Dames at Sea tells the story of Ruby, who steps off a bus from Utah and into her first Broadway show. But hours before the opening night curtain is set to rise, the cast learns that their theater is being demolished. With the help of some adoring sailors, Ruby and the cast set a plan in motion to perform the show in a naval battleship.
The show is known for its exuberant choreography. The New York Times called it “A winner! A gem of a musical!” USA Today said “Prepare to be thoroughly charmed!” and Broadway.com called it “A tap-happy gem of a show that celebrates the golden era of movie musicals!
Come see this season’s featured BIG ARTS musical production at the Strauss Theater, playing from March 8 – April 7. For more information, head to bigarts.org.
The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba will make a historic first appearance ever in Southwest Florida on Saturday, March 10 when it performs at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.
Since its inception in 1960, The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba has been instrumental in developing and introducing Cuban and Latin American music to the international classical music community, in addition to covering a vast symphonic and chamber repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary music.
Tours have taken the orchestra to Russia, Yugoslavia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, Peru and Argentina. The orchestra also takes part in record productions and events in Cuba, such as the international festivals of Guitar, the festival of Contemporary Music and the international festival of ballet of Havana.
The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, located at 13350 FSW Parkway in Fort Myers. Tickets may be purchased at the hall’s box office by calling 1-239-481-4849 .
What a trio of beautiful ladies!
Now you know why we love the annual Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner. It always brings an opportunity to connect with good friends!
Case in point, the photo above, showing (from left) Ocean’s Reach longtime guest Dottie B., owner Marcia M. and staff member extraordinaire (and clean up volunteer) Lisa!
Bellissimo! Bellissimo! Bellissimo!
Scientists discover rare, 7,000 year old burial site in Gulf of Mexico
Article by Chad Gillis
Archaeologists have discovered a 7,000-year-old burial site in the Gulf of Mexico after a tip from a recreational diver who found human remains at the site in 2016.
Called Manasota Key Offshore, the site is off of Sarasota County and appears to have been preserved in what was at the time a freshwater peat pond.
Although other sites in Florida predate this one by thousands of years, researchers called this latest discovery unprecedented.
“Despite thousands and thousands of years of hurricanes, storms, erosion and rising sea level, the continental shelf can contain deposits with organic material,” said Ryan Duggins, with the Florida Division of Historic Resources. “I think that’s going be the ripple effect (in the science community).”
Duggins said he and others always assumed that there weren’t any preserved sites in the Gulf of Mexico because it has a sandy bottom, and sand does not preserve organic material very long.
This site, however, is made largely of peat soils.
“I was always kind of told that a site like this wouldn’t exist in the Gulf of Mexico, that it wouldn’t be able to survive,” Duggins said. “Just out of sheer luck, a citizen brought this information to our attention and it’s been a great experience.”
The site is about 300 yards off Manasota Key and is being patrolled by law enforcement officers and volunteers to make sure no one dives too close to it.
A recreational diver found human bones at the site in the summer of 2016, and Duggins and his team started diving and researching the site soon after.
The site is so well preserved that even wooden stakes found there look as though they were buried recently.
“It looks like it was almost put there yesterday,” Duggins said. “We’ve recovered sticks that are sharpened on the end, they have marks on them and you can see charring, and normally wood is the first thing that goes. It disintegrates.”
The oldest site in Florida found so far is in the Big Bend area and dates back 14,500 years, according to researchers.
The Manasota site is about three-quarters of an acre in size and was located along the shoreline.
The stakes were carved 7,214 years ago, according to carbon dating.
Sea levels were much lower during that time, and the remains at this site were well preserved because they were in a peat-bottom pond.
The peat stayed in place while the sea levels rose, protecting the artifacts and bones.
A Florida Gulf Coast University professor is in charge of preserving the artifacts that were extracted.
“In all of the work that I do, I never lose track of the fact that I am handling materials that are of special importance to families and groups, especially those of the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes of Florida,” said Heather Walsh-Haney, an FGCU forensics professor.
Due to the sensitive nature of the site, the exact location is not being released to the public.
The location is protected under Florida law, and it’s illegal to disturb the site or remove anything from it.
“As important as the site is archaeologically, it is crucial that the site and the people buried there are treated with the utmost sensitivity and respect,” said Timothy Parsons, director of the state’s division of historic resources.
“The people buried at the site are the ancestors of America’s living indigenous people. Sites like this have cultural and religious significance in the present day.”
View video here!
Andy shared this photo that he captured of a Green Anole, the only anole species native to Florida.
Green anoles are medium-sized lizards with long tails. Sometimes called chameleons because of their color-changing abillity, they can be anywhere from emerald green to brown or gray. When stressed, they turn dark brown.
They’re getting harder and harder to find with competition from the hardy and non-native brown anoles, so it’s always nice, though increasingly rare, to spot an actual native lizard here on Sanibel!
The ever-popular Budweiser Clydesdales returned to the Fort Myers area last week, kicking off their visit with a return to the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade.
The massive horses — the living symbol for Anheuser-Busch beer company since 1933 — made various other stops around Southwest Florida, including an eight-horse “full hitch” walk through the Historic Downtown River District, where you-know-who couldn’t resist a selfie!
Some info for trivia buffs: In order to qualify for the World Famous Budweiser hitch, a Clydesdale must stand at least 18 hands high (or 6 feet tall) and weigh between 1,800 – 2,300 pounds. All Budweiser Clydesdales have a bay-colored coat, four white stockings, a blaze of white on their face, a black mane and a black tail. Each of the geldings consume as much as 20 – 25 quarts of whole grains, minerals and vitamins, 50 – 60 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.
Every hitch travels with a Dalmatian dog — a throwback to the early days of beer brewing, when Dalmatians were bred and trained to guard the wagon and horses while out on beer deliveries.
To learn more fun facts about the Budweiser Clydesdales, click here!
Fueled by the belief that classic jazz feeds the heart and soul, The Hot Sardines are on a mission “to make old sounds new again and prove that joyful music can bring people together in a disconnected world.”
Several of our Ocean’s Reach family were treated to their performance at BIG ARTS recently, including Lynne K., pictured above with AC Lincoln, the group’s tap dancer.
Both Andy and Lynne raved about the show, which The London Times called “simply phenomenal.”
In the last two years, The Hot Sardines have been featured at the Newport Jazz Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival, have sold out NYC venues from Joe’s Pub to Bowery Ballroom, and more than 150 tour dates from Chicago to London. To see why they captured a No. 1 slot on the iTunes Jazz chart, click here.
They’re another example of the stellar talent BIG ARTS attracts for island visitors and residents year after year. Many shows sell out quickly, so be sure to plan ahead by visiting the BIG ARTS website.