subscribe: Posts | Comments

Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news November 22-30, 2018


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


‘La Cage aux Folles’ auditions approaching (11-28-18)

La Cage aux Folles auditions are inching closer. They will take place on Saturday, December 8 between 1:oo and 6:00 p.m. at the New Phoenix Theatre at 13211 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers. Auditioners will be asked to do a cold reading and sing. La Cage music will be provided or you can bring something you’ve prepared. Dancing will be included in the callbacks.

This beloved 1983 Broadway hit features the sparkling “Cagelles,” men in drag who perform lively musical numbers, but it’s Georges and Albin’s enduring love for each other and the family they have created that’s at the heart of this show. The show’s Tony-winning music and lyrics were written by Jerry Herman, who composed the music for both Hello, Dolly! and Mame.



Lab auditioning for multiple roles in drag tribute ‘Legend of Georgia McBride’ (11-28-18)

Lab Theater is holding auditions between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 9 for Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez, a funny, touching, heart-warming tale about transformation and the joy of discovering our true selves.

The play examines the life of Casey and his newly-pregnant wife, Jo, as they struggle to make ends meet. With his career and chosen path no longer working, down-trodden Casey is thrust into the world of drag queens, where he finds a passion and exhilaration he has never experienced before. This newly discovered world ultimately leads Casey and Jo to deeper levels of understanding, happiness and love.

The characters being cast include:

  • Casey–(20s), good-looking country boy. Needs to know how to play guitar and sing. Just a good-hearted guy in search of himself.
  • Jo–Casey’s young good-looking wife. Script indicates that she is African-American. There needs to be a strong sexual energy between Jo and Casey. She is strong yet vulnerable.
  • Miss Tracy Mills–this character in the heart of the play. She needs to be a very polished drag performer who is in her 40s-50s. Miss Tracey can have a bitchy edge to her, but mainly she is the grounding force of the entire play.
  • Rexy–The bitchiest of ALL drag queens. She is in her early 30s and TOTALLY sassy. A Latino or African-American actor is preferred for this role. Rexy doubles as the landlord, Jason, so a drag queen who can look really pretty with some lipstick and a wig.
  • Eddie–A blue-collar guy who is a bit rough around the edges, but also has a kind and caring heart. This is a man who has had many drinks and many cigarettes. His world has been bars and honky-tonks.

Brett Marston directs. The show will be performed during the month of June, 2019.



Alliance Youth Theatre’s ‘Hunchback’ opens in Foulds Theatre November 30 (11-28-18)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame opens in the Founds Theatre on November 30. A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic. Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.

Produced by the Alliance Youth Theatre, the play tells the story of Quasimodo, a hunchback bell-ringer who observes all of 15th century Paris from his perch in the famed cathedral of Notre Dame. Held captive by his devious caretaker, archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, Quasimodo only finds kindness from the beautiful and clever gypsy, Esmeralda. But Quasimodo isn’t the only one captivated by her free spirit. The handsome Captain Phoebus and Frollo are equally enthralled. As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies – and it’s up to Quasimodo to save them all. ​

This version faithfully tells Victor Hugo’s classic tale of one man with a deformed body and another with a deformed soul. With unforgettable songs from the Disney film, this sweeping musical will touch your heart.

Performances are November 30, December 7 and December 9 at 7:30; December 1 at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.; and December 2 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 presale, $20 adults or $15 students/seniors. Purchase online today or call 239-939-2787.



Alliance Youth Theatre issues casting call for two shows (11-28-18)

Alliance Youth Theatre issues casting call for two shows

The Alliance Youth Theatre has announced casting calls for Once on this Island Jr. and Into the Woods. Auditions will take place between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 18 at the Alliance for the Arts.

Auditioners should prepare to sing 32 bars or 1 minute of a musical theater song (no pop songs please), and bring an instrumental track of your audition song. A CD player with aux cord and bluetooth capabilities will be available at auditions. Auditioners should dress comfortably and be prepared to dance. Choreography will be taught and performed during your audition time. Also bring an updated performance resume and a headshot.

Callbacks will be held Saturday, December 22 from:

  • 10:oo a.m. to noon for Once on this Island Jr.; and
  • Noon to 2:00 p.m. for Into the Woods.

Rehearsals will be most Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and Mondays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Additional days may be added at the discretion of the director and according to the availability of the cast.

The suggested age for Once on this Island Jr. is 4th through 8th grade. The suggested age for Into the Woods is 9th through 12th grade.

If cast, there is a $250 fee for the program, although there are a limited number of scholarships available for those who qualify.

Visit here for more information, email or telephone 239-849-2297.



Alliance Youth Theatre bring Princess Camp to stage Dec. 14 & 15 (11-28-18)

The Alliance Youth Theatre will bring Princess Camp the Musical to the stage for three shows on December 14 & 15.

Princess Mary Merryweather would rather be riding a horse than dancing at a ball. Too bad Princess Camp doesn’t have any horses. Tired of failing at all the things a princess is supposed to be, Mary runs away. Between saving a prince, being chased by minions of the Evil Stepmothers Alliance, and some sword fighting, being in the forest is just the adventure Mary had hoped for. But getting out of trouble takes more than guts, and proving a princess can be anything she wants to be will take a little help from Mary’s friends…if Sleeping Beauty can stay awake that long.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on December 14 & 15, with a 2:00 p.m. matinee on Saturday, December 15. Tickets are $10 presale, $20 adults or $15 students/seniors. Now offering reserved seating! Purchase online today or call 239-939-2787.



‘Improv Tonight’ returns to Moe Auditorium on December 14 (11-28-18)

Join CFABS for some of Southwest Florida’s best improvisational comedy on Friday, December 14.

Bonita City Improv will perform musical improv, games and scenes that include suggestions provided by the audience. Every show is different with special guests always popping in from nationally-touring improv groups. Be as involved in the show as you’d like – whether you’re just setting a scene with your suggestions or you’re on stage as a player.

The fun starts at 8:00 p.m. at the Center for Performing Arts – Moe Auditorium & Film Center, 10150 Bonita Beach Road.

Adult Tickets are $13.50 for members and $15 for non-members. Beer and wine is available for purchase.



Jansen works to be featured at Art Miami by Casterline/Goodman Gallery (11-28-18)

Casterline/Goodman Gallery will be highlighting work by local artist Marcus Jansen at ArtMiami, which takes place December 4-9. In addition to Jansen, the gallery will be featuring a selection of work from some of its most prominent artists, including Jim Dine, Mark Bradford and Richard Serra.

Over the past twenty years, Jansen has created a body of socially and politically critical works. Occupying ground situated between contemporary and street art elements, his paintings explore the human condition using large gestural landscapes in which abstraction is portrayed as real and the real as abstract, riding lines between fact and fiction, surreal and expressive.

Jansen’s work has been featured by leading art book publishers Skira Editore Milan and Hirmer Verlag Munich. His first solo museum exhibition took place in Italy at the La Triennale di Milano Museum in 2016. Titled “DECADE,” the exhibition traveled to the Zitadelle Museum in Berlin in 2018.

Jansen’s public collections include the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), The New Britain Museum of American Art, The PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, the Housatonic Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

Casterline/Goodman operates galleries in Aspen, Colorado and Nantucket, Massachusetts. It specializes in blue chip post-war and contemporary art, including original paintings, sculptures and drawings by established artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol.



Focus on Bonita Springs’ public artworks ‘Away’ and ‘Rusty, The American Dog’ (11-27-18)

Big Dog 2ASince 2011, Art Southwest Florida has enjoyed the opportunity to profile more than 100 public artworks located in Southwest Florida. Each week, we will focus on one or two of them in order to remind you of the wealth of artistic treasures that beautify our communities and enhance our standard of living.

“Art is a catalyst for thought, conversation and connection,” proclaims Massachusetts sculptor Dale Rogers (right), who has two works of art in the City of Bonita Springs’ public art collection. “Public Art goes even further by becoming a part of the community; something available for everyone.”

Rusty, The American Dog is a case in point. American Dog is an 8-foot-tall by 10-foot long 500-pound Cor-Ten steel sculpture that resides today in Depot Park in historic downtown Bonita Springs. Local residents have affectionately named the sculpture Rusty because of his rust-colored patina. “He was supposed to go into the City’s new dog park,” notes Bonita Springs City Councilwoman Janet Martin, “but the residents out there [who have come to regard him as a member of the community] have insisted that he stay in Depot Park.” Their collective feeling demonstrates the power of public art when it comes to place making and engendering community identity and civic pride.

When the City Council proposed moving Rusty to the dog park the City was constructing on the northeast corner of Matheson and E. Terry, local residents Russ Lord and his wife, Chris, started a petition to keep him in Depot Park. “We have a dog and we go to the park in the morning and afternoon. We’ve come to enjoy Rusty and appreciate his presence there,” they explained. “There are many people who use the park that would appreciate that.” After receiving the petition, District Five Councilman Mike Gibson made a motion to leave Rusty where he is. The motion passed the City Council 7-0. “Rusty, stay!” Mayor Ben Nelson quipped after passage of the resolution. “I think they microchipped him and the dogs have probably marked him,” added former District Five Councilwoman Martha Simons.

Rogers is also responsible for Away,  a 12-foot-tall, 800-pound, stainless steel sculpture that resides in Riverside Park just south of Liles Hotel. The piece features two stainless steel arms stretching skyward. Between the arms is a large red ball which makes its own strong statement. A flock of black birds has been cut into the side of one of the arms to reinforce the free, flying feel that Massachusetts sculptor Dale Rogers wanted to convey with the piece.

The work was spotted at Bonita National by Bonita’s Art in Public Places Board member Jackie Houserman, who introduced herself, told Rogers about the town’s new Art in Sun Along Old 41 initiative and asked him if he would consider leaving the sculpture on view in Riverside Park until he returned for the Bonita Springs National Art Festival in March. Rogers was delighted to accommodate the city, which leased the piece from him before purchasing it outright in June of 2011 with funds that came from the Art in Public Places account and its Chalk Where You Walk event.

The City of Bonita Springs formally implemented its public art program on October 5, 2005 with the adoption of Ordinance No. 05-18. The ordinance sets aside in a designated trust fund one percent (1%) of the total construction budget associated with the original construction and major renovations of city buildings in which employees work on a regular basis or that the general public uses. While the City Council can increase or decrease the allocation by resolution in a particular instance, the ordinance does impose a $100,000 cap for any single project. But when the subprime crisis hit, members of the Art in Public Places advisory board and City Council had to evolve other ways “to bring art to the public.” They came up with Art in the Sun Along Old 41, a public-private initiative that was responsible for bringing the community both Rusty and Away.

To read more about public art in Bonita Springs, please click here. And click on the hyperlinks provided above for more detailed treatment about Rusty, Away and their creator, Massachusetts sculptor Dale Rogers.



Get spooked for Christmas at the Center for Performing Arts Bonita (11-26-18)

The Center for Performing Arts’ Frank Blocker and L.A. horror director Jana Wimer are bringing Deadly Sugarplums: A Fright Before Christmas to the Moe Auditorium & Film Center for five performances between December 6 and 9. Harkening back to a time when English-speaking folks wiled away cold winter nights by entertaining each other with ghostly tales, this new play takes audiences on a fantastic, heart-thumping ride through a chronology of forgotten horror stories and frightening fabrications that inspired many of the spooky apologues we hear today.

Today, of course, ghostly yarns and supernatural thrillers are confined to the realm of Halloween and the preceding night of mischief, mayhem and hooliganism. But that’s a relatively recent innovation introduced by Scottish-Irish immigrants in the years preceding and following World War I. In Victorian days, the Yuletide was the time for sitting by the fire and trading ghost stories and spritely allegories to both entertain and reaffirm cultural truths and values. As Colin Dickey notes in a piece he wrote for a year ago December 15, “Dickens’ supernatural yuletide terror was no outlier, since for much of the 19th century, [Christmas] was the holiday indisputably associated with ghosts and the specters.”

So if you’re inclined to travel back in time to simpler, albeit scarier days, take in Blocker and Wimer’s Deadly Sugarplums: A Fright Before Christmas. Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, December 6 – 8, with 2:00 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday, December 8 & 9.




Garret Taylor to guest conduct orchestra for TNP’s ‘White Christmas’ Dec. 1-9 (11-26-18)

Broadway’s Wicked and Annie pianist, Garrett Taylor, lead the orchestra December 1-9 for The Naples Players’ production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Mr. Taylor is a multi-faceted performer and conductor who has performed with symphonies in the United States and Europe, as well as concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Washington D.C.’s Constitution Hall.

Taylor was praised by The New York Times for his “bravura vocals” in Gateway Playhouse’s production of CATS starring Ken Page and was on the Broadway National Tour for Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Grease, Disney’s Beauty & The Beast, and Sweet Charity. CBS-TV appointed Taylor as the Conductor for A New York Christmas to Remember. Taylor was the Former Conductor at The Cape Playhouse, The John W. Engeman Theatre at Northport, Theatre of the Stars, and Music Director at Flat Rock Playhouse. A musical graduate from Millikan University, Garrett Taylor has also worked at NYU, Manhattan School of Music, Marymount, Queens College and AMDA.

“Naples Players’ Resident Musical Director, Charles Fornara, has handed over the reins of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas for the week of December 1-9 so that he can also support the students at Community School of Naples as they perform Fame, and TheatreZone’s production of Home for the Holidays,” shares Bryce Alexander, The Naples Players’ Executive Artistic Director. “We are so proud that Charlie is working to support other arts organizations and students in our community. The arts community is a singular family, and such cooperation between theatres is important. It’s one of the reason’s we love Charlie!”

“Community theater is where I had my start,” Garrett Taylor adds. “It is also where I met the most wonderful people, developed my skills, and discovered my passion for theater. Growing up, I would have been lost without the wonderful arts programs in which I was lucky enough to be involved. The arts foster creativity, unity, and a sense of community and team work that is so important in our world today.”

Bryce Alexander also points out that having Garrett Taylor conduct in Fornara’s absence is not only an incredible opportunity for TNP’s performers, but a great representation of The Naples Players’ growing reputation with artists from around the country. “We constantly strive to provide the highest caliber experience, and this is just another example of that commitment to our local community,” Alexander remarks.

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas performs at The Naples Players Sugden Theatre in Blackburn Hall November 28 – December 23, 2018. A limited number of tickets are still available and can be reserved by visiting or contacting the Box Office (239) 263-7990.



Art in the Park is December 1 (11-25-18)

On Saturday,  December 1Art in the Park returns to downtown Naples. Now celebrating 60 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 to the west of The von Liebig Art Center, this juried art fair is held the first Saturday of the month November through April.



1st Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour returns December 5 to Naples Art District (11-25-18)

On Wednesday, December 5, the 1st Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour returns to the Naples Art District with its full complement of galleries and artist studios for a 5-8 p.m. drive-and-park event that affords casual, curious art lovers and serious art collectors alike an unparalleled opportunity to not only visit some of Southwest Florida’s most interesting galleries, but immerse themselves in the sights, sounds and smells of the studios of more than 60 emerging and mid-career artists working in a broad cross-section of genres and media. Look for the magenta and white art flags.



Next Fort Myers Art Walk comes to River District Dec. 7 & 8 (11-25-18)

The River District will come alive on December 7, when Art Walk returns to downtown Fort Myers. Now a two-day event, Art Walk will continue Saturday, December 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. With exciting new exhibits and live art demonstrations, rain or shine, this is a “must attend event.”

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. And at the Broadway and First Street intersection, the Fort Myers Art League will be hosting a “Make It/Take It” table for children of all ages.

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



Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show is December 8 in Cambier Park (11-25-18)

The Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show returns to Cambier Park on Saturday, December 8. The Artcrafters have been committed for more than 45 years to promoting excellence in arts and crafts and to supporting established artists, craftspersons and students by providing a venue for the display and sale of their work in a beautiful setting. At their shows, they present a wide array of artistic genres, styles and media, including paintings in oils, acrylics and watercolors, drawings in pen and ink and pencil, pastels, scissors art, multi-media and collage, photography, ceramics, jewelry (including metalsmithing, metal clays, lapidary and beading), sculptures, pottery, clay, stained glass and fused glass, wood turning and carving, basket weaving, and more.



December 8 is also time for ‘Art After Dark’ in Crayton Cove (11-25-18)

Just steps away in Crayton Cove on Saturday, December 8 is Art After Dark, an Art-Walk-type evening that gives art enthusiasts and collectors an exceptional opportunity to combine fine art with fine dining alongside picturesque Naples Bay. Participating galleries include Phil Fisher Gallery, Random Acts of Art, Naples Ships Store, Pure Design and Guess-Fisher Gallery, who band together from 6-9 p.m. to present an evening of art receptions, refreshments and live music which serve as companionable backdrop for viewing the newest works in the Crayton Cove galleries.



App deadline for 31st Annual Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts is Dec. 9 (11-25-18)

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

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

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

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



Hot Works’ Naples Fine Art Shows promise to be intimate, boutique affairs (11-25-18)

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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



Alliance’s ‘Off the Wall’ holiday exhibit runs through December 29 (11-24-18)

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

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

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

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



Alliance accepting submissions for 33rd Annual All Florida Juried Exhibit (11-24-18)

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

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



Naples Art ‘Celebrating Light’ through December 1 (11-24-18)

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



Naples Art looking for artists for its immigration-themed 2019 show (11-24-18)

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



Gary Alan Hall exhibiting in Arts for ACT’s main gallery in December (11-23-18)

Gary Alan Hall is one of two artists exhibiting work at Arts for ACT Gallery in December.

Gary has worked with various mediums over the years and currently favors acrylic painting. Drawing inspiration from illustrators, Gary’s work contrasts bold human and animal figures against simple or abstract backgrounds, often producing a unique “poster-like” quality.

Hall learned to draw as a child by watching his father. He continued his artistic interests by working in the graphic arts industry, where he learned graphic design and illustration.

Gary has shown his work in galleries and has also participated in several juried exhibits such as Dark Arts 2018, 2D/3D and Art in Public Places at RSW airport.

From 2006 until 2012, Gary worked for Art of the Olympians as artist liaison and acting curator.

The exhibition opens with a 6:00-10:00 p.m. reception for the artist during Art Walk on Friday, December 7.



Yvonne Krystman exhibiting in Arts for ACT White Gallery in December (11-23-18)

Yvonne Krystman is one of two artists exhibiting work in the White Gallery at Arts for ACT Gallery in December.

Krystman is a Cape Coral-based mixed media artist, potter and photographer. “One of the most impressive aspects of Krystman’s work is the way it accomplishes the difficult task of inquiring into the liminal area where the abstract and the figurative find an unexpected yet consistent point of convergence,” state Peripheral ARTeries Contemporary Art Review critics Josh Ryders and Melissa C. Hilborn. “Her works convey a coherent sense of unity that rejects any conventional classification. What has at once captured our attention of her artistic inquiry is the way she provided the visual results of her analysis with autonomous aesthetics.”

The works Krystman is bringing to Arts for ACT for this exhibit include an array of multi-disciplinary pieces (including mixed media, raku and traditional pottery) inspired by Florida’s unique natural elements – sunshine, wind, ocean waves and hurricanes. Also available, for the first time, will be samples of wearable art from, wearable art by Yvonne.

In addition to a previous solo show at Arts for ACT Gallery, Krystman’s work has been included in group shows at prestigious venues including Aqua Miami (a satellite show to Miami Basel) and the Orlando Museum of Art.

The opening reception will take place between 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. during Art Walk on Friday, December 7. A closing reception will also be held during Music Walk on December 21, with the artist present from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. However, the exhibit will remain on display until Monday, December 31.



Clemente Mimun returning to Sweet Art with new work in December (11-21-18)

New work by artist Clemente Mimun with be on display in December at The Sweet Art Gallery together with important paintings documenting his extensive career.

Mimun credits existentialism and an abiding sense of self-responsibility as motivation for his work. A self-proclaimed observer, his work evolves as a synergy between memory and imagination. He uses no models or muses, no pictures, no still life arrangements. Rather, he communicates not through the complexity of words, but through the simplicity of symbolism. His universal language is spoken through art.

Clemente sees what he’s doing as a progression from classical representational painting through Impressionism to abstraction. In so doing, he is reacting to the age of digital photography which, in his estimation, renders realism obsolete.

“If you need something perfect, take a picture,” he reiterates in his richly palatable French accent. Hence, Clemente strives to produce works that supply a seamless connection of traditional motif and contemporary style.

The opening reception for this show takes place from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5. Sweet Art Gallery is located at 2100-A Trade Center Way, Naples, FL 34109. For more information, please telephone 239-597-2110 or visit



Elf the Musical at Broadway Palm through Christmas Day (11-22-18)

Elf the Musical opens today at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Based on the holiday film of the same name, this charming and whimsical musical comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Buddy, a young orphan, crawls into Santa’s bag and winds up in the North Pole where he is raised, unaware that he is human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to discover his true identity. This modern day holiday classic is sure to bring out the true spirit of Christmas….after all, the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

ELF the Musical is directed by Paul Bernier and choreographed by Amy Marie McCleary. It stars Chris Duir, who was seen as the Scarecrow in Prather Productions’ National Tour of The Wizard of Oz and has performed at Broadway Palm as Bert in Mary Poppins and as Andy Lee in 42nd Street. In addition, he’s performed with Celebrity Cruises and overseas in Macau and Dubai.

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

Elf the Musical plays now through Christmas Day.



Whitworth and Banning headline cast of Off Broadway’s ‘Winter Wonderettes’ (11-22-18)

Melissa Whitworth and Sarah Mae Banning headline a cast that includes newcomers Sarah Hinrichsen and Lexie Wolf in Off Broadway Palm’s holiday production, Winter Wonderettes, which is playing now through Christmas Day. Whitworth was last seen at Broadway Palm as Grace in Annie and Mary Poppins in the eponymous musical. Banning starred as Roxie Hart in last season’s production of Chicago.

Winter Wonderettes is an energetic and glittering holiday revue that’s the perfect treat to help you groove into the spirit of the season. Set in 1968, the Marvelous Wonderettes are the entertainers at Harper’s Hardware Holiday Party. The girls have their holiday harmonies ready and have transformed the hardware store into a winter wonderland. Like every year, Mr. Harper is scheduled to appear as Santa Claus and pass out the employee bonuses, but trouble ensues when “Santa” turns up missing. The girls keep the party going with lots of laughs and fun at every turn and a few lucky audience members get to be part of the excitement! The holiday songs include many favorites such as Santa Baby, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jingle Bell Rock, Winter Wonderland and more.

Amy McCleary directs and choreographs the show. McCleary’s recent work with Broadway Palm includes Annie, Mamma Mia and Chicago. Her choreography can also be seen throughout the country in the current national tour of The Wizard of Oz.

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Ticket prices range from $39 to $59 with group discounts available for parties of 20 or more. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



Spotlight on ‘Winter Wonderettes’ co-star Sarah Mae Banning (11-22-18)

Sarah Mae Banning is a singer, actor and dancer who occasionally performs at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and associated Off-Broadway Palm.

She is best known locally for her portrayal of Roxie Hart in Broadway Palm’s production of Chicago. Some of Sarah Mae’s other acting credits include Cindy Lou in Winter Wonderettes, Marty in Grease, Millie in Thoroughly Modern Mille, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, Amber von Tussle in Hairspray, Pauline in Saturday Night Fever, Minnie in West Side Story and Mrs. Pinkerton in the national tour of Pinkalicious as well as Mrs. Clancy in the national tour of Fancy Nancy: Spendiferious Christmas.

Here’s the rest of Ms. Banning’s profile.



Spotlight on ‘Winter Wonderettes’ co-star Melissa Whitworth (11-22-18)

Melissa Whitworth is a Florida-based actor, singer and director.

In the former capacity, Whitworth most often performs with Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando, Broadway Palm Theatre in Fort Myers, and at the Universal Studios Orlando Resort. Her stage credits include [in reverse chronological order] Winter Wonderettes (for Off Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre), Grace Farrell in Annie (for Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 2018), Henrietta Leavitt in Silent Sky (for Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando, 2018), Vera in Odd Couple: Female Version (Off-Broadway Palm, 2017), Mary Poppins in the Disney musical of the same name (for Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 2017), Olga in Chekhov’s Three Sisters (for Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando, 2017), Karol in Another Night Before Christmas (for Off Broadway Palm, 2016), Thomas Jefferson in 1776 (presented with an all-female cast by Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando, 2016), Cindy in SUDS: The Musical (for Show Palace Dinner Theatre, Hudson, FL, 2015), Elizabeth in Young Frankenstein (for Entracte Theatrix , Delray, FL, 2015) and Princess Fiona in Shrek (for Theatre Winter Haven). Regional credits include How I Learned to Drive (as L’il Bit) and The Next Fairy Tale (as Glinda). Melissa also appeared in The Music Man, South Pacific and Anything Goes.

The rest of Melissa Whitworth’s profile is here.



Submissions for ‘Stage It!’ 3 open through January 20 (11-22-18)

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

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

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

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

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

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



‘The Tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’ opens at Florida Rep at month’s end (11-20-18)

The world premiere of A Christmas Carol: The Tale of Ebenezer Scrooge opens at Florida Repertory Theatre on November 30, with four nearly-sold-out previews on November 27-29. The show runs through December 19.

Written and directed by Mark Shanahan, A Christmas Carol: The Tale of Ebenezer Scrooge is a thrilling and fast-paced retelling of the Dickens classic. Audiences will join Ebenezer Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim on a ghostly epic journey through Christmases past, present, and future. With time running out, will Scrooge see the error of his ways before it’s too late to save his soul? Funny, heartwarming, and suspenseful, Florida Rep’s brand-new production is perfect for families and theatergoers of all ages.

The production features a 24-person cast consisting of Florida Rep ensemble actors, guest artists from across the country and original music played live onstage. The production stars Florida Rep ensemble members Viki Boyle (Outside Mullingar), Greg Longenhagen (Around the world in 80 Days) and Brendan Powers (How the Other Half Loves) in multiple roles and Peter Thomasson (The Miracle Worker) as Ebenezer Scrooge. They are joined by frequent Florida Rep guest artists Joe Delafield (The Dingdong), Faith Sandberg (How the Other Half Loves) and Bruce Warren (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), as well as, Jake Berne, Patrick Mounce, Mikey Reichert, Eric Shorey, Sydney Torres, Genevieve Takosich, and Tova Volcheck.

The production also showcases ten young performers from across Southwest Florida, many of whom have been seen recently in Florida Rep’s Education Department camp and conservatory productions, including Lane Free (Evangelical Christian School), Annabelle Grasmeier (St. Francis Xavier), Keehnon Jackson (Veterans Park Academy for the Arts), Liza Jayne Longenhagen (Cypress Lake Middle), Carson R. Maschmeier (Fort Myers High), Christian Miller (Canterbury School), Sebastian Moore (Riverhall Elementary), Matteo Occhino (Cypress Lake High), Grace Layne Ryan (The Alva School), and Cadence Bambrey-Zedd (homeschool). Mr. Jackson, Miss Longenhagen, Miss Ryan, and Miss Bambrey-Zedd return to the Arcade stage after appearing in Florida Rep’s The Miracle Worker last February.

Mark Shanahan returns to Florida Rep as both adapter and director after directing last season’s How the Other Half Loves and adapting The Dingdong from Feydeau’s original Le Dindon in 2016, among others.

“When we set out to produce this play, we set out to give Southwest Florida audiences something thrilling and new, and a chance to experience this classic story as it can only be seen onstage,” says Associate Artistic Director Jason Parrish. “This version is an incredibly fresh, funny, and thrilling ghost story, and will leave you wanting more.”

Performances are Tuesday – Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. New this season, Florida Rep’s parking lot will open 2 hours before each performance and offers guests limited free parking across the street from the Arcade Theatre.

Tickets are at $55 and $49 for regular performances, and $35 and $29 for previews. Single tickets can be purchased online at or through the box office at 239-332-4488. To buy a $99 Family Package for two adults and two children, plus concessions, please contact the box office.

The theatre is pleased to offer a $99 Family Package that includes admissions for two adults, two children, and four concession items. In addition to the family packages, Florida Rep is also offering a $5 discount to any audience member who donates a canned good or non-perishable food item in partnership with Community Cooperative.



Playwright/director Mark Shanahan dishes about Dickens adaptation (11-22-18)

Mark Shanahan is an actor, director and playwright. And he’s written an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. It’s being produced by Florida Rep, and Shanahan’s directing the show himself.

“Although A Christmas Carol is a Dickens of a tale which has been told many times and many ways, I was thrilled to be asked to write a brand new version to make its world premiere at Florida Rep.,” Shanahan notes. “The adaptation was crafted specifically for the Rep, taking the literary masterpiece and transforming it into a magical celebration of live theatre.”

Magical indeed.

“[W]e are mounting something you’ve never seen before on the Rep stage,” chips in Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen. “24 actors, musicians and singers will bring you to your feet with the latest, most dynamic, original, all new Christmas ghost story ….”

“Like Scrooge, we are all changed by our experience with this story,” Shanahan expounds. “Whether you know the story by heart or find yourself coming to it for the first time, it’s my great hope that this brand new, lovingly-crafted production will be the perfect Christmas present to you and your family from all of us at Florida Rep.”



‘Damascus’ on stage at Florida Rep through December 9 (11-22-18)

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



Lab brings zany 3-actor mash-up to the stage for the holidays (11-22-18)

Lab Theater is known for campy parodies and edgy satires, so it should come as no surprise that it plans to observe the holidays with classical irreverence by bringing Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) to the stage. In what can best be called a holiday mashup, actors take beloved stories and traditions from around the world and turn them upside-down in this family-friendly show.

“This show is fun for the whole family,” states Lab Artistic Director Annette Trossbach, who is delighted to present this zany comedy to Southwest Florida theater-goers. “Three actors playing dozens of roles while changing characters and costumes onstage? It’s madness and hilarious, full of belly laughs.”

You’ll find the rest of this advancement here.

‘Every Christmas Story Ever Told’ play dates, times and ticket info



Spotlight on ‘Every Christmas Story Ever Told’ actor Dave Matthew Chesebro (11-22-18)

Dave Matthew Chesebro is an actor and aspiring playwright.

Dave’s acting credits include It’s Only a Play, in which he synchronously played the part of playwright Peter Austin, The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s and a lovesick chef by the name of Gaston in Michael Hollinger’s one-act farcical tragicomedy An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf. Dave has also played Mr. Mushnik in Little House of Horrors and has worked on a number of other productions in set construction and props management.

The rest of Dave’s profile is here.



Spotlight on ‘Every Christmas Story Ever Told actor Kayleigh O’Connell (11-22-18)

Kayleigh O’Connell is an aspiring actor who is currently majoring in theatre studies at Florida SouthWestern State College.

Among her acting credits are the Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s, condescending cousin Chick Boyle in Crimes of the Heart, and Elvira in the campy cult classic, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane – a Parody of the Horror.

In Baby Jane, Kayleigh enjoyed many memorable show-stopping scenes. There was an early sequence, for example, in which Elvira arrives for work and proceeds to square off around the living room divan with Baby Jane Paso-Doble-style to the strains of the theme from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Even better, though, was the one in which she reacts rather strongly to some suggestive language Baby Jane writes on a manila envelope. It was not quite as suggestive as Meg Ryan’s When Harry Met Sally fake orgasm scene ….

Want more? Read here.



Del Shores looking for a play for six characters on December 2 (11-22-18)

Del Shores’ cult classic Sordid Lives enjoyed an extremely popular run in September of 2017, with both straight and LGBTQ audience members reveling in the playwright’s droll and snarky dialogue, deeply relatable characters and profound and universal theme. Well, Del Shores returns to the Lab Theater for a limited engagement with his new one-man show, Six Characters in Search of a Play on December 2.

In this hilarious and provocative study, Shores riffs on Pirandello’s classic play to bring audiences six characters inspired by his real-life encounters that haven’t quite made it into one of his plays, films or TV shows. Over the course of the play’s 90-minute run time, the audience will come to know

  • Yvonne, a vegetarian-hating Texas waitress;
  • Sarah, an elderly actress who is determined to drink and smoke herself to death if Trump is elected;
  • Jimmy Ray, the evolving Georgia redneck;
  • Loraine, the once brilliant drama teacher who has lost her damn mind and is now obsessed with porn;
  • Aunt Bobbie Sue, the loud-mouth racist Republican with a heart of gold; and
  • Marsha, the monkey-hating lesbian with COPD.

Shores’ longtime collaborator and native Texan, Emerson Collins, who was a regular on the DFW theater scene before finding success in Los Angeles, will direct.

Six Characters in Search of a Play has only two Fort Myers performances, at 2:oo and 8:00 p.m. on December 2. There will also be a Dinner with Del at The Twisted Vine Bistro in downtown Fort Myers at 5:45 p.m. in advance of the evening performance. For tickets and more information on that price-fixed menu, please contact The Lab at 239-218-0481.

Seating is limited.

Tickets are available to purchase on or by calling the box office at 239-218-0481.



Candice Sanzari’s ‘Thanksgiving is for Nutters’ is Critics’ Choice winner (11-22-18)

Last night, playwright Candice Sanzari won the Critics’ Choice Award at Lab Theater’s 24-Hour Playwriting project. Her one-act play, “Thanksgiving is for Nutters,” bristled with biting banter by and between a caustic, condescending landlady, a prickly pill-popping pixie and a cross-dresser prone to whole body paroxysms each time he hears a grammatical mistake such as “irregardless” or “these ones” (substitute your own). Heather McLemore Johnson directed the play, which featured Justin Larsche, Kaleigh O’Connell and Stacy Stauffer.

“Thanksgiving is for Nutters” opened with Larsche dancing around his condominium unit dressed in an ankle length green—and-black plaid dress while breaking into a spirited rendition of “I Feel Pretty” from Westside Story. The choice of song and opening scene was serendipitous as 24-Hour Playwriting Project Coordinator Char Loomis also incorporated the song into the one-act play with which she won the Critic’s Choice Award four years earlier.

For more, read here.



Dave Chesebro’s ‘Sunny with a Chance of Social Anxiety’ is Audience Choice (11-22-18)

Last night, playwright Dave Chesebro won the coveted Audience Choice Award at Lab Theater’s 24-Hour Playwriting project. His one-act play, “Sunny with a Chance of Social Anxiety,” was filled with funny one-liners, hilarious situational comedy and a sunny, upbeat character who suffered from social anxiety disorder. Maddy Hayes directed the play, which starred Isaac Osin (Anna in the Tropics), Cantrella Canady (A Raisin in the Sun) and socially anxious Misha Ritter.

For more, read here.



Looking back on this year’s 24-Hour Playwriting project and judges (11-22-18)

Lab Theater’s 2018 24-Hour Playwriting Project is in the books, but it’s worth a minute or two to reflect back on the one-act plays produced by Laura Lorusso, Darlyne Franklin, Dave Matthew Chesebro and Candice Sanzari and the judges who evaluated each production, Nykkie Rizley, Lauren Redeker Miller and NBC2’s Amanda Skrzypchak.

All four one-act plays were imaginatively conceived, well-written and extremely funny and while the Nykkie Rizley, Lauren Redeker Miller and Amanda Skrzypchak gave their coveted Critics’ Choice Award to Sanzari, their scores reflected a numerical tie for second among the other three plays and playwrights.

Lorusso structured her farce around a character with Tourette’s Syndrome, a disorder that involves repetitive movements (such as blinking and shoulder movements), unwanted sounds or tics, and blurting out offensive words or profanity that cannot be easily controlled. Lorusso’s wrinkle on this riff was to have her character blurt out a succession of celebrity names, in alphabetical order, sometimes pantless much to the vexation of the other residents of the condominium in which he lived with his sister. Suzanne Davies directed a cast consisting of the celeb-spewing brother, Chloe Tsai (Anna in the Tropics, Heathers the Musical) as his sister and Jerry Olin as their estranged dad.

There’s more to this story. Read here.



TNP’s ‘June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce’ closes November 25 (11-22-18)

Time’s running out to see June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce. The dystopian comedy runs closes November 25 (yes, it’s been extended by popular demand).

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

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

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

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

Read here for more.




Stage 2 Improv Family Fun Night returns to TNP on December 1 (11-22-18)

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

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

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



Naples Players holding auditions for ‘Guys & Dolls’ on December 15 (11-22-18)

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

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

For more details and to register online, please visit



Erica Sample making transition from Roxie Hart to Judy Haynes (11-22-18)

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

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

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

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

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

Go here for the rest of this advance.

And read here for play dates and ticket information.



Stage vet Paul Graffy to play General Thomas Waverly in TNP’s ‘White Christmas’ (11-22-18)

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



Lisa Kuchinski to play Oxidol girl Rhonda in TNP’s ‘White Christmas” (11-22-18)

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



December 11th performance of ‘White Christmas’ to be sensory screening (11-22-18)

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


Comments are closed.