Marty Clear

Bret Michaels performs at Bradenton gala

In past years, Bradenton's Firefly Gala has featured some of the biggest stars of disco, punk and new wave music.

This year the gala is bringing in one of the most famous frontmen of the MTV glam-metal era.

Bret Michaels was the singer and co-writer of hits by his band Poison, from such rockers as "Talk Dirty to Me" to classic power ballads such as "Every Rose Has Its Thorn."

He'll be performing a solo show for the gala, which is scheduled March 28 at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club in East Manatee.

It's an annual benefit for Forty Carrots Family Center, a Sarasota non-profit whose goal is to strengthen families through educational programs fro children, adults and professionals in the field.

This will be the fifth year for the Firefly Gala, and each year the headlining act has been a music A-lister. Blondie, the Go-Gos, KC and the Sunshine and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo have performed at past galas.

The gala is presented by the Dart Foundation, a Michigan-based group dedicated to advancing youth education.

The gala includes the concert, dinner and silent and live auctions.

Michaels long ago eschewed his glam-rock make-up and attire in favor of cowboy hats and denim. But if you want to see him perform in Bradenton you'll have to gussy up a bit. It's cocktail attire for the women, jackets and no ties for the men. And, as the gala website warns, "jeans are not permitted at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club."

Details: March 28, Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club, 15150 70th Terrace E., Brandenton. Tickets: TBA. Information: 941-365-7716, fireflygala.org.

-- Marty Clear

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