#SWFL top picks for arts & entertainment enthusiasts for the week of November 14-23, 2014

Posted on November 14, 2014

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One of the trickiest things to do lately is deciding how to go about picking what to do in town these days, with so much going on in season. This week we have So You Think You Can Dance dancers, Bret Michaels and the golden voice from the Oscars making my list of top things to try. Oh, there are a few more in here to I know you will love. —Cheers, E

Bret-MichaelsssFriday, November 14, 2014
Every rose has its …
Bret Michaels, singer, songwriter and reality television personality, performs at Six Bends Harley-Davidson on Friday to benefit March of Dimes Bikers for Babies. Six Bends is located at 9501 Thunder Road in Fort Myers, exit 131 off I-75 at Daniels Parkway. Gates will open at 6 p.m. opening band at 7 p.m. Bret will perform at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35and can be purchased at 96 K-Rock, Six Bends Harley-Davidson, Naples Harley-Davidson or SixBends.com. If you’re a rider, register for Bikers for Babies at bikersforbabies.org/SouthWestFlorida and receive a $10 off promo code for the Bret Michaels concert.

Voices of gold
Many of the most distinctive voices in the nation and world will converge  here for a three-day gathering at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, brought to you by #SWFL resident Randy Thomas, an accomplished voice-over artist. Thomas is the first woman to announce the Academy Awards, and she also has announced the Tony and Emmy awards. Thomas does voice work for Entertainment Tonight, and for many local radio and television stations in America. The event kicks off Friday night with cocktails at 5 p.m. but goes through the weekend. For more information head to www.randythomaspresents.com/wink-tv-distinctive-voices-to-come-to-fort-myers-in-november/#more-1075

shutterstock_177729365Saturday, November 15, 2014
Artful lobster
The Hermitage Artful Lobster is set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Hermitage Artist Retreat’s beachfront campus featuring a lobster buffet lunch by Michael’s on East, artists to meet, and more. $175 individuals; $250 patrons. Here is where can you feast on a gourmet lobster buffet in splendid surroundings of historic buildings nestled among the coastal environment of Manasota Key and engage in easy conversations with great friends and talented artists while raising essential funds for an artist retreat . For more infomation head to HermitageArtistRetreat.org

shutterstock_84352279Head there right meow
Curl up and get kitty cozy at the Platinum Coast Cat Fanciers Cat Show which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Araba Shriners Hall, 2910 Hanson St., Fort Myers. For more information call 239.823.4299 or head to www.catshows.us.

678Sunday, November 16, 2014
Yak it up with Ralphie May
Voted one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch,” Ralphie May debuted on season one of  “Last Comic Standing,” and has a proven track record of selling out multiple shows. Ralphie doesn’t shy away from touchy topics or ethnic jokes, nor does he bite his tongue when society suggests, because he sincerely believes that as long as what he’s saying is true, people need to hear it. Ralphie has worked as a writer and producer on ESPN’s “Mohr Sports” starring Jay Mohr and performed stand-up on numerous late night talk shows including four appearances on CBS’s “The Late Late Show w/ Craig Kilborn” as well as eleven appearances on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He has appeared on “The Man Show” and MTV’s “Bash” as well as guest-starred on NBC’s “Whoopie.” For additional information, please visit www.ralphiemay.com. FOr tickets head to www.bbmannpah.com/performance.php?id=678 Tickets start at $28 and can be purchased at the The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers. For more information call 239.489.3033 or head to www.bbmannpah.com.

flrep_logoTuesday, November 18, 2014

Florida Rep’s Vanya is a must see
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike kick off the Florida Repertory Theatre’s season. The show revolves around three middle-aged single siblings and was 2013’s Tony-Winning best play. Newsday says it is “One of the funniest comedies Broadway has seen in seasons!”  Tickets are $45 and $25 for previews and can be purchased by heading down to the box office at 2267 1st Street, Fort Myers, calling 239.332.4488 or by emailing BoxOffice@FloridaRep.org. For more info head to www.floridarep.org/.

j-cole-to-perform-at-governors-ball-594x280Thursday, November 20, 2014
Eaglepalooza
YG and J. Cole will be the featured acts at the eighth annual Eaglepalooza this fall at the Germain Arena in Estero, FL. Tickets are $54. Head to www.ticketmaster.com/eaglepalooza-estero-florida-11-20-2014/event/

C6 Trailer Park Xmas Press 3The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical
Jingle all the way with the eclectic residents of Armadillo Acres who are back with an all-new holiday musical! When amnesia strikes the trailer park Scrooge; Betty, Lin, Pickles and some new neighbors are put to the test. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $18 can be reserved by calling 239.278.4422, Tickets 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.

396994_205317936230622_212791666_nVisit the Eric Raddatz Bridge for fresh fruit, veggies and more
Ok whatever you call the Caloosahatchee Bridge be sure to come down from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. every Thursday year round in the Centennial Park parking lot 2000 W. First St. for great fresh market items. Call 239.810.6323 for more information. Be sure to like the Eric Raddatz Bridge Facebook page here.

Main-Image1Friday, November 21, 2014
Get creative in the sand
The 28th Annual American Sand Sculpting Championship is coming back to Fort Myers Beach November 21 through 30, 2014 with more sculptures than ever before.  Master sand sculptors will hit Fort Myers Beach in front of the Wyndham Garden Hotel, forming the largest sand sculpting event in the state with an all new layout. For more information head to fmbsandsculpting.com

GreenMarket-Logo1Saturday, November 22, 2014
Get fresh
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.

soyouthinkyoucandance.jpg.800x800_q85Sunday, November 23, 2014
So you think you can dance?
Celebrating its momentous 11th season, SYTYCD’s top 10 finalists will make their way across North America all the way to Fort Myers. The Season 11 tour lineup includes the following top 10 finalists: Bridget Whitman, Casey Askew, Emilio Dosal, Jacque LeWarne, Jessica Richens, Ricky Ubeda, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart.

“ I believe these dancers have inspired the choreographers to create remarkable dance numbers each week. I am excited for your favorite dancers to bring their inspiration and routines to even more cities throughout the nation on this year’s tour,” stated Nigel Lythgoe, judge, executive producer and co-creator of the hit FOX series. Head to https://www.bbmannpah.com/performance.php?id=657. Tickets start at $39 and can be purchased at the 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.

10653329_10154709595670565_3225239365612252224_nTake a break from the arts—engage in a conversation and watch some football
So you may or may not be a Dolphins or Bucs fan. Seeing as everyone is from somewhere else here you  may even be more likely to be a Bears, Patriots, Packers or Steelers fan. Whatever the case, there are hotspots with great views that are artistic all on there own where you can at least talk about art & entertainment while the game plays in the back. Belushi’s Live become a ‘Bear’s Cave” if you are a Bears Fan, filled with Walter Payton, Mike Ditka and Jay Cutler (currently, even though he sucks) jerseys. Head downtown if you want one of the best views in Fort Myers at Firestone’s Sky Bar. Also, Ford’s, Capones, Twisted Vine and Sunshine Grille will be playing games.

Here for the first time? Here are some must tries
Looking for the best coffee spot & doughnut spot in town? Try Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Their donuts are heaven. Any beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva are implied options, of course, with the best rated beaches in the world.

Picture 3Purchase your Broadway series tickets at Barbara B. Mann
Head to the Barbara B. Mann Perorming arts hall and purchase your Broadway Series tickets! For as little as $172, you can get a ticket to all 5 shows including The Book of Mormon, The Phantom of the Opera, Blue Man Group, Camelot and Annie. Unofficial word has it that you will be able to get Book of Moorman tickets two days earlier than Artis-Naples here! http://www.bbmannpah.com/ 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 http://www.bbmannpah.com

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. If there is a celebration to have you will see me there. Twisted Vine is located at 2214 Bay St., Fort Myers, right next to the recently opened basin walk. Call them at 239.226.1687 or head to www.twistedvinebistro.com for more information. You will see me there!

10320291_10154734284150565_1054798492140566181_nFair trade downtown Fort Myers
Market Earth supports local artists, fair trade partners and recyclers from around the world. At their store in downtown Fort Myers you will find unique products that support a global marketplace with exceptional standards of quality and creativity. All their goods represent a philosophy of social awareness and they are proud to be a purveyor of change in the way they treat this beautiful earth and all the people, everywhere, who live on it. Check them out at www.marketearth.net

—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 SWFLtoppicks

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