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Second production at new theater set for three-week run

January 8, 2020
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

North Fort Myers' new theater will soon be ready to hold its second production of the season "The Dining Room."

The Players Circle Theatre show is set to open with previews Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m. in the Party House across from the theater located in the former Dolphin Room at the Shell Factory.

Two more previews will follow on Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. before starting its run on Saturday, Jan. 11, and continuing until Feb. 2.

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Robert Cacioppo, producing artistic director, said the theater had to install a fire alarm system, which he hopes will allow the theater to open as early as Friday. If not, the shows will be held in the Party House, which can hold 100 people.

The play was written by A.R. Gurney, who also wrote "Sylvia and Cocktail Hour." It is set in the dining room of a well-to-do household, where the family assembles for meals and special occasions.

"A.R. Gurney may not be a name our audiences immediately recognize, but I think they'll find him to be such a funny and brilliant writer," Cacioppo said. "We've put together a stellar cast and director to perform the author's first major play, and I have no doubt that it will delight them as much as it does us."

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"The mosaic of scenes, some funny, some touching and some rueful, creates the portrait of a vanishing species, the upper-middle-class WASP," the play synopsis states.

The cast will include Carrie Lund Cacioppo, the cofounder of Players Circle Theatre. She has acted in over 100 professional productions in Southwest Florida, including nine that received rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal. She recently performed in a one-woman show, "Erma Bombeck, At Wit's End," at the request of that play's authors. Lund Cacioppo has won numerous awards, including Florida Weekly's Best Actress Award in 2011.

Paul Graffy has been active in Southwest Florida theater since 2001, working with The Laboratory Theater, The Naples Players, Theatre Zone, Artis-Naples and Naples Dinner Theatre. He most recently played Danforth in The Crucible.

The production co-stars Elizabeth D'Aiuto and Andrew Scoggin, fresh off their performances in Players Circle's inaugural production of "Ho! Ho! Ho! The Christmas Show."

Rounding out the cast is Angela Watson and Matt Michaels. Watson played Suzanne Somers' teenage daughter for seven seasons on the ABC sitcom "Step by Step."

Shows are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinees Wednesday and Sunday at 2. Regular price tickets are $35 and $50, with the previews $25.

You can also purchase rush tickets for $25 for the best seats, if available, one hour before curtain. These are good for all performances.

People can also call Players Circle Theatre at 239-800-3292 or order tickets online at

The Shell Factory is at 16554 N. Cleveland Ave., North Fort Myers.



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