Marching into FUN by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

The Ides of March, St. Patrick’s Day and so much more is packed into this month.

 I am sure that I heard someone say – what is the Ides of March – it is the 74th day in the Roman calendar, which corresponds to March 15th. In Roman history it was the day that Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate; and became notable in Rome as the day to settle debts. Some decide to celebrate it with a toga party or wine tasting – or a combination of toga and wine tasting. Or you can plan a week of celebrating with the Ides of March on the 15th and St. Patrick’s on the 17th.

Enjoy Neil Simon’s humor beginning on March 9th at TheatreZone – “The Goodbye Girl” – the 1993 Broadway adaptation of the Academy nominated 1977 film which starred Martin Short and Bernadette Peters. It’s a story of a struggling actor who sublets a Manhattan apartment from a friend and the current occupants, who are his friend’s ex-girlfriend and her very precocious young daughter. This comedy is an adventure about love and commitment with music scored by Marvin Hamlisch. Of course, true love blossoms and ends happily ever after.

It is important to note for all of the residents of Naples that TheatreZone is the an Actor’s Equity Company – what does this mean – the contract with Actor’s Equity ensures the audience has access to the best actors, singers, musicians and stage management professionals from throughout the country.

Southwest Florida’s only touring opera company, Gulfshore Opera, will have their Opera Gala on March 12th. The unique format for this gala allows the patrons to select how they want to support this company – concert with options for seating; or concert with dinner and Meet the Artists reception. This continues the mission to be friendly and accessible for all.

The theme for this year is Bel Canto to Bernstein featuring opera artists who will perform famous Bel Canto opera arias and ensembles, followed by a tribute to Leonard Bernstein. The opera portion will be narrated and accompanied by Gulfshore Opera’s music director, Maestro Jorge Parodi; the Bernstein tribute narrated by Gordon Roberts who worked with Bernstein.

The gala concludes with a dinner at The Club at The Strand where guests have the opportunity to Meet the Artists, enjoy an elegant dinner and more surprises.

The stars for the March 12th gala are Robyn Lamp – who played Tosca last season; Derrek Stark, who was the Italian lover in Bat’s Revenge; and Corey Crider, who was Scarpia in Tosca.

March 31st Gulfshore Opera will be at the Rose History Auditorium on Marco Island and present a program of “Around the World in Song”. Professional artists will take you on a wide ranging musical journey performing popular and classical songs from around the world.

One of the jewels of Naples are The Naples Players, who are now in their 69th season. Opening on March 1st and playing through April 2nd will be the final collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein – “The Sound of Music”. This music was destined to become the world’s most beloved musical winning five Tony Awards and five Oscars. An interesting fact about The Naples Players – they are possibly the only arts groups in Naples that provides Sensory Friendly Performances; which make it possible for individuals with special needs to enjoy theatre in a friendly atmosphere.

We can never forget all of the bands that perform in Cambier and River Park.

March 4 at 2 p.m. – Naples Jazzmasters – River Park
March 5 at 2 p.m. – Naples Concert Band – Cambier
March 6 at 7 p.m. – Stardust Memories – Cambier
March 12 at 2 p.m. – Gulf Coast Big Band – Cambier
March 19 at 2 p.m. – Dixieland Jazz Concert – Cambier
March 20 at 7 p.m. – Stardust Memories – Cambier
March 25 at 7 p.m. – Naples Concert Band – Cambier
March 26 at 2 p.m. – Naples Big Band – Cambier

These groups have been performing in Naples for a combined number of over 100 years. Congratulations to all of them.

Remember to continue to support your local arts groups – many of whom suffered losses from Hurricane Ian.

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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