day with the Moe Auditorium as the perfect backdrop!”

“We look forward to a wonderful, heartfelt performance that highlights the Centers’ motto of sharing Arts for All,” adds Theatre Director, Frank Blocker.

Portraits of Love will be performed at 7:00 on February 14 in the Moe Auditorium and Film Center at 10150 Bonita Beach Road.

Tickets are $30 per person and are on sale now at Limited seating is available.

Founded in 1959, the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs (CFABS) is committed to enriching the lives of the community by providing opportunities for artistic expression, education, and appreciation. CFABS has two campus locations—each dedicated to the visual or performing arts. The Performing Arts Center is a 4-acre, two-building campus, which is home to the 400-seat Hinman Auditorium and Gallery in the Round; the 200-seat Moe Auditorium & Film Center/Dance Studio; fully equipped art studios; and edible garden/teaching kitchen. At this diverse center, patrons can enjoy an ongoing array of live concerts, theatre, comedy, film, lectures, youth and adult dance classes, music lessons, and art classes, as well as multicultural events featuring visual and performing arts from around the world.



Cultural Park performs Pippin February 16-26

Cultural Park Theater in Cape Coral will perform Pippin February 16-26. Directed by Mark Fleming, book by Roger O. Hirson and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, an ensemble cast tells the story of a young prince who longs to find passion and adventure in his life. To prove his loyalty to his distracted father, King Charles, Pippin goes to war. But when The Leading Player convinces the prince to fight tyranny, Pippin kills Charles and takes over the throne. Realizing his mistake, Pippin begs The Leading Player to bring his father back to life, and she obliges. The prince falls in love with Catherine, a widow with a young son, and (much to The Leading Player’s chagrin), Pippin struggles to decide whether he should settle down and pursue a peaceful life or continue to make magic with the dazzling troupe of performers.

Pippin plays on eight dates between February 16 and the 26th. Evening performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sunday matinees are at 3:00 p.m.



‘Little Women’ musical brings adventures of March sisters lyrically to life

Little Women comes to Fort Myers Theatre February 3-12. The musical brings Louisa May Alcott’s beloved story of the adventures of the four March sisters to vivid, lyrical life. The full advance is here.

And go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



Gold Theatricals’ ‘Love Letters’ a tender tragi-comedy that spans half a century

Gold Theatricals is producing A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters at The Charlotte Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 17. This tender, tragi-comedy takes audiences on a nuanced examination of the shared nostalgia, missed opportunities, and deep closeness of two complicated lifelong friends. While spanning nearly five decades and numerous locations, it is staged simply, with two actors behind desks or sitting in cozy chairs, letting their words describe a world of emotion.

You will find the rest of this advance here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



Naples Performing Arts taking Narnia to area elementary and middle schools

Danica Murray and Cameron Rogers are two of Southwest Florida’s most promising young stage actors. You may have seen Murray as Caitlin O’Hare in Over the River and Through the Woods at Off Broadway Palm or Cloe in Bulletproof Backpack at Florida Repertory Theatre. Rogers burst onto the local theater scene in the role of Brad in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show at New Phoenix Theatre and dazzled Laboratory Theater of Florida audiences with his deft and daring swordplay in Dangerous Liaisons.

Interestingly, Murray’s first exposure to theater was at a touring show about Thomas Edison that visited her elementary school. Rogers’s mom took him to a Broadway Palm Children’s Theatre production of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a short time after they’d seen the movie. Now Murray and Rogers are returning the favor by performing multiple roles in the Naples Performing Arts Center’s (NPAC) Theatre for Young Audiences production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Naples Performing Art Center Associate Artistic Director Kody Jones said that while Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) has been around for about four decades, it is new to many people, even avid theater-goers. But TYA has an important role in introducing elementary and middle school students to the performing arts.

Go here for the full story on WGCU.



More on Naples Performing Arts Center’s TYA production of ‘Lion, Witch and Wardrobe’

Naples Performing Arts Center has officially announced its first Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) touring production, C.S. Lewis’ iconic The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  This new and innovative program delivers a fully-realized professional touring production to area schools.  Each production will be tailored to not only provide engaging and educational entertainment, but tie in with the host school’s curriculum and Florida’s Education Benchmarks and Standards. The highly-imaginative production runs 50 minutes and comes with an optional fifteen-minute Q and A with the actors following the performance.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is a tour de force adventure that enables the audience to join our journey as we utilize imaginations and creativity to depict the stories of Narnia,” notes NPAC in its press release announcing the production, which stars Danica Murray and Cameron Rogers, who play storytellers as well as a dozen other characters within Narnia that careen in and out of the story with a simple costume change and complete physical and vocal transformation.

The production is directed by veteran TYA Director, Kody C Jones with support by NPAC Production Manager, Jenn Murray.

“There is nothing more special than TYA Theatre for Young Audiences,” says Jones. “It’s a program with the sole purpose of introducing the performing arts to as many kids as possible while introducing life skills and inspiring creativity and imagination.”

Recommended for 1st through 6th grades, the show is designed and directed to be performed any space, large or small whether it be a classroom or large theatre or gym.

For pricing questions or to book your tour today, please email Associate Artistic Kody C Jones at

And to listen to more on TYA and the production on WGCU, please click here.



Players Circle brings ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect’ just in time for Valentine’s Day

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Players Circle brings to the stage a musical that promises everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit much less say out loud. It’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, the Outer Critics Circle Award nominee and the second longest running musical in Off Broadway history (with more than 5,000 performances in New York City) that’s so popular it has been translated into 17 languages.

With book and lyrics by two-time Tony winner Joe DePietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change presents a series of musical vignettes revolving around the themes of love and relationships. The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates, times and tickets.



‘Need to Know’ provides steady stream of surprises and red herrings

Coming to the Joan Jenks stage at Golden Gate Community Center is The Studio Players production of Jonathan Caron’s situational comedy Need to Know. Directed by Kevin Hendricks and starring John StrealyRosie DeLeon and Nathan Eichhorn, Need to Know keeps surprises and red herrings in constant flow while having fun with a symbolic pair of fish in a bowl.

The play revolves around Steven (John Strealy) and Lilly (Rosie DeLeon), an attractive and charismatic couple who have just moved into a new apartment. To their dismay, they discover that the tenant with whom they share a wall, Mark Manners (Nathan Eichhorn), is mannerless.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



Spotlight on ‘Need to Know’ playwright Jonathan Caron

Jonathan Caron is an American playwright and screenwriter. His plays include The House That Jake Built (2017), Need to Know (Colt Coeur Play Hotel 2015, Rogue Machine 2015),  The Recommendation  (IAMA 2014, The Flea 2013, Old Globe 2012, Craig Noel Award, Best New Play,  2014 Ovation Best Play, NAACP nomination), The Morning The Sun Fell Down (MTC 7@7 2013), Catch The Fish (Most Outstanding Play, NY Fringe),  The Venerable Raman Gupta (Sundance Finalist, New Group 2014 New Works Lab).

His work has been developed at theaters across the country including MTC, The Roundabout, EST, The Rattlestick, New Group, Williamstown, Ars Nova,  Pasadena Playhouse, The Keen Company, Colt Coeur, Woodshed Ensemble, Berkshire Playwright’s Lab, Rogue Machine as well as developmentally at The Lark, New York Stage and Film, The Jewish Plays Project, Partial Comfort and in The Samuel French OOB Festival and The Old Vic in London.

He is a 2016 member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer’s Group at Primary Stages, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Dramatist Guild Fellow, The New York Stage and Film Founder’s Award Winner, a two time recipient of a Fellowship to SPACE @ Ryder Farm, a two-time Lecomte du Nouy award winner and a recipient of the Theater Publicus Prize for Dramatic Fiction. Additionally, he was a finalist for the Laurents/Hatcher Award, a nominee for the Otis Guerney New American Playwright’s Award.

In TV, Jonathan is a writer on Netflix’s new original drama Gypsy and has written pilots for FOX and CBS with frequent collaborator Jason Winer.

He is a graduate of The Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwright’s Program at The Juilliard School and Vassar College where he studied mythology and religion.  He’s a member of The IAMA Theater Company, Partial Comfort and originally hails from Los Angeles.


Comments are closed.