Play preview: World premiere of ‘Tango at Two-Thirty’ by local playwright

Marco Island a central character in another new play

Marilyn Hilbert, Kip Jones and Marilyn Schweitzer in "Tango at Two-Thirty."

Written by local playwright Carole Fenstermacher, “Tango at Two-Thirty” has been her labor of love. It was written as three separate one-act plays until the summer of 2014, when Fenstermacher recognized that the plays shared some common themes which inspired her to rework the one-acts to come together as one play.

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This world premiere of “Tango at Two-Thirty” is about the lives of three couples who are residents at Lago Palms Village. Through their experiences, we explore the notion that love can come when it is least expected, and that age is no barrier to finding marital bliss.

Kip Jones, Marilyn Hilbert, Rose Curreri and Alex Costello in "Tango at Two-Thirty."

Directed by Charles Kolmann, a fellow Thespian of Fenstermacher’s for several years.

“The characters are relatable, especially to those of us who face senior challenges such as the loss of loved ones, the efforts to connect with a companion after decades with that special someone, the reluctant downsizing of our beloved former homes, and the coping with the aches, pains, and ailments of the senior years,” said Kolmann. “But the play is far from depressing; it brings out the humor of a long life and the search for new meaning and new love in our autumnal years.”

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The cast includes Marilyn Hilbert as Sonja Bristol; Marie Prasek as Zibby; Alex Costello as Clew Breski; Rose Curreri as Margaret-Rose Breski; Jay Terzis as Alan Halpern; Kip Jones as George McMahon and Marilyn Schweitzer as Kallie Acton.

“Tango at Two-Thirty” is on stage Feb. 5 through Feb. 23, at The Marco Players Theater, Marco Town Center Mall, 1089 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island.  Shows are 8 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and 3 p.m., Sundays. Tickets are $32 or $34.

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. 

New play a real charmed

Everyone loves a good mystery – one that keeps you guessing and engrossed through an intriguing plot, compelling characters and sly humor. That is precisely what Mitchell Eil has concocted with his newest play “The Golden Charm of Marco Island.”

A mix of drama infused with light-hearted moments, “The Golden Charm of Marco Island” is the first theatrical production that has Marco as its central locale. Fittingly, the two-act play will be staged for the first time ever, Feb. 27-29 and March 1, at Marco Island’s Rose Auditorium.

A mix of drama infused with light-hearted moments, “The Golden Charm of Marco Island” is the first theatrical production that has Marco as its central locale.

“The Golden Charm of Marco Island” is a work of fiction that springs from a quite real, one-of-a-kind antiquity that is partially shrouded in mystery – the Key Marco Cat.

Chiseled from buttonwood, the 6-inch tall, feline statuette dates to pre-Columbian times, when the Calusa Indians made the isle their home. Anthropologist Frank Hamilton Cushing discovered the Cat during an 1896 Key Marco excavation. It and other Calusa antiquities found during the dig are currently on loan from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and on display on Marco for the first time since their discovery.

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Eil uses the Cat’s discovery as a point of departure for his narrative, which takes the viewer on a journey that starts in 1900 before leaping forward to modern times.

The plot revolves around the existence of a second Key Marco Cat, one even more desirable because it’s crafted from gold. Its location has been lost to time, until the highly prized talisman is rumored to have turned up on Marco Island. Word has circulated that the statuette is available at the right price. People would kill to possess the golden Cat and the riches it guarantees. In fact, that may be the fate of some of those vying for it, including the rightful owner.

People familiar with the Marco area will recognize well-known people, places and things such as Hideaway Beach, Caxambas, the Marco Island Yacht Club, the S.S. Jolley Bridge and even rare seashells found on its beaches, the junonia and the shark’s eye. 

Echoes of a certain film noir favorite can be heard, but “The Golden Charm of Marco Island” takes a singular and entertaining approach to resolving its tale of greed, desire and desperation. 

This will be the debut production of Eil’s newly formed Shark Eye Theater Company. The Marco Island resident is available for interviews with print and electronic media outlets. To learn more about “The Golden Charm of Marco Island,” please visit or write to