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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news December 1-7, 2019


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


Next Fort Myers Art Walk is December 6 & 7 (12-05-19)

Art Walk returns to the downtown Fort Myers River District from 6:00-10:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6, and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 7.

New exhibits include exceptional art in a variety of mediums done by a bevy of local artists and some national and international artists as well.  You can meet the artists and talk art at the self-guided Friday night event, which brings together art enthusiasts, collectors and community friends who celebrate the arts each month. The Friday night Art Walk sees First Street closed to traffic. Local artists set up in the street selling their art, and face painting is offered at several locations along First Street.

Saturday Art Walk is a quieter affair with most of the galleries open for examining the art at more leisurely pace. This new and improved version of Art Walk includes 14 galleries and art stops, including:

  • American Legion Veterans Gallery showing Art done by Veterans
  • Art League of Fort Myers – new exhibits each month
  • Arts for ACT Gallery – features three or more art exhibits every month plus co-op members art
  • Bootlegger Alley Gallery – outdoor gallery open only during Art Walk in The Patio de Leon
  • Grand Illusion Gallery – art, tee shirts and more
  • Marc Harris Wildlife Photography – on Jackson Street
  • Miville Art Gallery – art and photography in the Franklin Shops
  • Ollie Mack Gentry Photography – photography  at 2180 West First Street
  • Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center – Main Gallery Exhibit and Capitol Exhibit on the 3rd Floor
  • The Barrel Room – Jazz art – on Bay Street
  • Timeless Gallery – gallery and gift shop featuring steampunk art and more
  • Two Newts Gallery – co-op gallery located off West First Street at 2064 Bayside Parkway
  • Unit A – urban contemporary gallery of internationally-acclaimed artist Marcus Jansen located in Gardener’s Park

As this survey of participating galleries reveals, Fort Myers Art Walk spans the core of downtown Fort Myers and includes the Gardener’s Park area and West First Street. Most of the action is located on First Street, but you can obtain a Fort Myers Art Walk map at any of the galleries that will lead you to all the art venues and Art Walk partners.  “Enjoy cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses, plus live music,” touts the River District Alliance. “Watch live art demos on First Street, eat amazing food, shop the unique local boutiques or just enjoy the atmosphere.”

So whether you prefer the energy of night or the calm of day, there’s something for everyone during this new-and-improved weekend of art that Fort Myers still calls Art Walk. There is free street parking and $5.00 at any of the parking garages.  In season ride the free River District Trolley. Fort Myers Art Walk is a Pet and Family Friendly free event! Fort Myers Art Walk is hosted by The River District Alliance, a non-profit organization. For more information, please visit



Art in the Park returns to downtown Naples on Saturday, December 7 (12-05-19)

On Saturday,  December 7, Art in the Park returns to downtown Naples. Now celebrating 62 years as Naples’ oldest art fair, Art in the Park features Naples Art Association members showcasing a variety of original paintings, photographs, unique décor, wearables, collectibles and gifts. Nestled on Park Street just west of the Naples Art Association, this juried art fair is held the first Saturday of the month November through April. Each art fair features hands-on-art experiences and live demonstrations from skilled artists.



Art Festival at Sanibel Outlets is December 7 & 8 (12-05-19)

The Art Festival at Sanibel Outlets will be held December 7 & 8. Visitors to this Boulderbrook Productions event will stroll the pathways and sidewalks of the Sanibel Outlets 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 shops, and delectable new restaurants, The Sanibel Outlets attracts both locals in Southwest Florida and visitors from around the world. This open-air shopping center is a shopping, dining, and entertainment destination! Event hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days.



Hot Works has two shows in Miami bookending Art Basel (12-05-19)

Hot Works new Miami Fine Art Shows take place December 7 & 8 at Haulover Park/Bill Brid Marina and December 14 & 15 at Regatta Park in Coconut Grove. These boutique-style quality juried fine art and fine craft feature hand-picked artists who are present at the art show. The venues and dates are intended to compliment Art Basel. Hot Works is known locally by art collectors and connoisseurs for both the Estero Fine Art Show (in January at JetBlue Park) and the Naples Fine Art Show (in March).



Deadline for submitting for Naples Downtown Art Show closes December 8 (12-05-18)

Crowd Shot 01 (4)The deadline for applying for admission to Naples Art Association’s Naples Downtown Art Show closes December 8. 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. This festival was rated #34 by Sunshine Artist’s Magazine 2018 ARTIST 200 Best Shows in America.

If you would like to exhibit in this show, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, March 21-224, 2020
  • Festival Hours: Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Accept 250 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $450 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 02/07/20; 50% refund: 02/21/20 (subject to $25 processing fee)
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m., early morning set up only;
  • On street set up in quads: No electrical
  • Application deadline: 12/08/19
  • Jury Process begins: 12/13/19
  • Status Notification: 12/27/19
  • Booth Fee Due: 01/18/20
  • Artist Info Emailed: 02/26/20
  • Wait List Acceptance: 01/18/20
  • Application available online at beginning June 1, 2018



Crayton Cove’s Art After Dark is December 8 (12-05-19)

Art After Dark takes place in December from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 8 at Phil Fisher Gallery & Studio and Guess-Fisher Gallery, which is hosting a “Magic of Christmas” show. Meet the artists while enjoying live music by Jeff Fessenden. Combine your art viewing and listening pleasure with drinks and a sumptuous meal in one of Crayton Cove’s outstanding eateries, Bleu Provence, Chez Boez, or The Dock and Boathouse Restaurant. For more information, please telephone 239-403-8393.



Youth artwork being sought for Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Art Exhibition (12-04-19)

The Alliance for the Arts is partnering with the Dunbar Festival Committee and The Black History Society to sponsor a youth art show celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is open to Lee County students in grades K through 12 and will be displayed on January 20, 2020 at Centennial Park, 2000 W First St, Fort Myers, FL 33901.

Students must select one of three themes that characterize Dr. King’s life and work: love, peace or unity. All entries must be submitted by Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Students must complete the entry form and drop it off along with their artwork to Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd, Ft. Myers 33919 (open Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) or Lee County Black History Society, 1936 Henderson Ave, Ft. Myers 33916 (open Wednesday- Friday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Prizes will be given for each division (K through 6 grade and 7 through 12 grade), including $100 for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place.

This exhibit is sponsored by Attorney Joe North, North Law Firm, P.A.

For more information or to download the submissions form, visit or call 239-939-2787.



Alliance’s ‘Off the Wall’ holiday exhibit runs December 6 through 28 (12-04-19)

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 in 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.

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.

This year’s show runs from December 6 through December 28. The opening reception is scheduled for 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6. For more information, please visit or telephone 239-939-2787.




Alliance accepting submissions for 34th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibit (12-04-19)

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 27, 2020. The show will exhibit March 6-28, with an opening reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 6. A conversational walk and talk through the gallery with the artists and juror will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 7. Please visit for a prospectus or telephone 239-939-2787 for more information.



Gallery 221 Director and Hillsborough Public Art Administrator to judge 2020 All Florida Show (12-04-19)

The Alliance for the Arts 34th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibition runs March 6 through 27, 2020, and Amanda Poss has been tapped to serve as juror for the show. Poss currently holds the position of Gallery Director at Gallery221@Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry campus, where she also manages the Public Art Program, Grounds4Art@HCC, and oversees a growing Permanent Art Collection. She is the former Gallery Director at Blake High School, where she organized and curated exhibits from 2015–2017. Poss also has also held positions at the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa as a Gallery Assistant, Adjunct Professor at the University of Tampa, and Adjunct Professor at Hillsborough Community College.

Amanda received her MA in Art History from the University of South Florida in 2015 specializing in Modern and Contemporary Art, and a BA from the University of Saint Francis, Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2011.



‘WaterWorks’ on view at Naples Art Association through January 5 (12-03-19)

WaterWorks: Artistic Celebration of Our Most Vital Resource is on view now through January 5, 2020 at the Naples Art Association. This exhibition has anything and everything to do with water: boating, fishing, shells, beaches and more. See the exceptional ways artists represent water in various types of media from paintings to pottery, glass, fiber art and more!

The opening reception is coextensive with that for the 53rd Founders Exhibition, which takes place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on December 5.



53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition opens December 6 (12-03-19)

The 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition opens December 6 in the Naples Art Association’s ground floor galleries. It will include 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional artwork by artists residing in the United States and run through January 9, 2020.

The show is being judged by FGCU Gallery Director John Loscuito, American University Professor R.W. Lovejoy and Associate Professor and Lourdes University Art Department Chair Erin Palmer Szavuly. (See below.)

$3,500 in cash awards will be presented to artists during a reception the evening of Thursday, December 5, broken down as follows:

  • $1,000 Best of Show
  • $800 First Place
  • $600 Second Place
  • $400 Juror’s Choice Award
  • $200 Award of Merit (2 awards)
  • $100 Honorable Mention (3 awards)



Spotlight on 53rd Founders Exhibition juror John Loscuito (12-03-19)

John Loscuito will be one of three jurors to judge the Naples Art Association’s 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition. Loscuito is the Florida Gulf Coast University Art Gallery Director, overseeing both the Wasmer Art Gallery in the Arts Complex and the ArtLab in the Library. He also teaches Professional Practices, preparing students for a career after graduation.

Loscuito earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master of Business Administration from Marquette University in Milwaukee. During his six years at FGCU he has curated over eighteen exhibitions featuring nationally recognized artists that explore a broad range of themes and materials.

Prior to coming to FGCU he taught a variety of studio courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He was the Registrar at the Haggerty Museum of Art for seven years as well as an independent curator and producer of art events. He currently serves as an Executive Committee Member on the United Arts Council of Collier County’s Board of Directors.



Spotlight on NAA 53rd Founders Exhibition juror R.W. Lovejoy (12-03-19)

American University Professor R.W. Lovejoy will be one of three jurors to judge the Naples Art Association’s 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition. At American University, Professor Lovejoy teaches courses on graphic design history. He has a Master of Arts degree in art history from the University of South Florida and a PhD in History from the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. He is a founding member of the History of Illustration project and a contributing author to the first textbook on the History of Illustration (2018), for which he wrote chapters on European eighteenth- and nineteenth-century print culture, the prints of José Guadalupe Posada, pulp magazine illustration, the art of alternative periodicals and newspapers, rock posters and underground comix. Dr. Lovejoy has also taught the history of illustration, sequential art, and the history of political art and persuasive imagery for Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.



Spotlight on NAA 53rd Founders Exhibition juror Erin Palmer Szavuly (12-03-19)

Erin Palmer Szavuly will be one of three jurors to judge the Naples Art Association’s 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition. Szavuly is Associate Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. She studied at Bowling Green State University and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing. She has been on the faculty at Lourdes University since 1990.

In addition to teaching painting and drawing, she coordinates the annual Sr. Jane Mary Sorosiak Lecture Series, involving presentations on topics in the arts. “The Sights and Sounds of Judaism” with composer Dr. Samuel Adler and art historian Ruthy Behare Light was the 2019 series topic. Past presentations have included “Censorship in the Arts” with Dr. Brian Kennedy, “Cover Stories” with Thomas Allen, “Digital Photography in the Commercial Market” with Eric Eggly, “Painter and Muralist: Hubert Massey” and “Portrait of an Artist” with Leslie Adams, and “Celebration of Food, Ceramic Objects and Thoughtful Dialog” with Jeni Hansen Gard.

Erin Palmer Szavuly is on the community boards of the Toledo Area Cultural Leaders and The Toledo Federation of Art Societies (past President). She is a past President of the Medici Circle Advisory Council at Bowling Green State University and is a member of the Athena Art Society, the Toledo areas oldest women’s invitational art organization. She curates exhibitions at the Canticle Center Gallery at Lourdes University and has more than 15 year’s gallery experience working with the former Spectrum Gallery at Toledo Botanical Gardens and the Lourdes Gallery Loft.



Naples Art has issued a call to artists for ‘Let Freedom Ring’ (12-03-19)

From ancient times to the present, women throughout the world have participated in the visual arts in diverse and stimulating ways as creators and innovators, patrons and collectors or significant contributors. Let FREEDOM Ring! will shine a bright light on the contributions of women in the visual arts. The exhibition will show April 3-23, 2020 in the Frederick O. Watson Gallery, and the deadline for applying is 5:00 p.m. on February 6.

You will find the full prospectus here.



Naples Art looking for participants in ‘Little Things’ exhibition (12-03-19)

Each year, Naples Art holds a small works show. Called Little Things: An Exhibition Celebrating Small Works, the show celebrates works of art 60 inches and below.

Miniature art has been made for thousands of years. In many of the world’s civilizations there was a fascination with creating in small scale. Ancient Greeks adorned their walls with small murals while coins and rings often bore engraved portraits. In Persia, the shahs maintained the best artists of the day to paint the court and illustrate copies of the Koran and other great books, both religious and secular.

Monks in the Middle Ages embellished manuscripts with delicate illuminations and bordered them with a red lead pigment called ‘minium’ from which the word ‘miniature’ later evolved.

The Elizabethan era was noted for its exquisite miniature portraits on vellum and later, ivory and evokes memories of names such as Holbein, Hilliard, Oliver and others. Many Dutch and Flemish artists painted small-scale works in order to do focused studies on specific painting techniques and subjects. Frans Hals’ striking 6 ½” by 5” Portrait of Samuel Ampzing, for example, was used as a study for a noted reproductive print. Often, Dutch and Flemish painters created small self-portraits that they could use as “calling cards” with potential patrons.

Among some of the most famous and valuable small scales paintings from this period are two by Rembrandt (Self-Portrait at 26 and Portrait of Old Man with Beard), two by Vermeer (Girl in Red Hat and Young Woman Seated at a Virginal) and Anthony van Dyck (Portrait of Nicholas Rockox).

Miniature art fell out of vogue with the advent of photography early in the 20th century more than a hundred years ago. But it has experienced a resurgence in the past twenty years among artists, collectors, curators and art museums around the globe.

The White House, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Astolat Dollhouse Castle and museums around the world have collections of miniature paintings, drawings, original prints and etchings, and sculpture. Perhaps the most intriguing miniature exhibition of renowned American artists sits today on the lunar surface. Fifty years ago this past November 19, astronauts Alan L. Bean and Richard F. Gordon left behind a ceramic wafer

Southwest Florida has seen numerous exhibitions of miniature artworks, including ELEVEN: The John Erickson Museum of Art Retrospective at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery in 2014 (featuring galleries only slightly larger than a shoebox conceived in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp’s Boite en Valise) and the upcoming small scale art show at DAAS CO-OP Gallery in Fort Myers’ Gardner Park.

To participate in Naples Art’s Little Things exhibition, deliver one exhibit-ready artwork on January 6, 2020 between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The exhibition will be on display January 14 – February 16, 2020 in Gallery 104.



Naples Art will be ‘Daydream’ing in April and May (12-03-19)

Daydreams: Fantastical Wanderings of the Brain will be exhibited by Naples Art in Gallery 104 between April 7 and May 26, 2020. The possibilities are endless when artists use daydreams as their inspiration. Mind wandering, fantasy and spontaneous thoughts all lend themselves to some very creative artwork. If you’d like to participate in this show, then please deliver one exhibit-ready artwork on March 30, 2020 between 12 noon and 4:00 p.m.



Sheldon Fine Art returns to the beach with hyperrealist paintings of F. Pedrosa (12-03-19)

As winter weather blankets most of the northern states, Naples’ Sheldon Fine Art is hosting an exhibition that takes viewers Back to the Beach. Among the artists being featured is hyperrealist Fernando Saenz Pedrosa.

Pedrosa’s skill as a hyperrealist is unmatched. Like an architect, he builds a scene from the foundations of drawing, adding color to bring his forms to life without revealing the painter’s brush-stroke. Pedrosa employs his painterly skills to portray human expression and emotion in the most natural way. Like a photograph, the viewer is able to capture a glimpse of a moment as if the world was standing still. Pedrosa is gifted in creating detail. His studies in the effects of light give his viewers the ability to capture the most vital hours of the day.

While the focus is always on the expression of mood and emotion, Pedrosa varies the backdrop behind the figures he paints. In addition to tranquil beach scenes, he includes mountain streams, vineyards and ancient architecture. But among his most interesting and engaging scenes is a series depicting a lone woman waiting at the station for an incoming passenger train.

Born in Palencia, Spain, Pedrosa actually started out intending to become an architect. But after attending the prestigious Architectural School of Madrid from 1965-1970, he became so captivated by the art of painting that he decided to dedicate his career and life to it.

Sheldon Fine Art is located at 460 5th Avenue South in Naples. For more information, please call 239-649-6255.



The Alliance Youth Theatre will produce ‘Children of Eden JR.’ December 6-8 (12-02-19)

Adam, Eve, Noah and the “Father” who created them deal with the headstrong, cataclysmic actions of their respective children. As generations pass, faith and loyalty are tested, but the bonds of family and love remain strong. Based on the story of Genesis, the age-old conflict of parents and children takes the stage in a new adaptation of Stephen Schwartz’s epic and heartfelt musical.

Performances will be December 6 & 7 at 7:30 p.m. and December 7 & 8 at 2:00 p.m.



Theatre Conspiracy’s 21st Annual New Play Contest is December 14 (12-02-19)

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts will hold its 21st Annual New Play Contest on Saturday, December 14. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception in the gallery with food, wine and drink. At 7:30, Theatre Conspiracy will conduct readings from its top three finalists. Following the last reading, the audience chooses the winner. That play will receive the Janet & Bruce Bunch New Play Contest Award and be produced during the company’s 2019-2020 season.

The New Play Contest provides opportunity for audiences to get involved with the production process itself, rather than the end result. The last three winners were Engagement Rules by Rick Orloff, Repossessed by Greg Lam, and Noli Timeri by Jared Michael Delaney.



Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance announces New Play Contest finalists (12-02-19)

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts has announced the three finalists for its 21st Annual New Play Contest:

  • Love and Communication by Jim Christy,
  • The Wild Boar by Daniel Damiano and
  • The Chechens by Phillip Smith.

Go here for the remainder of this announcement.



Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance’s 21st Annual New Play Contest finalists (12-02-19)

Here are Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts’ 21st Annual New Play Contest finalists:

Love and Communication by Jim Christy

Samuel Holden is by all accounts, a spectacularly beautiful child. His parents, school administrators, therapists and lawyers fighting about the best way to treat his autism all agree on that. And practically nothing else.

His father Rob will do anything necessary – anything — to get Samuel into a private school with a years-long waiting list. For his mother Megan, the answer is a relatively new therapy patented by a charismatic doctor.

Go here for the rest of this post.



‘Mountaintop’ drama set in Lorraine Hotel night before Dr. King’s assassination (12-02-19)

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts is bringing The Mountaintop to the Foulds Theatre boards January 16-26. Written by Katori Hall and directed by Rick Sebastian, The Mountaintop is a two-person drama about the last day of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The entire play is set in the Lorraine Hotel room, the evening before his assassination. King is alone, trying to create yet another powerful speech. When he orders a cup of coffee from room service, a mysterious woman arrives, bringing much more than a late-night beverage. What follows is a reflective, often funny, often touching conversation in which Dr. King examines his achievements, his failures and his unfinished dreams.



He was Frederick Douglass, now Derek Lively will portray Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in ‘Mountaintop’ (12-02-19)

Since relocating to Fort Myers from New York City in 2015, Lively has starred as Walter Lee Younger in Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance’s production of Lorraine Hanberry’s A Raisin in the Sun following a strong performance as Canewell in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. But perhaps his most memorable role was that of Frederick Douglass in The Agitators. Now he will portray Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in The Mountaintop, a loving, touching humorous portrayal of the man behind the legend.

For more on Derek’s staged credits, go here. And to learn more about Derek’s process and intentionality, read Derek’s May, 2018 interview.



Sonya McCarter to play Camae opposite Derek Lively in ‘Mountaintop’ (12-02-19)

Sonya McCarter is an actor, director, an instructor in the Alliance for the Arts’ CHANGE (Communities Harnessing the Arts to Nurture and Grow Equity) program, and the Alliance’s Community Engagement Coordinator. Her acting credits include the part of Corryn Fell in Gideon’s Knot, Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, appearances in two episodes of the television show Burn Notice and the film The Florida Project. And in her next role, she’ll play Camae opposite Derek Lively in Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop.

For more on Sonya’s theatrical credits, read here.



Broadway Palm presenting McCleary-written and directed ‘Sounds of Music’ (12-02-19)

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is presenting Sounds of Christmas now through December 25, 2019. This special show was written, directed and choreographed by Broadway Palm’s own Amy Marie McCleary.

Sounds of Christmas is a joyous musical revue that is centered around Poindexter the elf and his last-minute shuffle to create a musical playlist for Santa’s Christmas Eve flight. The production embraces holiday music and memories in a holly jolly celebration that highlights what makes the holidays truly meaningful. You’ll hear classics along with more contemporary songs you know and love including Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, Little Drummer Boy, All I Want For Christmas Is You, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, Run Run Rudolph and more.

And this holiday extravaganza wouldn’t be complete without a visit from the big guy himself…Santa Claus! This fun-filled celebration is perfect for all ages and will remind you why this is the most wonderful time of the year!

“I was inspired by my own Christmas traditions with my family and friends,” says McCleary. “So many of our Christmas memories are colored by the music of the season and I wanted to highlight all those special tunes in unique ways.”

The cast is comprised of many making their Broadway Palm debut along with audience favorites including newlyweds Troy Bruchwalski and Katherine Walker Hill, whose love story began right on the Broadway Palm stage during Irving Berlin’s White Christmas in December 2016.

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are $48 to $73 with children and group 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.



Broadway Palm’s ‘Sounds of Christmas’ stars Katherine Walker Hill (12-02-19)

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is presenting Sounds of Christmas now through December 25, 2019. This special show was written, directed and choreographed by Broadway Palm’s own Amy Marie McCleary and stars Troy Bruchwalski and Katherine Walker Hill.

Most Southwest Florida theater lovers know McCleary through her work as Prather Entertainment Group’s resident director/choreographer. In that capacity, she has staged more than 50 productions. Among Amy’s favorite director/choreographer credits are Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. It’s a show that not only worked its magic on the audiences who saw it, but on Troy Bruchwalski and Katherine Walker Hill, who played Bob Wallace and Betty Haynes. Wallace and Haynes fall in love at the end of the story and, presumably, go on to entertain together and live happily ever after.

Bruchwalski and Hill fell in love in real life during White Christmas and went on to marry. Now they are entertaining together. They were in Clue the Musical together and are now playing on-stage husband and wife in Sounds of Christmas.

In addition to White Christmas, Katherine’ extensive stage credits include Janet Van De Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone (Maples Repertory Theatre, Macon, MO), Glinda in The Wizard of Oz (where her performance was called “refreshing … definitely the performance of the night”), Show Boat (ensemble/understudy at Prather’s Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre), Lettie in Something’s Afoot (Dutch Apple), Evita (ensemble/Broadway Palm), Miss Scarlet in Clue the Musical (at both Broadway Palm and Dutch Apple), Mary Hatch in A Wonderful Life (at both Broadway Palm and Dutch Apple), Estelle Genovese and Molly MacGregor in The Full Monty, and Peggy Jones in The Andrews Brothers in the Off-Broadway Palm.

Kat is a proud Tennessean, a Webster Conservatory graduate and over-the-moon aunt. Besides Mary Bailey in A Wonderful Life, her favorite roles include Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, Shiela in A Chorus Line, and Elaine in Arsenic & Old Lace.



Broadway Palm’s ‘Sounds of Christmas’ stars Troy Bruchwalski (12-02-19)

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is presenting Sounds of Christmas now through December 25, 2019. This special show was written, directed and choreographed by Broadway Palm’s own Amy Marie McCleary and stars Troy Bruchwalski and Katherine Walker Hill.

Bruchwalski’s credits include Monty Python’s Spamalot National Tour 2018-2019 (Sir Dennis Galahad, The Black Knight, Prince Herbert’s Father), Aldolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone (Maples Repertory Theatre in Macon MO), Gaylor Ravenal in Show Boat (Prather Dutch Apple Theatre), Nigel Rancour in Something’s Afoot (Prather Dutch Apple Theatre), Bob Wallace in Iriving Berlin’s White Christmas (Dutch Apple & Broadway Palm), the Phantom in Yeston & Kopit’s Phantom (Dutch Apple & Broadway Palm).

Other roles include Father in Ragtime’s national tour, King Arthur/Sir Lionel in the national tour of Camelot, Freddy-Eynsford Hill in My Fair Lady, Javert in Les Miserables, Vice Principal Douglas Panch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Shrek in Shrek: The Musical. He has also appeared in The World Goes Round (for Interplayers Theatre Company), The Last Romance (for The Old Creamery Theatre Company), A Chorus Line (for Thingimajig Theatre Company), Anyone Can Whistle (Lakeland Civic Theatre), Tecumseh! (for Scioto Society) and Magic Flute (for Talespinners Children’s Theatre).

Troy holds a Bachelor of Music in Opera from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is currently pursuing his NASM Personal Training certification. He plays piano, guitar, tuba and trumpet, and is versed in tango, waltz and beginner tap.



Spotlight on ‘Sounds of Christmas’ writer, director and choreographer Amy Marie McCleary (12-02-19)

Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is presenting Sounds of Christmas now through December 25, 2019. This special show was written, directed and choreographed by Broadway Palm’s own Amy Marie McCleary.

“I was inspired by my own Christmas traditions with my family and friends,” says McCleary about the show. “So many of our Christmas memories are colored by the music of the season and I wanted to highlight all those special tunes in unique ways.”

Amy Marie McCleary is a multi-faceted musical theater artist who works as an actor, director and choreographer in local and regional theater. Most Southwest Florida theater lovers know McCleary more through her work as Prather Entertainment Group’s resident director/choreographer. In that capacity, she has staged more than 50 productions. Among Amy’s favorite director/choreographer credits are Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. So it’s not surprising that she’d be inspired to write and produce a Christmas show of her own.

Amy’s overall body of work is as prestigious as it prodigious. Go here to see Amy full theatrical profile.



‘Christmas Carol Live Radio Play’ in Off Broadway Palm through Christmas Day (12-02-19)

The Off Broadway Palm Theatre presents A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play playing now through December 25, 2019. The Charles Dickens classic comes alive on stage, but with a twist! The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his discovery of the true meaning of Christmas is reimagined and told as a 1940s radio broadcast complete with vintage commercials, live sound effects and musical underscoring. The small cast brings dozens of characters to life as three ghosts take Scrooge on a thrilling journey through Christmas past, present and future.

The Off Broadway Palm is an intimate 100-seat theatre, located in the main lobby of Broadway Palm. Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Ticket prices range from $42 to $62 with discounts available for children and groups 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.



Spotlight on ‘Christmas Carol Live Radio Play’ actor Rachael Endrizzi (12-02-19)

Rachael Endrizzi is part of the cast of Off Broadway Palm Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play. She’s an actor, director and teaching artist whose resume includes both theater and film. As an educator, Endrizzi is the former Director of Education for the Florida Repertory Theatre, where she founded the Florida Rep Conservatory and ACT UP: Theatre for Students on the Autism Spectrum in addition to running Southwest Florida’s leading performing arts training program and a professional touring theater.

Go here to access Rachael’s long and impressive resume.



Funny Shorts LIVE! returning to Center for Performing Arts on December 13 (12-02-19)

Time travel, invisibility, the first interracial gay snow globe couple, sexy role playing and a helicopter Jewish mother-in-law will be just some of the topics covered in the eclectic and hilarious short play collection Funny Shorts LIVE! at Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs’ Moe Auditorium and Film Center on December 13.

Funny Shorts LIVE! is an extension of the Center’s wildly popular Stage IT! 10-Minute Play Festival, an annual competition and book publication that draws playwrights from around the world. With performances scheduled throughout the year, this Funny Shorts LIVE! event will feature playwrights from New York, California, Michigan, Maine and Florida.

In keeping with the Center’s mission of featuring local playwrights, Bonita Springs’ Leslie Sanderson will see her play Invisible presented with the other comic gems. Her play explores the life of an aging woman who is figuratively and literally becoming invisible to everyone—including her husband and grown child.

Racial identity and relations are covered in biting satirical fashion in both The Snow Globe by Lynn Aylward, which examines the life of the first interracial gay snow globe couple, and the play Schnitzels and Noodles by singularly-named playwright Chalmers, in which a black couple must use their “white voice” to encourage the Boston police to show up for an emergency.

Love is explored in That’s Amore by Arnold Kane in which a couple spice up their marriage with role play only to achieve “interruptus” from the babysitter, while James Pfrehm’s Yes vs. No explore the absurd complexity of today’s relationship issues. Greg Atkins’ Tempus Fugit is a fun, fast-paced time travel comedy in which a couple is visited by a Future Self trying to stop their impending engagement.

Other plays include Kitty Dubin’s Cutting It Close about a young interfaith couple facing the Jewish mother-in-law over how to raise their new baby, and Bruce Guelden’s Thanks for Holding, directed by our own featured local playwright, Leslie Sanderson.

A team of directors is always assembled for this production. The team this time includes Frank Blocker, Todd Irby, Gary Obeldobel, Luis Pages, Toni Palumbo and Marilee Warner.   The cast will include Felicity Benson, Carolyn Bronson, Kevin Buja, Amanda Carrion, Leeanne Chiaramonte, Don Fox, Alberto Gayoso, Melissa Hennig, Nance Jones, Diana Lett, Rita Meehan, Skyler Moore, Lena Neal, Gary Obeldobel, Luis Pages, Sean Pritchard, Abby Reed, Anne Reed, Kevin Sandel, Leslies Sanderson, Annie Stout and Jennifer Valiente.

Funny Shorts LIVE! has become a popular hit with area residents, so it is suggested you get your tickets in advance of the performance. For more information, please telephone 239-495-8989 or visit

Funny Shorts LIVE! takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 13 in the Moe Auditorium & Film Center at 10150 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34135. Tickets are $20 General Admission (with 10% off for current CFABS members). For more information, please telephone 239-495-8989.

Best of all, wearing your own funny shorts is completely optional. Encouraged, but optional.



CFABS Youth Players to perform ‘Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr.’ (12-02-19)

Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. will be performed by the CFABS Youth Players in the Hinman Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, December 19 – 21, with a 2:00 p.m. matinuee on Saturday, December 21.

Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens Jr. is an adaptation of book #44 of Mary Pope Osborne’s award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House book series. The magic tree house whisks Jack and Annie back in time to the foggy streets of Victorian London, where they meet the famous well-off author, Charles Dickens, who has a severe case of writer’s block. Jack and Annie also witness the hardships faced by the poor, and their efforts to help only land them in prison. Mr. Dickens rescues Jack and Annie, and they, in turn, help him escape the sad memories that haunt him. In the process, they inspire Mr. Dickens to write one of the greatest holiday stories of all time.



Upcoming staged readings auditions at Center for Performing Arts Bonita (12-02-19)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs will be conducting staged readings at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 10, 2020. It will conduct auditions for them at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17 and 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18. Auditions will be cold readings from scripts as assigned at the audition. Although walk-ins are always welcome, you can request a preferred date and time in advance via email at



Spectacular Christmas Revue coming to Cultural Park Theatre December 11-15 (12-02-19)

Cultural Park Theatre’s 2019 holiday show is one of its most anticipated productions. Once again this year, the theatre is taking the season’s favorite holiday songs, adding some pop music and sprinkling in a cast of children, adults and Santa Claus. It’s the tried and true recipe for a most “spectacular” Christmas show! It runs December 11 through the 15, so save the dates.

Cultural Park Theatre is located at 528 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral, FL 33990. for more information, please visit or telephone 239-772-5862.



Cultural Park conducting open casting calls for ‘Urinetown’ (12-02-19)

Cultural Park Theater has announced open auditions for the musical comedy Urinetown, which will be performed on stage February 28 through March 8 at the Cultural Park Theater, 528 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral, Florida. The casting call takes place from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 & 8, and is open to anyone 16 years of age or older.

Touchingly honest, Urinetown provides a fresh perspective on one of America’s greatest art forms. The musical is an hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theater itself.

You can access the remainder of this announcement here.



‘Urinetown’ audition Q&As (12-02-19)

Cultural Park Theater has announced open auditions for the musical comedy Urinetown, which will be performed on stage February 28 through March 8 at the Cultural Park Theater, 528 Cultural Park Blvd. in Cape Coral, Florida. The casting is 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 & 8, and is open to anyone 16 years of age or older.

In advance of the casting call, the theater has prepared some Q&As. They’re reproduced here, along with one of ARTSWFL’s own:

Q1: What’s the show about?

A: Don’t let the title put you off. By the end of this show performers and audiences alike will be laughing so hard they’ll … fall off their chairs. Urinetown is, in fact, a satire of almost every musical you can think of. Some say that Urinetown is the most irreverent show you’ll ever seen and that’s probably why it’s such a big hit with high school students. The story takes place in a time of desperation and desolation. A massive water shortage (caused by a twenty year drought) means that private toilets have been outlawed and the public now have to pay “for the privilege to pee.” These public amenities, as they’re known, are run by the evil Urine Good Company (or UGC) headed up by the villainous Caldwell B. Cladwell. If citizens refuse to pay the fee, they’re sent to the infamous Urinetown.

Go here for the rest of the Q&As.




‘An Inspector Calls’ opens on December 3 in Florida Rep’s Arcade Theatre (12-02-19)

Florida Repertory Theatre brings J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls to the historic Arcade Theatre December 6-22. The run also includes four nearly sold-out previews Dec. 3-5. Friday night’s opening gala features a free champagne reception and light hors d’oeuvres and desserts in the Historic Arcade Theatre’s lobby beginning at 7:00 p.m.

An Inspector Calls takes you, the audience, down a dazzling, dark road filled with twists and turns that will awake the senses. First performed in 1945, this British thriller will resonate with fans of Agatha Christie, television’s The Crown and Downton Abbey, and serves as a reminder to us all that poor behavior may be met with unfortunate consequences and that being responsible to each other is a genuine display of our thankfulness.

The play takes us back in time to the start of the 20th century when England’s newly formed economic elite flexed their muscles to gain even more riches and political power. It’s 1912, and a festive dinner party is taking place at the home of a wealthy British family. Suddenly, the gaieties are interrupted by a mysterious inspector investigating the death of a young woman. As questions multiply and guilt mounts, the family’s entanglement in the affair shatters the foundations of their comfortable lives – and challenges us to examine our actions. Set in 1912 England and written in the aftermath of World War II, this chilling morality play is both a plea for a more just society and a warning of what’s to come if we fail to attain it. More relevant now than ever, this is a must-see for a whole new generation of theatergoers. The Daily Telegraph called the play “superbly tense and breathtaking!”

“Florida Rep has never done anything quite like this play,” says Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen. “It’s a classic thriller, and it’s a morality play. Not only will audiences be on the edge of their seats with the twists and turns, but they will see how the characters’ actions have incredible repercussions they never intended. This play is a turn-of-the-century cautionary tale and calls on all of us to make the world a better place. It shows us what can happen when we forget to be kind to one another, but at the same time, it will keep you guessing.”

An Inspector Calls features an all-star cast led by Florida Rep Ensemble Members Kate Hampton, William McNulty, V Craig Heidenreich and Brendan Powers, alongside New York actors Cole Francum and Ellyn Heald, with Florida Rep intern Bailey Tyler, making their Florida Rep debuts.

Hampton and McNulty appeared most recently appeared in the season-opening farce, Ken Ludwig’s A Fox on the Fairway.

Heidenreich returns to the stage after appearances in Twelve Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird, and Powers returns after appearing in last season’s Hay Fever and Million Dollar Quartet. Newcomers Francum and Heald make appearances at Florida Rep after extensive work in regional theatres, and Bailey Tyler makes her mainstage season debut after her work in Florida Rep’s Theatre for Young Audiences Series as one of the company’s 2019-2020 interns.

Frequent Florida Rep guest artist, Michael Marotta, directs the production after recent appearances in last season’s Tenderly: the Rosemary Clooney Musical and Cabaret in 2018. Marotta’s work as a director at Florida Rep includes recent critical and box office successes Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End and I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. Marotta leads an expert creative team including set designer Dennis C. Maulden (Hay Fever), Ensemble costume designer Stefanie Genda (Million Dollar Quartet), lighting designer Tyler M. Perry (Cabaret), sound designer Katie Lowe (Always…Patsy Cline), and stage manager Phill Madore (Florida Rep debut).

Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Tickets start at $55/$49 for regular performances and $35/$29 for previews. Tickets are available online at and through the box office at 239-332-4488. Box office hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Again this season, Florida Rep’s parking lot will open two hours before each performance and offers guests FREE PARKING across the street from the Arcade Theatre.



Florida Rep bringing ‘Alabaster’ to the ArtStage Studio (12-02-19)

Alabaster by Audrey Cefaly (photo 2) opens December 20 in Florida Rep’s ArtStage Studio Theatre. The opening part of a 10-theatre National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Chosen from Florida Rep’s 2018 PlayLab Festival of New Works, this darkly comic Southern drama about love, art and the power of women won the David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize.

“Florida Rep’s is committed to developing new works and nurturing playwrights,” said Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen, “and Audrey Cefaly’s new play is one of the most exciting new works to cross my desk in a while. This play is both hopeful and heartbreaking and features some of your favorite Florida Rep ensemble members. We are honored to give this play its first of ten Rolling World Premiere productions and to welcome the playwright into the creative process. Alabaster is not a play to miss this season.”

Only June and her pet goat Weezy live to tell the tale when a tornado sweeps through town leaving a wake of death and destruction. In the aftermath of the storm, a prominent photographer visits to take pictures of the reclusive folk artist’s scars. Both are forced to reconcile the pain of loss and recovery. This all-female drama explores the meaning and purpose of art and the struggle of the lost and tortured souls that seek to create it.

“National New Play Network is delighted to be supporting this play through a record-breaking ten Rolling World Premiere productions in the 12 months following the opening in Fort Myers,” said Nan Barnett, who is the National New Play Network Executive Director. “Florida Rep led the creation of this partnership, and their advocacy for the play and playwright will be celebrated not only in Fort Myers and the other nine cities but also during the many other productions that we are sure will follow.”

Alabaster features ensemble members Rachel Burttram and Sara Morsey alongside Dana Brooke and Carolyn Messina, both making their Florida Rep debuts.

Burttram returns to the ArtStage after her recent work filming The Right Stuff for National Geographic which airs in early 2020. Her recent Florida Rep credits include Steel Magnolias, Hay Fever, and Disgraced, as well as the PlayLab reading of Alabaster in 2018.

Sara Morsey returns after recent appearances in Steel Magnolias and Shear Madness. A folk artist herself, Morsey will create over sixty pieces of original outsider art for the production. They’ll be on display at the Arts for ACT Gallery across the hall from the ArtStage Studio during January.

Alabama native Carolyn Messina makes her Florida Rep debut on the production but has a long history working with the playwright in many capacities. She’s appeared in Cefaly’s works before Alabaster, and as a dramaturg she has collaborated with Cefaly on multiple projects, including Alabaster.

Dana Brooke is a New York actress making her Florida Rep debut in the production, and is a Company Member at B Street Theatre in Sacramento, where she appeared in the National New Play Network Showcase reading of the play in 2018.

Florida Rep ensemble member and Associate Artistic Director Jason Parrish directs.

Alabaster features an expert creative team, including ensemble set designer Richard Crowell (Fences), costume designer Charlene Gross (Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical), lighting and projections designer Rob Siler (Damascus), sound designer Katie Lowe (Damascus), and stage manager Ruth Kramer (Florida Rep debut).

Alabaster by Audrey Cefaly is generously sponsored by Emily Eason and media sponsor, Florida Weekly.

Alabaster plays in the ArtStage Studio Theatre to January 26, 2020 with discounted previews Dec. 17-19. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets start at $55/$49 for regular performances and $35/$29 for previews. Tickets are available online at and through the box office at 239-332-4488. Box office hours are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Again this season, Florida Rep’s parking lot will open 2 hours before each performance and offers guests FREE PARKING across the street from the Arcade Theatre.

N.B.: Alabaster contains strong language and brief nudity.



‘Night in Shangri-Ooh-La-La’ wins Critic’s Choice and Audience Fav awards (12-02-19)

On November 23, Lab Theater hosted its 8th Annual 24-Hour Playwriting Contest. For the only the second time over that span, a single entry received both Critic’s Choice and Audience Favorite honors. That distinction went to Aricka Shuck for A Night in Shangri-Ooh-La-La.

After heavily attended and critically acclaimed productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Legend of Georgia McBride, it only made sense for The Lab to make burlesque the theme for this year’s playwriting project. And as in Georgia McBride, A Night in Shangri-Ooh-La-La takes place backstage in the performers’ dressing room, where the club owner/manager and a veteran drag performer are getting to know a young girl who wants to become part of the show.

Go here for the rest of this story.



Lab’s 24-Hour Playwriting theme paid tribute to burlesque this year (12-02-19)

Although Aricka Shuck’s A Night in Shangri-Ooh-La-La took Critic’s Choice and Audience Favorite honors at this year’s Lab Theater 24-Hour Playwriting Project, every playwright who entered the competition was truly a winner.

Besides Shuck, the event’s other three playwrights each produced fun and interesting 17-20 minute comedies that embraced this year’s overarching theme: burlesque.

Candice Sanzari wrote Bare All, which featured a Ukranian spy pretending to be a corn-fed, middle west, apple-pie wholesome, All-American girl who’s actually infiltrating a struggling theater that’s performing burlesque without the proper certifications.

Go here for all the details.



Florida premiere of ‘Let Nothing You Dismay’ opens at Lab on December 6 (12-02-19)

The Florida premiere of Let Nothing You Dismay opens December 6 at The Laboratory Theater of Florida.

Set during Christmas in a hospital waiting room, this fast-paced comedy focuses on a couple about to adopt their first child… and then the entire extended family decides to make a surprise visit.

Eight talented comedic actors portray 22 different roles. The play features Amanda Collins, David Cooley, Danielle Channell, Scott Davis, Kristen Wilson, Todd Lyman, Holly Zammerilla and Ken Johnson.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

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



Spotlight on ‘Nothing You Dismay’ actor Danielle Channell (12-02-19)

Talented comedic actor Danielle Channell is part of the Let Nothing You Dismay cast. Past credits include Sheri Steinberg-Johnes in Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is …., producer Julia Budder in It’s Only a Play, Broadway producer Elsa Von Grossenkneuten in The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s and the beautiful, charming and talented Meg McGrath in Beth Henley’s Southern Gothic tragi-comedy, Crimes of the Heart.

Go here for Danielle’s full profile.



Spotlight on ‘Nothing You Dismay’ actor Todd Lyman (12-02-19)

Todd Lyman is part of the cast of Let Nothing You Dismay. Todd’s credits credits include Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, multiple roles (Customers 3, 6 and 9) in Lab Theater’s production of Zalman Velvel’s farce D.M.V., Teddy in Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is …, theater critic Ira Drew in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play (which marked Todd’s Lab Theater debut), Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Enoch Snow in Carousel, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Ivan in Anton Chekhov’s The Marriage Proposal.



Spotlight on ‘Nothing You Dismay’ actor Kenneth Bradley Johnson (12-02-19)

Ken Johnson is part of the Let Nothing You Dismay cast. Born in Puerto Rico one month before the Cuban missile crisis, Ken Johnson got his start in community theater performing with his dad at the tender age of 8. He attended the John Houseman’s Conservatory of Acting program at the University of Southern California and went on to a wild career in acting that was denoted by four national tours, two European tours, and more than 3,000 hours performing in the lead in Me and My Girl, 14 productions of West Side Story and 9 productions of The Will Rogers Follies.

Go here for Ken’s full profile.



Lab featuring actor Wayne Morton in December 9 ‘Public Access Series’ (12-02-19)

The Laboratory Theater of Florida will be hosting professional movie and television actor Wayne Morton at its next “Public Access Series,” which is moderated by Randall Kenneth Jones.

The Public Access Series is an Actor’s Studio-style Q&A discussion event featuring people of note in our area that can offer tips and stories from their careers in entertainment, with great humor and insight. Wayne Morton is a professional comedian and actor who has been seen on MASH, Dukes of Hazzard, Mork and Mindy, Happy Days, Private Benjamin, and Newhart, as well as being the Meineke muffler spokesman. He’s been seen in various musicals on Broadway, Las Vegas, and in Naples, Fl. He worked extensively with Jack Benny and many other incredible actors. He will share his interesting life with its twists and turns and time spent with some of the great names in entertainment over the past 40 years.

The Public Access Series with Wayne Morton will be on Monday, December 9 at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.00 for members of the theater and $20.00 for non-members, and is included in the season pass. Group rates and membership packages are available upon request. Tickets are available to purchase on or by calling the box office at 239-218-0481. For additional savings, guests may purchase a 2019-2020 Season Pass.



‘Inspecting Carol’ opening at New Phoenix on December 6 (12-02-19)

Inspecting Carol opens at New Phoenix Theatre on December 6. What’s it about? Well, think A Christmas Carol meets The Government Inspector meets Noises Off.

To be more precise, Inspecting Carol is a behind-the-scenes farce about a financially-strapped third-rate theater company struggling to put on its annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The costumes reek and don’t fit. And the self-absorbed actor playing Scrooge is trying to rewrite the play. (The audacity!) But worst of all, the company is on the verge of collapse. The company only managed to secure half their expected subscribers and is dangerously close to losing its NEA funding.

You’ll find the rest of this advance here.

And go here for ‘Inspecting Carol’s play dates, times and ticket info.



Spotlight on ‘Inspecting Carol’ director Joey Bostic (12-02-19)

Inspecting Carol opens at New Phoenix Theatre on December 6. Making his directorial debut is Joey Bostic, whose portrayal of Dr. Frank-N-Furter for New Phoenix in The Rocky Horror Show is still a hot topic of discussion among local theater goers. “I did student directing a Creative Theatre Workshop [a community based non-profit organization that encourages and promotes an interest in the theatrical arts by providing workshops and producing full-length musical productions in order to educate, entertain, and enrich the community], but there I was working alongside Michelle Hamstra.” But he’s more than equipped to take the reins on this show.

Go here to view all of his stage credits.



Spotlight on ‘Inspecting Carol’ actor Sam Bostic (12-02-19)

Sam Bostic will be playing the role of Walter E. Parsons in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol. Some of Sam’s acting credits include Riff Raff in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, Joe Hargity in the world premiere of Zalman Velvel’s D.M.V. (Lab Theater), Lenny in Neil Simon’s Rumors (New Phoenix Theatre), Pippin in Pippin, Lucas in The Addams Family, Elegba in In the Red and Brown Water, Naychem in In Flight: The Story of Sabine Van Dam (for Gulfshore Playhouse) and Adam in Miss Nelson is Missing. Go here for Sam’s full profile.



Spotlight on ‘Inspecting Carol’ actor Carolyn England (12-02-19)

Carolyn England will appear in the role of Dorothy Tree Hapgood in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol. Carolyn’s previous stage credits include Rose in Engagement Rules and Lucy Stickler ( the long-suffering wife of a septuagenarian with a roving eye) in Murderers (both for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts) and Ivan Menchell’s The Cemetery Club and Jack Neary’s The Porch (both for Cape Coral Cultural Park).



Spotlight on ‘Inspecting Carol’ actor Cindi Heimberg (12-02-19)

Cindi Heimberg will be playing the part of Artistic Director Zorah Bloch in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol. Previous credits include Marvin’s Room (nursing home administrator), Lavonda Dupree in Del Shores black comedy Sordid Lives, the neighbor in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Parody of the Horror, Play On!, Deathtrap (where she played zany psychic Helga ten Dorp), Rumors, Barefoot in the Park, Men are Dogs, Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s, and Last of the Red-Hot Lovers.



Spotlight on ‘Inspecting Carol’ actor John D. Strealy (12-02-19)

John D. Strealy will be playing the part of Wayne Wellacre in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol. He was last seen on the New Phoenix stage in the part of Ernie Cusack in Neil Simon’s Rumors. An aspiring young actor, John’s credits include klepto-director Sir Frank Finger in It’s Only a Play, Jason Shelburne in Body & Sold and Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, in which he had a break-out performance as the pompous, pedantic and overbearingly pretentious steward, who becomes the butt of a cruel practical joke

You can access his entire profile here.



TNP’s ‘She Loves Me’ perfect Christmas love story (12-02-19)

She Loves Me is playing in Blackburn Hall at The Naples Players through December 22. Winner of multiple Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, Laurence Olivier Awards and Critics Circle Awards, this is the perfect performance to usher in the Holiday Season.

Regarded by many as “The Perfect Christmas Love Story,” this heartfelt tale follows Amalia and Georg, two feuding clerks in a European parfumerie during the 1930s who secretly find solace in their anonymous romantic pen pals, little knowing that their respective correspondents are actually each other!

With a melodic and witty score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) and a wonderful book by Joe Masteroff (Cabaret), She Loves Me is based on a play by Miklos Laszlo that also became the basis of the classic film The Shop Around the Corner and more recently You’ve Got Mail.

The show reunites Naples Players’ resident Sound Designer Bradley Van Houten and Broadway Sound Designer Joshua D. Reid, who’ve previously worked together in theaters across New York and even at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Nominated for three Tony awards for his work as an Associate Sound Designer, Reid is a great addition to The Naples Players family.

This dynamic duo have completely re-tuned and re-defined the theater’s sound system. “Vocals have gotten lost in the space in the past and we’ve restructured the way the show is being mixed, even how the vocals are being managed through the sound system,” adds Van Houten. “Audiences should be excited by this new change.”

Showtimes are Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. There will be a Sennsory-Friendly Performance at 7:30 p.m. on December 17.

Tickets are $35 to subscribers, $45 individual. Call 239.263.7990 or visit to reserve your seats.



TGIM returns to Davis Art Center tomorrow evening (12-01-19)

The Fort Myers Film Festival returns on December 2 to the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center’s grand atrium.

New to the term? Well, the acronym stands for “Thank God for Indie Monday,” and symbolizes the anticipation and excitement that area indie film lovers feel as the first Monday of the month draws near each season. That’s when hosts Eric Raddatz and Melissa DeHaven screen a number of the indie short and short short films that have been submitted for inclusion in the Fort Myers Film Festival.

While there will be celebrity judges on hand to start the discussion after each screening, Eric and Melissa want to hear from you. What was your take on the film? What worked or didn’t, what did you like or hate, and should the film be included in the film festival?

Go here for the balance of this advance.



Focus on December TGIM celebrity judge Rachel Burttram (12-01-19)

Rachel Burttram will be on hand as a celebrity judge at December’s TGIM screenings. While Southwest Florida theater-goers know Burttram from performances spanning a period of sixteen years as a Florida Repertory Theatre ensemble member, her name has popped up recently for being cast to play Betty Lavonne Grissom in National Geographic’s upcoming series The Right Stuff, which tells the story of U.S. fighter pilots recruited to test experimental aircraft and later become the first Mercury astronauts.

Go here for the rest of this story.



Focus on December TGIM celebrity judge Stephanie Davis (12-01-19)

Stephanie Davis will be one of the celebrity judges at December’s TGIM screenings. Known by many as the Downtown Diva, Stephanie is social commentator and event photographer at Florida Weekly, where her column, “The Diva Diaries,” can be found along with her society photos. (Both are also available online at She established, developed and perfected her Downtown Diva persona while at the Fort Myers News-Press, where she kept her finger on the pulse of the Fort Myers social scene since her column debuted in 2000.

You will find the rest of this post here.




Focus on December TGIM celebrity judge Betsy Opyt (12-01-19)

One of the judges on December’s TGIM celebrity panel is actor, Registered Dietician, personal trainer and American fitness & fashion model Betsy Opyt.

On the acting side, Betsy starred in the 2005 indie short film A Day to Love and Die, a Southwest Florida scenic conspiracy thriller about love, friendship, taking risks and taking a stand. Evoking images of Erin Brockovich, Opyt played an smart and enterprising paralegal who discovers that instead of protecting the threatened manatee, her prominent boss is actually killing, harvesting and selling manatees as an aphrodisiac to Asian buyers as part of a Columbian mafia effort based in Fort Myers.

Go here for the rest of this post.

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