In peak season, Southwest Florida is full of festivities. In Naples, the US Open Pickleball Championships bring the best in the game to Naples to compete. Up in Estero, the Harlem Globetrotters dazzle the court at Hertz Arena. And crowds gather in downtown Fort Myers for mural unveilings from the team at Artsemble Underground as part of SWFL Art Fest. Add these events to your to-do list for the month.
Mar. 31 – Apr. 16
Pass Over at The Laboratory Theater of Florida, Fort Myers
The thought-provoking, Waiting for Godot-like play follows Moses and Kitch, two Black men living on a street corner in an urban police state, as they fantasize about a promised land. Playwright Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu uses biblical references in the play to reflect on racial oppression throughout history in this story that’s filled with comedic wit, drama and hope.
Fort Fest at Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers
Country music fans flock to Fort Myers for this festival featuring up-and-coming stars, including Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Drew Parker. Drink-ticket sales support Old Florida Dream Foundation’s initiative to aid homeless and foster teens across Lee County; all other funds support Collaboratory’s post-hurricane “Rebuild Southwest Florida” initiative.
Naples Jazzmasters at River Park Community Center, Naples
The Naples Jazz Society band pays tribute to greats from the 1920s and 1930s, including Louis Armstrong and W.C. Handy.
Backyard Bash at Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples
Curated wines and beers flow at this 21-plus fundraiser for C’MON’s access-for-all program. Backyard games, music from Wilder Sons, and food from vendors like Jewban’s Deli Dale await.
Come Fly With Me at the Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón
The inaugural event celebrates the graduating class of New Horizons of SWFL—a nonprofit offering after-school and summer programming for at-risk kids—with brunch and a performance from the New Horizons choir. Money raised from the silent auction helps provide tutoring and mentorship to underserved youths.
Cinematic Sounds at Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center, Punta Gorda
The Punta Gorda Symphony performs scores from popular films, including The Sound of Music, West Side Story and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Titans of Rock Bon Jovi/Journey Tribute Concert at Naples Bay Resort & Marina, Naples
This intimate performance at The Pointe features cabaret-style seating around the main stage as the tribute band sings the greatest hits from the rock ‘n’ roll legends.
Tootsie at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers
See the national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical based on the 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman, with music and lyrics by composer and lyricist David Yazbek.
SWFL Mural Fest in downtown Fort Myers
The guys behind Artsemble Underground organize this community event that showcases seven new murals throughout downtown Fort Myers. Proceeds benefit artists affected by Hurricane Ian.
Bonita Springs Shrimp & Music Festival, Bonita Springs
The festival brings fresh Gulf seafood and nearly a dozen bands—including Nigel Mack & The Blues Attack—to the former greyhound race track site off Bonita Beach Road.
Sounds & Color at Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Fort Myers
Colombian-born abstract artist Maria Collier finds inspiration in music, translating the rhythm and vibration of songs as paint on canvas. Her background in interior design feeds her ability to play with color.
Apr. 7 – May 6
Hugo Diaz: Art in Motion at Aldo Castillo Gallery, Estero
The Venezuelan-born artist uses geometric shapes, lines and colors to create selective movement in sections of his work.
Naples Dixieland Jazz Band at Cambier Park, Naples
The Naples Jazz Society brings the New Orleans sound to downtown Naples with their last free concert in the park of the season.
Fragmented Realities at East West Fine Art, Naples
Two artists showcase distinctive styles: Spanish sculptor Juan Gerstl fashions aluminum and printed acrylic into geometric shapes, while Ryan Coleman’s broad brushstrokes carry a whimsical vibe in his murals.
Casting Crowns at Hertz Arena, Estero
The contemporary Christian rock band stops in Southwest Florida as part of the Healer tour, with musical guests, We Are Messengers and Ben Fuller.
Apr. 14 – May 20
Sister Act at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Fort Myers
The musical take on Whoopi Goldberg’s comedy garnered five Tony Awards for its Broadway run. Follow along with Deloris as she masquerades as a nun and helps her sisters find their voices and a deep bond of friendship.
Blooms & Brews at Naples Botanical Garden, Naples
Local breweries descend on the 170-acre oasis at sunset for a tasting event, which benefits the Garden’s conservation work. Last year’s event featured beer samples from popular joints such as Ankrolab Brewing Co. and Riptide Brewing Co.
US Open Pickleball Championships at East Naples Community Park, Naples
Pro pickleball players compete for the championship purse in one of the sport’s highest-profile tournaments. The women’s and men’s pro finals are broadcast live on CBS Sports Network on the last day.
Naples Concert Band at Cambier Park, Naples
After 15 years with the band, conductor Harris Lanzel takes his final bow to the tunes of great American composers. Guitarist Denny Scott and vocalist Amy Bright join the band for the final performance for season.
Mean Girls at Artis—Naples
The Tony-nominated musical adapted from Tina Fey’s screenplay follows Cady Heron as she navigates the pressures of high school and goes head-to-head with queen bee Regina George. A new theatrical adaptation written by the acclaimed comedian brings a fresh spin to the story, but fan-favorite songs like “Meet the Plastics” and “World Burn” remain.
Miguel Saludes at Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples
The Cuban-born visual artist captures vibrant American landscapes on paintings and paper, including Florida’s flowering fields and springs.
Apr. 18 – May 7
The Foreigner at Players Circle Theater, Fort Myers
From artistic director Robert Cacioppo, the theater’s production of the fish-out-of-water comedy tells the story of a shy British man staying at a rural Georgia lodge who ends up in a scheme after learning everyone’s secrets.
Apr. 18 – May 21
Lobby Hero at Florida Repertory Theatre, Fort Myers
Kenneth Lonergan, known for his work on Manchester by the Sea, wrote the script for this dark comedy about an ambitious security guard in Manhattan. Broadway director Rob Lagomarsino puts on this production in the Artstage Studio Theatre.
August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson at Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers
A brother and sister grapple with the legacy of slavery and how it has shaped their family’s history and the modern realities of inequality as they disagree about selling a family piano.
Apr. 21 & 30
Don Giovanni at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall & Artis—Naples
Gulfshore Opera stages one of Mozart’s all-time top masterpieces, featuring Naples Philharmonic and New York’s Metropolitan Opera baritone Luis Orozco. See the show at Barbara B. Mann on April 21 and at Artis—Naples on April 30.
“Ding” Darling Day at Lakes Park, Fort Myers
Celebrate Earth Day at the refuge’s 34th-annual event, featuring a conservation carnival with birding tours, nature journaling walks and plein-air art demonstrations.
Paradise Coast Half Marathon and 5K at North Collier Regional Park, Naples
Spend Saturday morning racing around greenery in the park and up and down Livingston Road, with water and Gatorade stations available every 2 miles.
Craft Beer & Wine Fest at Fishermen’s Village, Punta Gorda
Sample beers and wines from more than 30 breweries, including event sponsor Village Brewhouse. Proceeds from the event support National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s local ProStart culinary schools and students.
The SWFL Wellness Fair at Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers
Browse through activewear and skincare products, meet with mental health counselors and massage therapists, and attend yoga sessions with Indra Yoga Studio at this wellness expo.
Gulf Coast Symphony: Cirque Goes to the Movies! at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Fort Myers
Touring acrobatic troupe Cirque de la Symphonie joins the symphony to bring classic film scores to life with aerial feats, juggling and dance.
Miami City Ballet at Artis—Naples
The Miami City Ballet returns to Naples with choreography from George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, accompanied by music from Naples Philharmonic and led by conductor Gary Sheldon.
Harlem Globetrotters at Hertz Arena, Estero
The 97-year-old, theatrical basketball team brings trick shots and fast dribbling in this athletic spectacle as they compete against their rivals, the Washington Generals.
Apr. 27 – May 7
Rock of Ages at TheatreZone, Naples
Set at the end of 1980s—with plenty of clad spandex and Aqua Net—the jukebox musical follows a pair of star-crossed lovers and other aspiring rockstars as they band together to save their iconic music venue in L.A.’s Sunset Strip with the sounds of Bon Jovi, Journey and other ‘80s rock gods.
Apr. 27 – May 14
Morning After Grace at Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples
In this production from Gulfshore Playhouse CEO and director Kristen Coury, three neighbors contemplate love, loss and relationships as they come to terms with aging in a Florida retirement community.
War of the Food Trucks at German American Social Club, Cape Coral
More than 40 food trucks from across the state bring their best dishes and compete to bring the best flavors, including plates from local favorites Chef Global’s Kitchen and Cape Cuisine.