Highlights: October 2012

BY September 24, 2012

There’s nothing more luscious than an October evening with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, and they’re showing off in fine fashion with two performances of Beautiful Brass, at 3 p.m., Oct. 7, and again at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 at Daniels Pavilion at the Phil. The concerts will be featuring music by Gershwin, Fats Waller and W.C. Handy. 597-1900.

Il stupendo is set to sing lead in the Cleveland Opera Co.’s fundraising gala production of Otello. Unfortunately, a case of mistaken identity leads to a double-dose of tranquilizers, and Il Stupendo passes out cold. Of course, the show must go on with or without him, and in order to reap the financial rewards, the company’s assistant general manager is forced to impersonate the singer to hysterical outcomes. Lend Me a Tenor runs Oct. 12 through Nov. 17 at Florida Repertory Theatre. 332-4488.

See It!

Fletcher benton made this 12-by-12-by-12-inch abstract work he calls Folded Square Alphabet Y in 2004. His Alphabets series of sculpture in painted steel were all inspired by letters.

Working at one end of a small work table in his 15,000-square-foot San Francisco studio, the Ohio native says he does not draw or sketch his ideas first. He chooses to work directly with solid forms. Benton cuts and welds. He bends and folds sheets of steel. He constructs and deconstructs his idea for an object while making visual adjustments until he is satisfied with it. Often what this artist sees at the end of his creative process poses a new question for him to ponder and suggests another sculpture to make.

An extraordinarily prolific sculptor who has been exhibiting his work since 1959, Benton admits he is as interested in the negative space in and around the sculpture as the actual space the physical form occupies. Looking at different views of this work, we can appreciate that.

The highly saturated colors he chooses to paint his shapes at any scale endow them with a powerful presence. The solid fact that Benton challenges our preconceptions of what sculpture can be is most evident in the very impressive selection of his work currently on view at the Naples Museum of Art. —Mark Ormond


Artists take on haute couture in the BIG Arts show World of Fashion, juried by modernist painter Veron Ennis. The exhibit opens Oct. 15 and runs to Dec. 1 at BIG Arts Center, 900 Dunlop Road, Sanibel. bigarts.org or 395-0900.


Want to celebrate halloween like an animal? why not get dressed up as a gazelle and wander over to the alligator area at the Naples Zoo during its annual Boo at the Zoo? It’s sure to make you see things from another perspective. In addition, kids can trick or treat throughout the zoo, enter the Halloween costume contest and watch the animals “carve” pumpkins via fang and claw on Oct. 20. 262-5409.


If you find running to be a lonely process, and wish it involved more time in a van, you need to look into the Gulf to Gulf 80 Relay starting and ending at beautiful Cambier Park in Naples on Oct. 20. The relay consists of 30 six-person teams who’ll run their way from Naples to the Sanibel Causeway and back again. Each runner runs one mile before another hops out of the van and takes over. An individual 50K race starts at 6 a.m. gulftogulf80.com.


Don’t Miss It!Don’t Miss It!

The fact that the only ice most of us are familiar with in Southwest Florida is delivered in a highball glass makes us appreciate all the more that we have one of the best hockey teams in the ECHL in our own backyard. In fact, we have the best team. Our own Florida Everblades, who open their regular season on Friday, Oct. 12 against the Orlando Solar Bears (who came up with that?) at Germain Arena, won the Kelly Cup last season by beating the Las Vegas Wranglers in overtime in front of 7,290 screaming fans. So can they do it again? We caught up with coach Greg Poss to ask. For tickets or information, visit floridaeverblades.com.

How are things looking for a repeat?

We have a good core of last year’s team coming back for this season. These players know what it takes to win a championship, and have great chemistry on the ice, which makes them a very dynamic group. However, there will be times this season they will have to find other ways to win games. Our players enjoy playing here in Southwest Florida, and our fans are able to identify with them. In addition, the possibility of an NHL lockout will cause high-level talent to be sent here from our affiliates, which will be fun for the fans to watch.

What did winning the Kelly Cup mean to you, the team and hockey in Southwest Florida?

The championship means a lot for all of Southwest Florida. The first time is always the most special, and especially for our fans who waited so long for it to happen. I believe it has, and will continue to make hockey more popular in the region, especially with our youth hockey programs. From a personal standpoint, last year was the most fun I have had as a coach. We had a great group of players and to watch them come together as a team last spring was really special.

Where would you like us to sit in order to annoy the opposing team the most?

Behind the opposing team’s bench is a great spot for fans. When we go on the road fans of opposing teams will yell and pound on the glass behind our bench to try to annoy us. The other spot to sit is by the penalty boxes. —Michael Korb

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