Top picks for things to do in #SWFL for the arts enthusiasts 01.26-2.5.2013

Posted on January 26, 2013


I’m getting married. ‘So what?’ you say.

Well, with dozens of family members and friends coming to town I have the distinct honor of giving them the quick list of things to do while here. This week there is simply a ton to do here. Of course, the beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva are implied options. But there are bunches of arts & entertainment activities happening this wedding week of mine. Here are just a few top picks that you might enjoy knowing about as well. Enjoy— E 🙂

276829_109205299245367_78007671_nSaturday, Jan. 26
Concert at the Davis
The Screaming Orphans are four funny, high-spirited, musically-obsessed sisters with the good fortune to have been raised in the magic of Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland. The band is quite popular in Fort Myers and the sisters have played here numerous times over the years. This will be their 4th concert at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center. Last year’s event was a sellout and The Screaming Orphans put on a fantastic show. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased from Rotary or at The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. in Fort Myers.

Picture 13Sunday, Jan. 27
Enjoy award winning theater with Time Stands Still
Sarah and James, a photographer and a journalist, have been together for years and share a life documenting the realities of war. But when circumstances compel them to return home from covering the war in Iraq, the adventurous couple confronts the reality of leading a more conventional life. Time Stands Still is a poignant and stirring drama from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Dinner with Friends and Collected Stories. Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased at the box office located at  2267 Bay Street, Fort Myers, by visiting or by calling 239.332.4488.

537594_231236543676481_1652394212_nFirestone’s grand view
The grand owner of The Edison Restaurant and Ford’s Garage has completed the holy trinity of Uncommon Friends with The Firestone – Grille, Martini Bar & Sky Lounge. 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. Not to mention the fantastic view. Or could they?  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.

150007_10152481714960565_1002569400_nMonday, Jan. 28
Missing Sundance? It’s ok. Fort Myers Film Festival has films
It is ok if you cannot make the trek to Park City, Utah this week. The Fort Myers Film Festival has your back—and your fix—for independent films every Monday. Enjoy indie films in consideration for the 2013 Fort Myers Film Festival this Monday with judges Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Laura Chmielewski, Artist Marcus Jansen, Lia Martino, host Eric Raddatz, co-host Melissa DeHaven, with musical guest Phillip Gonzales. There will be pizza from Edison Restaurant, coffee from Bennett’s Fresh Roast and an open bar with $1 off during the 6:30-7 p.m. happy-half-hour. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St., Fort Myers. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door, by going to or by calling 239.333.1933. For more information go to An afterparty at Twisted Vine Bistro downtown Fort Myers usually stays lively with late night happy hour, conversation and fun. If you are at Sundance, disregard just go see some films there. For a roundup on what to expect at Sundance this year click here.

538-1Tuesday, Jan. 29
Can you say Robin Williams?
The Academy Award-winning actor and multiple Grammy Award-winning performer unparalleled in the scope of his imagination, Robin Williams continues to add to his repertoire of indelible characters. Well known for his free-associative monologues and for pointing out life’s absurdities through his astute social and political observations, Williams performed 90 shows in 65 cities before 300,000 fans over the course of his most recent stand-up tour. Born in Chicago and raised in both Michigan and California, he trained at New York’s Juilliard School under John Houseman. It was in 1978 when Williams first captured the attention of the world as “Mork from Ork” on the hit television series, Mork & Mindy which ran on ABC for four seasons.

He then made his cinematic debut in 1980 when he starred as the title character in Robert Altman’s Popeye. His additional film credits include The World According to Garp, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, The Fisher King, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, The Birdcage, Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams and Night at the Museum. I personally remember loving him as the genie from Aladdin.
Click here to catch this night of ‘sit down’ with the comedic genius at The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, which is located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers. Tickets can also be purchased by visiting the box office or by calling 239.481.4849.

Dixie Swim Club Web TileWednesday, Jan. 30
Dixie Swim Club
Five southern women, all on the same college swim team, meet every August at a beach cottage in North Carolina’s Outer Banks to catch up, laugh and rekindle their friendship. This hilarious and touching comedy focuses on four of those weekends over a period of 33 years and the enduring loyalty among these five unforgettable women and their friendship that will last forever. The show, with a dinner, starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets start at $13. Tickets can be purchased at The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, located at  1380 Colonial Boulevard,  Fort Myers by visiting or calling 239. 278.4422.

105659aThursday, Jan. 31
Willie Nelson comes to Germain
I could not be happier that the grandpappy of country and hillbilly is on the road again. I’ve seen him once in Fort Myers and his show is one you will never forget. He is a legend. Tickets start at $37 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster or by heading down to Germain Arena located at 11000 Everblades Parkway in Estero. Go VIP for 1 great ticket (or GA ticket where applicable) to the show, 1 exclusive Willie Nelson T-shirt, 1 exclusive Willie Nelson tote bag, 1 trigger guitar USB drive/keychain, 1 keepsake VIP laminate, 1 year Willie Nelson Club Luck fan club membership and 1 digital download of the live show. Good luck.

547979_10150678656848440_660675243_nFriday, Feb. 1
Downtown Fort Myers seethes art during ArtFest / Art Walk collision, uh, I mean collusion
Downtown Fort Myers really turns into a culture packed town when either of these two events takes place. When they take place at the same time it rivals some of the finest art events in the world—no offense Basel. Just drive downtown and park. Walk around the dozens of booths, shops, restaurants and arts centers to enjoy the magnificence that surrounds you. Be sure to pop into Lush French Bakery, Ford’s Garage, the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and Twisted Vine. You will have no trouble finding 20404_537231109637566_671907373_nsomewhere to grab a great meal, drink and great people watching. Art Walk takes place the first Friday of every month. For more information about venues along the route head to  ArtFest Fort Myers is best known for its annual juried fine art festival, which occurs annually. On the first weekend in February (same weekend as my wedding) 70,000 people come to the riverfront in downtown Fort Myers and enjoy the special opportunities the festival provides: meeting visual artists from across the country and around the world, sampling fun cuisine, visiting special exhibits and artist demonstrations, and entertaining their families with interactive art activities and performing arts. For more information head to Oh and be sure to go to Bennett’s Fresh Roast Coffee at some point during your trip. Only the best coffee and donuts in town! Located at 2011 Bay St. in Fort Myers. For more information head to

super-bowl-49ers-vs-ravens_webSunday, Feb. 3
Superbowl Sunday
Looking for a place to take in the game and a drink after an exhausting crazy wedding? Be sure to watch all the fun at Twisted Vine Bistro at2214 Bay Street, Fort Myers or  The Edison in Fort Myers, located at 3583 McGregor Boulevard Fort Myers. If it is too crowded there may I suggest plopping down on your couch and cooking up a bunch of wings and pizza?

735186_10152457844170565_93084529_n-1Monday, Feb. 4
The intellectual bride hosts TGIM—Indie movies on Monday
I’m proud that my bride, a very intellectual one, will be hosting for the very first time at Fort Myers Film Festival’s indie film show.  Enjoy indie films in consideration for the 2013 Fort Myers Film Festival this Monday with judges Amy Raddatz, Terry Tincher, host Eric Raddatz, co-host Melissa DeHaven, musical guests Erica Wagner. There will be pizza from Edison Restaurant, coffee from Bennett’s Fresh Roast and an open bar with $1 off during the 6:30-7 p.m. happy-half-hour. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St., Fort Myers. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door, by going to or by calling 239.333.1933. For more information go to An afterparty at Twisted Vine Bistro downtown Fort Myers usually stays lively with late night happy hour, conversation and fun.

188171_116482891845525_2035664492_nSave the date— March 21-24
Fort Myers Film Festival
It is official. Tickets to the Fort Myers Film Festival’s opening night gala at the Barbara B. Mann Thursday, March 21 are ON SALE NOW! Tickets for the red carpet roll out and opening night film & party with filmmakers are only $19! Be sure to tell a friend. Go VIP that night for only $99! Tickets are on sale at

Step aside Sundance, Cannes and Toronto.

The Fort Myers Film Festival’s 3rd annual festival will be held March 21-24, 2013 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Alliance for the Arts, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre with parties at Twisted Vine Bistro and Edison Restaurant.

The Black Tie Red Carpet Gala will be celebrated with excitement and style March 21, 2013 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at 7 p.m. The event will begin with the red carpet rolling out, paparazzi clicking and doors opening at 5 p.m. for drinks, mingling & musical entertainment with local and international filmmakers prior to the featured movie. Tickets are $19, $99 for an VIP star studded backstage afterparty with the stars of the opening night’s films, with music, dancing, open bar and chance to meet with the stars of the evening’s film, filmmakers and event VIP. The event will provide the delicious foods from Lush Bakery. Watch last years video here
To buy tickets go to for more information go to

Then come back for all of the programming from Friday, March 22- Sunday March 24, 2013. Films are $5 through the entirety of the festival playing at the magnificent Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center.

Then finish off the weeklong celebration with champange & dessert awards ceremony which will take place at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre in Fort Myers with an afterparty to follow. Tickets are $15.

Join all of the local and international filmmakers as the celebrate the winners of the Fort Myers Film Festival. Champagne and dessert will be shared, short award winning films will be played and toasts will be deservedly pronounced.

The Fort Myers Film Festival is an intelligent independent filmmaker’s preferred event to create, unite and showcase the finest artistic cinematic works. The Fort Myers Film Festival is known for world-class swagger and support of local filmmakers. The festival event offers ‘the most vibrant intellectual and edgy crowd to grace Lee County in decades.’ The inaugural event featured two dozen local filmmakers is a must attend for cineasts who love indie film and film festivals living in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. That’s right, Fort Myers has a very exciting and upcoming film festival now, so come out for the fun.

In its first two years over three dozen local filmmakers shared the spotlight with independent films playing at the Fort Myers Film Festival that spanned the globe with selections from as far as Sierra Leone, Ireland, Poland, Japan and Sweden. “We all need to support local film, local business and local filmmakers in today’s economy. Knowing our area has something viable to offer in the realms of moviemaking will contribute towards economic growth and stability.” Eric Raddatz, founder of the festival said. “I am so thankful to all of the support we have received from the city and county as well as the local businesses. We need to come together in these difficult economic times and show the world we have something strong to offer here in Southwest Florida.”

—Eric Raddatz is occasionally surprised as to all of the cool events that are happening in #SWFL and likes to share them with you. Follow him at for more updates! When in doubt be sure to pick up a Florida Weekly while in town or head to

Posted in: Uncategorized