September means comedy for the Charlotte Players

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If you find yourself on the floor on Friday, Sept.13, don’t blame Jason or any Friday the 13th superstition. Instead, the reason will be Comedy for a Cause, and the floor will be at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.
The hilarious fundraising evening returns for the seventh time with a new chair and a new cast of Community Business Leaders now rehearsing for the night of improv in the style of “Whose Line is It Anyway?” Charlotte County Commissioner Dr. Chris Constance returns as director.
The cast members are:
• Jesse Cantwell – Life Care Center business development director
• Bill Gladwell – Entertainer, speaker, trainer
• Mike Hearn – Publisher of Florida Weekly
• Chuck Matos – R.N. at Bayfront Health
• Mike Moody – Sales manager at Sun Broadcasting, Inc.
• Kim Seals Parks – Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce
• Kelly Rittenhouse-Pomerville – Charlotte Behavior Health Care director of marketing and public relations
• Amanda Stahl-Stacey – Trilogy Home Health
The event benefits the Charlotte Players many programs, including the Charlotte County Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Kids OnStage. A Silent Auction, prize drawings and character photo spots will be part of the festivities.
Marie LaBrosse, who created the night of improvisational comedy, stepped down as chair of the event. Fortunately, prominent local photographer Steve Lineberry stepped up as Marie’s replacement.
“Marie did a fantastic job over the last six years, as Comedy for a Cause grew more popular and successful year after year,” said Charlotte Players executive director Sherrie Moody. “With Marie scaling back on some of her impressive community involvement, we’re delighted that Steve has stepped up and taken over the program.”
VIP tickets at $85 include dinner table seating and show tickets. Show only tickets are $30. Tickets are available online at or by calling the office at 941-255-1022. The Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center is at 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda. Due to the improvisational nature of the show, it has been rated for adults only.
The Charlotte Players laughs actually begin a week earlier, on Sept. 6, when the 2019-20 theatrical season begins with Don’t Dress for Dinner. Directed by Ken Crisp, the slapstick comedy, will have eight performances at the Langdon Playhouse, 1182 Market Circle, Port Charlotte. The play demonstrates how lies and deceit can turn a relaxing weekend away into a catastrophe, with multiple alleged affairs, cooks and cooks, mistresses, miscommunication and bribery. Crisp says the cast can hardly make it through a rehearsal without breaking up.
Mentalist Bill Gladwell brings his show to the Langdon Playhouse at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22. Gladwell is not a mind-reader, psychic or magician. He calls himself a “thought-reader,” having mastered the unique art of reading and influencing people. Tickets for Gladwell’s show are $22, and Don’t Dress for Dinner tickets are $22 for adults and $11 for students. Tickets for all Charlotte Players productions are available at or by calling 941-255-1022. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
September wraps up with auditions for another comedy, Jack of Diamonds. Director Jenni Elliott will see actors at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22, and Monday, Sept. 23, at the Langdon. This play involves four residents of a retirement home who have had their life savings stolen by a smooth-talking financial advisor. Pandemonium ensues as the four retirees try to find a way to exact their revenge, recoup their losses and keep the authorities from discovering their plans.


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