TOP PICKS for SWFL arts & entertainment enthusiasts Sept. 15-22, 2015

Posted on September 15, 2015


Hold on to your hats—summer is over this week. Head to a few of the many things that will grace Southwest Florida with artistic events, indie music, fun, film, theater and more. This week is going to be awesome if you do even a few of these choice things. —Cheers, E

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 4.27.36 PMTuesday, September 15, 2015
PBS airs Muppet creator Jim Henson and 2nd part of Walt Disney doc tonight
Growing up inspired by the magnificence of the Muppets and Disney you can bet I’m excited that I get to watch great pieces on PBS tonight on both. Starting at 8 p.m. EST take a look at the restless creative drives of both Henson and Disney.

AboutRodneyCarringtonWednesday, September 16, 2016
Laugh it up with Rodney Carrington
Stand-up comedian, actor and singer Rodney Carrington takes the stage at 7 p.m. at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Rodney Carrington has been making audiences laugh for almost twenty years with his unique brand of stand-up comedy. The country singer-songwriter has recorded eight major label comedy albums which have sold more than two million copies … two of which have been certified Gold.

Rodney Carrington recently started his own record label “Laughter’s Good” and released two albums under the new label in October 2014. Rodney re-released “C’Mon Laugh You Bastards” which features 3 new songs, as well as an album of all new material called “Laughter’s Good.”

Tickets start at $49 and can be purchased at the The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919. For more information call 239.489.3033 or head to

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 4.10.07 PMLaugh it up with the GOP debate
Ahh, the GOP debate. Nothing can trump it. Except maybe the Donald. CNN will ring the bell and watch presidential hopefuls in the Republican party jab at each other all night. This should be a pay-per-view event as it is definitely going to be more entertaining than any boxing match we’ve seen in recent history. For a breakdown of the candidates and some hype served up by CNN head to

LEE500-6298_IHF_4x6_Postcard_2015_FNL (6)_Page_2Thursday, September 17, 2015
They wrote the songs
The second annual Island Hopper Songwriter Fest kicks off Sept. 17-27 at various locations in Lee County. Experience the voices, back stories and personalities of the songwriters who wrote the songs you might know in intimate island settings. More than a dozen songwriters will perform at The VIP party held from 4-7 p.m. Kristian Bush, who built his reputation as one half of the multiplatinum, Grammy-winning country duo, Sugarland, will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17. For artist lineup and performance schedules head to Many events are free of charge but a few are ticketed. For a few songwriters you might know head to a story by Nancy Stetson in Florida Weekly at
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.

Friday, September 18, 2015
Music, sustainability are everywhere today
• Austin Mahone sings during a free performance presented by Miromar Outlets and B103.9 from 5-7 p.m. He will perform his latest single “Dirty Work,” near the Converse Outlet Store at Miromar Outlets. The event is free. For more information head to

shutterstock_92191744• Fort Myers’s inaugural event for National Drive Electric Week is set for 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St. Fort more information head to

• The Fort Myers Music Walk is set for 6-10 p.m. Sept. 18 in downtown Fort Myers. Enjoy live music at participating galleries, restaurants, bars and shops. Event is also free. Head to

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 3.10.30 PMIf you want to see this amazing indie film you will have to travel
This movie is running the indie film circuit but if you can’t wait until Dec. 2 to watch on the Discovery channel, you can go to a few cities to see it. In “RACING EXTINCTION,” Oscar®-winning director Louie Psihoyos (THE COVE) assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, RACING EXTINCTION reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world and  will be in select theaters on September 18th and will have a worldwide broadcast premiere on The Discovery Channel on December 2nd. For more information head to

4a163f44524924a92b870c6b705252a5Saturday, September 19, 2015
Late night brass, great jazz setting
“SummerJazz on the Gulf” takes place 19 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Entertainment will be provided by Late Night Brass, on The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club’s picturesque lawn overlooking the Gulf. For more information head to the event page at or to the band’s site at

The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is located at 851 Gulf Shore Blvd N in Naples, Florida. Event is free.

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.

Sunday, September 20, 2015
Peace day
Peace Day in the Park takes place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral. Enjoy live music meditation, yoga, a fashion show, a food drive, blood drive, arts and crafts, face painting, health and wellness workshops and more. Pets are welcome. For more information call 560-5224.

 11119639_10155705532830565_6028868855573272019_oStart 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.

Jana KramerMonday, September 21-23, 2015
Songwriter festival gains steam around town and even downtown
So if you don’t know much about the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival it essentially brings in dozens of songwriters who wrote songs that you have heard of. This year they have many acts circling through venues downtown like Twisted Vine who will have artists including Ruthie Collins, Paul McDonald, Ray Cerbone and Frank Myers on Monday, Mandy Zahn on Tuesday and John Corbel, Chloe Friedman, Brian Sutherland and Stephen Plein on Wednesday. Also be prepared for Jana Kramer to knock your boots off on Tuesday night. You will see me there. For a full list of artists playing through out the area from Sept. 17-27 head to For a great writeup by Nancy Stetson in Florida Weekly head to

10363797_1636854543204187_3988493803123753421_nSushi, sushi and more sushi
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.

CPhoC-6WoAEopA0Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The Muppets are back on TV
Tune in tonight at 8|7c on ABC to watch the debut of the new MUPPETS TV SHOW! I need say no more about this one. Jim Henson is a hero and Kermit is the shit!

11895150_10153569384501649_1036534399129303818_oWednesday, September 23, 2015
Last chance to see this art at Sidney & Berne
The 2015 Art Expo by the Portrait & Figure Painters Organization of SW Florida showcases paintings that follow the rich tradition of classical artwork that grew out of the Renaissance. 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.  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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015
3rachel_moormanRachel Moorman art at Arts For ACT
Arts for ACT Gallery offers new exhibit featuring artist Rachel Moorman at  2265 First St., Fort Myers to see this amusing and wonderful new artist— 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.

SEE Press 4Friday, September 25, 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.

rakLearn to dance
Rachelle Rak, the Broadway star who has appeared in such shows as “Catch Me If You Can,” “Fosse,” “The Look of Love,” “Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels,” “Thou Shalt Not,” “Oklahoma” and “Cats,” is coming to Fort Myers to teach dance September 26 & 27. For more information head to

October 5, 2015
T.G.I.M. at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center with featured judges WGCU’s John Davis, Miss DC 2015 Haely Jardas, Stephanie Davis, director Jim Griffith, with musical guest Vivace, host Eric Raddatz and co-host Melissa DeHaven. Come get a view of how we view submissions for our festival and have a say whether or not they should make final programming.

GF1_4952 FMFF Crowd LRThe popular T.G.I.M. film screening series will be held the first Monday of each month in downtown Fort Myers. 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.

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.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.30.31 PMTuesday, 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

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 4.13.15 PMNovember 23, 2015
Red Hot Chili Pipers
There has never been anything quite like THE RED HOT CHILLI PIPERS, the past ten years have seen them become the most famous bagpipe band on the planet – ever! Bagpipes with attitude, drums with a Scottish accent and a show so hot it carries its own health warning. The band’s achievements have reached incredible heights with their groundbreaking fusion of traditional Scottish music and Rock/Pop Anthems which they proudly call ‘Bagrock’.

The Chillis have never been more in demand for their infectious style of feel good music which appeals right across the age range to people all over the world. Go to

Tickets start at $31 and can be purchased at the The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, located at 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919. For more information call 239.489.3033 or head 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

A01-FM-09-16—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 the U.S. Constitution.


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