SUMMER FUN by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

With our beautiful weather most of the year it is hard to determine when summer actually occurs here in Naples – but May through August are when summer months are most commonly identified in the rest of the country. Those are the months when kids are home and outside and underfoot and have mom wondering when will school start again.

Because our economy is very dependent on our “snowbirds” most of our entertainment options happen during November through April, making it more difficult to find options during the “summer” months. However, there are some performances that I want to make sure you don’t miss. First, Theatrezone will be concluding the performances of Carrie – The Musical on May 5, 2024. This musical is based on Stephen King’s novel Carrie and the classic 1976 film by the same name. I noted in my April article that this play is based on a theme that continues to have relevance today – that of bullying.

The second option for live productions is at the Naples Players. Clue: On Stage will be performed from May 1-19. This play is based on the popular board game and film. This whodunit will keep you guessing until the very end. There is a murder that happens in a mansion occupied by several suspects and is solved by a detective, while the ending is decided by the audience. This mystery has 216 possible endings – so that means that no two shows will likely be the same.

Remember that the Naples Players productions are being held at the United Church of Christ in Naples while the Sugden Theatre undergoes a major renovation. When completed, the existing two performance spaces will have been renovated and a third will have been added. The Sugden originally opened in 1998 and has become a pivotal part of downtown Naples.

Some interesting details of the renovation are that it will be the only certified LEED theatre in the State of Florida and will have a seating box that is “sensory friendly” which means that individuals with sensitivity to sounds and light will be able to control their environment and enjoy the productions.

On June 26 the Naples Players will open the musical 42nd Street. This musical first opened on Broadway in 1980 and that year won the Tony for best musical and best choreography. The story is one of the backstage of a Broadway production and the entire rehearsal process of a musical staged during the great depression.

On May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Norris Center there will be a production of “Wonderous Stories” performed by Voyces. This is a beautiful evening comprised of the most popular musical stories ever told – and range from inspiring to humorous with plenty of opportunities for “sing alongs”.

During these months we also have two wonderful holidays to celebrate – Memorial Day in May and the Fourth of July. Memorial Day was first celebrated in 1968 to honor the men and women who died while in the military service. The day was originally known as Decoration Day, with the first national observance occurring on May 30, 1868.

The Fourth of July has been a federal holiday since 1941. When the Revolutionary War broke out in April, 1775 few colonists favored complete independence from Great Britain. John Adams, one of the founding fathers, believed that July 2 was the appropriate day to celebrate and refused invitations to speak at any July 4th events. Interesting that both Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4 1826 – the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. But to his death John Adams believed that July 2 should be celebrated as the “great anniversary festival”.

Enjoy the “summer” months in Naples. Celebrate Memorial Day and the Fourth of July with family and friends and remember all that we have to be grateful for in this country.

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