#SWFL TOP PICKS for Arts & Entertainment enthusiasts October 24-31, 2013

Posted on October 24, 2013

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There are so many options in Southwest Florida this time of year for arts and entertainment enthusiasts it is mind blowing. This week we’ve got tickling Elmo, singing Cats, dancing queens and so much more. Here are a few of my picks, top picks for you to consider for fun this week! Have a great one. —e

Thursday, October 24
Watch Blackfish, on CNN
Yes there are plenty of things to do tonight but if you haven’t watched Blackfish yet you just have to tune in to CNN tonight at 9 p.m.  EST. The film, which first opened at Sundance earlier this year, opens with the 911 call from SeaWorld, Orlando where their most expert orca whale trainer, Dawn Brancheau, was killed by the majestic 12,000 pound Tilikum. Initially labeled an accident, the tune shortly changed as witnesses began speaking publicly about what they saw, which was a very graphic, ravage attack, as the autopsy later proved. Why would a killer whale do such a thing? Well, for starters, it is because it is a KILLER whale. Duh.

Picture 3The question as to when, if ever, it is appropriate to have such wild predators in captivity, is delved into with excellent research from leading experts who explain a very sophisticated social structure surrounding these very intelligent creatures. The film also delivers footage never seen before, following Tilikum from infancy when he was extracted from his home as a baby in Iceland in the 80s through his adult life during which he has killed three humans while in captivity and siring many other whales for big profit.

Gabriela Cowperthwaite at the screening of Blackfish at Sarasota Film Festival Friday, April 5. Photo by Eric Raddatz / Florida Weekly

Gabriela Cowperthwaite at the screening of Blackfish at Sarasota Film Festival. Photo by Eric Raddatz

With footage from international performances, statistics from dozens of incidents of orca aggression and several retired trainers who worked with the limp-finned killer Tilikum, this eye-opening film will be a serious splash on the industry. Just what effect the movie was intended to provoke the director left ambivalent when questioned directly. “I just pointed the camera and focused on what I was seeing. I will let others decide what to do. But I know what I would do,” Gabriela Cowperthwaite said about her film. When asked just how she got all of the footage she credited being diligent. “Sometimes you have to be the squeekiest wheel to get what you want.”

SeaWorld, owned by Blackstone, had filed for a U.S. IPO in December looking to go public this year, but may face a challenge now according to Samantha Berg, former trainer in attendance Friday night and featured in the film. When asked to disclose any things outstanding that could impact the company financially she said they disclosed “the court case with OSHA, this film Blackfish and the book ‘Death at Seaworld’ by David Kirby, all of which we’ve been involved with.”Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. were leading the offering, according to recent regulatory filings before this opening with SeaWorld hoping to get somewhere in the $500 million range. There is no certainty as to how exactly SeaWorld might change their policies but Tilikum till this day performs there. For the trailer head to http://blackfishmovie.com.

Friday, October 25
Be a curious cat—like Rum Tum Tugger! 
I remember watching Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS in Chicago as a child. Then I saw it on Broadway. Now we can see it here in Fort Myers. It is a unique, spectacular musical with fantastic costumes and electrifying dancing. You’ll be surrounded by theatre cats, rock and roll cats, mischievous cats, romantic cats, magical cats and my favorite—Rum Tum Tugger— the curious cat! Tickets are just $18 for anyone 18 and under, $55 for others, and can be reserved by calling 239.278.4422, by visiting www.BroadwayPalm.com or by stopping by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. The show plays through December.

Picture 8Saturday, October 26
Mamma Mia!
MAMMA MIA! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. Now it’s your turn to have the time of your life at this smash-hit musical that combines ABBA’s greatest hits, including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take A Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All,” with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship. Whether it’s your first visit or your fourteenth, see the show that has the whole world coming back for more, because every time feels like the first time at MAMMA MIA! Tickets to his show start at $38. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall is located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919. For more information call 239.489.3033 or head to www.bbmannpah.com

GreenMarket-Logo1Wake up to locally grown foods, fun, entertainment and more
Join the Alliance for the Arts 10-acre campus every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to find an exclusive selection of locally grown, caught and cultivated foods and other products available to sample and purchase. Enjoy live entertainment by local musicians and fun activities for kids, gardening classes, yoga and live cooking by local chefs.

The event is free. More information is available at www.artinlee.org The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

Monday, October 14
Indie movies, music and fun
Watch as they judge films submitted to the Fort Myers Stay Indie My FriendsFilm Festival and have your say as to whether or not they make the grade to make final programming. Attendees are encouraged to grab dinner first at our sponsor with delicious food—Edison Restaurant and hit the afterbuzz at Twisted Vine Bistro where late night happy hour prices are on tap with delicious locally grown eclectic foods and where the intellectual conversation continues. The Fort Myers Film Festival reminds you this year to “Stay Indie, My Friends.”

1375766_621528631224029_1606563715_nThis Monday  TGIM with judges Mayoral candidate Raimond Aulen, filmmaker Chris Bright, The River Weekly News & Island Sun’s Tish Molloy, hosted by Eric Raddatz and co-host Melissa DeHaven. JOIN THE TGIM EVENT HERE

For more information, go to www.fortmyersfilmfestival.com or join www.facebook.com/fortmyersfilmfestival for updates and events.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 $6 and can be purchased at the door, by going to www.sbdac.com or by calling 239.333.1933. During October, bring in a canned good or food to be contributed to the Harry Chapin Food Bank and get 1/2 off admission. For more information go to www.fortmyersfilmfestival.com. An after party at Twisted Vine Bistro downtown Fort Myers usually stays lively with late night happy hour, conversation and fun. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. in Fort Myers.

Join us at intermission brought to you by All About Closets— Bring an indie movie out from your closet and swap it with someone at TGIM!  For a free design consultation for your closet needs head to www.allaboutclosets.com

942305_10151683427709304_537568566_nTuesday, Oct. 29
So You Think You Can Dance comes to Fort Myers
The traveling show that you watched and voted on the Fox dance show takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. with performances by the top 10 finalists from the 10th season of the reality show.  Tickets to his show start at $38. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall is located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919. For more information call 239.489.3033 or head to www.bbmannpah.com

Picture 9Wednesday, Oct. 30
Let Elmo tickle you; Sesame Street comes to Fort Myers
Do you love Sesame Street? Do you love Elmo and the thought of tickling him or letting him tickle you? Ok, that might be weird. Anyway, come bring the kiddos to Germain Arena and see Elmo and friends sing and perform in this all-new show. Tickets start at $15. For tickets to the 10:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m show head to the box office at 11000 Everblades Pkwy call 948-7825 or hit up www.sesamestreetlive.com.

Friday, November 1
486299_537230122970998_591417287_nArtwalk
Downtown Fort Myers really turns into a culture packed town when Art Walk hits the first Friday of every month. Just drive downtown and park, look eat and dance if you must. Check out the eats, drinks, shops, restaurants and arts centers to enjoy the magnificence that surrounds you.

Just for the hell of it
This is a big month for me with fun stuff dropping. A TIME TO KILL’s Jake Brigance returns in SYCAMORE ROW, on sale Oct. 22 by author John Grisham. Reflektor by Arcade Fire drops Oct. 29. The Counselor comes out Oct. 25 and OH boy, my boy is set to drop Oct. 28. Wish my wife Amy and I the best everyone!

slide20Here for the first time? Here are some must tries
 Lush French Bakery  offers freshly baked pastries, baguette, croissant and breads still filling the room with the warm scent of baked goods hot from the oven. Looking for the best coffee spot & donut spot in town. Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Their donuts are heaven.

The Beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva are implied options, of course with the best rated beaches in the world.

Picture 8Best Food Downtown—Hands Down
Twisted Vine has become the go to restaurant when it comes to the most delicious, locally grown, eclectic cuisine, prepared delicately for the most wonderful culinary delights. Be sure to go here while you are in town. Twisted Vine is located at 2214 Bay St., Fort Myers, right next to the recently opened basin walk. Call them at 226-1687 or head to www.twistedvinebistro.com for more information. You will see me there!

—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 www.twitter.com/ericraddatz for more updates! When in doubt be sure to pick up a Florida Weekly while in town or head to www.floridaweekly.com

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