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Culture Watch

The Musical Marionettes 

Since the major events tend to happen during season, imagine my delight when I discovered that the Art League of Bonita Springs is not only continuing its An Evening With... series during the less frenetic months but also presenting someone worth your attention.

Pablo Cano is bringing his outstanding musical marionettes to the league’s Center for the Arts for an evening of entertainment and, as he puts it, stardust. Cano, a Miami artist, is no stranger to Southwest Florida. He brought his intriguing marionettes to The von Liebig Art Center in Naples in 2007.

Born in Cuba in 1961, Pablo made it out of his homeland on the last flight before the Cuban Missile Crisis the following year. By the age of 10, he was entertaining his family with elaborate plays featuring puppets he constructed.

Cano never lost that childhood impulse. After earning an MFA from Queens College in New York, he started building upon his fascination with surrealism and Dadaism in his own unique fashion. For his Bonita appearance, he employs his musical marionettes (so named because they often look fashioned from bits of instruments) for a performance that brings art to life.

As Cano has said, the performance is the stardust. "I am sure the stardust has worked when I see in the faces of the audience ... their connection with the characters in the production," he says.

The extraordinary of a different kind lights up the stage this month at TheatreZone, as the Equity company presents Tommy, the rock opera from the noted band, The Who. Peter Townshend’s tale of a pinball wizard who ignites a cult of followers has surprising lessons for us all—and a rock score that will have you singing all the way home.

The Art League of Bonita Springs presents

An Evening With … Pablo Cano and his Musical Marionettes, June 17. (239) 495-8989 or www.artcenterbonita.org. TheatreZone presents Tommy from June 11-21 at the G&L Theatre at the Community School of Naples. (888) 966-3352 or www.theatrezone-florida.com.

Hot tickets

• The Naples Players presents The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, through June 20, at Sugden Community Theatre. (239) 263-7990 or www.naplesplayers.org.

• Florida Gulf Coast University hosts The Formers: Current Works from FGCU Art Graduates, through July 31.
(239) 590-7199 or www.fgcu.edu.

• The national Art Encounter 2009 is presented at The von Liebig Art Center, through July 12. (239) 262-6517 or www.naplesart.org.

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