Where to Go & What to Do
ART’S AMAZING POWERS May 2-June 1 Art by the disABLEd, Sanibel
The hidden, and often unexpected, talent of patients who may have physical limitations is evident in the artwork on display during the “Art by the disABLEd” exhibition at Big Arts. Participating in Lee Health System’s therapeutic program, these artists have transformed blank canvases into flowers and forests, still lifes and stingrays that inspire and lift your spirits. Meet them at the artist reception on May 4 or come browse the Phillips Gallery at your leisure. All pieces are for sale. bigarts.org
THE PLAYWRIGHT May 3-6 Fifth Annual PlayLab Festival, Fort Myers
America’s emerging playwrights show off their works during the Fifth Annual PlayLab Festival held at the Florida Rep in downtown Fort Myers. Whether drama, controversy or comedy is your choice, you’re sure to find some great works by new talent. Held in a creative laboratory setting, the weekend event includes workshops, discussions, readings and talkbacks. floridarep.org
COWBOY BOOT TIME May 5 Little Big Town, Estero
Topping the country music charts with songs like “Day Drinking” and “Better Man,” Little Big Town brings their Breakers Tour to the Germain Arena. Known for some of the smoothest harmonies, the four vocalists—two female and two male—have been writing, singing and turning out country hits since 1998. Touring with them are the sexy guys from Midland, an on-the-rise group known for “Drinkin’ Problem,” and Kacey Musgraves singing “Space Cowboy.” germainarena.com
REEL IN A SILVER KING
May 10-11 7th Annual “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament, Fort Myers Beach
Gather your fishing buddies and form a team to compete in the “Ding” Darling & Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament. It’s a celebration of the first documented Silver King caught on a rod and reel in “Ding” Darling’s Tarpon Bay in 1885. Anglers depart from Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille Fort Myers Beach location for this catchcare-and-release tourney that pays out 100 percent of the entry fee. The captain of the winning team gets to wear the coveted Tarpon Jacket, a pink sports jacket swimming with tarpon (think Masters green jacket). Non-anglers can party at Doc Ford’s before and after the competition. dingdarlingsociety.org
A NIGHT AT THE THEATER May 11-20 The Cemetery Club, Cape Coral
The Gunterberg Charitable Foundation’s Broadway Series wraps up its season at the Cultural Park Theater with a production of The Cemetery
Club. In this comedy performed by the local Cultural Park Theater Company, three Jewish widows, who make monthly visits to their husbands’ graves, encounter the butcher Sam at his wife’s resting place. A budding romance between one of the widows and Sam leaves the other two women trying to squash the couple’s chance at love. culturalparktheater.com
CALLING ALL OPERA LOVERS May 12 Tosca, Fort Myers
Giacomo Puccini’s classic opera Tosca takes over the stage at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. Performed by the Gulf Coast Symphony, the love story of famed singer Tosca and her artist lover Cavaradossi is told through captivating arias and orchestral drama. It’s sung in Italian with English subtitles projected above the stage, so even an opera novice can fully indulge in this grand production. gulfcoastsymphony.org
CITRUS CELEBRATION MAY 12 Annual Key Lime Festival, Punta Gorda
Lovers of Key lime, this one’s for you! Punta Gorda throws a Gulf Coast party to celebrate the little green fruit. Get ready for a day of indulgence, music, dancing and family fun at Fishermen’s Village. The 6th Annual Key Lime Festival presents a plethora of tasty Key lime specialties: gelato, ice cream, fudge, dips, jellies, olive oil and, of course, the famous pie. You can also take home some Key lime-scented sea salts and soap. charlotteharbortravel.com
LOST SHAKERS OF SALT May 26-27 Tampa Bay Margarita Festival
How far would you drive for a killer margarita? Fans of the salt-rimmed cocktail whoop it up at the 6th Annual Tampa Bay Margarita Festival, which has been expanded to two days. Indulge in classic and top-shelf margaritas handcrafted by professional bartenders or sample extreme concoctions such as Red Bull Rita, Pineapple Sriracha Rita and Fireball Rita. The festival promises 50 variations. A huge stage welcomes the band Everclear, and the Grand Tequila Tasting, a separate ticket event, serves up your choice of 30 tequilas. tampamargaritafest.com
PARTY WITH THE SOAP STARS May 25-28 SWFL Soapfest Charity Weekend, Marco Island
There’s no shame in being a soap opera junkie. After all it’s one of the longest running genres in television history. So come out and mingle with the stars of General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, and Days of Our Lives. Organized by the Island Theater Company, the weekend includes Saturday’s A Night of Stars where you can get up close with the actors for autographs, photos, a Q and A, and a chance to be on their team for the Soapfest Game Night competition. Sunday’s Cruisin’, Boozin’ & Schmoozin’ on the Marco Island Princess takes you sightseeing with the celebrities. theateronmarco.com
INDULGE YOUR TASTE BUDS
May 31-June 13 Sizzle SWFL Restaurant Week, Fort Myers area, Cape Coral and Naples
Get ready to expand your palate. This is your chance to discover a new restaurant or fabulous dish without breaking the bank. Some 50 restaurants, many locally owned, are offering three-course prix-fixe menus starting at just $25 or $35 during SWFL Restaurant Week. Begin your culinary adventure in Cape Coral at La Corte Bistro with farm-to-table-style dishes, then hop down to Fort Myers to sample lamb lollipops at Firestone Grill Room and the ne xt weekend indulge in Persian cuisine at Naples’ Bha! Bha! restaurant. Visit the website for the complete list of participating restaurants. sizzleswfl.com
X MARKS THE SPOT June 1-26 June Juried Exhibition: X, Fort Myers
The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center celebrates its 10th anniversary season with works of art that interpret the symbol X, which is also the Roman numeral 10. Challenged to come up with fresh and innovative ideas, participating artists surprise with interpretations of the iconic X that you won’t expect. See them on display at the center or come to the opening reception on June 1 when the Best of Show Winner and SBDAC Pick are announced. sbdac.com
JAZZ ON THE LAWN June 2-Sept. 29 Summer Jazz on the Gulf, Naples
A Naples tradition, Summer Jazz on the Gulf has been going strong for 32 years. The Saturday night concert series that pairs live music with watery sunset views is a summertime must at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club. Jazz lovers bring lawn chairs and blankets to stake out a spot on the Watkins Lawn. Here, the Show Biz Kids, a 12-piece Steely Dan tribute band, performs on June 23; and Late Night Brass, with its dynamic vocalists and powerful horn and rhythm
sections, treats the audience to songs by Chicago; Earth, Wind & Fire and other horn bands. naplesbeachhotel.com
ROCK THE HOUSE June 16 Brit Floyd: Eclipse World Tour 2018, Estero
Calling all Pink Floyd fans. Get ready for another terrific tribute show to this legendary rock band. Brit Floyd Eclipse World Tour celebrates the 45th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s iconic 1973 “The Dark Side of the Moon” album. The British tribute band performs classic tracks from the winning album along with other hits. Get ready to be rocked at the Germain Arena with a stunning light show, huge circle screen, and moving lights, lasers, inflatables and other surprising theatrics. germainarena.com
WATER PERFORMANCES June 23-July 4 Hotelplanner Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival
Million dollar cigarette boats are the headliner of this festival, and spectators can watch them race on June 30 and July 1 from VIP viewing at Lido Beach. But that’s not all. A car show, a personal watercraft run, a motorcycle ride, a FanFest and even a Miss Powerboat swimsuit contest make the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Festival a fun event for all. And it wraps up on the Fourth of July with a spectacular fireworks show off Sarasota Bay. sarasotapowerboatgrandprix.org
Team Bait Box reeled in a Silver King at last year’s “Ding” Darling & Doc F ord’s Tarpon Tournament. The 2018 tourney is May 1 0-11.
Soap opera stars whoop it up at the SWFL Soapfest Charity Weekend on Marco Island. The annual event is May 25-28. Summer Jazz on the Gulf kicks off on June 2, with monthly performances from June to September , at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club....
Highlights from the “Art by the disABLEd” exhibition at Sanibel's Big Arts include “Garden Pathway” by Paula Haltaman.
One of Giacomo Puccini’s greatest operas, Tosca comes to the Barbara B. Mann P erforming Arts Hall in F ort Myers on May 1 2.
Feel the speed at the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix F estival, June 23- July 4.