Artis—Naples name change controversial, but future looks promising
Published 04/19/2014 at 5 p.m.
When Van Bergen announced the name change for the arts venue seemingly overnight, the town was aflame. Everyone had an opinion.
Review: Find great big laughs at BIG ARTS in "The Big Bang"
Published 04/13/2014 at 1 p.m.
In the waning days of season, as the hot sun beats down and the snowbirds flee the heat, a comedy unlike few others opens on Sanibel with a great "Big Bang." True story: I laughed so hard during the opening ...
Review: Laughs, love as CFABS offers gal pal version of "The Odd Couple"
Updated 04/10/2014 at 12:16 p.m.
Well, girls and boys, here's a Neil Simon play I can get behind. It's an odd one - "The Odd Couple (Female Version)." Catch it tonight, Friday and Sunday at the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs. Combine one messy ...
In The 239: Nothing like a dame! Broadway stars share all in new book
Published 04/06/2014 at 3 p.m.
Eddie Shapiro knows there is nothing like a dame. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wrote a song about it. Shapiro wrote an entire 364-page book. He interviewed 20 of the Great White Way’s biggest, boldest, brassiest women for “Nothing Like ...
Review: FGCU explores birth, death of love and creation in "Bloody Poetry"
Published 04/05/2014 at 6 p.m.
Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" was born on a beach in Switzerland, didn't you know? "Bloody Poetry," playing through next Sunday at Florida Gulf Coast University, tells you so. If you haven't heard phrase "spraying the baby's head" before, you have now. ...
Review: Take another lap with Broadway Palm's "Dixie Swim Club"
Published 04/02/2014 at 3:30 p.m.
"The Dixie Swim Club" takes another dip into the Off-Broadway Palm pool this spring. Director Paul Bernier coaches his cast into perfect comedic form. Don't be fooled; "Dixie" might seem as shallow as a kiddie pool, but those laughs betray ...
Review: Lab Theater seduces audiences in "The Graduate"
Published 04/02/2014 at 2:30 p.m.
"Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?" Oh, I think she's trying to do a lot more than that. And truth be told, Mrs. Robinson shows A LOT MORE THAN THAT in "The Graduate." Full frontal female nudity hits ...
Review: Breathtaking "Evita" tangos into Artis–Naples on wings of song
Published 04/02/2014 at 9:19 a.m.
The national tour of "Evita" tangoed into Artis–Naples Tuesday. Eva Duarte has never looked so lovely, so lonely, so power-hungry, so fragile. This isn't Madonna's "Evita," nor even Patti LuPone's. This "Evita" belongs to Caroline Bowman.
Review: Naples Players find dose of relevant drama in 'Distracted'
Published 04/01/2014 at 5:27 p.m.
There's your sanity, your peace of mind, your relations with the teachers and the school. And then there's your son. That's the premise of "Distracted."
Review: Florida Rep makes audiences laugh, think in smart "Clybourne Park"
Published 04/01/2014 at 9:35 a.m.
"Clybourne Park" is about a lot of things. Director Robert Cacioppo makes it about one: "who owns the neighborhood?" Then, he picks up the sledgehammer of racism and wields it like a surgeon's scalpel, for only when we confront the ...
Review: Gulfshore Playhouse delivers stunning dream in "All My Sons"
Published 03/31/2014 at 1:49 p.m.
Arthur Miller, one of America's great playwrights, wrote about fathers and sons. He wrote about war and peace and money. He wrote about the American Dream. Gulfshore Playhouse's emotionally searing production of "All My Sons" warps that dream into a ...
Preview: "Evita" rises to power at Artis-Naples this week
Published 03/31/2014 at 6 a.m.
"Evita," one of the most critically acclaimed Webber-Rice musicals, detailing the rise to power of Eva Peron, comes to Artis--Naples Tuesday.
Preview: Gulfshore Playhouse dissects crime, rationalization, love and honor in 'All My Sons'
Published 03/27/2014 at 6:46 a.m.
Kristen Coury compares working on Arthur Miller to “being in church.” “All My Sons,” written in the postwar 1940s, examines two families, the Kellers and the Deevers. Joe Keller and Herbert Deever ran a factory that turned out defective airplane ...
In the 239: "Book of Mormon" national tour hits Naples in January '15
Published 03/27/2014 at 6 a.m.
Got religion? No? Then get in line for "The Book of Mormon." Broadway's hottest musical lands in Southwest Florida in January. A first-of-its kind co-production between Artis–Naples and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers promises to be ...
Review: Marco Players make splash with art-world comedy 'Art'
Published 03/24/2014 at 12:45 p.m.
The Marco Players' "Art" deserves praise as a work of fine drama.
Preview: Marco Players ask "what is art?" in "Art"
Published 03/21/2014 at 6 a.m.
Jim Corsica wants you to know that the Yasmina Reza play "Art" is not really about art. It's about boys and their toys - except this toy is a $40,000 painting that's nothing but white pigment on white canvas.
Preview: Florida Rep's "Clybourne Park" asks 'Who owns the neighborhood?"
Published 03/20/2014 at 6 a.m.
"Clybourne Park" holds a mirror to landmark Lorraine Hansbury play "A Raisin in the Sun" about an an African-American family buying property in a white middle-class Chicago community. The first act of "Clybourne Park," set in 1959, visits the family ...
Preview: "The Whale" swims into view at Theatre Conspiracy
Published 03/19/2014 at 6:50 p.m.
He's committed every sin possible to a role model. But the main character of "The Whale" wants to make things right. Charlie is the planet — a 600-pound gay Mormon planet.
In the 239: Collier County Fair food: Would you eat a deep-fried Oreo?
Updated 03/19/2014 at 7:23 a.m.
Fair food is not for the bland of diet or timid of appetite. But for the adventurous, it's a ride as wildly fun as the roller coaster.
Review: Theatre Conspiracy harpoons audiences with “The Whale"
Published 03/15/2014 at 10:06 a.m.
When audiences get quiet, they're hooked. They were hooked Friday night, well and truly hooked on a play that marries God, gluttony and Herman Melville. Season with the Book of Mormon, bake at 350 degrees for two hours and call ...
Preview: Actress brings advice columnist Ann Landers to life in 'All the Answers'
Published 03/13/2014 at 4 a.m.
She's the lady with all the answers. But some of them she can't answer -- especially when the question is about her own future.
Review: "War Horse" charges into Fort Myers with message of hope
Published 03/12/2014 at 3:26 p.m.
"War Horse" - and its titular horse - are mankind's ability to stand against the darkness and the horrors that thrive there. Joey (even his name symbolic) represents humanity's hope that we can grow past our sandbox squabbles and eventually ...
Review: BIG ARTS plays great game of love in “Romance/Romance”
Published 03/11/2014 at 3:56 p.m.
“Romance/Romance” is pretty/pretty. Romance/romance is grand. Let’s tell a tale of finding love along the Sanibel sands. Walk down the aisle. Turn. Kiss. Take your partner by the hand. And so the little comedy begins
Review: TheatreZone makes all the right moves in stunning “Chess” game
Published 03/07/2014 at 11 a.m.
Mark Danni must be a chess player. He makes all the right moves in completely sold-out Cold War musical “Chess,” guiding pawns past queens with clinical precision. When played well, chess is elegant in its perfection. This game of “Chess” ...
Review: Naples Players wake up to applause with "Drowsy Chaperone"
Published 03/06/2014 at 1:22 p.m.
Come for “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Stay for the overexcited fiancé. James Flannery, who spent nine years in New York, explodes off the stage as tap-dancing, roller-skating and entirely love-struck boyfriend Robert Martin in the latest Naples Players musical. He even ...
Preview: Interfaith love story blooms amidst Holocaust horror
Published 03/06/2014 at 10:11 a.m.
The story of the Warsaw ghetto uprising is more than a rebellion from a single religious group. It's a story of a war for justice -- and love.
In the 239: Finding the best pancakes in Naples
Published 03/04/2014 at 4:29 p.m.
Hot, dotted with butter, swimming in a sweet lake of maples syrup: Pancakes are the traditional food to herald Lent, but they're just as good during the season.
When did we start going to the theater again?
Published 03/01/2014 at 5 p.m.
People are filling houses more and more in Southwest Florida, and that doesn't mean homes. When did Southwest Florida start going to the theater again?
Review: 'Defamation' calls audience perceptions into question at BIG ARTS
Published 02/26/2014 at 3:17 p.m.
Who's right? And who blieves it? "Defamation," now playing on Sanibel, asks some uncomfortable questions of all of us.
'Game's Afoot' so funny, it's criminal
Published 02/24/2014 at 1:29 p.m.
Sometimes, the critic's job is easy.
Review: Gulfshore Playhouse solves "Case of the Critic Who Knew Too Much"
Published 02/23/2014 at 8 p.m.
Sometimes, the critic's job is easy. Take Friday. The gentleman behind me served up a running commentary during opening night of Gulfshore Playhouse's "The Game's Afoot." Director Michael Marotta and his cast will be happy to know that they're "**** ...
Review: Broadway Palm conquers the City of Light in "Les Miserables"
Published 02/23/2014 at 6:16 p.m.
Saturday night's alright for fighting. That's right! Come to Broadway Palm, to Paris, to the barricade, to "Les Miserables." Even if you've seen it eleventy-billion times before. This one, like all live theatre, is different. And better.
Deaf actor shines in FGCU "Laramie Project" play
Published 02/22/2014 at 5:30 a.m.
When FGCU's drama department decided to tackle a volatile play, it also decided to break a barrier: One of the cast is deaf.
Review: FGCU students dazzle with smart, thoughtful "Laramie Project"
Published 02/21/2014 at 12:17 p.m.
More than 16 years on, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard still resonates across the American landscape. Florida Gulf Coast University's presentation of "The Laramie Project" offers a thoughtful, sensitive and deeply moving examination of how the story unfolded.
Review: Ghostbird digs deep in stunning original play "Beauty"
Published 02/20/2014 at 3:30 p.m.
Ghostbird Theatre Company traffics in the odd, the unusual and the intersection of art, poetry and the human spirit. You might not understand. Unimportant. Be gone with what you will, be it a grain of sand, a deeper understanding, a ...
'Once' makes you think twice about falling in love, with anyone
Updated 02/19/2014 at 2:51 p.m.
'Once' needed a more intimate setting than a large performing arts hall.
Review: "Once" makes you think twice about falling in love, with anyone
Published 02/19/2014 at 10:45 a.m.
Just this once, can "Once" have a twice? It was beautiful. It was brilliant. It never had a chance. All his love needed was her. And an audience at the height of season who didn't cough, sneeze, shuffle and snore. ...
Preview: "The Game's Afoot" as Gulfshore combines mystery, fun, farce
Published 02/18/2014 at 2:46 p.m.
Hey. Sherlock Holmes is coming to Naples. The famous detective is throwing a party. And the guests (might) end up dead. Tea at two. Dinner at eight. Murder at midnight. "The Game's Afoot" at Gulfshore Playhouse through March 16.
Review: Florida Rep gets audience howling at "Hound of the Baskervilles"
Published 02/18/2014 at 2:16 p.m.
Listen there, on the moor. That ghostly sound. Spine-tingling. Eerie. Holmes, Watson and dozen other characters dash out the door to investigate, finding laughs, howls and a fair suitcase of costumes along the way. If we never see "The Hound ...
Review: Lab Theater's "Altruists" offer great acting, tough questions
Published 02/18/2014 at 2:03 p.m.
You'll love them. You'll hate them. You'll love it. You'll hate it. You'll try to forget. You can't. You'll debate it. Who's good? Who's bad? Who's honest? Who's mad? Here's a clue: They're all bad. The altruists in "The Altruists" ...
Preview: Ghostbird finds "Beauty" in broken wings, four tons of sand
Published 02/18/2014 at 1:09 p.m.
Jim Brock turned to Virginia Woolf for inspiration in writing his new play, "Because Beauty Must Be Broken Daily," playing Feb. 19, 20, 21 and 23 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers.
Review: 'Seminar' features professor from Hell, but students carry pitchforks too
Published 02/12/2014 at 12:40 p.m.
Would you believe “Cubano transvestite gang leader?” That’s just one character, novel, plot point and great big surprise waiting in the Let’s Put On A Show play “Seminar,” running through Feb. 22 at the Golden Gate Community Center.
Love, and musical, for beginners in 'Once'
Updated 02/12/2014 at 2:31 p.m.
Everyone has a "once," an affair that may or may not stay with you the rest of your life.
Preview: 'People will be surprised' at the music and story of "Once"
Published 02/11/2014 at 4:32 p.m.
"Everyone has had an ex," Matt DeAngelis told me. "Once" is that story. He's that Guy. She's that Girl. "If you've never seen a musical before, this might be the one to start," DeAngelis said, describing "Once." Love story. Musical. ...
Review: Eager writers leap at fame, talent, insults, sex in "Seminar"
Published 02/10/2014 at 6:08 p.m.
Serve. Or be served, like a fat tennis ball, plump with new felt, fuzzy, fresh, tingling with anticipation, untouched by the hand of man until strings sail out of the sky and … THWACK. That's the message in bracing play ...
Review: Bitter battles in Conspiracy's gorgeous "Beauty Queen of Leenane"
Published 02/10/2014 at 5:57 p.m.
It's all a deadly game to "The Beauty Queen of Leenane." Complan, biscuits, paddleballs and all become pawns in Martin McDonagh's tale of two Irish women locked in a pyrrhic inferno.
Review: TheatreZone's "High Society" dances past "grandest party of 1938"
Published 02/07/2014 at 5:23 p.m.
Well, did you evah? TheatreZone dances, twirls and kicks through "the grandest party of 1938," Cole Porter's "High Society," a musical version of "The Philadelphia Story." Socialites, lovers, saucy minxes, undercover reporters and misbehaving servants gallop through a diverting night.
Review: Naples Players debate morals in search for some "Good People"
Published 02/06/2014 at 11:02 a.m.
Life is hard. You gotta play. But good is different than nice. The characters in David Lindsay-Abaire play "Good People" learn that - if slowly. South Boston never looked so … unappetizing as the Naples Players use a professional director ...
Theater Calendar: The play's the thing, with near-record number on local boards
Published 02/06/2014 at 7:44 a.m.
Got locked out of that play because you didn't order your tickets soon enough? Get a jump on the best performances with this February guide from theater critic Chris Silk.
Review: Florida Rep delivers on promise of "A Grand Night for Singing"
Published 02/04/2014 at 4 p.m.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II knew it. They wrote it in notes and trebles and clefs upon the page so bold. Florida Repertory Theatre proclaimed it, then sang it upon the vivid aqua stage. It was, truly, "A Grand ...