Throughout the gulfshore, easter festivities can be found in abundance. Here are two you should definitely check out: Lakes Regional Park challenges children 13 and under to take a crack at finding coconuts, in addition to eggs, during the Colored Coconut Hunt from 10 a.m. to noon on April 7 (369-1521). At the Naples Botanical Garden, celebrate with an egg hunt from 9 a.m. to noon in the Smith Children’s Garden (643-7275).
Before there was dorothy, flying monkeys or ruby red slippers, there was Elphaba and Galinda, two witches working out the kinks of growing up in Oz. Wicked reveals the mystery behind the lives of the legendary witches of Oz. The musical answers long-pondered questions of the original tale while delivering songs that give you the best of Broadway’s talents. So, whether you want to see the show for its musical chops or stellar storyline, one thing is certain: You should go see it. Wicked is on stage to April 15 at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. 481-4849, bbmannpah.com.
Solace seems a suitable title for this sensitively seductive oil painting by Aaron Westerberg at Gardner Colby Gallery. Mystery, however, is an element that marks this canvas in many ways, as well.
Westerberg is a confident painter who, using layers of washes of color, transforms the two-dimensional surface of the canvas into a narrative about a woman standing against an enigmatically patterned wall. Our engagement with this attractive woman is arrested by her introspective gaze. The opacity of her Asian-inspired attire, in addition to the setting she inhabits, is intriguing.
On first introductions, our primary focus with other people is their eyes and, when we cannot see them, we look to hair, facial characteristics and other aspects to give us clues to their personalities. Such clues include this woman’s perfect skin tone, softly arranged hair and long, delicate fingers. These elements of the woman’s body not tightly garbed in the kimono reveal a sensuous siren. The slash of red paint across the cincture of her garment and at her neck draws attention to her beauty.
Westerberg has captured his subject’s serenity and composure and, through the mystery that is art, we find solace and are pleased. —Mark Ormond
To celebrate our one and only planet, join the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for its free Earth Day Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 21. The children’s carnival will keep the kids entertained all day and educate them about the planet. Adults can shop the organic farmers market and enjoy environmental exhibits. Live entertainers and guest speakers keep the festivities flowing all day long. 262-0304, conservancy.org.
Don’t Miss It!
Bill Maher has taken his unwavering belief in america, mixed it with the blunt delivery and concocted a winning product, himself. He hosts Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, which has been running since 2003; was ranked No. 38 in Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians of All Time; and snagged a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 2010. He has more than a million Twitter followers (@BillMaher) and his PR people actually let him run it himself (sorry, Ashton). Catch him at 7:30 p.m. on April 29 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
Do you think bipartisanship is even a possibility anymore?
No, because there are no Republican moderates, and there are fewer and fewer Democratic moderates. But there are a lot more Democrats who act like Republicans than there are Republicans who act like Democrats. I mean that is an extinct breed, the Republican moderate. When I was a child, they had Republican liberals, John Lindsay and Edward Brooke and Nelson Rockefeller. That doesn’t exist anymore.
What impact do you think you have on the political process?
I don’t think commentators or comedians have very much real effect on the political process. I don’t think we change a lot of minds, but I hope some. I hear that occasionally or I hear it on my Twitter feed. I’m here mostly to entertain. I entertain by making a point, so it’s not like I’m not trying to do that, but I think people mostly make up their political minds on their own. And entertainers have a very limited means to affect that. I remember Puff Daddy had a Vote or Die tour. He put it in those terms. Well, they voted for the other guy.
What message are you trying to deliver this year because it is an election year?
If I had one message right now for progressive people, it’s don’t get complacent. I hear a lot of that from people who want to feel good about what’s going on on the left and in the country, and you can’t blame them for that: the economy is doing a little better … But I heard a lot of people … saying, “Isn’t it great, Obama’s got it in the bag.” And I was saying, “No he doesn’t. He doesn’t have it in the bag. Shut up.” There is nothing in the bag in America, especially when you only get two choices. —Kristie Aronow
This month, howl gallery has snagged Skot Olsen, a Floridian paint and tattoo artist whose work reflects his maritime upbringing, to show from April 6–30. People often consider Olsen’s work as part of the pop surrealism movement, but he prefers to categorize it as “weird marine art.” For the show, he offers a range of pieces, from small 6-by-6 pieces that will run from $200-$350 to more grandiose pieces that top out at $4,000. As a bonus, customers hoping to get a tattoo version of Olsen’s art can call Howl to set up an exclusive appointment. 332-0161, howlgallery.com.
Yanni returns to naples with an all-new show, performing classic concert favorites and songs from his new album, Truth of Touch, his first album of original studio music in almost a decade. The master composer plays with his orchestra at 8 p.m. on April 22 at the Phil. 597-1900, thephil.org.