The Croods ★★★ (Voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds) With the earth shifting, a loner (Mr. Reynolds) helps a cavedwelling family explore new, dangerous territory. It’s a cookie-cutter predictable story, but the animation looks good and it has some laughs. This is wholesome fun for the family. Rated PG. Spring Breakers ★★★ (James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens) Embracing adventure […]


3D Initiative Launches First Regional Call to Action

It takes a village — or, in this case, a region — to change the lives of students for the better. That’s the philosophy behind the Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s first Regional Call to Action, one that aims to bring together a broad coalition of people to help students prepare for meaningful careers, and, hence, better lives. The project called […]

New voices join in Charlotte Chorale legacy

The Charlotte Chorale has new voices in its ranks, and those new members recently took part in history. At its Feb. 24 concert, internationally lauded composer Mark Hayes led the Charlotte Chorale in the world premier recitation of his composition, “The Gettysburg Address” at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church in Punta Gorda. The Charlotte Chorale commissioned the Gettysburg composition by Mr. […]

Sneade, Loder return for April 5 engagement

Valerie Sneade and Edward Loder will be performing a special music tribute show at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the North Port Performing Arts Center — the same venue in which the pair raised $10,000 for the United Way and Hurricane Charley victims a month after the 2004 storm tore through Charlotte County. “The Greatest Stars” show marks the […]

A critic’s look at the Sarasota Film Festival lineup

Film festivals are so frustratingly wonderful. You peruse the schedules, reading the various descriptions, and you want to see everything. Which, of course, is impossible. The Sarasota Film Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, or, as they like to put it, 1.5 decades. The festival opens on April 5 with “Blackfish,” a documentary film by Gabriela Cowperthwaite that looks […]

The day Roosevelt died

April 12, 1945. I had a pass to Paris. April in Paris. The city of lights. The city of romance. The city that I had heard about all my life from my mother, who had grown up there. The city I had read about, seen in the movies and had loved from afar for as long as I could remember. […]


Theater ¦ Born Yesterday – By the Lemon Bay Playhouse, 96 W. Dearborn St., Englewood, through April 7. $18. www.lemonbayplayhouse.com or 475-6756. ¦ Dog Wish – At the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center April 25-27. Enjoy cocktails at 7:30 p.m. and the show at 8. $10. (239) 333-1933 or www.sbdac.com/ events/page/2/. ¦ Dog Wish – By the FGCU Theatre […]

Book lovers


I’d rather talk books than talk dirty. In fact, there are few men I admire more than the ones who can discuss plot and character with a certain intellectual heft. I’d give anything for a conversation on narrative arcs, metaphors and motifs. These men don’t have to be writers themselves, but they invariably are. Not to say I’d like a […]

April 20 PG block party features Edgar Winter

The 27th Punta Gorda Block Party — considered Southwest Florida’s largest street festival — is set for Saturday, April 20. Gates open at 9 a.m. The entry fee to the block party is just $1 for adults, and the event is free for children 12 and younger. The block party features entertainment on three stages from 2-10 p.m. The entertainment […]

Here We Go Together in 3D

“IMAGINE A REGION WHERE ALL GRADUATing high school seniors are ignited by dreams of their future — dreams of making a difference in their communities, nation and world. Imagine a community that swells with pride over the accomplishments of its future leaders. Imagine a region where graduating seniors feel the support of their communities as they take their next steps […]