The Philharmonic Center for the arts brings world-class shows and entertainers to Naples Florida, particularly through the fall and winter. The Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers offers a similar lineup. Both halls have their own symphony orchestras and choruses.
The sprawling Estero Germain Arena provides a venue for big-name stars such as Elton John and Sting as well as ice hockey with the Florida Everblades and basketball with the Sea Dragons.
Elsewhere, two dinner theaters offer a meal and a popular show, and several smaller theater groups also have their own stages, including Florida Repertory Theater at the historic Arcade Theater in downtown Fort Myers.
Other forms of amusement include a plethora of multi-screen movie houses and clubs serving up comedy, country music, rock, jazz, folk and even an Elvis show.
There’s hardly a weekend throughout the winter season without at least a couple of festivals celebrating some local specialty or quirk. Among the annual fetes are the Goodland Mullet Festival, the Fort Myers Beach Shrimp Festival,Greek Fest, Mango Mania, American Sandsculpting Festival and the big one, the Edison Festival of Light, honoring the inventor around his February birthday.
Naples Performing Arts
The Naples Players at Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., (239) 263-7990. Long-running community theater troupe presents an average of 20 productions a year (winter and summer seasons). Comedies, dramas and musicals. Educational programs offered throughout the year.
Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Blvd., (239) 597-1111. The Phil is home to The Naples Philharmonic, an 85-piece symphony orchestra, and a 45-piece chamber orchestra. The Philharmonic Center Chorale is comprised of 110 voices and the Youth Chorale has over 100 members. A broad cultural season at Hayes Hall includes concerts by visiting symphony orchestras, Broadway shows and internationally acclaimed dance companies. Florida’s West Coast home to the Miami City Ballet, which presents three series each season, plus performances of “The Nutcracker.” The Phil also presents 410 events in two auditoriums, four art galleries and two sculpture gardens. The Collector’s Corner offers a variety of art and gifts for sale.
Naples Live Music and Dancing
Liquid Café, 815 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Pavilion Shopping Center, (239) 514-1700. Monday-poetry jam; Tuesday-open mic; every other Thursday-meet the artist; Friday-Latin dance night.
Naples Beach Hotel, 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., (239) 261-2222. Sunday night pool parties featuring live entertainment, beginning at 6 p.m.
Seawitch Restaurant and Lounge, 179 South Bay Drive, off Vanderbilt Beach Road, (239) 566-1514. Live entertainment, featuring two- and three-piece bands, Wednesday-Saturday in season, Friday and Saturday off-season.
Zoe’s, 720 Fifth Ave. S., (239) 261-1221. Enjoy dinner then dance the night away from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. Live DJ 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Must be 21.
Bonita Springs Entertainment
Visit Jade Island for live music and dancing at 8951 Bonita Beach Road, (239) 992-8881. On Fridays enjoy karaoke. Saturday-dance music with DJ.
Cape Coral Entertainment
Cape Coral Cultural Park Theater Company – 528 Cultural Park Blvd. (239) 772-5862
Home of the Cape Coral Community Theater, the Cultural Park Theater Project, the Southwest Florida Craft Guild and the Cape Coral Council for Arts and Humanities. The facility offers a variety of programs including live performances, art exhibitions and classes. Call for specific programs and scheduling information.
Fort Myers Entertainment
Colonial Station, four miles west of I-75 on Colonial Boulevard, (239) 275-8487.
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, 8099 College Parkway S.W., (239) 481-4849 or (800) 440-7469.
Broadway Palm Dinner Theater, 1380 Colonial Blvd., (239) 278-4422.
Florida Repertory Theater at the Arcade Theater, historic downtown Fort Myers on Bay Street between Jackson and Hendry streets, (239) 332-4488 or (877) 787-8053. Professional theater presenting six productions during the winter season and three during the summer from classics to the hottest Broadway shows.
Lee County Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd., (239) 939- 2787.
Southwest Florida Symphony, 4560 Via Royale, (239) 418-1500. Presenting classical and pops concerts November through April. Also presenting Symphony on Sanibel Island. Call for schedule information and tickets.
Theatre Conspiracy, 10091 McGregor Blvd., (239) 936-3239. Non-profit group that performs classics to cutting edge, world premieres, avant-garde theater. Kids Conspiracy performs childrens plays.
Fort Myers Live Music and Dancing
Buddha Bar & Grill, 12701 McGregor Blvd., (239) 482-8565. Live entertainment Tuesday through Sunday. 21 and up.
Club 1527, 1527 Hendry St., (239) 461-9744. Wednesday-ladies night; Friday-DJ music; Saturday-DJ party; Sunday-kings of the underground. 18 and up for ladies, 21 and up for men.
Dena’s and Slicks, 17687 Summerlin Road, (239) 267-2200. Skate park six nights a week, Monday closed. Saturday-teen night for 13- to 19-year-olds. Friday-rock ’n’ roll all ages, beer and wine, live bands.
Groove Street Grill & Discotheque, College Plaza Shopping Center, corner of College Parkway and Winkler Road, (239) 437-2743. Thursday-ladies night; Friday and Saturday-’70s disco, ’80s dance music and Top 40 music.
Indigo Room, 2219 Main St., (239) 332-0014. Live local, regional and national bands Saturday night. Alternative rock, ’70s and ’80s dance music. Theme nights. Over 100 varieties of beer. 21 and up.
Liquid Café, corner of First and Hendry streets, downtown, (239) 461-0444. Monday-singles game night; Tuesday-open mike; Wednesday-lyricists’ lounge; every other Thursday-meet the artist; Saturday-live music.
LJ’s Lounge, 16500 S.R. 31, east Fort Myers, (239) 694-4287. Wednesday sing karaoke style with live music accompaniment; Friday and Saturday-live entertainment. No cover charge.
Ricochet, 3853 S. Cleveland Ave. in the Kmart Plaza, (239) 277-5700. Country music. Tuesday-coin night; Friday-ladies night; Saturday-balloon drop prize night.
The Beat Club, 1528 Hendry St., downtown Fort Myers, (239) 461-9300. Wednesday-ladies night; Thursday-coin night; Friday-the party zone with B103; Saturday-ultimate dance party. 18 and up for ladies, 21 and up for men. www.thebeatclub.com.
The Brick Bar, above Peter’s La Cuisine on the third floor, 2224 Bay St., (239) 332-2228. Jazz and blues nightly starting at 9:30 p.m. Known touring groups and respected, regional bands are typically featured. Comedy club at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Limited gourmet menu available. Sky Bar, located rooftop, features DJ playing Top 40 tunes Wednesday-Saturday.
Varian’s, 33 Patio de Leon, downtown Fort Myers, (239) 461-2727. Live DJ club/techno music Monday-Saturday. Three bars, indoor dance floor and outdoor patio. Special events monthly. 21 and up. Dress code.
VIP Club, 16520 S. Tamiami Trail, Island Park Shopping Center, (239) 437-2177. Monday-Reunion duo; Tuesday-Elvis impersonator; Wednesday, Friday and Saturday-live entertainment; Thursday-singles night.
Fort Myers Comedy Clubs
Laugh-In Comedy Café, College Plaza Shopping Center, corner of College Parkway and Winkler Road, (239) 479-LAFF. Featuring national touring comedians every Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10 p.m.
Fort Myers Beach Entertainment
Live Music and Dancing atChannel Mark, 19001 San Carlos Blvd., (239) 463-9127. Live jazz 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Marco Island Entertainment
Marco Island Players, 1055 N. Collier Blvd., Towne Center, (239) 642-7270. A full season of one-act plays and musical revues. A variety of plays are performed, including murder mystery productions. Call for show information.
Marco Island Live Music and Dancing at The Bombay Club, 695 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island, (239) 389-9100. Features single and national acts as well as DJ music seven nights a week in season. 18 and up. Billiards and large screen TVs.
Sanibel Island Entertainment
Sanibel Island Performing Arts
The Old Schoolhouse Theater, 1905 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island (239) 472-6862. Home of the Off Beach Players, (239) 481-9111, and Encore Productions. The 90-seat theater presents performances ranging from comedy and vaudeville to musicals and drama.
J. Howard Wood Theater, 2200 Periwinkle Way, (239) 472-0006. Formerly the Pirate Playhouse. A fully professional theater that features a season of varied works. Children’s theater and play reading series available. $25/person. Box office hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sanibel Island Live Music and Dancing
Jacaranda, 1223 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel Island, (239) 472-1771. Jazz, rock and reggae seven nights a week. 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.