Arts preview: A play within a play, a visit to Oz and Latin Jazz round out initial offerings

Will Watts

In Florida, the signs that fall have arrived are more subtle. The leaves may not change color, and snow is not likely to fall, but your calendar will fill up. And that’s thanks, in no small part, to the Island’s art community.

Here are a few offerings to get things started.    

‘Rehearsal for Murder’

When his leading lady (and fiancée) Monica Welles (Mai Puccio) is found dead from an apparent suicide after the opening night of her Broadway stage debut, playwright Alex Dennison (Kip Jones) is left heartbroken.

Robin Bache Gray, Kip Jones, Carol Clarke, Carol Comeaux, Don Manley and Fatima DaSilva work on the Marco Players "Rehersal for Murder."

A year later, Dennison assembles the original cast and crew in the same theater for a reading of a new play. Similarities between the new play and the actual events of a year ago becomes increasingly uncomfortable.

It’s time to solve the murder as this thriller becomes a cat-and-mouse chase with a devious trap for her killer. At intermission, you’re invited to make your best guess as to who murdered the leading lady.

The script, written by Richard Levinson and William Link, first aired as an American murder mystery film and won a 1983 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

“If you love a good thriller, you’ll enjoy this clever play within a play which is directed by Richard Joyce,” Beverly Dahlstrom, Marco Players artistic director said. “The plot will keep you in suspense, mystery style.”

“Rehearsal for Murder” is on stage Oct. 24 through Nov. 11 at The Marco Players Theater, Marco Town Center Mall, 1089 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island. Shows are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Attend the first week of the show and automatically be entered in a drawing to win a dinner cruise for two on The Marco Island Princess.

Tickets are on sale at or by calling the box office at 239-642-7270. 

Islander Players go down the yellow brick road

The Island Theater Company's kicks off 2018-2019 season with an iconic show, a musical favorite, and a crazy comedy.      

The season opens with the cast and crew inviting you to join them on the Yellow Brick Road as they celebrate the upcoming 80th anniversary of the iconic film “The Wizard of Oz.”

The young performers edition by L. Frank Baum, music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg opens Nov. 16 with four performances at 7:30 p.m., Friday through Sunday (with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday) at the Marco Lutheran Church great room, 525 N. Collier Blvd., Marco. Doors open half-hour prior to performances. 

The cast includes Elle Richardson as Dorothy, Eden Krumholz as The Scarecrow, Tyler Mastrangelo as The Tin Man Ryan Sullivan as The Cowardly Lion, Kate Anderson as Toto, Kira Swanson as Glinda the Good Witch, Mai Puccio as The Wicked Witch of The West, Kate Whitson-Alves as Aunty Em and Franco Alves as Uncle Henry.

Tickets for The Wizard of Oz are $15 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased in person at the Centennial Bank, 615 E. Elkcam Circle, Monday through Friday. Tickets can also be purchased online at, by calling the ticket office at 239-394-0080, or at the door 30 minutes prior to each performance.

In February, Island Theater Company presents their 3rd Annual “Singin' Broadway.” This “back by popular demand” concert features songs from your favorite Broadway musicals and movies. 

Latin jazz trumpeter Fernando Ferrarone

Marco Island Center for the Arts will present Grammy jazz band member trumpeter and alto saxophonist Fernando Ferrarone from 5:30 until 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8.

Ferrarone attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a full tuition scholarship. In 2013 and 2014 he was DownBeat student music award national winner as a jazz soloist. He also played with the Berklee concert jazz orchestra.

Latin jazz trumpeter Fernando Ferrarone.

Paying tribute to the greats of a subgenre of jazz that is called hard bop, he will explore music from1953-1965. Journalists and record companies began using the term in the mid-1950s to describe a new current within jazz which incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in saxophone and piano playing.

“One of the features of hard bop music is its African American identity” Ferrarone said.

The ticket price is $25 for members of the Marco Island Center for the Arts and $30 for non-members. To reserve your seat, call the Art Center at 239-394-4221 or visit the website at

Gift Gallery expands hours at Marco Island Center for the Arts

Start your artful shopping season early! The Gift Gallery at Marco Island Center for the Arts is now open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Nov. 17. Regular hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and during select events.  

The Gift Gallery at Marco Island Center for the Arts is now open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. through Nov. 17
  • Nov. 27-29: Festival of Trees
  • Nov. 27: Gingerbread House Party from 4 until 6 p.m. for children ages 6-12. Registration is required, and space is limited. Registration fee is $10 member and $15 for non-member.
  • Dec. 3-20: “The Art of Clay: Faces, Figures and Fantasies” exhibition and sale with Second Tuesday Reception from 5:30 until 7 p.m., Dec. 11.
  • Dec. 7: Beaux Art Holiday Tea with Jackie Pierce at 3 p.m., free, but registration is required, and space is limited.