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Visual and Performing Artists and Events in the news April 22-30, 2023


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


1     ACTORS


Emilie Baartman plays Lucinda for New Phoenix in ‘Into the Woods’

Emilie Baartman is a Naples, Florida actor, singer, dancer and costume and set designer. She appears in the role of Lucinda for New Phoenix Theatre in Into the Woods. Emilie’s stage credits include Kia in The Last Schwartz for New Phoenix Theatre, work in the ensemble of Head Over Heels for New Phoenix Theatre, flight attendant Gloria in Boeing Boeing for The Naples Players, Macbeth: The Murder Mystery for the CFABS Players, and Pam Lukowski in The Full Monty (New Phoenix Theatre, 2020). Go here for more of Emilie’s credits.



Brian Blanks is the narrator in ‘Into the Woods’

Brian Blanks appears as the Narrator for New Phoenix Theatre in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.

This is Blanks’ third Sondheim show. He previously appeared in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Young Buddy in Follies.

Brian was previously at New Phoenix Theatre in the roles of Lord Savage and Spider in Jekyll & Hyde.



Joey Bostic plays Mary Sunshine in Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse

Joey Bostic appears in the role of Mary Sunshine in Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse. Bostic’s previous credits include work in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street for Lab Theater, Frank N Furter in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show at both Fort Myers Theater and New Phoenix Theatre, Benny in Rent at Fort Myers Theatre, virgin-turned-vampire Madeleine Astarte in Charles Busch’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom for the Alliance for the Arts and the butler Jacob in La Cage Aux Folles. You can view Bostic’s other credits here.



Sophia Brook plays Rapunzel in ‘Into the Woods’

Sophia Brook appears for New Phoenix Theatre in the role of Rapunzel in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Sophia has been performing since a very young age. Her prior credits include Sandy in Grease, Margot Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank and Mary in Mary Poppins. In 2023, Sophia earned the All Star Award at the Atlanta Junior Theater Festival, and she scored five Superiors at the District Thespians with a Best in Room.



Wyatt TecoHikari Burton is the Baker in ‘Into the Woods’

Wyatt TecoHikari Burton appears in the role of The Baker in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Into the Woods. Previously, Wyatt played Pythio in Head Over Heels at New Phoenix Theatre, Jersey Shore the Musical @ Pipe Dreams Theatre, and Riff in West Side StoryGo here for more on their credits.



Danny Cancio is The Foreigner in Arts Center Theatre comedy

Daniel Cancio plays the title role in Arts Center Theatre’s production of Larry Shue’s The Foreigner. Daniel’s credits include Other Desert Cities, Art, attorney Aaron Levinsky in NutsThe Waverly Gallery, Jerry in The Zoo Story, the bartender in Speed Dating, the owl in Where is Man?, Senator Charles Whitmore’s campaign aide in Church & State, and Jerry in Don’t Talk to the Actors – all for The Studio Players in Naples. You can view all of Daniel’s theatrical credits here.



Missy Carmean is Liz/Pop for Gypsy Playhouse in ‘Chicago’

Missy Carmean appears in Gypsy Playhouse’s production of Chicago in the role of “merry murderess” Liz, who is referred to periodically throughout the story as Pop because she fired two warning shots into her guy’s head after he refused to stop popping his chewing gum. Liz did consider aromatherapy, yoga, even guided imagery, but who could concentrate with him swigging beer, chomping like a cow and all that pop, pop, POPPING? Go here for the rest of this profile.



Paola Cifuentes plays Velma Kelly in ‘Chicago’ for Gypsy Playhouse

Paola Andrea Cifuentes stars as Velma Kelly for Gypsy Playhouse in its production of Chicago. She previously starred as Janet in The Rocky Horror Show and Morticia in The Addams Family Musical. 

Go here for the rest of Paola’s theatrical and related credits.



Ryan Porter Craig is wolf in Into the Woods at New Phoenix

Ryan Porter Craig appears as both the Wolf and Prince Charming (a wolf in fancy clothes) for New Phoenix Theatre in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Previous credits include the voice of Audrey II for Belle Theatre in Little Shop of Horrors, 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. You can access all of Ryan’s theatrical credits here.



Up next for Parrish Danesh is the role of Billy Flynn in ‘Chicago’

Parrish Danesh plays Billy Flynn in Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse.  His previous credits include Brad Majors for Fort Myers Theatre in The Rocky Horror Show, director and choreographer Zack in A Chorus Line, Gomez Addams in The Addams Family musical, Teen Angel & Johnny Casino in Grease (March 2022), Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol the Musical (December 2021) and Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose the Musical (September 2021). Go here for all of Parrish’s credits.



Simone Farrell is Gloria in ‘The Piano Lesson’

Simone Farrell plays the part of Grace in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of August Wilson’s Century Cycle drama The Piano Lesson. Simone previously appeared in the roles of Gloria in the Southwest Florida premiere of Dorothy Marcic’s retrospective musical SISTAS: the Musical and Jasmine, the assertive and outspoken sister of Beverly Frasier, in Jackie Sibblies Drury’s play Fairview, both for Lab Theater. Go here for the rest of Simone’s theatrical credits.



Renee Freeman is Bernice in August Wilson’s ‘Piano Lesson’

A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Renée Freeman made her Southwest Florida theatrical debut in the role of Madre Maria in the regional premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire. She next plays Bernice in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of August Wilson’s Century Cycle play The Piano Lesson. Go here for the rest of Renee’s theatrical credits.



Nikki Hagel plays Little Red Riding Hood in Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’

Nikki Hagel appears in the role of Little Red Riding Hood for New Phoenix Theatre in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Previous roles include a prostitute by the name of Nelly in Jekyll & Hyde the Musical, Pamela in Head over Heels, Frederick Frankenstein fiancee Elizabeth Benning in Young Frankenstein, Georgie Buckatinsky in The Full Monty, the memorable role of sax-playing Magenta in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, all for New Phoenix Theatre. The rest of Nikki’s credits are here.



Terrence Kennedy is the mystery man in ‘Into the Woods’

Terrence Kennedy appears as Mysterious Man in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Into the Woods. For the past 35 years, Terrence has performed in variety as well as cabaret shows throughout New York, Columbus and Philadelphia. His stage credits include roles in Funny Girl, Pajama Game, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Music Man, Cabaret and, most recently, as Gabriel John Utterson in Jekyll & Hyde at New Phoenix.



Mark King is Amos Hart in Chicago at Gypsy Playhouse

Mark King appears for Gypsy Playhouse in the role of Amos Hart in Chicago. Mark has previously appeared in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street for Lab Theater, various roles (Sholes, Harry, Bird) in Lab Theater’s 2022 summer spoof of the 1963 Alfred Hitchcock horror film The Birds, as Major Domo in Dangerous Liaisons, as Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q and comedian Eddie McCuen in The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940sThe rest of Mark’s credits are here.



Terry Lavy in ‘Chicago’ ensemble

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 in the ensemble of Chicago at Gypsy Playhouse.



Eileen Little is Roxie Hart in Chicago at Gypsy Playhouse

Eileen Little appears in the role of Roxie Hart for Gypsy Playhouse in its production of Chicago. As you may recall, Roxie is a 1920s wannabe cabaret star who, with the aid and succor of an unscrupulous lawyer by the name of Billy Flynn, engages in a campaign of misdirection and subterfuge in order to beat a murder wrap after she guns down an extramarital lover when he tries to end their affair. It’s Little’s first lead since 2018. Little was last seen in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Lab Theater. Go here for more on Eileen’s theatrical background.



Emma Luke-Said is Go to Hell Kitty in Gypsy Playhouse’s ‘Chicago’

Emma Luke-Said appears for Gypsy Playhouse in the role of Go-to-Hell Kitty in Chicago. Emma last appeared in the ensemble of both Rent and Rocky Horror at Fort Myers Theatre, where she also played the part of Sister Berta in The Sound of Music. Emma can also be seen in the ensemble of Beauty and the Beast when the musical opens at Fort Myers Theatre on May 11.



Todd Lyman portrays Steward in ‘Into the Woods’

Todd Lyman portrays The Steward in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Todd’s previous credits include multiple roles (Dick/Man/Clerk/Bird) in Lab Theater’s spoof of The Birds, Nicky in Avenue Q, Antonio in The Tempest, Dave in The Full Monty, Assemblyman Paul Gordon, Dr. Tim and Mr. Yarmowich in Topher Payne’s Let Nothing You Dismay, and Thomas Putnam in The Crucible. Go here for more on Todd’s theatrical credits.



Cicero McCarter plays Wining Boy in August Wilson’s ‘The Piano Lesson’

Cicero McCarter is an emerging talent in Southwest Florida theater. He can be seen currently in the role of Wining Boy in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. In fact, Cicero has been in all five August Wilson American Century Cycle plays produced by Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts, including King Hedley II (Canewell, otherwise known as Stool Pigeon), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Bynum Walker), Seven Guitars (Hedley) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Slow Drag). He also played the role of Giggles in the Alliance’s production of Clown Bar and Trevor Neese in Rancho Mirage. He made his Southwest Florida theater debut in Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic (Henry Simpson).



Anthony Miller is Jack in ‘Into the Woods’

Anthony Miller appears in the role of Jack in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Into the Woods. The character of Jack serves as the catalyst for much of the action that transpires during the story, and it is Jack’s theft of the golden harp that not only leads to the Giant’s death, but the death and destruction wrought by the Giant’s widow in retaliation for his death. Into the Woods reinforces the idea that humans make mistakes and how we respond to them becomes an integral part of our personality and moral make-up. Go here to read the rest of this spotlight.



Lauren Miller is Mama Morton in ‘Chicago’ at Gypsy Playhouse

Lauren Miller plays Mama Morton in Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse. Lauren also played the part of Matron Mama Norton in Chicago for The Naples Players.

Among Lauren’s prior stage credits are the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street for Lab Theater, Joanne Jefferson for Fort Myers Theatre in the rock opera Rent, and Ann Putnam in Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible. 

 The rest of Lauren’s profile is here.



Elvis Mortley is the preacher, Avery, in August Wilson’s ‘The Piano Lesson’

Since arriving in Southwest Florida in 2005, Elvis Mortley has played a number of memorable roles. He currently appears as the preacher, Avery, in August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. Other credits include the son in “Last Mama on the Couch” in the Alliance for the Arts’ production of George Wolfe’s The Colored Museum, piano man Toledo in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Sir Jasper Fidget in The Country Wife and Doyle in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of Jennifer Haley’s The Nether. Other acting credits include The City Wife, The Waiting Room, Christmas in the Neighborhood and Toys in the Attic. See here for the rest of Elvis’ credits.



Aimee Naughton is Cinderella in ‘Into the Woods’

Aimee Naughton plays Cinderella in Into the Woods at New Phoenix Theatre. Aimee’s previous roles include Chiffon in Belle Theatre’s production of Little Shop of Horrors, 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, Logainne Schwartzandgrubenniere in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Sister Mary Amnesia in both Nunsense and Nunsense II for Cultural Park Theater.



Jake Raterman is Fred Casely in Chicago at Gypsy Playhouse

Jake Raterman plays the part of Fred Casely in Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse. Prior stage credits include Jesus in Odd Couple: Female Version for Belle Theatre, work in the ensemble of Rent and the role of Paul San Marco in A Chorus Line (a character that was based on the life story of Nicholas Dante). The rest of Jake’s theatrical credits are available here.



Cassie Sampson gets witchy for New Phoenix in Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’

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 plays the Witch in Into the Woods for New Phoenix Theatre. She previously appeared as Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors, in the role of Cinderella’s stepmother in Into the Woods for Belle Theatre, and was a member of the ensemble of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical and Queen Gynecia in Heed over Heels the Musical for New Phoenix Theatre.

Go here to see all of Cassie’s theatrical credits.



Stacy Stauffer plays Cinderella’s stepmother in ‘Into the Woods’

Stacy Stauffer appears in the role of Cinderella’s stepmother in Into the Woods at New Phoenix Theatre. Her previous stage credits include the role Logan for Lab Theater in The Thanksgiving Play, Renee in Odd Couple: Female Version for Belle Theatre, Marjorie Taub in Charles Busch’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife for New Phoenix Theatre (2022), Hall in Men on Boats for the Alliance for the Arts, and Sarah Goodwin in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Time Stands Still. You will find the balance of Stacy’s credits here.



Kieran Strosser plays Granny and Cinderella’s mother in ‘Into the Woods’

Kieran Lawless Strosser plays the parts of Granny and Cinderella’s mom for New Phoenix Theatre in Into the Woods. Recent credits include Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music at Cultural Park Theatre, one of the prostitutes in Jekyll & Hyde the Musical at New Phoenix Theatre, Whitney in A Piece of My Heart for Cultural Park Theatre and Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Ernest for Cultural Park Theatre. Go here for the rest of Kieran’s credits.



Cassy Terwilliger is the baker’s wife in ‘Into the Woods’

Cassy Terwilliger appears as the baker’s wife in Into the Woods at New Phoenix Theatre. Recent credits include Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors at Belle Theatre in Cape Coral, Emma Carew in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical, and her New Phoenix debut in Head Over Heels. Terwilliger majored in vocal performance and theater at Emporia State University. Go here for more on Terwilliger’s theatrical credits.





Sonya McCarter directs ‘The Piano Lesson’ for Theatre Conspiracy

Sonya McCarter is an actor, director and instructor. She is directing The Piano Lesson for Theatre Conspiracy in April. Sonya’s other directing credits include Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over, Dorothy Marcic’s SISTAS: the MusicalFairviewThe Color Purple, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s King Hedley IISeven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Lydia Diamond’s The Bluest Eye and George C. Wolff’s The Colored Museum. McCarter studied theater and the language of Shakespeare at Pensacola Christian College 1990-1995. She holds two Master’s Degrees in Oral Interpretation of Speech and Theatre Arts.

You’ll find the rest of Sonya’s theatrical credits here.





Centers for the Arts Bonita celebrates five female artists in April

The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs is celebrating five women artists during the month of April with two exceptional exhibitions: Female Focus and The Art of Betty Harper. These shows spotlight the creativity, talent, and artistic contributions of women in the visual arts with vibrant, expressive, and colorful paintings adeptly rendered in oil, acrylic, and watercolor.

Female Focus in the Main Gallery presents four women who share a life-long passion for the visual arts with emotive abstract paintings by Shirley Blake, vibrant and colorful realism by Ruth Epstein, dramatic landscapes by B. Deborah Vahab, and expressive watercolor and acrylic paintings by Julie Siler Olander.

Betty Harper has always been inclined to work abstractly. On view in the Tranovich Gallery, Harper’s paintings incorporate bold strokes of color, texture, and layering—her goal is to create an illusion of energy, movement, and space.

The Visual Arts Center on Old 41 will host a free reception for Female Focus and The Art of Betty Harper on Friday, April 14 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

There will also be a Campus-Wide Open House featuring live music, artists demonstrations, lite bites and beverages.

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.



Marco Island Center for the Arts’ focus on community engagement

Now in its 53rd year of service, the Marco Island Center for the Arts brings a wide variety of arts to the island through exhibitions, engaging educational programs for adults and children, and a diverse assortment of events. But more, the Center has worked hard to become an integral part of the vibrant and engaging Marco community. Since taking over the reins in February of 2014, Executive Director Hyla Crane has worked assiduously to transform the Center into a catalyst for economic development, cultural diversity and community cohesion. At the same time, she and her staff and volunteers exert every effort to make members, guests and patrons feel welcome, comfortable and genuinely appreciated. Read or listen to the rest of this story on WGCU.



DAAS’ April show features art of group of local artists

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is showcasing the artwork of a group of local artists in April. Each participating artist was invited to submit one piece representative of their work and creativity.

One of the artists who accepted DAAS’ invitation is Sonia Rose, a member of the Union Artist Studios on Fort Myers. Her work explores a variety of mediums, evoking spiritualism and mysticism.

Rosa has collaborated with multiple artists as a professional figure model and is very well known in the art scene of our city.

Visual artist and graphic designer Julia Da Rocha is another participant. She brings a vibrant, feminine and intuitive approach to the mix. Da Rocha, also a member of the Union Artist Studios, exemplifies freedom in her work, rejecting limitations on her medium and process. Her work, as well as several other participating artists, will help create an atmosphere of wonder and an introduction into the artistic world of each exhibiting artist.

“Our gallery enjoys these invitational exhibitions because they support a number of artists and challenge them to create something special for the exhibition,” remarks DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery co-owner and curator David Acevedo. “When you put a group of highly creative individuals to work together, wonderful and unexpected things happen and that is essentially what our [cooperative] gallery concept is.”

Acevedo also founded the Union Artist Studios and most recently, the Arts & Eats Café, located in the campus of the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers.

The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, April 7, 2023, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m., in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk event. The exhibition will be on display through April 30, 2023.

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is located at 1815 Fowler Street, in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers, FL. The gallery’s business hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. More information about the venue and/or how to become a member can be found at or by calling 239-590-8645.



Davis Art Center hosts International Baccalaureate Visual Arts Exhibit closes April 28

The Fort Myers High School International Baccalaureate Visual Arts Exhibition at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center closes April 28. The exhibition showcases work by 38 students in a wide range of visual media including traditional and digital photography, acrylic and oil painting, pen and ink, printmaking, fiber arts, sculpture, ceramics and more.

During the past two years, the students have explored the works of historical and contemporary artists, investigated critical theories in art, and created extensive documentation of their art-making processes in a series of sketchbook entries that fulfill the requirements of the International Baccalaureate Visual Arts program.


  • Brooke Pocklington
  • Katie Welborn
  • Antonia Orbe Coka
  • Victoria Borton



Davis Art Center hosts Maria Collier’s ‘Sounds & Color’ in Capital Gallery in April

Sounds & Color by artist Maria Collier is in the second floor Capital Gallery at the Davis Art Center through April 28. An intuitive artist, Maria’s muse and inspiration is music and dance, which she uses as a guide in choosing her vibrant and lively color palette. Her pieces are poured and scraped, and go from the floor to the easel and back again. She builds layer upon layer, relying on the interaction of each to create an unanticipated relationship of color and texture. While music plays in her studio, Maria employs door stops, trowels, foam brushes and both floor and window squeegees to bring her work to life, allowing the surprise of small moments and unexpected detail to come through.

Maria is a Colombian-born artist who has lived on the Southwest Florida coast for over 40 years. She began painting on canvas after being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease. The healing that occurred from being aligned with her true passion comes across in the joyful colors she uses in her work.

The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First Street in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District.

For more information call 239.333.1933 or visit the website at



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

November 4th marked 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 that’s been extended to May 14, 2023. Listen on WGCU for the details:…/imag-history-science-center…



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.





‘Foreigner’ at Marco’s Arts Center Theatre through May 7

Arts Center Theatre on Marco Island concludes its inaugural season with The Foreigner by Larry Shue. The Foreigner received two Obie Awards and two Outer Critics Circle Awards as Best New American Play and Best Off-Broadway Production. The production is directed by Bonnie Knapp, who has been acting and directing for over thirty years. She most recently directed Beer for Breakfast at the Studio Players and Good People for the Marco Players. The Foreigner plays at Arts Center Theatre on Marco now through May 7. Performances are Wednesday through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 3:00 p.m. Read here for more.



‘Chicago’ opens for four shows at Gypsy Playhouse on April 28 

Chicago comes to Gypsy Playhouse for four shows April 28-3o, and few shows come with more anticipation or fanfare. With still-timely songs and libretto, groundbreaking choreography that pays homage to the great Bob Fosse, and a couple of powerful female leads who can both sing and dance, the musical has it all. It’s no wonder that the six-time Emmy winner is the longest running American musical in Broadway history. Go here for the rest of this advance.

And go here for play dates, times and a cast list.



‘Chicago’ gets up close and personal on WGCU

Musical composer John Kander is on everyone’s mind lately. The 96-year old recently teamed up with Lin-Manuel Miranda for a new broadway Blockbuster, New York, New York. And Season 2 of Schmigadoon takes place in Schmicago, a fictional world where theater geeks revel in parodies of the dark, sultry musicals of the 70s and 80s such as PippinSweeney Todd, and of course, Chicago.

It is against this backdrop that Gypsy Playhouse at Robin Dawn Dance Academy in the Cape is producing Chicago. While the music of Kander and Ebb is reason enough to attend one of Gypsy’s four performances of the show, what differentiates this production from the movie and every other live performance of the musical that you may have seen is the setting. Listen (or read) on WGCU to why this makes such a huge difference.



Meet Gypsy Playhouse’s Chicagoland merry murderesses

Coming to Gypsy Playhouse’s black box theater for four quick, hart-hitting shows is Chicago. While the musical stars Eileen Little as Roxie Hart, Paola Cifuentes as Velma Kelly and Parrish Danesh as lawyer Billy Flynn, the Cook County Jail’s merry murderesses make quite the impression both during and following their “Cell Block Tango” musical number. The rest of this advance is here.



New Phoenix’s ‘Into the Woods’ mash-up of history’s fav fairy tales

New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Into the Woods is on stage now through April 30. Into the Woods is a mash-up of history’s favorite Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales with a major dose of reality injected by James Lapine (book) and Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) to underscore that our lives rarely take the path we anticipated, our actions impact others in often-unexpected ways and, more often than not, what we think we want most in life isn’t nearly as satisfying or fulfilling as we envision. You will find the rest of this advance here.



New Phoenix’s going out with a flourish with Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’

After producing such memorable shows as Rocky Horror, Young Frankenstein and The Full Monty over the past five years, New Phoenix Theatre in Fort Myers is closing. But it’s going out with a flourish with a production of Stephen Sondheim’s beloved musical Into the Woods. Here’s why you’ll want to see New Phoenix’s final show.



August Wilson’s ‘Piano Lesson’ comes to Alliance April 20-30

On stage in the Foulds Theatre now through April 29 is Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts’ production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. The fifth play of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle that the Alliance has produced, this complex play filled with subplots conveys tremendous significance as it examines slavery and the difficulty of Black Americans seeking economic and social equality.

The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



High time to sell the damn piano and vanquish Sutter’s ghost for good

On the heels of Lab Theater’s production of Antoinette Nwandu’s drama Pass Over comes Theatre Conspiracy’s performance of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. Set during the Depression in Pittsburgh at the height of the Great Migration of southern African-Americans to northern cities, Wilson all-too-accurately captures the plight of blacks during the post-Reconstruction Jim Crow era where the ghost of slavery still operated to keep them “in their place” on the bottom rung of America’s economic hierarchy.

You’ll find the rest of this spotlight here.

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