Summer is nearly over—top picks to do for arts and entertainment enthusiasts in #SWFL from 8.28-9.8.2015

Posted on August 28, 2015


Just as there are always less things to do in the hot summer in #SWFL there always comes that time, that moment, when things start to pick up and it seems as if that time is now. With the end of the hurricane season looking to go out with some noise, we as Southwest Floridians start to feel an occasional cool breeze at night and realize that yes, season is upon us.

Keeping busy through summer usually means traveling elsewhere with artistic events sparsely performed, but now we start to have some selections for activities. Here are a few of my favorites coming up. —Cheers, E

SEE Press 4Friday, August 28, 2015
Dinner and an enchanting Broadway show
Head to the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre to enjoy Broadway Palm’s opening its 23rd Season with Some Enchanted Evening playing August 27 through September 26, 2015. Rediscover the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein in this delightful musical revue. Broadway Palm is offering a “Season Opener Special” and all tickets are just $45 for dinner and the show. They can be reserved by calling 239.278.4422, by visiting or by stopping by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

Eva 02Saturday, August 29, 2015
Get happy
The play Happy takes place in Eduardo’s loft apartment shared with his 20-something girlfriend, Eva, a cynical and observant sculptor in The Laboratory Theater of Florida’s August offering. Eva makes us question: Is happiness a state one can achieve? Do we all live “lives of quiet desperation” as Thoreau believed? Or is happiness a choice, an attitude? In Robert Caisley’s psychodrama we ponder that question as we witness an evening which begins as a friendly dinner and ends up in blood, sweat and tears. Tickets are $12 for students and $25 for adults at the door. Seating is limited. The Laboratory Theater is located at 1634 Woodford Ave in Fort Myers. For more information head to

11230725_10155857636680565_3769326646880571742_nGet 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, free yoga and live cooking by local chefs. Be sure to check out Gina’s authentic Mexican cuisine. Her tamales are unbelievable. The event is free. The tamales are only $3. More information is available at The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

10363797_1636854543204187_3988493803123753421_nSunday, August 30, 2015
Sushi, sushi and more sushi through end of summer
At this point you are probably aware that SWFL does not stack up well to most of the cuisine you can get in bigger cities. We do, however, live up to sushi that’s as good as you will find anywhere at Blu Sushi in downtown Fort Myers. They are a great dinner/happy hour location, we know this, with large projected walls, fresh & edgy decor and superb service. They have rolled out that the summer means they are bringing back the all you can eat sushi lunches. So for $13 you can enjoy endless sushi from the best place to get sushi around. Yeah, you cannot miss this one. For more information hit up their Facebook page here. Blu Sushi is located at 2262 First Street, Fort Myers.

11214340_1177330028948876_6987579766418699047_nMonday, August 31, 2015
Doug MacGregor exhibit
Artwork by well-known cartoonist and illustrator Doug MacGregor is on display through Aug. 31 in the art gallery of the Cape Coral Library. The exhibit features original drawn and painted cartoons that satirize and celebrate the #SWFL lifestyle. The Cape Coral library is located at 921 SW 39th Terrace, Cape Coral.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 4.09.33 PMTuesday, September 1, 2015
Finish up dog days of summer with awesome art at the Alliance
The Alliance for the Arts hosts the “Dog Days” exhibit through Sept. 19. Enjoy work by graphic artist Sarah Tumm, featured in the Member Gallery, and artwork by Randy Kashi, displayed in the Theatre Lobby. More information is available at The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

7556G_LTD_NDNAD_FINAL2Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Bring a dress, support a good cause, join a great group
The fifth annual Love That Dress! to benefit PACE Center for Girls-Collier at Immokalee starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Naples Grande Beach Resort, located at 475 Seagate Dr, Naples, FL 34103. Refresh your wardrobe at great prices for a great cause, or bring one in to show your support. For more information head to

396994_205317936230622_212791666_nThursday, September 3, 2015
Visit 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, awesome food trucks, locally produced honey, veggies and more. Be sure to like the Eric Raddatz Bridge Facebook page here. 

11866294_10155917416495156_6476097062108195753_nFriday, September 4, 2015
UNIT A is hosting the first public reception in two months during Art Walk to view all new Museum works by Jansen. The wildly creative SWFL artist has been busy this summer and will have his first major monograph published in Milan Italy with SKIRA Editione. The book documents over a decade worth of work and will be distributed worldwide to museums. Marcus Jansen: Examine & Report documentary is also to be released end of this year. This is a a major international project with leading art personalities. To see a video on Marcus head to UNIT A is located at at 1922 Evans ave, unit A. For more information head to their Facebook event page here.

11895150_10153569384501649_1036534399129303818_oThe Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is proud to host the 2015 Art Expo by the Portrait & Figure Painters Organization of SW Florida opening 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. during Art Walk. This exhibition showcases paintings that follow the rich tradition of classical artwork that grew out of the Renaissance. The artists will also host an Art Talk that will be held on Tuesday, September 8th at 7pm. The exhibition will consist of: Dorothy Salcedo, Hugette Haaland, Patricia Dunker, “Nadi” Renate Reuter, Julie Dean Griffin, Javier Martinez, Wanda Carter, Cathy Beard, Vanessa Morris and Victoria Hamachek. Admission is free. Opening night also enjoy live music by Love Hunter. The 2015 Art Expo will be on display through September 24, 2015. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First Street, in the downtown Fort Myers River District. For information, visit or call 239.333.1933.

3rachel_moormanArts for ACT Gallery offers new exhibit
Arts for ACT Gallery will have an opening reception and new exhibit featuring artist Rachel Moorman from 6-10 p.m. during Art Walk.  Head to 2265 First St., Fort Myers to see this amusing and wonderful new artis— not much is listed on their website, unfortunately. Moorman is an artist native of Chicago, Illinois. She has called Southwest Florida her home since 1999. Rachel specializes in several different mediums, but is known predominately for her story telling acrylic paintings, custom painted shoes and her unique Japanese paper-cutting. Rachel has won over 25 awards in shows around the Chicagoland area. She has worked with designers in Southwest Florida since 2001, doing mural work. She is currently working on several new paintings and paper-cut jewelry art pieces.

11875024_10153534712947421_4872922136667161974_oSaturday, September 5, 2015
The day after ArtWalk there is always good art at Howl
This month check out the solo show featuring the artwork of Brian Reedy’s which includes pop culture and fine art influenced wood block style prints. Brian’s work is a favorite among art collectors and comic book aficionado’s. Prints will be available. For more information head to the Facebook event page here.

11119639_10155705532830565_6028868855573272019_oSunday, September 6, 2015
Start your Sunday a bit slower—and sweeter
Looking for the best coffee spot & doughnut spot in town to ease into your Sunday? Try Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Alton Brown bragged “Bennett’s Fresh Roast has the Ft. Myers doughnut market cornered…and with good reason.” Their donuts are heaven. It is also right down the street from Centennial Park and Edison & Ford Winter Estates so go for it—you know you deserve it. Bennett’s Fresh Roast is located at 2011 Bayside Pkwy in Fort Myers.

Cast from Diary of a Teenage Girl at Sundance premiere

Cast from Diary of a Teenage Girl at Sundance premiere

Some indie films play here—check out this one with Kristin Wiig
Finally some indie films come to SWFL in the bigger theaters. In one, The Diary of a TeenageGirl starring Kristen Wiig, Bel Powley and Alexander Skarsgård, we enter a world where a 15-year old falls deeply in love with her mother’s boyfriend. The relationship gets very sexual and both affirm their deep love for each other. But is this love or just plain rape?

See my review from Sundance here.

FMFFTGIM0915Monday, September 7, 2015
T.G.I.M. kicks off with indie films, music, comedy and more
The popular T.G.I.M. film screening series will be held the first Monday of each month in downtown Fort Myers starting again September 7, 2015. T.G.I.M. features short indie films being considered for the sixth annual Fort Myers Film Festival. Those in attendance will have a say in the Fort Myers Film Festival’s April 7-10, 2016 programming. T.G.I.M. takes place at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers, located at 2301 First Street, Fort Myers. T.G.I.M. offers fresh films, not in distribution, local celebrities and honorary judges, indie music, conversation, drinks and more. Doors open for happy hour at 6:30 p.m. with pizza from Capone’s and coffee from Bennett’s. Films are presented at 7 p.m.

Join us on Monday, September 7, 2015 with celebrity judges & talent Terry Tincher, fashion designer Kariza, Ask an Expert radio host Tom Conwell, FMFF programming director Toni Gonzales, comedy by the legendary Norma Miller and musical guest Gabrielle Macafee, host Eric Raddatz and co-host Melissa DeHaven. This lineup will make this T.G.I.M. one to remember.

GF1_4952 FMFF Crowd LRThis year the FMFF encourages all to #BeInspired and use the hashtag when discussing T.G.I.M. “If you want to be inspired you have to go somewhere you CAN be inspired,” host and director Eric Raddatz said. “If there is a better place to go in Southwest Florida someone please tell me. Here you get fresh, indie short films, indie music, smart people, great food and drinks and the most fun you can have, all with intellecualization and a conversation in our community that is so needed and so valuable. This year we were honored to be awarded a Chrysalis Award for cultural achievement by the Lee Visitors Convention Bureau and the Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. All I can say is there is a good reason for that.”

An “afterbuzz” will always be held following T.G.I.M. at the nearby Twisted Vine Bistro, 2214 Bay St., where late night happy hour prices on drinks and appetizers are offered to T.G.I.M. audience members. Twisted Vine was most recently recognized with an excellence award from Wine Spectator, the only restaurant in Fort Myers with that distinction.

A special podcast of attending filmmakers will be taped after each T.G.I.M. at Twisted Vine bistro. To hear that audio podcast go to

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, by going to or by calling 239.333.1933. To learn more, visit the T.G.I.M. Indie Movies Downtown Facebook page or  Facebook discounts are available at and there are updates on Twitter. Sponsored by Capone’s Pizza, the best in town. Join the afterbuzz at Twisted Vine every Monday after the show for late night happy hour and appetizers.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Wish me a happy birthday
Ok, don’t really do this but if you are so inclined to do something I’d enjoy, get involved with some independent activity. #StayIndieMyFriends.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.30.31 PMMonday, October 6, 2015
Florida Rep season opener is a mouth watering comedy
I LOVED, I LOST, I MADE SPAGHETTI by Jacques Lamarre will kick off the Florida Rep’s 2015-16 season in the ArtStage Studio Theatre from Oct. 6-Nov. 1, 2015. The Historic Arcade Theatre is located at 2267 First Street. Tickets start at $25. To purchase go to

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 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

—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 This week learn all about crazy conspiracy theories.SWFLtoppicks

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