Explore Your Hometown and Claudia Polzin helps us do just that

Claudia Polzin
Consultant to Nonprofits

Sometimes we forget that during the quieter, but very warm, months that there are still opportunities to enjoy the arts in our beautiful part of the world. Take the time to visit the locally owned restaurants and art galleries and attend the great concerts and plays.

Our own Naples Players will be opening their 66th season with their 2019-20 season – and that is something to celebrate – but before that season opens they will conclude the 2018-19 season with some great shows: Their summer theatre program for young people will present two shows in August – Mama Mia Teen – August 2 – 4; and Once on the Island, Jr – August 9 – 11. This author had the opportunity to be in the lobby of the Sugden Theatre and see some of these young people rehearsing the dance numbers from Mama Mia – their enthusiasm and energy is infectious – so plan a fun evening and enjoy seeing some of the best of our younger generation.

In October from the 2 through the 27 – see “The Great Gatsby” on the Blackburn stage at the Sugden Theatre. The glamour and utter decadence of the Jazz Age comes to life with this contemporary adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. If you are into the utterly ridiculous come to see “Escanaba
in Da Moonlight” from October 23 through November 17 in the Tobeye Studio. I can speak from personal experience – moving to Naples over 20 years ago from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the hunting stories and hunting camps are legendary.

This play tells the story of opening day of deer season (which is almost sacred in the UP) at the family’s hunting camp. You really have to see it to believe it. Over 24 years ago the Naples Jazzmasters
Dixieland Band was formed – and they continue to entertain through the year in outside and inside venues. This group of local musicians are dedicated to the world of jazz and enjoy sharing it with everyone – during these warm months they perform in the Norris Center. Enjoy these local jazz
musicians in the Norris Center on August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 and September 7, 21 and 28; all of these concerts are at 1 pm.

One of the long-time traditions in our area are the Jazz on the Gulf concerts at the Naples Beach Hotel – for the last 34 years these free concerts have brought regional bands to our area so that you can enjoy music along with our beautiful Florida sunsets.

August 17 will welcome back Pocket Change for their seventh appearance at this concert series – this group from Ft. Lauderdale brings R&B, Soul and Motown to a great dance party night. On September 14 – Ari and the Alibis will be performing for the first time. This favorite from Tampa Bay brings their
version of funk, jazz, soul mixed with Samba to the lawn at the Naples Beach Hotel. All of the concerts begin at 6:30 pm and run until 9:30 pm so bring your blanket and enjoy – listening, dancing or just viewing the gorgeous sunset.

Those of us who live here year round get to enjoy the best that Naples has to offer all year – we love the bustle of the season (even though we sometimes complain about the traffic, the inability to get to our favorite restaurant, etc,) and then we know that we can enjoy the quieter months. So take the time – go to dinner, enjoy a show and get reacquainted with friends you maybe don’t get to see during season.

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