October 31, 2014

Culture Watch

The Silly—and the Sublime 

Ok, full disclosure here. I’m currently appearing in The Naples Players’ production of The Sugar Bean Sisters. But even if I wasn’t, I’d be urging you to come see this play. Why? Because it’s a darkly comical look at eccentricity, familial obligations and jealousies, redemption and fitting final judgment. I know. That sounds more like a heavy-duty drama. But in playwright Nathan Sanders’ capable hands, those themes find an
expression that’s wonderfully
odd and downright funny.

Its strange brew consists of Faye, who is awaiting a return visit from space aliens so she can fly away with them; her sister Willie Mae, who suffers frequent “spells” and dreams of the Celestial Kingdom; and Videllia, a seeming stranger who shows up at the sisters’ swamp-side home—adorned in feathers.

When I first read The Sugar Bean Sisters two years ago, I fell in love with this crazy play. Its characters are wacky and yet endearingly familiar. And once you’ve seen this play, you’ll probably never approach a toilet in the same way again!

For those whose tastes run more to the musically sublime, I suggest a handful of concerts performed by the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra.

The NPO starts with Hollywood Epics and its familiar tunes from such films as Ben-Hur, Titanic, Schindler’s List and even Harry Potter. The program is conducted by Jack Everly and features the Philharmonic Center Chorale.

Next up is Mozart “The Great,” a classical concert that features the composer’s Symphony No. 40. Conductor Stuart Malina also guides the orchestra through Debussy’s Petite Suite.

Last is the annual Patriotic Pops concert, conducted by Michael Krajewski, and a special family-friendly concert, conducted by Stuart Chafetz.

The Naples Players presents The Sugar Bean Sisters through May 16 at Sugden Community Theatre, Naples. (239) 263-7990 or www.naplesplayers.org. The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra presents Hollywood Epics May 1-3, Mozart “The Great” May 8-9, Patriotic Pops May 14-16 and Journeys Through Motion May 31. (800) 597-1900 or www.thephil.org. 

 

Hot Tickets

• The Art League of Bonita Springs presents An Evening With … Compton & Bennett, May 6. (239) 495-8989 or www.artcenterbonita.org.

• The Florida Rep presents The Last Romance at the Arcade Theatre, through May 17. (239) 332-4488 or www.floridarep.org. For more comprehensive listings, please consult the calendar on p. 111.