If you are traveling from Naples (like we were), take the breathtaking route along the water through Bonita Springs, Estero, and Ft. Myers Beach.  As you travel along McGregor Ave. lined with Royal Palms, you may get that overwhelming feeling that you get when you see the ocean or the grand canyon for the first time.  Cross College blvd. and you’ll be in the antique district of South Ft. Myers.  Continue along the royal palms another mile or two and you’ll reach Colonial Ave…and on your right is the aptly names “Broadway Palm” theatre in the Royal Palm Square.  You could live in the area for a year and not even know it’s there…hidden away by the bridge to Cape Coral.
We got there in time for hors d’oeuvres, and drinks, followed by a multi-course buffet.  When I visit a dinner theatre that is buffet style, it’s pot luck…and we lucked out.  Determined to limit myself to a sald and a sensible dinner.   The entrees just kept piling on as the temptation got the better of me.  Once dinner was completed, we had maybe 10 minutes before showtime of “George M”, so we shuffled to the front for a little carrot cake, chocolate cake, and pecan pie with ice cream.
“George M”  is about the life of a Broadway legend in the turn of the century name George M Coham, who was a rare breed of showman and had his own act featuring his family—Dad, Mom, sister, and later his wife(s).  George was not only a song and dance man, but a ruthless businessman with am i-won’t-take-no-for-an-answer as his mantra.  And although he stepped on a few toes (including his own families) on his way to the top, he made it there and beyond.  While in this show he was portrayed as a “bad guy”, George was the toast and the tyrant of New York in the days before unions took over broadway and made it into a business rather than just labor of love.  As you might imagine, the show was accompanied by some of the best singing and choreography than we’ve seen since well….New York.   All of the music was, of course, written and produced by George M himself.  John Ramsey was without flaw…and Fort Myers is lucky to have talent like him this far south of the big apple.  The cast and crew were not only worthy of the standing ovation, but they genuinely seemed to be enjoying themselves…in what might be the ultimate tribute to George M himself.  His passion filled my soul.
All and all, Top 100 recommends the show, our reviewers thank you, our writers thank you, my wife thanks you, and I, thank you. 😉
“George M” plays at the Broadway Palm from December 31 through February 14, 2010.

John Chmela
Top 100 Entertainment

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