The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts offers a sizzling opener in its 23rd season. Audra McDonald, four-time Tony Award-winning singer and actress on ABC’s Private Practice, joins the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra for a spectacular evening of showtune favorites, classic songs from films and original pieces. Hors d’oeuvres and wine are offered at 7 p.m., and the curtain rises at 8 p.m. on Nov. 5 at the Phil. (239) 597-1900.
Born into a wealthy French banking family, Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was familiar with horse racing, ballet and other pursuits of the privileged class. He distinguished himself from his social peers by recording their activities in his paintings and drawings. The casual nature of Before the Race, on view at the Naples Museum of Art, demonstrates his modern approach to art. His clustering of the jockeys and horses to the right gives this image the appearance of a contemporary snapshot and indeed Degas sometimes used photography to study compositions. Notice that Degas has drawn all the jockeys’ heads just above the horizon line and the base of the horse’s tail in the far background aligns diagonally to the horse in the right foreground; these two decisions by Degas create the illusion of depth.
Degas chose a buff-toned paper for this print. The tan color becomes the base for the horseflesh, jockey uniforms and the field. He developed the sheen of the horsehides by mixing shades of blue and green with black and brown.
The confident marks Degas made on the lithographic stone are evident yet spare throughout this sheet of paper to which his composition was transferred in the printing process.
Take a break from the holiday hoopla to enjoy a musical that might help you survive the season. The Off- Broadway Palm Theatre presents A Christmas Survival Guide, a hilarious musical that helps put things in perspective with songs, such as The 12 Steps of Christmas and All Those Christmas Clichés, and comedic reflection. Performances begin Nov. 10 and run through Dec. 25. (239) 278-4422.
The holidays are holly, jolly and fattening. Stave off those extra pounds by competing in two races this month. Naples North Rotary offers the best of both worlds (healthy and celebratory) with Sunset & Suds 5K, an evening run beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at DaRuMa Steakhouse and ending at a beach party (naplesnorthrotary.com). Later in the month, lace up your sneakers for Gobble Gobble Four-Miler, a run beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Nov. 24 at Venetian Village in Naples. The proceeds of this annual race benefit St. Matthew’s House. gobblegobblefourmiler.com.
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This fall marks the first season florida gulf coast University basketball teams will be fully eligible in Division I. The men’s team takes up this mantel with a new coach, Andy Enfield, who promises to build a legacy of success and excitement. Enfield, 42, comes to FGCU after a successful five-year run as assistant coach at Florida State University. The team’s first game tips-off at 8 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Alico Arena.
What can fans expect from the team this year?
We’ll play an exciting style of basketball. We’re looking to put a product on the floor that our fans can enjoy watching, but also envision the future. We’ll be a very good half-court defensive team, and we’ll press to speed the tempo up. On offense, we’ll try to push the ball.
How do you plan to shape FGCU’s program?
To build a program, you need good people. You need a good staff, so I hired a good staff. Your players need to be good people as well because being a college athlete at the Division I level is a full-time job. To have a great program, you need players who share a common goal. Each individual has to take it upon himself to make himself a better basketball player. You need good people who want to work hard, want to get better and who want to support each other. To me that is the biggest thing in building a program.
It’s been said you have a knack for recruiting great players. What do you look for?
We’re looking for the complete package. They have to be very talented basketball players, and they have to have the work ethic necessary to make themselves better throughout their career. They have to have the unselfish spirit where they are there to contribute to the team effort and be good teammates. Off the court, we want players who are able to go into the community or speak to fans, and can present FGCU and themselves in the proper manner. We need our players to be genuine.
What do you hope the team looks like in five years?
Five years from now, none of these players will be here, but we want the tradition [of success] to be established, and the players we have on our roster now will be the ones to do that. They will establish this program; they will establish the traditions, and that will be a tradition of winning, hard work and having fun.
This month 32 master sand sculptors from 15 countries fly into Fort Myers to compete for the World Champion title. The World Championship of Sand Sculpting runs from Nov. 17–27 at the Holiday Inn of Fort Myers Beach. The festival offers fun for the whole family with kids’ activities, sculpting demonstrations and live music beginning at 9 a.m. every day. worldchampionshipofsandsculpting.com.
Explore Alicia Schmidt’s collection at the Alliance for the Arts this month. Schmidt is a minimalist abstract painter, working in deep saturations of color and sparsely designed compositions. She will be at the gallery for a walk and talk reception from 10–11 a.m. on Dec. 3. Her collection shows Nov. 21 to Dec. 31. (239) 939-2787.