For the Love of the Arts by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

As many return to their seasonal home or their vacation in Southwest Florida; how many times have we heard – “we just wanted it back to the way it was.” Unfortunately, for many that is not going to happen for a very long time. But we still need to look at what we didn’t lose – did not lose the beautiful sunsets, the sense of community, the support of friends and family; and the many wonderful opportunities to enjoy the various visual and performing arts.

The Naples Players, one of the oldest performing theatre groups in Southwest Florida, continues their 2022-23 season with Sylvia opening on February 8 and continuing through March 5. This is not your typical love triangle – it’s a man, wife and man’s best friend, Sylvia. Greg and Kate move to Manhattan as Greg is transitioning into retirement. As Greg explores Manhattan he meets Sylvia, a street smart poodle mix, in Central Park and decides to bring her home to meet Kate. It’s a hilariously chaotic and charming story that questions, who really is man’s best friend?

Gulfshore Opera, Southwest Florida’s only touring opera company, has three wonderful opportunities – ranging from a full-scale production to a concert featuring arias and songs from famous Broadway shows and a beautiful combination of food, fashion and music. So there is something for everyone’s taste in music. February 4 – the program is titled “Opera to Broadway” at the Innovation Hotel, on the Arthrex property, at 7 p.m. This concert features opera arias and selections from some of your favorite Broadway shows. Enjoy the concert, meet the artists and have delicious hors d’oeuvres in a beautiful setting.

On February 26, Gulfshore Opera continues their Naples season with a production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at the Silverspot Cinema. This unique setting offers you the opportunity to enjoy the classic comedy of Figaro, Figaro, FI-GA-RO, and meet the artists at a reception following the show. The plot follows the Count and Rosera, a couple in love trying to escape the control of Doctor Bartolo, her guardian, with the help of Figaro, The Barber of Seville. Featuring the music of Rossini, it’s a classic comedy full of exuberant energy from start to finish.

The month ends with Gulfshore Opera’s very popular Style and Song Luncheon at Grey Oaks Country Club on February 28. This event includes a delicious lunch, songs by the men of Gulfshore Opera and a fascinating Style Show presented by Kay’s on the Beach.

TheatreZone – Naples equity theatre company – will present Escape to Margaritaville – opening on February 9 and running through the 19. Escape to island time for a couple of hours with this hilarious, heartwarming musical featuring Jimmy Buffet’s hits. This 2018 musical was written by Emmy Award winner, Greg Garcia and Emmy nominee Mike O’Malley. The story takes place in a run-down hotel on a Caribbean island, visitors and the hotel’s colorful resident characters become romantically involved. Follow the characters over a 3 year time span after the sudden closure of the hotel due to a natural disaster. The group reunites with a reopening of the hotel for a grand finale.

The last weekend in the month roam through the Naples National Art Show in Cambier Park. Naples Art has been curating this art show for 44 years and over those years hundreds of accomplished national artists have been a part of this show.

Don’t forget to check out the many concerts in Cambier Park and all of our area churches – there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy in Naples.

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