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Top Things to Do This January in Southwest Florida

Our picks for the best in arts and entertainment for January 2019.

Play On

Florida Rep takes on August Wilson’s great American drama Fences, centered on African-American family the Maxsons and set in Pittsburgh between the Korean and Vietnam wars. The story (recently reinvigorated by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis’ turns on both Broadway and the big screen) has garnered Pulitzer Prize, Tony, Oscar and other hefty honors—so we have every reason to expect an emotional performance. See it Jan. 8-30. floridarep.org

(And, see another of Wilson’s 10 “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, by Theatre Conspiracy at Alliance for the Arts from March 1-18. artinlee.org/theatre)

Behold: Cher

Hot off her role in Mamma Mia 2, ever-fascinating icon Cher is touring the U.S. for the first time in years. Her “Here We Go Again” tour will feature ABBA covers from her new Dancing Queen album, but fear not: She certainly won’t skimp on the personality and hits that have made her so undeniably inimitable. See her Jan. 17 at Hertz Arena. hertzarena.com

Return of the Key Marco Cat

The famous part-feline, part-human Calusa wood carving discovered on Marco Island in 1896 returns home—thanks to a $350,000 effort by the Marco Island Historical Society and Collier County—from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. It’s on loan until April 2021, and other rare items from the 1896 dig will join the 6-inch statue in the exhibit opening Jan. 26, titled Return of the Key Marco Cat. themihs.info

Art Shows Galore

It’s an embarrassment of riches this month on the art scene, with plenty of opportunities to get outside and get inspired. We have both Art in the Park and the Naples Artcrafters in Cambier Park (Jan. 5, naplesart.org, and Jan. 12, naplesartcrafters.com); the Estero Fine Art Show & Taste Fest at JetBlue Park (Jan. 5-6, hotworks.org); the Naples New Year’s Art Show on Fifth Avenue South (Jan. 5-6, naplesart.org); the Bonita Springs National Arts Festival at Riverside Park (Jan. 12-13, artcenterbonita.org); the Cape Coral Arts & Music Festival along Cape Coral Parkway (Jan. 12-13, capecoralfestival.com); Art Fest Naples at Fleischmann Park (Jan. 19-20, artfestnaples.com); even Chalk Art at the Marco Island Center for the Arts (Jan. 26, marcoislandart.org). That’s not to mention the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk in the River District (Jan. 4, fortmyersartwalk.com); Art Alive gatherings in the Naples Art District (Jan. 2 and 19, naplesartdistrict.com); and surely others. Phew!