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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news November 8-14, 2018


These are the actors, artists, filmmakers and events who are in the news in Southwest Florida this week:


Rich Orloff wins Theatre Conspiracy new play contest with ‘Engagement Rules’ (11-14-18)

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts held its 20th Annual New Play Contest Fundraiser on Saturday, November 3. Playwright Rich Orloff won the contest with his entry, Engagement Rules. Theatre Conspiracy will produce the full play during its 2019-2020 season. Orloff also received the Janet & Bruce Bunch New Play Contest Award.

The three finalists for the 2018-2019 New Play Contest were selected from over 600 entries across the United States, Canada, Israel, Thailand and England. The other two finalists were Flying by Sheila Cowley and America’s Sexiest Couple by Ken Levine.

A staged reading of an excerpt from each play was presented at the fundraiser without costumes and props. At the conclusion of the final reading, the audience voted on which play they wanted to see next season.

Engagement Rules is a four-character comedy with bite. The play follows the intertwined lives of two couples who advise and support each other on challenges of love, sex and the soul. The younger couple (early 30s) is recently engaged, while the older (in their 70s) has been married over fifty years.

“Processing over 600 entries is a daunting task, but the impact of a good script will be felt immediately. I think the audience would agree all three play finalists are worthy of production,” says Artistic Producing Director Bill Taylor. “Unfortunately we only pick one winner and we look forward to the production of Engagement Rules.”

Orloff, is one of the most popular unknown playwrights in the country. His plays have received over two thousand productions, numerous awards, and oodles of laughter. Author of over a dozen one-acts and 80 short plays, Rich’s short works have had over 1,800 productions on six of the seven continents… and a staged reading in Antarctica! Born and raised in Chicago, and a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Rich currently lives in New York City. He likes to get out of town frequently to remind himself what the rest of the world is like.


  1. Rich Orloff
  2. Rich Orloff
  3. Cicero and Sonya McCarter, Carolyn England and Jim Yarnes performed an excerpt from the contest winner, Engagement Rules.
  4. Chance Cintron, Lauren Drexler, Bill Taylor and Cantrella Canady performed an excerpt of Ken Levine’s America’s Sexiest Couple.
  5. Patrick Day, Jordan Wilson, Dena Galyean, Anna Grilli and Anne Dodd performed an outtake of Flying by Sheila Cowley.



Stage 2 Improv Family Fun Night returns to TNP on December 1 (11-14-18)

Every month, The Naples Players schedules the best family friendly comedy in Southwest Florida. Featuring Stage 2 Improv, each show consists of improvisational comedy games and songs from topics suggested by the audience. Frequently including special guest appearances by local celebrities, each month is an exciting new theme!

There will be two improve shows in December, both at 8:00 p.m. The first takes place on Saturday, December 1 and the other on December 29, both in Tobye Studio Theatre, which is located at 701 5th Ave. S, Naples FL 34102. Tickets are $20 general admission and $10 for students with student ID.

For more information or tickets, please visit or call the Box Office at (239) 263-2990.



Naples Players holding auditions for ‘Guys & Dolls’ on December 15 (11-14-18)

The Naples Players is holding auditions of Guys & Dolls between noon and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018. Auditions are free and walk-ins are always welcome. Audition sides will be available at two weeks before the audition. Final Casting Calls will be made starting Wednesday, December 19th. For questions please contact Cole Butcher, Production Stage Manager, 239-434-7340 ext. 125 or at

TNP is casting: 2 Women (20’s-30’s), 8 Men (30’s-60’s) with additional singing & dancing ensemble with multiple featured roles. Rehearsals begin Monday, January 14 @ 7:00p.m. Performances will be Wednesdays through Sundays between March 6 and April 7.

For more details and to register online, please visit



Alliance’s ‘Off the Wall’ holiday exhibit runs through December 29 (11-13-18)

On view now in the main gallery, the Alliance’s Off the Wall holiday exhibition runs through December 29 – but as works sell, they come off the wall, so you better get there soon.

Each year, the Alliance for the Arts invites 100 members to submit two original 2D or 3D artworks for exhibition in the gallery beginning with the onset of the holiday shopping season. Called Off the Wall, this non-traditional art show features works of all mediums priced at $200 or less. All sales are “cash and carry,” meaning purchasers will get to take the piece with them when they buy it, rather than waiting until the end of the exhibit.

So make supporting local arts tops on your list this year by giving a gift that gives back. Make plans to do your Christmas shopping at the Alliance for the Arts this year. Betcha there’s 100 member-artists who would be delighted to have their art under your tree.

For more information, please visit or telephone 239-939-2787.



Alliance accepting submissions for 33rd Annual All Florida Juried Exhibit (11-13-18)

The Alliance’s annual All Florida Juried Exhibition features pieces created by artists working in a wide variety of media from all over the 65,000 square miles that make up Florida. The juried entries come together for an award-winning and exciting exhibition representing today’s contemporary Florida artists. The Alliance is accepting submissions online now through Monday, January 28, 2019. The show will exhibit March 8-29, with an opening reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8. A conversational walk and talk through the gallery with the artists and juror will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 9.

Please visit for a prospectus or telephone 239-939-2787 for more information.



Naples Art ‘Celebrating Light’ through December 1 (11-13-18)

Bright sunlight, multicolored carnival lights, chiaroscuro and control of lighting effects have produced some of the most spectacular images in art. With this in mind, the Naples Art Association is exhibiting Celebrating Light now through December 1, 2018. The exhibition features work by artists in a variety of media that explores and reveals how dramatic and other light effects impact the viewer.



Naples Art looking for artists for its immigration-themed 2019 show (11-13-18)

Immigration affects many areas such as work-force demographics, entitlement programs and finances. Artists have a lot to share on this important topic. And so the Naples Art Association is bringing Immigration: Does it Matter? to the Collier community January 12 – February 24, 2019. Artists who are interested in participating in this social-themed show should bring one exhibition ready artwork to Gallery 104 on January 3, 2019 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.



Sanibel’s Watson MacRae Gallery hosts Hollis Jeffcoat retrospective Nov. 15 (11-13-18)

Hollis Garland Jeffcoat devoted the major part of her adult life sharing with viewers her visceral experience and unique perception of the beauty of the natural environment in which she lived. When she died on April 28 in Fort Myers at the age of 65, Hollis left behind a trove of elegant, gestural, color-saturated paintings that attest to her genius, and to fulfill Jeffcoat’s wish that she be remembered for her work, her long-time friend and partner Maureen Watson is curating a retrospective at Sanibel’s Watson MacRae Gallery in November that will celebrate her life and accomplishments.

Hollis Jeffcoat: My Life in Paint will begin with her first painting as a professional in France in 1976 and end with her last painting in Sanibel Island in 2017,” posts Maureen Watson in the gallery’s online newsletter. “Paintings, drawings and prints from her major series will fill the gallery.”

Read here for an expose on Hollis’ work.

“Please join us for this wonderful exhibit, as we remember our beloved Hollis Jeffcoat,” invites Maureen Watson. The opening reception for Hollis Jeffcoat: My Life in Paint takes place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 15.

Watson MacRae Gallery is located in Suite B3 at 2340 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957. For more information, please visit or telephone 239-472-3386.




‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ much more than mere fish story (11-12-18)

Boxes are for what we keep. But delve into playwright Barry Cavin’s new offering by the same name, and you’ll discover that boxes are also repositories into which we place ourselves and others. Escaping their confines is never easy. Abandoning the protection of their familiar boundaries is characteristically disquieting. For some, it may be downright unwelcome.

These are just some of the themes involved in Ghostbird Theatre Company’s current production of Cavin’s Boxes Are for What We Keep in the screened-in Peace Pavilion at the Happehatchee Center off Corkscrew Road in Estero. Boxes consists of three short plays which enact different versions of the same fable, a simple story about two fish that are caught, held captive, and then released. One returns to the sea, but the other chooses to remain in her cage.

You can read the rest of this review here.




Spotlight on ‘Wellesley Girl’ title role Danica Murray (11-12-18)

On stage at FSW’s Black Box Theatre for one more weekend is Brendan Pelsue’s Wellesley Girl. It is an insanely intense political drama set 447 years in the future, where a small contingent of New Englanders tries to honor the spirit and letter of the U.S. Constitution after an environmental apocalypse kills off all save small pockets of refugees in America and across the globe.

Dual enrollment theater student Danica Murray is the Wellesley girl – the sole remaining survivor of the Massachusetts college town, which was decimated by an algal bloom that poisoned the town’s water. Now the walled settlement to which she fled is under attack by an army of Texans and must decide to either surrender and become slave laborers or flee their walled city and take their chances in the wilderness.

After what she witnessed in Wellesley, Murray’s character, Marie, insists that the enclave must find a different solution since the water in the surrounding countryside is still not safe to drink. Unfortunately, hers is a minority position that not even her own husband (played by Jorge Cabal) supports. As the missiles begin to fly and the residents prepare to leave, Marie must choose between joining them or killing herself and her children.

Murray characterizes herself as a comedic actor. But her part in Wellesley Girl has given her a chance to develop dramatic skills. Every role requires an actor to stretch and grow, but Danica has found the part of Marie particularly challenging.

You will find the rest of this profile here.



Spotlight on ‘Wellesley Girl’ husband Jorge Cabal (11-12-18)

On stage at FSW’s Black Box Theatre for one more weekend is Brendan Pelsue’s Wellesley Girl. It is an insanely intense political drama set 447 years in the future, where a small contingent of New Englanders tries to honor the spirit and letter of the U.S. Constitution after an environmental apocalypse kills off all save small pockets of refugees in America and across the globe.

Jorge Cabal plays Max, a father of two who’s married to the sole remaining survivor of the Massachusetts college town of Wellesley, which was decimated by an algal bloom that poisoned the town’s water after it ceded from the Union and decided to go it alone. Now the Union is under attack by an army of Texans and must decide to either surrender and become slave laborers or flee their walled city and take their own chances in the wilderness.

Max’s wife, Marie, the Wellesley Girl, knows the horrible, macabre death that awaits them if the water outside the walls is still unsafe. So much so that she would rather kill herself and their children than subject them to that risk. But he’s simply unable to make a decision pro or con without concrete evidence that the water is subject to more lethal algal blooms. So by his indecision, he goes along with the majority’s plan to fire their stockpile of missiles at the Texans and destroy their walled cities as they leave, hoping that the scorched earth will prevent the Texans from hunting them down in the wilderness.

The rest of this profile is here.



NAACP and American Legion Post 192 commemorate Clayton’s 20th anniversary (11-11-18)

The Lee County NAACP and American Legion Post 192 will be commemorating the recent restoration and 20th anniversary of the dedication of the USCT 2nd Regiment Monument tomorrow morning (November 12) at 10:00 a.m. in Centennial Park East.

The monument consists of a heroic-size Union sergeant who stands atop a landing in front of an opening between two gently curving concrete walls. The fictional African-American soldier in the monument represents the 168 men from companies D & I who were stationed in Fort Myers during the last 18 months of the Civil War. That contingent was responsible for repelling an attack on February 20, 1865 initiated by Major William Footman and 275 members of the Florida Special Cavalry, 1st Battalion, popularly known as the “Cow Cavalry.” Footman and the Cow Cavalry had orders to burn Fort Myers to the ground. Had they succeeded, it’s likely that the settlers who arrived a year later would have gone elsewhere to build their homes. So in a very real sense, the town of Fort Myers owes its existence to the men of companies D & I of the USCT 2d Regiment.

“A N.Y. Times reporter happened to be in Fort Myers at the time,” says sculptor D.J. Wilkins, who researched the event after being commissioned to do the art installation for the City in 1998. The reporter’s name was Irvin D. Soloman, and he reported back to the Times that “the colored soldiers were in the thickest of the fight. Their impetuosity could hardly be restrained; they seemed totally unconscious of the danger, or regardless of it, and their constant cry was to ‘get at them.’”

In the heated exchange, former slave John Wallace received a slight head wound which he touted as a badge of honor during Reconstruction when he served as a Republican legislator and gained notoriety with his book Carpetbag Rule in Florida. By nightfall, Major Footman realized that his beleaguered troops were not going to breech the USCT’s steadfast defense of their position, so he quietly led his dispirited men on the long march back to Fort Meade. Along the way, they jettisoned their cannon and littered their retreat with bandages, splints and the remnants of eaten rations.

Of the course of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 African-American men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army, with another 19,000 serving in the Navy.

“The memorial honors them all,” observes Wilkins, who will be unable to attend tomorrow’s ceremony due to ill health. Wilkins nicknamed the soldier Clayton because “I used a ton of clay when I cast the sergeant back in 1998.”

The monument has needed some attention since 2014 and some of the coping on one of the walls behind the soldier was damaged during Hurricane Irma, but local contractor Chris-Tel Construction and Miami-based art conservators began work on the monument October 1, completing the statue’s conservation in less than a month.

The monument was originally dedicated on Veteran’s Day in 1998. At that ceremony, members of RHL Dabney American Legion Post 192 dressed in the uniform of Union foot soldiers fired a salute from Civil War vintage matchlocks as U.S. Army General Johnny Edward Wilson, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings and State Senator Tom Rossin made the dedication.

Commissioned by the City’s Beautification Advisory Board, the USCT 2nd Regiment Monument was the first Civil War statue in the south to honor an African-American Union soldier.

For more information, please contact Stephanie House, Veterans Affairs Committee Chair, Lee County NAACP at 239-368-3842.





Center for Performing Arts auditioning for ‘The Waverly Gallery’ (11-10-18)

The Center for Performing Arts is also holding auditions for The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonegan.

The story revolves around Gladys, the elder matriarch of the Green family who has run an art gallery for many years. She’s whip smart and sassy but often demurs to her family. Now becoming deaf and losing her memory, Gladys is a cause for concern to her loved ones.

Catalina Monterrosa Smith will also direct this play. Auditions will take place in Room 111 at the Center for Performing Arts from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 14, with callbacks on Thursday, November 15 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. There are roles for two females, one age 40-60 and the other age 70-90, as well as three males, one age 20-30 and two others ages 40-60.

Rehearsals will commence the week of January 21, but the exact schedule is to be determined. The play will be performed in the Moe Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, April 11-13, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 & 14, 2019.

As with Dancing with Breast Cancer, auditions for The Waverly Gallery will be asked to do a cold read and auditioners should bring a head shot and resume, if possible. No appointment is necessary; walk-ins are welcome.

Please telephone 239-495-8989 with any questions or for more information.



Center for Performing Arts auditioning for staged reading in January (11-10-18)

The Center for Performing Arts has issued an audition notice for a staged reading of Dancing with Breast Cancer by Janay Cosner.

The play encompasses narration and a series of poems which provide a snapshot of the breast cancer odyssey. What does it mean to be a survivor? What does it mean to be a warrior? From diagnosis and surgery to chemotherapy, radiation and the new normal, Dancing with Breast Cancer is raw and real, funny and honest, and deeply, deeply personal. You’ll find no pink ribbons here. The author bares her soul, giving the audience a glimpse into the pain, trauma, uncertainty, drudgery, panic and fear that most breast cancer patients experience.

The play will be directed by Catalina Monterrosa Smith. Auditions take place in Room 111 at the Center for Performing Arts from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13, with callbacks on Thursday, November 15 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. There are roles for 10 females, ages 30-90+ and one male, age 40-70. Rehearsals will take place during the weeks of November 26 and December 3, 10, 17 and January 2-10. The staged reading will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 11, 2019 in the Moe Auditorium.

Auditions will be asked to do a cold read and auditioners should bring a head shot and resume, if possible. No appointment is necessary; walk-ins are welcome.



Insanely intense, ‘Wellesley Girl’ asks if Constitution should be ignored (11-10-18)

If you’re in the market for an insanely intense play, go see Brendan Pelsue’s Wellesley Girl. It is being performed this weekend and next by students in Stuart Brown’s Florida SouthWestern State College theater department.

Pelsue has an ax to grind. He wants us to consider whether there can be an occasion where adherence to the Constitution of the United States and the democratic form of government that it creates should be ignored sometimes in order to obtain an outcome that protects human life and dignity. But to gain a fair hearing for this proposition, Pelsue understands that he must first liberate us from the prevailing mindset that the Constitution is sacrosanct. So he transports us 447 years into the future.

Because of an environmental disaster that has rendered the water in the outside world lethal, the United States (and presumably the rest of the world) has been reduced to pockets of people living in walled enclaves. One of these is located in Massachusetts, and its 445 residents consider themselves the last remnant of our once exceptional nation. In spite of their post-apocalyptic existence and diminished numbers, the U.S. Constitution remains the document by which they conduct their socio-political lives. So much so that every resident is deemed to be a member of Congress except one, and she’s the sole member of the Supreme Court.

You will find the rest of this review here.



Screenwriter/actor Jamie Hufford draws on experience to review TGIM films (11-10-18)

Jamie Hufford is a writer and producer known for Baked! (2012) and Monster (2014). After a bit of a hiatus, she is back at work again, collaborating on scripts for a 10-episode TV series and compiling research for a true crime documentary she hopes to start filming in late 2019. She drew upon her extensive background and filmmaking experience last Monday night to offer her analysis and insights on the half dozen short films that hosts Eric Raddatz and Melissa DeHaven shared during TGIM.

You will find the rest of Jamie’s profile here.



Celebrity judge Heather Fitzenhagen talks film at November’s TGIM (11-10-18)

Every politician has traditions and superstitions that govern how and where they spend Election Eve. Not Heather Dawes Fitzenhagen, the Florida House District 78 incumbent who is running against Democratic challenger Parisima Taeb. Fitzenhagen was at last night’s TGIM indie film screenings at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, where she served along with Jamie Hufford and Doug Molloy as a celebrity judge.

Fitzenhagen claims no special expertise or knowledge about the art of filmmaking. But she knows what she likes.

“I look for something that speaks to me and to my life experience or someone else’s that I can relate to or even if I haven’t, that shows it to me in a way that gives me a better understanding of what they’ve gone through,” said Heather during intermission at last night’s screenings. “I want something to happen when I’m watching the film. I want to be moved or entertained or educated.”

The rest of this story is here.



Spotlight on Nov 2018 TGIM celebrity judge Doug Molloy (11-07-18)

Doug Molloy was on hand to share his sardonic insights into film and filmmaking last night with the cineastes who attended the November 2018 edition of TGIM. Doug chaired a celebrity judging panel that included District 78 State Representative Heather Fitzenhagan and filmmaker Jamie Hufford.

Molloy’s perspective as a keen-eyed, opinionated film critic is informed by a nearly 25-year career as a criminal prosecutor. As a long-haired, cowboy-booted hotshot Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, he encountered every conceivable type of crime and criminal defendant, from serial killers, scheming financiers and corrupt local politicians to high-profile cases involving prescription pill mills, sex traffickers and financial fraud. And during his time with the Office of Statewide Prosecution in South Florida, he prosecuted cops charged with murder, Colombian drug runners and other major cases.

Read here for the rest of this post.



Scope out this season’s Southwest Florida art fairs and festivals (11-09-18)

Southwest Florida is home to more than 60 outdoor art fairs, festivals and other shows each season, which officially started on October 3 with the First Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour in the Naples Art District. It’s never too soon to start marking on your calendar the art fairs, festivals and other shows you want to catch this season, and to assist you in this effort, Art Southwest Florida features a detailed month-by-month calendar through April, 2019. So check it out here.



Naples Artcrafters returns tomorrow to Cambier Park with art and craft show (11-09-18)

Saturday, November 10, the Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show returns to Cambier Park. The Naples Artcrafters is an established fine art and craft organization with more than 45 years of history in Naples, Florida, and this Saturday art fair places a spotlight on a wide array of artistic genres, styles and media, including paintings (in oils, acrylics and watercolors), drawings (in pen and ink, pencil, and pastels), scissors art, multi-media and collage, photography, ceramics, jewelry (including metalsmithing, metal clays, lapidary and beading), sculpture, pottery, clay, stained glass and fused glass, wood turning and carving, and basket weaving. The show features work by 90 juried artists.



Visit Crayton Cove on Saturday night for latest edition of ‘Art After Dark’ (11-09-18)

Art After Dark New MapVisit Crayton Cove on Saturday, November 10 for Art After Dark, an Art-Walk-type evening that gives art enthusiasts and collectors an exceptional opportunity to combine fine art with fine dining alongside picturesque Naples Bay. Participating galleries include Phil Fisher Gallery & Studio, Guess-Fisher Gallery, Earth & Fire – Pottery Painted by You, Random Acts of Art,  and Vintage Charm – European Style Gallery, who band together from 6:00-9:00 p.m. to present an Phil Fisher Gallery 2013 Cevening of art receptions, refreshments and live music that serves as a companionable backdrop for viewing the newest works in the Crayton Cove galleries. Many art lovers complete their evening of art viewing with drinks, a sumptuous meal and dessert in one of Crayton Cove’s outstanding eateries – Bleu Provence, Chez Boez, or The Dock and Boathouse Restaurant overlooking picturesque Naples Bay.



Bonita Bay Invitational takes place at the Promenade November 17 & 18 (11-09-18)

The Bonita Bay Invitational at The Promenade will be held November 17 & 18 at the Promenade at Bonita Springs. Visitors to this Boulderbrook Productions event will stroll the pathways and sidewalks of the Promenade where dozens of artists from near and far will line the walkways displaying a variety of artworks. With some of the finest retail stores, unique boutiques, high-end salons, and delectable restaurants, The Promenade at Bonita Bay attracts both locals in Southwest Florida and visitors from around the world. This open-air shopping center is a shopping, dining, and entertainment destination!



3rd Saturday studio and gallery tour takes place in Naples Art District on Nov 17 (11-09-18)

Taking place on November 17 is 3rd Saturday Naples Art District Studio and Gallery Tours. This event features more than 40 artists, who will be showcasing their recent works of art and demonstrating their medium. The Naples Art District is located north of Pine Ridge Road and west of Airport Road. Participating galleries and studios are open from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.



App deadline for 31st Annual Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts is Dec. 9 (11-09-18)

Crowd Shot 01 (4)The Naples Art Association is currently accepting applications for inclusion in two of its outstanding outdoor art festivals, Naples National Art Festival and The Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts. (The app deadline for The Downtown Naples New Year’s Weekend Art Fair is now closed.)

The 31st Annual Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts is one of the last major art festivals of the winter season and a favorite festival for artists, art enthusiasts and collectors. If you would like to Tents 03exhibit in this show, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24, 2019
  • Festival Hours: Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Premier Crowd Shot 01Accept 250 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $450 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 02/04/18; 50% refund: 02/25/18
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m., early morning set up only;
  • On street set up in quads: No electrical
  • Application deadline: 12/09/18
  • Jury Process begins: 12/14/18
  • Crowd Shot 11Status Notification: 12/28/18
  • Booth Fee Due: 01/18/19
  • Artist Info Sent: 02/26/19
  • Wait List Acceptance: 01/18/19
  • Application available online at beginning June 1, 2018

The Naples Downtown Art Show was voted one of the top five favorite events by local businesses and residents. It was also rated in the top 15 by Sunshine Artist’s survey of all artists in the country.



Hot Works’ Naples Fine Art Shows promise to be intimate, boutique affairs (11-09-18)

Hot Works LLC has announced that it will be holding two weekend art shows in Naples during the upcoming season. Both will be held at the Galleria Shoppes on Vanderbilt. The 1st Bi-Annual Naples Fine Art Show will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 15 and 16, with the second returning to the Galleria Shoppes on Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31, 2019.

The shows will be organized and conducted as intimate, boutique affairs that feature original work by no more than 150 nationally and internationally acclaimed artists in painting (oil, acrylic and watercolor), drawing (pastels, colored pencil and pen-and-ink), photography, digital imagery, sculpture (metal and stone), clay, ceramics, wood working and carving, glass, fiber art (including batik and tapestry), art jewelry and more.

The size and arrangement of these shows encourages art lovers and collectors to engage the artists about their inspiration, process and what makes them unique within the highly-competitive realm of fine arts and fine crafts. But Executive Director Patty Narozny employs a number of other time-honored techniques to make Hot Works’ shows a positive experience both for participating artists and patrons.


First and foremost, she enlists a team of art professionals with more than 120 years of combined experience to judge the work of the hundreds of applicants who wish to participate in Hot Works’ shows. Narozny is choosey, and her interest goes well beyond digital images and paper applications. She visits many of her artists in their homes and studios to make sure that their work makes a contribution to the quality of her shows and a statement in the collections of the people who patronize them.

But Narozny also understands that most of the folks who come to her shows are far from experienced collectors. In fact, many are newbies – or have yet to take the plunge and buy their first artwork. They are still in the process of defining their tastes and have yet to figure out what they like and why is speaks to them. With that in mind, she builds variety into every Hot Works show.

Further, she and her team strive to ensure that the work presented covers a wide range of price points. There is art for every budget.

Last but not least, purchasers can buy with confidence. Because Narozny does her homework so meticulously, they know they’re not only getting an original work of art from a credentialed artist, they are getting value as well.

While the business side of the equation is serious work, attending a Hot Works show is a relaxing, casual experience. It’s like taking a leisurely stroll through a park filled with artwork. There’s no pressure to do anything more than look and envision what that great painting, photograph or sculpture might look like in your home or office. And if you need a little help in the latter category, all of the exhibiting artists are only too happy to bring one or more artworks to your house after hours so that you can see exactly what it looks like on your bookcase, floor or wall.

If you haven’t been to a Hot Works fine art show before, it’s a treat you deserve. For more information, please visit or email And don’t forget Hot Works’ other Southwest Florida fine art show at Jet Blue Park. The Estero Fine Art Show will take place on January 5 & 6, 2019.



’42nd Street’ on Broadway Palm main stage through November 17 (11-08-18)

The musical extravaganza 42nd Street is on stage at the Broadway Palm now through November 17.

Here’s the storyline: Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer heads to New York City and quickly lands her first big gig in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. Just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle, and her misfortune just might provide Peggy with her own big break – a chance to step in and become a star!

42nd Street sparkles with some of the greatest songs in musical theatre history including We’re In The Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off To Buffalo, Dames, I Only Have Eyes For You and the title song 42nd Street. During its Broadway run, 42nd Street received eight Tony Award nominations and was the winner of Best Musical in 1981.

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are $45 to $70 with group and children’s prices available. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



Off-Broadway’s ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’ closes November 10 (11-08-18)

Kelly Legarreta, Rachael Endrizzi, Michael H. Heath, John Keckeisen, Katie Pankow and Ken Quiricone are appearing now through November 10 in the Off Broadway Palm Theatre’s production of Don’t Dress For Dinner. Written by Marc Camoletti, the wildly funny comedy was nominated for two Tony Awards and was a long running hit in London.

Here’s the plot: When Bernard’s wife decides to visit her mother for a few days, he makes plans to spend a romantic weekend with his chic, new, Parisian mistress in his charming converted French farmhouse. He invites his friend Robert as an alibi, but when his wife finds out Robert will be in town, she changes her plans for a surprise tryst of her own. Throw in a cook with the same name as the mistress and an evening of sidesplitting confusion ensues as Bernard and Robert improvise at breakneck speed.

Off Broadway Palm’s Artistic Director Paul Bernier directs. Bernier’s directing credits include the hits Unnecessary Farce, The Savannah Sipping Society, The Dixie Swim Club and The Odd Couple, among many more.

The Off Broadway Palm is an intimate 100-seat theater located off the main lobby of Broadway Palm. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Ticket prices range from $39 to $59 with group discounts available for parties of 20 or more. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.


  1. Don’t Dress For Dinner Bernard and Robert: John Keckeisen as Bernard and Ken Quiricone as Robert.
  2. Don’t Dress For Dinner Robert, Suzanne, Bernard and Jacqueline: Ken Quiricone as Robert, Rachael Endrizzi as Suzanne, John Keckeisen as Bernard and Katie Pankow as Jacqueline.
  3. Don’t Dress For Dinner Suzette, George, Robert and Bernard: Kelly Legarreta as Suzette, Michael Heath as George, Ken Quiricone as Robert and John Keckeisen as Bernard.



‘Adventures of Stuart Little’ up next for CFABS Youth Players (11-08-18)

The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs Youth Players will present four performances of The Adventures of Stuart Little in the Moe Auditorium this November 16, 17 & 18. Based on the award-winning book by E.B. White and adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette, Stuart Little is a charming tale about an adventuresome boy from New York City who is normal in every way – except that he is only four inches high and looks exactly like a mouse. Tickets to this classic allegory about “a modest mouse” who finds himself facing the dangers of the great big world are $20 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission, with a 10% discount for current CFABS members. Shows are Friday & Saturday, November 16 & 17, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday, November 17 & 18. The Moe Auditorium is located 10150 Bonita Beach Road.



Submissions for ‘Stage It!’ 3 now open (11-08-18)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs is now accepting submissions for its next STAGE IT! 10-MINUTE PLAYS challenge. The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2019. Interested playwrights may submit up to three 10-minute plays. The submission fee for the first entry is $15 and $10 for each additional entry up to three. Plays should be in generally-accepted script format and must be emailed to or mailed to the Center for Performing Arts, 10150 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34135, c/o: STAGE IT.

Submissions will be reviewed by at least two theatre professionals on a blind jury basis (so do not place your name on the script itself). The judges’ critique forms will be available to the playwrights after the competition, by request.

Ten plays will be selected for live performances at the Moe Auditorium and Film Center on the campus of the Center for the Performing Arts, and will be published by the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs in their third collection of STAGE IT! Ten-Minute Plays. The Center will most likely invite more plays for publication in the book as well as future performances in its Funny Shorts LIVE! shows that are featured three times a year. Set, lighting and sound requirements should be minimal as the Center for Performing Arts does not have a limitless production budget and will cut for cost.

An “Audience Favorite” will be named following the performances, with the winner receiving a $100 cash prize.

For additional information, please email or call 239-495-8989.

For information on last year’s Stage It! Ten-Minute Play Festival and Book Release, read here.



‘Damascus’ on stage at Florida Rep through December 9 (11-08-18)

Damascus by Bennett Fisher opened at Florida Rep on November 6. It stars Jeremiah Clapp as Lloyd, Darian Dauchan as Hassan and Laura Shatkus playing multiple roles. The play is an electrifying psychological thriller that challenges conventional stereotypes while investigating the fine line between caution and paranoia. The action takes place late one night at the Minneapolis airport when a stranded teenager pleads with a Somali-American shuttle driver to rush him to Chicago. Chosen from Florida Rep’s 2017 PlayLab, Damascus runs in the ArtStage Studio Theatre through December 9.



Next up at FSW’s Black Box Theatre is alarmingly prescient ‘Wellesley Girl’ (11-08-18)

Up next at Florida SouthWestern State College’s Black Box Theatre is Brendan Pelsue’s Wellesley Girl, directed by Stuart Brown.

The action takes place 447 years in the future. It’s 2465, and as a result of a massive environmental catastrophe, the United States’ population has been reduced to 435 people, all of whom now live in a walled citadel in what used to be a wealthy suburb of Boston.

In this new state, the Constitution still functions as the governing document, with everyone now serving as a member of Congress and the only checks and balances against tyrannical majority rule are a levelheaded chief executive named Garth and a thoughtful woman named Donna, who serves as the entire Supreme Court (Ruth Bader Ginsburg finally getting her wish for an all-female high court).

Read the rest of this review here.

‘Wellesley Girl’ play dates, times and ticket info



Terry Tincher and Dr. Scott Michael join cast for Ghostbird’s next show (11-08-18)

Cultural dynamo Terry Tincher and FGCU virologist Dr. Scott Michael are joining the cast for Ghostbird Theatre Partners’ next production, Boxes Are for What We Keep. FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa will also be joining company members Jim Brock, Katelyn Gravel and Stella Ruiz for the show, which was written by Barry Cavin and will be staged on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18 at the Happehatchee Center in Estero.

“With each production, we are on the constant lookout for new flockmates to play with us,” explains Brock, who is a founding member of the company. “Somehow, we have been able to sweet talk Fort Myers impresario Terry Tincher to perform with us, and we have been graced by his kindness, good humor, and dedication.”

Dr. Scott Michael is Professor of Biological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. A long-time patron of the arts, Michael spent time on the boards in both high school and college.

“We are pretty sure we are the only theatre company in the United States to have an actor who is a nationally-recognized expert in virology,” Brock quips. “He can answer your questions about certain Wolbachia strains and how that, once populated in mosquito cells, they can inhibit, even block, the replication of Zika virus – which can disrupt the transmission of this disease. Oh, and don’t get him started talking about Dengue Fever!”


Unlike Tincher and Dr. Michael, Daniel De La Rosa has some history with Ghostbird. He performed in Wooden Mouth ten years ago. That was the show that originally inspired Brittney Brady, Philip Heubeck, Katelyn Gravel and Jim Brock to start a theater company of their own.

You’ll find the rest of this announcement here.




Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ actor Jim Brock (11-08-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more about Jim Brock, read here.



Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ actor Katelyn Gravel (11-08-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more on Katelyn Gravel, read here.



Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ actor Stella Ruiz (11-08-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more on Stella Ruiz, read here.



Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ newcomer Terry Tincher (11-08-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more on Terry Tincher, read here.



Lab’s popular 24-Hour Playwriting Challenge is November 17 (11-08-18)

The 24-hour Playwriting Project returns to Lab Theater at 8:00 p.m. on November 17. It’s the culmination of 1,440 minutes of highly-caffeinated fun-filled jeopardy as four playwrights spend the night in the theater producing typically-hilarious, always distinctive 15-minute one-act plays. After breakfast, a table read, and very little time for tweaks, the scripts go to the copy center. When they come back, the directors assigned to each playwright get the scripts and a cast of volunteer actors who are ready, willing and eager to learn and rehearse their lines in the seven or so hours remaining before the curtain goes up …..

Read here for the rest of this advance.



Thomas Marsh undertaking challenging role of ‘Elephant Man’ Joe Merrick (11-08-18)

Local actor Tom Marsh is undertaking his most challenging role to date. He’ll be portraying Joseph Merrick in Theatre Conspiracy’s upcoming production of Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man. Rick Sebastian directs, with Scott Carpenter, Joann Haley, Stephen Hooper, Rob Green, David Pimentel, Anna Grilli and Scott Thomson rounding out the cast.

The play could not be more timely, as it underscores the pitfalls of judging people on their outward appearance and the emotional damage inflicted on people who don’t measure up to our Hollywood-Madison-Avenue-imposed concept of beauty, ability and intelligence.

It’s no secret that slim, good-looking men and women have a decided advantage over more-qualified but less attractive candidates when it comes to job applications, promotions and political office. Shaming people over their weight or appearance is commonplace.

We would all like to believe that we’ve evolved in temperament and tolerance over the past 100 years, when opponents of women’s suffrage reviled suffragettes as snaggle-tooth hags too ugly to land husbands. But after the women’s march on the day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2016, one federal judge posted on Facebook that “after just one day in office, Trump managed to achieve something that no one else has been able to do: he got a million fat women out walking,” with a Nebraska state senator retweeting an image of three participants holding signs that objected to the President’s Accent Hollywood remarks along with the words, “Ladies, I think you’re safe.”

Read here for the rest of this advance.



Scott Carpenter tackling role of Dr. Frederick Treves in ‘The Elephant Man’ (11-08-18)

Scott Carpenter’s next role will be that of Dr. Frederick Treves in Theatre Conspiracy’s upcoming production of The Elephant Man. You can read about Scott’s prior theater appearances here. Carpenter was recently honored with the Cape Coral Community Foundation ENPY award for “2018 Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year Award” for his work with Lab Theater.



Spotlight on ‘Elephant Man’ actor Stephen Hooper (11-08-18)

One of the members of the cast of Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance’s upcoming production of The Elephant Man is local actor, director and playwright Stephen Hooper. For more on his resume, please read here.



Spotlight on ‘Elephant Man’ actor Joann Haley (11-08-18)

One of the members of the cast of Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance’s upcoming production of The Elephant Man is local actor Joann Haley, who was just on stage in the Foulds Theatre in Repossessed. For more on her resume, please read here.



TNP’s ‘June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce’ on stage through Nov. 18 (11-08-18)

June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce opens October 24 in Tobye Studio at The Naples Players Sugden Theatre. The dystopian comedy runs through November 18.

Reminiscent of great sitcom humor, this quick-witted farce introduces an unforgettable collection of zany neighbors and friends who try to save June and Jason from a looming divorce. In a clever combination of The Dick Van Dyke Show meets Friends meets Will and Grace, this fresh and modern comedy places marriage and its trials and tribulations front and center with a fun and modern twist.

June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce was written by Naples playwright Laura Lorusso and is directed by Naples Players Associate Artistic Director Jessica Walck. Walck also directed a staged reading of the play last November at the Laboratory Theater of Florida.


Cole Butcher stars as Jason Cooney and Caitlynn Crawford plays June. Local audiences may recall her from TNP’s sold-out run of Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Ellen Cooper stars as Josephine Rossi, the classic Italian grandmother, who inspired the playwright from her portrayal of Momma Nonna in Joey & Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding. Alexandra Holmes is a newcomer to the TNP stage and plays the always-ready-to-party Lacy Brock.

Read here for more.




Erica Sample making transition from Roxie Hart to Judy Haynes (11-08-18)

The Naples Players (TNP) has announced the cast for their upcoming classic musical production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and Erica Sample is making the transition from Chicago’s Roxie Hart to Judy Haynes. Tina Maroni will portray Judy’s devoted sister Betty Haynes, with fan favorite James Littleplays as Bob Wallace and newcomer Jimmy Flannery as Phil Davis.

The musical is based on the beloved and timeless film of the same name, and features the Irving Berlin classics White Christmas and Blue Skies. The story revolves around two WWII buddies with a successful song-and-dance act who follow two beautiful singing sisters en route to a Christmas gig in a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by their former army commander.

Stage veteran Paul Graffy plays General Waverly, Alyssia Pellegrini is his daughter, Susan, and Naples favorite Debi Guthery plays Martha Watson. Amanda Telebrco and Lisa Kuchinski play the Oxydol girls, Rita and Rhonda.

Scott Davis plays Ralph Sheldrake and last season’s favorite Jerry Rannow is Ezekiel/Mr. Snoring. The ensemble includes KidzAct graduates Gaby Biagi, Abby Ciabaton, Frankie Federico, Elizabeth Fincher, Jeremy Giovinazzo, Weifta Jean, Jack Norkeliunas, Lila Prince, Hunter Reum, Eileen Reynolds, Thomas Richardson, Brooke Rosenbluth, Megan Ruhl and Eifta Jean.

Sample received rave reviews for her portrayal of Roxie Hart in The Naples Players production of Chicago this summer.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

And read here for play dates and ticket information.



Stage vet Paul Graffy to play General Thomas Waverly in TNP’s ‘White Christmas’ (11-08-18)

Stage veteran Paul Graffy has been cast in the role of Major General Thomas Waverly in The Naples Players’ upcoming production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Dean Jagger played the general in the eponymous movie starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. If you’re not familiar with Graffy’s stage work here in Southwest Florida, then read here to see the impressive resume of this Naples thespian.



Lisa Kuchinski to play Oxidol girl Rhonda in TNP’s ‘White Christmas” (11-08-18)

Cultural Park Theater Marquee Outstanding Featured Actress Lisa Kuchinski will be taking on the role of Oxidol girl Rhonda in The Naples Players’ upcoming production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. The perky Cape Coral actor couldn’t be more perfect for the part. But don’t expect Lisa to have an answer when Doris asks Ms. Rhonda, “Well how do you like that? Not so much as a ‘kiss my foot’ or ‘have an apple.’” She’s still finding her place in Southwest Florida’s active community theater. For more on Lisa, read here.



December 11th performance of ‘White Christmas’ to be sensory screening (11-08-18)

The Naples Players will provide a sensory screening of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas on December 11. Special pricing of $20 for adult tickets and $10 for student/educator tickets makes Sensory Friendly performances affordable for families. As sensory-friendly screenings become more common in local movie theatres and even on Broadway, The Naples Players is proud to participate in this national shift towards making it possible for individuals with special needs and their families to experience the same quality theatre as everyone else.


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