Top picks for #SWFL arts and entertainment enthusiasts—Dec. 1-8, 2015

Posted on December 1, 2015

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There is plenty to keep you busy right here in #SWFL this week. Not gonna lie I’m excited Kenny G is coming. Not that I’m a big fan, just that I think people are going to be hooking up to his smooth sounds and more sex in this town is a good thing.

There are a few I have to mention that are a small drive away, Basel, and a couple coming out on television, Racing Extinction and big theater, CHIraq. Enjoy and be safe out there! —E

43p2Tuesday, December 1-Sunday, December 6, 2015
Take the drive to Art Basel—it’s worth it
How does one sum up Art Basel? Try five days of nonstop mind-blowing art with more than 50,000 visitors (who seem to appreciate art) with more than 2,000 artists represented by 260 leading galleries from 30 countries. Basically the best art show you will ever go to. Juxtaposed against the most exciting city in the U.S. and you are in for the time of your life.

There are also dozens of satellite fairs surrounding it. Thousands of hungry-for-art connoisseurs will bump shoulders while hustling down packed streets and sidewalks past Wynwood Walls graffiti district and all over Miami.

There will be parties, parties and more parties. Just go.

For more information, pricing, locations and free events head to the site here.

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 4.21.31 PMWednesday, December 2, 2015
Kenny G.
Does Kenny G. get you in the mood? If so you are in for luck as he is stopping by Fort Myers for your pleasure. Get a date, grab some delicious dinner, come down and sway to the smooth jazz and then be sure to get some. … C’mon you know you will.

Tickets start at $41 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 www.bbmannpah.com

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 4.05.43 PM.pngTune in for the indie film Racing Extinction
If you are doing the Kenny G. dinner, concert and getting laid thing—be sure to DVR this one. As far as docs go Louis Psihoyos may have outdone himself. His first doc after his Oscar award winning film “The Cove” is about to premiere on the Discovery Channel this  December 2, opening up a new era for the network and him. According to Variety magazine Discovery “picked up domestic and international distribution rights to the politically-charged docu from Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos at Sundance, where the film had its world premiere.” It is a deal like never been made before. But ok, back to the movie.

“Racing Extinction” examines the global threats to endangered species including factors from poaching to carbon emissions. Watch it for the first time on the Discovery channel at 8 p.m. For more information go to the website here.

396994_205317936230622_212791666_nThursday, December 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.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 4.11.33 PM.pngFriday, December 4, 2015
ChiRaq opens
Coming from Chicago there is a constant sorrow, dread and disgust for the violence that plagues the city. Spike Lee has a movie coming out about it called ChiRaq. Enough said. Go see it. For trailer, photos and more information head to the site here or read the description of the movie from the site below.

“LYSISTRATA (Teyonah Parris) is in love with aspiring Rapper DEMTRIUS “CHI-RAQ” DUPREE (Nick Cannon), but she is disturbed by the bloody war between his Spartan gang and the rival Trojans, led by CYCLOPS (Wesley Snipes).  After Trojans set fire to her apartment while she’s in bed with Chi-Raq (pronounced Shy-RACK), Lysistrata moves in with her neighbor MISS HELEN (Angela Bassett), a book-loving Peace activist who lost her daughter years before to a stray bullet. 

When Patti, an 11-year-old neighborhood girl, is accidentally killed in a drive-by shooting, her grieving mother IRENE (Jennifer Hudson) pleads with anyone who witnessed the crime to come forward. But even after a reward is offered by a local Church congregation led by fiery anti-gun-violence activist FR. MIKE CORRIDAN (John Cusack), no one is willing to identify the killer. 

Shaken by Patti’s death and desperate to do something to stop the escalating bloodshed, Lysistrata persuades Spartan and Trojan women to swear off sex with their men until the fighting stops. To draw more attention to their cause, she leads the women in a bold occupation of a local armory, inspiring women across the city—and eventually the world—to join the boycott. As the ultimate battle of the sexes rages on, the city’s fate hangs in the balance in this searing satire of gun violence in America.”

12232879_10154040257928029_4058955898767423810_oSaturday, December 5, 2015
Get laid with a capital P
The boys of Forever Plaid are back and all packaged up with a big plaid bow on top. Frankie, Sparky, Jinx and Smudge have returned to Earth to bring some holiday cheer and harmony. You’ll hear hits from the ‘50s and ‘60s along with traditional holiday songs you know and love such as Let It Snow, Jingle Bells and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. in the main auditorium. Ticket prices range from $20-$51 and are now on sale. Get yours by calling (239) 278-4422, by visiting www.BroadwayPalm.com or by stopping by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

CPRPJ3XVAAAu5LQGet 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 and her barbacoa, left, is out of this world. The event is free. The tamales are only $3. More information is available at www.artinlee.org The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

C01-FM-11-11Sunday, December 6, 2015
Drink up for this play at Florida Rep
The Seafarer is a chilling black comedy about the sea, Ireland, and the power of myth. It’s Christmas Eve, and Sharky has returned to Dublin to look after his aging brother who’s recently gone blind. Old drinking buddies, Ivan and Nicky, are holed up at the house too, hoping to play some cards. But with the arrival of a mysterious stranger from the distant past, the stakes are raised ever higher. As the liquor flows and the tales pour out, Sharky finds that he may be playing for his very soul.The Historic Arcade Theatre is located at 2267 First Street. Skip the trick-or-treat and try spaghettie. Tickets start at $25. To purchase go to www.floridarep.org.

ericraddatzMonday, December 7, 2015
TGIM
T.G.I.M. at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center with featured judges, 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. Come get a view of how we view submissions for our festival and have a say whether or not they should make final programming. There will also be representatives from a film shooting locally called Hanging Millstone looking for some extras for their film.

FMFFTGIM127web.jpgThe 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.

11201610_10207351392119507_8955206331425172069_nAn “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 https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/eric-raddatzs-podcast/id994296559

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, by going to www.sbdac.com or by calling 239.333.1933. The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. To learn more, visit the T.G.I.M. Indie Movies Downtown Facebook page or www.fortmyersfilmfestival.com.  Facebook discounts are available at www.facebook.com/fortmyersfilmfestival 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.

 

jelly doughnutWednesday, December 8, 2015
Start your hump day with a stop at the best coffee shop in town
Looking for the best coffee spot & doughnut spot in town to ease into your Wednesday? Grab a book, write a screenplay or just talk with the coolest SWFL workers at 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.

TVawardGet twisted
How’s the week going? Friday is tomorrow so consider celebrating happy hour at Twisted Vine, which become the go to restaurant when it comes to the most delicious, locally grown, eclectic cuisine, prepared delicately for the most wonderful culinary delights. They were just recently awarded with a Wine Spectator recognition, the only one in Fort Myers with such a distinction. Twisted Vine is located at 2214 Bay St., Fort Myers. Call them at 239.226.1687 or head to www.twistedvinebistro.com for more information. You will see me there

CRnJyGuVEAAPvHTThursday, December 17, 2015
Go see Star Wars: Episode 7 the eve before it opens
If you are a Star Wars fan you have been anticipating this for years. Now finally get your satisfaction. Lots of reveals leading up to this can be found at the official Star Wars account on Twitter. Could someone please tell me if Luke is Kylo Ren though? Check out all of the trailers in a row here.

 

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. This week read all about advancements to help us during our golden years.

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