Friday, September 27, 2013

Jessica Walck replaces Jenna Canfield in "Trailer Park" at Naples Players

The Naples Players announced Friday afternoon that Jessica Walck would replace Jenna Canfield in the upcoming "The Great American Trailer Park Musical."

The announcement was made via the Naples Players Facebook page. (When we say "break a leg," we don't mean literally! Get well soon Jenna!)

Directed by Dawn Lebrecht Fornara, "The Great American Trailer Park Musical" includes Jessica Walck as Pippi, Debi Guthery as Betty, Lisa Frederico as Linoleum, Greg Jensen as Duke, Randall Jones as Norbert, Alyssa Lee as Pickles, and Laura Needle as Jeannie.

"The Great American Trailer Park Musical" runs Oct. 9 - Nov. 2 at the Naples Players. Tickets are $40. Call (239) 263-7990 or

Please note that the full title of the show includes "Musical." This is at least the second piece of press material that has omitted that.

Catch up on "The Last Five Years" at Fort Myers High School

Fort Myers High School will present four performances of Jason Robert Brown musical "The Last Five Years" from Oct. 3-5.

Two pairs of actors will partner for two shows each, with two directors. Sofia Tovar-Dias and Christian Koller will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5. Carley Levy and Othello Senecharles will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 and 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.

"The Last Five Years" is the story of Jamie and Cathy. Brown used an unusual storytelling style. Cathy's story is told in reverse chronological order, beginning at the end of their relationship, while Jamie's begins when they meet. The characters never interact except for one song at their wedding.

Tickets are $5 for general admission and $7 for preferred seating. Jessica Simmonds-Short and Ava Howard will direct.

"The Last Five Years" was one of the first shows I ever reviewed after taking over the theatre critic gig full-time way back in the dark ages of 2008. 

Do you want to act in "Death of a Salesman" at Lab Theater? Here's how

The Lab Theater seeks two male actors for roles in the Arthur Miller classic "Death of a Salesman."

Auditions will be held at the theater, located at 1634 Woodford Avenue in downtown Fort Myers on Tuesday, Oct. 15th at 6:30 p.m. Rehearsal starts in mid-Novembers. "Salesman" run Jan. 10-Feb. 1, 2014.

For more information, please email

Complete information and character breakdowns below.

FGCU Center for the Arts opens school's first musical "Pippin" on Oct. 3

Updated: Read the review of the FGCU production of "Pippin" here.

Updated: Catch up on all the "Pippin" coverage here, reviews & previews, more links...

Can't afford a ticket to New York to see the high-flying revival of "Pippin" that scooped the Tony for Best Revival this year? Stop in to FGCU and catch their first-ever musical!

"Pippin," directed by Dominic Missimi, the founder of Northwestern University’s musical theatre program, will run October 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 at 7:30 p.m. with matinĂ©e performances on October 12 & 13 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 and available at

Buy tickets for "Merrily We Roll Along," in movie theaters Oct. 23

Here's the new trailer for Stephen Sondheim musical "Merrily We Roll Along."

"Merrily We Roll Along" will play at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Hollywood 20 in Naples, Bell Tower in Fort Myers and Coconut Point in Estero. Tickets are $15 at Bell Tower and Coconut Point. If you want to slum it at Hollywood 20, you can save $2.50 and pay $12.50.

Buy tickets here.

The show is three hours long with one 15-minute intermission.

Edison students to star in trio of plays to raise awareness of domestic violence issues

Edison State College (or whatever it is called now) students will have roles in three upcoming plays.

Thespian Production, started by former Edison student Songhai Walton will produce three works exploring the theme of domestic violence over two nights on Oct. 18-19 at the Worldwide Vision Center located at 1400 Colonial Blvd., Suite 31 in Fort Myers. Titles include: "A Different Kind of Love," "Raging Love" and "Trapped."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New menu for The Cafe at Artis-Naples

Well, it's a start.

The Cafe at Artis–Naples has a new menu. I had not the temerity to try $8 mozzarella sticks or chicken taquitos. But it's a start.

I called it in July. Now if we could just get some fresh muffins in there.

See the menu below. I want to write about "Art After Hours" later too.

Theatre Conspiracy showcases work from six local playwrights through Oct. 6

Theatre Conspiracy continues its deep commitment to local playwrights with six one-night-only staged readings beginning Sept 26 and running through Oct. 6.

Tickets for all shows are $5. Available online at or at the door.

Here's the schedule:

8 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 26: "The Kepler Complex," by John Repa
8 p.m., Friday, Sept. 27: "The Pembridge Provocation," by Louise Wigglesworth
8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28: "The Inquisition," by Bob Hilliard
8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 3: "A Letter from Miss Kitty," by Wally Kain
8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4: "The Boardroom," by Stephen Hooper
2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 6" "By The Sea: Three One-Acts," by Fay Ellen Graetz

Downtown Diva Stephanie Davis to star as dead, depressed Veronica in Lab Theater's "Miss Witherspoon"

Stephanie Davis in "Miss Witherspoon."

Here's the cast list and photos from the upcoming Lab Theater comedy "Miss Witherspoon." Thank you Ty Landers!

Stephanie Davis in "Miss Witherspoon."
Christopher Durang play "Miss Witherspoon" features the adventures of Veronica in her afterlife. She was depressed in life and now she's depressed in death. Why can't she just take some time off? And why is her spirit guide making her go BACK to earth?

Stephanie Davis plays Veronica. Supporting cast includes: Rob Green, Kathleen Moye, Gerrie Benzing and Yvonne Shadrach. Annette Trossbach directs.

"Miss Witherspoon" runs Oct. 11-26. The Laboratory Theater of Florida is located at 1634 Woodford Avenue in downtown Fort Myers. Tickets are $12-$22 and available online at or at the door.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Read the review: "You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!"

Rachael Endrizzi and Adam Clough in "You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!"
I ran into director Paul Bernier (and wife and daughter) just before curtain at "You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up!" last Thursday. We chatted about the show; Paul didn't know I'd seen "Tomato" when it dipped into Artis–Naples this spring. (read that review here)

I had - and I'd liked the show. I'd also seen the photos from the Off-Broadway Palm production, thought it was hilarious that Rachael Endrizzi was a brunette who'd gone blonde for the role in "Fox on the Fairway" and was now wearing a brunette wig for the role of Annabelle. And Adam Clough is just plain funny.

Sexy play, cheap price for Gulfshore Playhouse's "Venus in Fur" preview

Kelley Curran and Nick Duckart in
Gulfshore Playhouse's "Venus in Fur."
Nick Duckart and Kelley Curran in
Gulfshore Playhouse's "Venus in Fur."
Kristen Coury cannot wait to find out what Neapolitans think about the Gulfshore Playhouse season opener "Venus in Fur."

"Venus in Fur?" Wasn't that a Lou Reed song? No.

Lou Reed wrote "Venus in Furs." The David Ives play "Venus in Fur" tells of  an actress who turns the tables on a playwright during an audition. Vanda conquers Thomas while wearing stilettos, leather shorts and wrestling on a chaise lounge. The whole time, they're acting out scenes from an 1870 piece of literature written by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. That's where we get "sadomasochism."

Artis–Naples adds Hertz CEO, two others to board

Hertz CEO Mark Frissora. Photo by David Albers / Naples Daily News
Artis–Naples added three new board members, including Hertz CEO Mark Frissora, the organization confirmed Wednesday.

Frissora serves as the Chairman and CEO of Hertz, which announced May 7 that it would relocate its worldwide headquarters to Estero. According to the 2012 Hertz annual report, the most recent available, Frissora also sits on the board of directors of Walgreen Company and Delphi Automotive Group. Frissora has owned a home in Naples for several years.