Top picks for #SWFL arts and entertainment enthusiasts—Dec. 11-18, 2015

Posted on December 10, 2015


Latest-The-Force-Awakens-Trailer-DescriptionAs we are in the thick of the holiday season it may seem like there is not enough time to get done all we want to do already, much less take in some arts and entertainment in the beautiful (and cooled) Southwest Florida. Enjoying our families during the next couple weeks is surely a priority, as is helping those who are most in need. Still, we have Third Eye Blind coming to town, A Christmas Story at the Rep and the much anticipated Star Wars’ movie “The Force Awakens” coming out this week. I hope you are as excited as I am to be able to catch a few of these items, and others, this week. Happy Holidays! —E

12140664_838661476246989_8344518960737331418_nFriday, December 11, 2015
Artists compete for $1,000
In between Art Walk and Music Walk there is now a Mystery Walk which occurs on the 2nd Friday of the month. This Mystery Walk artists will compete for money and have 4 hours to complete a piece downtown Fort Myers. The event goes from 6-10 p.m. I’ll be rooting on Ms. Leila Younes and suggest you vote for her too. For information email or head to their event page HERE.

12208693_1217721778254973_4123410099362710302_n-1Saturday, December 12, 2015
Support a great cause and keep your heart healthy
The American Heart Association of Southwest Florida puts on its annual Lee Heart Walk at 8 a.m. in Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers. Walk over the Edison Bridge and back in this 5k walk with many others in the community who want to keep healthy. The walk is free and many sponsors are on site to offer tips and solutions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For more information head to the EVENT PAGE HERE.

Do some yoga, get some fresh food

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 is out of this world. The event is free. The tamales are only $3. More information is available at The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

Henry_CraterSunday, December 13, 2015
Florida Rep brings classic A Christmas Story to stage
The Rep plays this touching coming-of-age story of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s where 9-year-old Ralphie goes on a quest for a genuine Red Ryder BB Gun despite everyone’s warning “You’ll shoot your eye out.” All the magic of the motion picture comes to life on stage from the family’s exploding furnace, the playground experiment with a wet tongue on a frozen lamppost, the dreaded school bully, and even the classic leg-shaped lamp. Starring Rachel Burttram Powers and Brandon Powers, two of my favorite stars in town you will see me there. Show starts at 2 p.m. The Historic Arcade Theatre is located at 2267 First Street. Tickets start at $45. To purchase go to

3ebTuesday, December 15, 2015
Third Eye Blind gets me through a semi-charmed kind of life
I can not wait to see Stephan Jenkins and Third Eye Blind play The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon located at 2158 Colonial Blvd in Fort Myers. This will be a fantastic show, which starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. To purchase tickets or more information head to their website here.

12232879_10154040257928029_4058955898767423810_oWednesday, December 16, 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 or by stopping by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

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.

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, awesome food trucks, locally produced honey, veggies and more. Be sure to like the Eric Raddatz Bridge Facebook page here. 

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 for more information. You will see me there

12339677_10153755878169826_2357643620168484723_oFriday, December 18, 2015
Edgy, dirty, terrible Santa
“When a doe says no, it means no.” Comet, Dancer and the other reindeer react to charges of sexual harassment levied against Santa in “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues,” a scandalous holiday show at The Laboratory Theater of Florida, located at 1634 Woodford Ave, Fort Myers. Show starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $22. For more information head to the event page HERE.

93f724_205d10f21300483ca14942cfa25784a4Saturday, December 19, 2015
Holidays in Paradise with the Southwest Symphony Orchestra
The Symphonic Chorale of Southwest Florida led by conductor Nir Kabaretti and soloist Laura Woyasz include selections that celebrate all of the holidays that make December magical.

Tickets start at $24 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

jelly doughnutSunday, December 20, 2015
Eeeeaaaaaasse into Sunday
Looking for the best coffee spot & doughnut spot in town to ease into your Sunday? 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.

Sunday, January 1, 2016
Happy New Year!

ericraddatzMonday, January 2, 2016
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.

The 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. 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  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.

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 read all about electric cars.


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