Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 011218 Contents THE RIVER - JANUARY 12, 2018
Fort Myers Art:
Turned Day Spa
by Tom Hall
to the Off-
January 11. From
the writers of The
Dixie Swim Club
and The Savannah
rollicking Southern comedy will have
you laughing in your seat and shouting
“Hallelujah” from the aisles.
The action takes place in SPA-
DEE-DAH!, a run-down abandoned
church-turned-day-spa located in Eden
Falls, Georgia. It’s where a group of feisty
friends gather every Friday afternoon.
After the loss of a dear friend, the women
realize time is a precious commodity and,
if they’re going to change their lives and
achieve their dreams, they have to get
after it now. But there are complications
and Sugar Lee, their high-spirited,
determined leader, has her hands full
keeping the women motivated and on
Having buried three husbands (one
died of a snake bite in Lake Moccasin),
sassy Carlene has given up on romance.
Nita’s a nervous wreck from running
interference between her deadbeat son
and his probation officer. Mavis’ marriage
is so stagnant she’s wondering how she
can fake her own death to get out of it.
And sweet, simple Crystal entertains them
all, singing Christmas carols with her own
hilarious lyrics while dressing in costume
on every conceivable holiday (including
The comic tension mounts when a sexy
ex-boyfriend shows up unexpectedly, a
marriage proposal comes from an unlikely
suitor and Sugar Lee’s archrival, Bunny,
vows she’ll stop at nothing to steal the spa
away from her.
While The Hallelujah Girls is not a
sequel to either The Dixie Swim Club
or The Savannah Sipping Society, Off-
Broadway Palm audiences have supported
everything coming from the playwriting
team of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope
and Jamie Wooten (the latter also being
a writer and producer on The Golden
Girls). They are not only producing
The Hallelujah Girls this season, but
bringing back last season’s smash hit, The
Savannah Sipping Society, for encore
performances June 14 through July 22.
But for now, join Sugar Lee and
her friends in SPA-DEE-DAH! Tickets
are on sale in the box office, online at
www.broadwaypalm.com and by calling
the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre at
Theater To Give Playwright
The Lab will conduct a staged reading
of a new work by Melanie Payne on
Monday, January 15.
Routine is centered around Dan
Brown, a man who finds himself in a rut.
Late middle age is not turning out as Dan
had planned. A few years earlier, he lost
his wife of 20 years and the job he had
for more than 30. Instead of coasting into
retirement, he’s scrambling to find work
and trying to keep it together with a new
wife almost half his age, a new baby and a
teenage daughter from his first marriage.
Just as he has come to master the
humdrum routine of his new life, tragedy
strikes – and nothing will ever be the
same. Clearly, Routine is anything but.
Stephen Hooper will be reading the
role of Dan Brown.
This is not Payne’s first appearance
on the Lab Theater staged reading circuit.
In November of 2016, Lab held a staged
reading of her play True Colors, which
explored the complexities of racial identity
in the context of the long-forgotten true
story of Leonard Kip Rhinelander and
Alice Jones. Rhinelander was one of
New York’s wealthiest and most eligible
bachelors; Jones was a domestic worker.
But the scandal really ramped up after the
public learned that Jones’ dad was black
and Rhinelander sued for an annulment
claiming that he’d unwitting married a
woman of color.
Payne is an investigative reporter with
The News-Press/USA Today Network.
In that capacity, she has exposed scams,
corruption and bad deals. For more
than a decade, she wrote the consumer
column, Tell Mel. She has published two
nonfiction books and is a nationally ranked
Scrabble player. A native of Cleveland,
Ohio, Melanie is a graduate of Wellesley
College and has lived in Fort Myers since
The staged reading takes place at 7
p.m. at the theater, which is located at
1634 Woodford Avenue in Fort Myers.
For more information, visit www.
laboratorytheaterflorida.com or call
Tom Hall is both an amateur artist
and aspiring novelist who writes art
quest thrillers. He is in the final stages
of completing his debut novel titled Art
Detective. A former tax attorney, he
lives in Estero with his fiancé and their
The Hallelujah Girls will be playing until February 24
image courtesy www.artswfl.com
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The Fort Myers Beach Art
Assocation (FMBAA) Winter Juried
Art Show entitled 50 Shades opens
Monday, January 15 in the FMBAA
Gallery. The artwork will be on display
and for sale through February 15, and
award winners will be announced at
the reception on Sunday, January 21,
beginning with a gallery talk by Sue
Pink at 1 p.m. Refreshments will be
provided by event sponsor Fresh Catch
Bistro. These events are free and open
to the public.
Kathleen Conover, the art show
judge, will offer a demonstration at the
gallery on Sunday, January 14 from
4 to 6 p.m., Cost is $10. Conover is
also offering a mixed media workshop
Chaos to Order from January 15
through 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Paint Around, FMBAA’s annual
fundraiser which involves four artists
collaborating on four paintings in 90
minutes, will be held February 7. The
paintings will be available for purchase
at the end of the event. Proceeds
benefit the Student Scholarship Fund.
FMBAA is located at 3030 Shell
Mound Boulevard on Fort Myers
Beach. For more information on
workshops and other events, visit www.
fortmyersbeachart.com, call 463-3909,
email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop
by the gallery. It is open daily Monday to
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Artists Prepare For
ArtFest Fort Myers
Adazzling array of artwork will be
on display throughout the streets
of the downtown River District at
ArtFest Fort Myers during the weekend
of February 3 and 4. There will be an
opening night party on Friday, February 2.
The outdoor fine art festival is nationally
ranked for the quality of the artists, who
are carefully juried and accepted to exhibit
their work based on their talent. ArtFest
features 200 artists from more than 900
applying artists exhibiting their work.
There will also be hands-on art
activities, live music and food vendors.
High school artist work will be on judged in
the Art Under 20 Exhibit and Competition
tent. Students will also create large street
paintings in the Chalk Block competition.
On Sunday, February 4, the Publix
Run to the Arts will begin and end in the
heart of ArtFest Fort Myers. Visit www.
runtothearts.com for race details.
For more information on the festival,
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