#TOPpicks for #SWFL arts & entertainment enthusiasts 12.28-01.02.2013

Posted on December 27, 2012

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Friday, Dec. 28
Fiddler tileTradition fiddles way into Southwest Florida
This Tony Award-winning musical centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach on their lives. Fiddler on the Roof is a timeless classic with a rousing and heartwarming score which includes Tradition; Matchmaker, Matchmaker; If I Were a Rich Man and Sunrise, Sunset. Come enjoy the show with dinner at the newly renovated Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and show at 7 p.m.  Tickets start at $47 for adults or $21 for children. The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is located at  1380 Colonial Boulevard  Fort Myers. For more information visit www.broadwaypalm.com or call 239. 278.4422.

537713_10152382820305565_2101307148_nFirestone’s breathtaking view—now open in downtown Fort Myers
So yes, the grand owner of The Edison Restaurant and Ford’s Garage is completing the holy trinity of Uncommon Friends by opening The Firestone – Grille, Martini Bar & Sky Lounge this week in Southwest Florida. Certainly the genius gentlemen who once spent their inventive time here could not have imagined the delicious trifecta of restaurants bearing their names coming to fruition. Or could they? Either way, the building once occupied by Peter’s and the famous Skybar is rumored to have undergone the most amazing transformation keeping the breathtaking views atop the building in tact with all of the bells and whistles to honor the tiremaker Mr. Harvey Firestone. Thank Daniel Kearns with a slap on the back for infusing Downtown Fort Myers with another out-of-the-park place to wine, dine, drink and party in the ever burgeoning River District—and right in front of the recently opened basin walk. The Firestone – Grille, Martini Bar & Sky Lounge is located at 2224 Bay Street, Fort Myers. For more information call 239.337.3473, like their Facebook page or head right there after a show or shopping through downtown Fort Myers.

greenmarket1-1Saturday, December 29
GREENMARKET—Locally Grown, Caught & Cultivated
Find a selection of local produce and products every Saturday morning from 9 a.m.— 1 p.m. at the Alliance for the Arts. Relax and enjoy live music, kids activities, yoga and even gardening and cooking workshops. Click here for more information. The Alliance for the Arts is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, Fl. For more information go to www.artinlee.org.

Sunday, December 30
Picture 3The Strauss Symphony of America
Welcome the New Year with “Salute to Vienna”, patterned after Vienna’s world famous “Neujahrskonzert,” returning for a glorious 14th season with a fresh, new program to the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.  A festive New Year’s concert, featuring a brilliant new cast of over 75 musicians, stellar European singers and dancers in beautiful costumes.  A light hearted blend of popular Strauss waltzes, polkas and famous operetta excerpts from “Die Fledermaus”, “The Merry Widow” and more-something for everyone to enjoy! With Imre Kollár, conductor (Budapest), Patricia Nessy, soprano (Vienna), Wolfgang Gratschmaier, tenor (Vienna); Dancers from Kiev-Aniko Ballet of Ukraine & International Champion Ballroom Dancers. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers. For tickets and more information head to www.bbmanpah.com, buy tickets online or at the box office at 13350 Edison Parkway, Fort Myers or call 239.481.4849.

Picture 6Take back all those gifts you don’t like and take in a football game
Looking for a place to take in the game and a drink after an arduous day of taking back gifts? Be sure to watch all the fun at The Edison in Fort Myers, located at 3583 McGregor Boulevard. For more information on football entertainment at the Edison go to http://www.edisonfl.com. It is a big Chicago Bears fan base but you can catch all of the big games there.

MV5BMTQ4NDI3NDg4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjY5OTI1OA@@._V1._SY317_GO see the best movie of all time
Les Miserables is out. It is my favorite Broadway show of all time. Now it is a movie. And as far as I’m concerned it shuffles to the list of the best movie of all time. Ever. Watching it after being a fan for 25 years was like waiting to have sex until you are married—and worth it. I admit I did not like Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean however, will go down to be one of the finest offerings modern cinema has ever offered. Go ahead and check best actor alongside best film, best score, best adaptation, best actress, best supporting actress, best costume. This film, despite most assuredly being a future awards hoarder, will move you, entertain you and probably make you cry a little. Find a theater near you and just go. If you aren’t familiar with the story based upon a Victor Hugo novel written in 1862, it is 19th-century France, and Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine’s daughter, Cosette. The fateful decision changes their lives forever. Go to www.lesmiserablesfilm.com/ for times & locations.

Monday, Dec. 31
TGIM1231hereRing in New Year’s Eve with elegance, class and toasts
Ever wish you could ring in the New Year with one of those movie picture perfect events like in When Harry Met Sally? Celebrate this New Year’s Eve in the picturesque movie-like elegance as the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center & the Fort Myers Film Festival are coming together to throw the classiest New Year’s Eve party in town!

The party will start at 9 p.m. in the finest building, the SBDAC, during the big downtown countdown in Fort Myers with hosts Eric Raddatz and Melissa Tschari DeHaven and a featured LIVE performance by Jazzlyn Little of X-Factor fame. Click here to see when she wowed Simon Cowell.

The night will also include performances by Melting Clockwork and Princess Johnson and include special guests Carie Small of Lingerie Football League fame, filmmaker Pat Mitchell and Lane Elder. Enjoy a ball drop, champagne toast, games, dancing & fun all night long!

You can get tickets now by going to www.sbdac.com or calling 239.333.1933. Tickets are $15 for general admission, which includes a champagne toast, dancing, games and a NYE photobooth with Garth Francis Photography. $60 for VIP backstage access will include bottles of champagne, delicious treats from Twisted Vine and Cristof’s, a chance to meet Jazzlyn Little and receive an autographed poster, free valet parking, a balloon drop and more.

T.G.I.M starts at 7 p.m. and is $5. Start out there and you get in the NYE party which starts at 9 p.m. FREE!

See you there for the best NYE party EVER!

The event is sponsored by the Fort Myers Film Festival, REE Corp, Jonesez BBQ, Inc., Conric Marketing, Simplify PR, Twisted Vine, Florida Weekly, Garth Francis Photography, Five Star Talent, Pamela Templeton Unlimited and the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. Doors open at 9 p.m. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St., Fort Myers 33901. Visit them at www.sbdac.com. See you there for the best NYE party EVER! Listen to the radio commercial for the event here.

Tuesday, January 1
Picture 5Download music you loved from the party last night
Take a moment to ring in the new year by supporting #SWFL musicians— download some music from original & local performers, many who just performed at the New Year Eve party last night. Freedom Hall, Jazzlyn Little, Princess Johnson, Heather Brooks, Darrell Nutt, Mike Rogers, Paige Miles, Vonzell Solomon, Casey Weston, Danny Sinoff, Al Holland, Dan Miller, Kat Epple and more all live here in Southwest Florida. Go to their websites and or right to iTunes to get at least one song of theirs. It will play nicely along your current playlist and you will be supporting creative musical neighbors of yours!

Picture 4Catch Me if You Can
Based on the hit DreamWorks film and the incredible true story that inspired it, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN is the high-flying, splashy new Broadway musical that tells the story of Frank W. Abagnale, Jr., a teenager who runs away from home in search of the glamorous life. With nothing more than his boyish charm, a big imagination and millions of dollars in forged checks, Frank successfully poses as a pilot, a doctor and a lawyer – living the high life and winning the girl of his dreams. But when Frank’s lies catch the attention of FBI agent Carl Hanratty, Carl chases Frank to the end…and finds something he never expected.

 This delightfully entertaining musical has been created by a Tony Award-winning “dream team,” with a book by Terrence McNally (The Full Monty, Ragtime), a swinging score by Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman (Hairspray), choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Legally Blonde) and direction by Jack O’Brien (Hairspray, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). Show starts at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets start at $32. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers. For more information head to www.bbmanpah.com, buy tickets online or at the box office at 13350 Edison Parkway, Fort Myers or call 239.481.4849.
—Eric Raddatz blogs occasionally to support the plight of the intelligent and artistically inclined living outside the realms of a big bustling city and inside the realms of #SWFL. To suggest events you think worthy of the Top Picks in #SWFL reach out to Eric on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ericraddatz

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