Thursday, November 15, 2018

Sebastian Maniscalco Stay Hungry Tour comes to JAX


Sebastian Maniscalco’s Stay Hungry tour
comes to Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.  A string of record-breaking sold out comedy appearances, a new top-ranked show on SiriusXM, “The Pete & Sebastian Show,” and inclusion on Forbes’ 2017’s The World’s Highest Paid Comedianswho praised,thanks to his enthusiasm and willingness to work, Maniscalco will likely continue to be on Forbes’ list for years to come,” comedian Sebastian Maniscalco is having an incredible year.  People Magazine’s “The people's comedian” is hitting the road for 15 cities in 2018 beginning with a January 5 opening in Montreal, Canada, where he was dubbed "Stand Up Comedian of the Year" at Just For Laughs Festival.

The tour title is appropriate as not only is “Stay Hungry” the name of his forthcoming 2018 book for Simon & Schuster, but it is also his personal motto.  “The Stay Hungry tour marks the release of my book while I also venture into this new chapter of my life: being a dad. Lately, I’ve found myself reflecting on my path and all of the hard work it has taken to get to this point in my career.  I hope to one day pass these values on to my daughter and encourage her to stay hungry for more,” shares Maniscalco, who has expanded his major motion picture portfolio to include a voice-over for character Johnny the Groundhog in the animated feature “Nut Job 2” and appearances in films including the Will Ferrell-starring New Line Feature comedy “The House” and a role in 2018’s “TAG,” starring alongside Ed Helms and Jeremy Renner.

Dubbed “one of the hottest comics” by Newsday and “one of the funniest comics working stand-up today” by Esquire, Sebastian’s live performance has become a critically-acclaimed event, with the Los Angeles Times raving, “onstage, there’s an impatience to Maniscalco’s delivery as well, a hair-trigger exasperation with people and modern life, punctuated with baffled expressions, percussive thumps on the microphone and wide-swung leg kicks more associated with an Olympic speed-skater than a stand-up comic.”

Instead of asking questions – a theme that has served as the foundation of his previous comedy specials and shows like Aren’t You Embarrassed? and Why Would You Do That? – Maniscalco’s new tour has the affable performer instead encouraging fans to follow in his footsteps and “stay hungry.”

Sebastian Maniscalco
Stay Hungry Tour


DATE: Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION:Times Union Center Performing Arts
      
Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

TICKETS: are available at the Tom Bush Family of Dealerships Box Office at the Times-Union Center, online or charge by phone (800) 745-3000.

Charles Dickens’ Classic: ‘A Christmas Carol’ returns to JAX


The Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s national tour returns to Jacksonville with its delightful stage production of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol, playing at 8 p.m. on December 21, 2018 at the Times-Union Center.  If you’ve missed them in 2016 and 2014, please don’t miss the boat this Christmas Season.  This will be a treat for all age groups, during Christmas vacation; so order your tickets today - choice seats may not be there tomorrow.!

This fully staged musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic tale has become a Yuletide tradition.  The story was adapted for the stage by Charles Jones. The Caravan has been touring this adaptation of A Christmas Carol since 1979.  It is one of the most widely viewed productions of the Dickens tale in the nation, annually performing for more than 100,000 people in more than 60 cities across the country.

A Christmas Carol features a spirited ensemble of 23 performers who bring Dickens’ fable of redemption to life on a magical set created by noted designer James Othuse.  A full array of timeless carols such as: “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Away In a Manager” and “Here We Come A-Wassailing” are interwoven within the classic story of a tight-fisted, middle-class merchant Ebenezer Scrooge and all the beloved characters from Dickens' 1843 novel.

The heartwarming tale depicts Scrooge, whose values are focused exclusively on profit and his conflicts with the struggling Cratchit family, whose tragic problems typified the working class during the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England.  The touching climax is based on Dickens' belief that the ills of a greedy world can be healed by brotherhood and unselfishness.

The colorful scenery and elaborate costumes faithfully recreates the Victorian period.  Exceptional voices, lively dancing and dazzling special effects like the mysterious spinning bed combine to create a spectacular holiday treat for the entire family.

  Charles Dickens’
A Christmas Carol


DATE: Friday. Dec. 21, 2018
TIME: 8 p.m.

LOCATION: 
Times Union Center Performing Arts
      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202


TICKETS: start at $29.75 for adults and $16.04 for children, plus applicable fees, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series, sponsored by VyStar Credit Union (the official presenter of the Jacksonville show), at their box office, or by calling (904) 632-5000 between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, or online 24/7 at fscjartistseries.org.

‘Celtic Thunder’ returns to JAX for only one night



The group, Celtic Thunder will return for one performance only, on Thursday, December 20, 2018.  Not since November 2013, have they brought the thunder back to Jacksonville, FL.  There’s no resting on your laurels for Public Television phenomenon Celtic Thunder!  The multi-platinum Irish group disembarked from its third Celtic Thunder Cruise in November and completed a US Symphony Tour in December, all the while making preparations for the all-new CELTIC THUNDER X Deluxe Double CD and Deluxe Double DVD packages, released on March 2, 2018.

The release celebrates the group’s 10th Anniversary and the Celtic Thunder X tour of 75 cities across the US and Canada, beginning in the fall of 2018, and coming to Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center December 20, 2018 for one performance only. Take an early look at CELTIC THUNDER X here, and pre-order CELTIC THUNDER X here.

The brand-new music and footage from CELTIC THUNDER X as also a highly anticipated television special, which began airing nationally on March 1, 2018.  The special was filmed in Dublin on October 30, 2017 at the Helix Theatre.  Celtic Thunder has become one of public television’s largest draws.  Their shows have aired over 22,500 times across 50 states on PBS.  The group is among the top five audience-generating acts on the network. Check local listings for airing dates/times of Celtic Thunder's new CELTIC THUNDER X special.

Backed by the amazing Celtic Thunder Band, the singers (Damian McGinty, Ryan Kelly, Michael O’Dwyer, Emmet Cahill & Neil Byrne) deliver new ensemble numbers including “Sons of Light”, “Toora, Loora, Lay”, “The Wild Rover”, “Right all right”, and “Castle on the Hill,” followed in the second act by nostalgic, fun songs like “Celebration”, “I’m a Believer”, “Seasons in the Sun,” and “Rise Again”.  No Celtic Thunder show would be complete without an encore of their rousing anthem “Ireland’s Call”, the only song in CELTIC THUNDER X that isn’t a new song, but which never fails to bring the audience to its feet.

"We had a blast making CELTIC THUNDER X.  The music choices were carefully selected to suit each member’s personality and gave us something we could really dig our teeth into.  The musical arrangements, the orchestra and the band are all great, and they really helped to create our best show to date.  We love singing songs that are a perfect mix of traditional and contemporary Irish Songs, along with the fun we have performing hit songs that are known worldwide."
Damian, Michael, Emmet, Ryan & Neil, Celtic Thunder

Celtic Thunder X

DATE: Thurs. Dec. 20, 2018
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LOCATION:Times Union Center Performing Arts
      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

TICKETS:start at $55.50 plus applicable fees, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series, sponsored by VyStar Credit Union (the official presenter of the Jacksonville show), at their box office, or by calling (904) 632-5000 between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, or online 24/7 at fscjartistseries.org.  Discounts for Groups of 10+ may be available by calling (904) 632-5050.

'I'm A Star' Teens host 8th annual ‘Let’s Move Jacksonville’


8th Annual Field Day offers FREE healthy food and a chance to win $1,000. 
The community is invited to I’m A Star Foundation’s Let’s Move Jacksonville, sponsored by Farah and Farah.  This festival will be held Saturday, December 1, 2018 at Henry J. Klutho Park, located at 204 W. 3rd St, in Springfield.  The event is free and open to the public.

I’m A Star servant leaders, ages 13-18, design the event for the entire family.  Everyone is invited, from ages 1 to 100.  Activities include: kickball, flag football, a cheerleading camp, double-dutch, face painting, line dances, soccer, golf, and more.  There will be free, healthy food and lots of vendors.  I’m A Star Foundation aims to make Jacksonville the healthiest city in the nation.  The non-profit organization is partnering with City of Jacksonville’s JaxParks to encourage families to get out and enjoy the 300+ parks in our community. Jacksonville has the largest park system in North America.

Let’s Move Jacksonville features Klutho Park, a sprawling outdoor space which was once the home of the city’s first zoo in 1914. 100+ years later, I’m A Star Foundation hopes their mission will draw residents from all corners of the city to these central majestic grounds.  Attendees are invited to bring picnic blankets, lawn chairs, yoga mats, bicycles or roller blades to enjoy the park.

Families, groups or churches who bring the most attendees will win $1000.  In 2010, I’m A Star servant leaders learned from a Youth Behavioral Study that teenagers in Generation Z, or the “iGen”, born between 1995 and 2012, may not outlive their parents because of childhood obesity.  In response, I’m A Star servant leaders hosted Let’s Move Jacksonville, an offshoot of former first lady Michelle Obama’s national “Let’s Move” campaign.  Similar to truth or dare, I’m A Star teens are challenging you to go into “Beast Mode”, and perform a fitness activity, or “Feast Mode”, and eat something healthy on social media.  Tag a friend and use hashtags #BeastModeFeastMode and #LetsMoveJacksonville to join the fun!

ABOUT I’M A STAR FOUNDATION I’m A Star Foundation is a volunteer program that transforms middle and high school students into the next generation of servant leaders.  An acronym for “Smart, Talented And Resilient” students, the Foundation draws kids ages 13-18 from schools across Duval County.  Students meet on weekends to creatively co-work on solutions to problems affecting their peers.  Since its establishment in 2010, the organization has maintained a 100% graduation rate. Founder and Executive Director Betty Seabrook Burney is a former Duval Co. School Board Chairwoman. I’m A Star Foundation students have been featured in various press outlets, including:
“Around Town With Ms. “V”, Florida Times-Union, ABC7Chicago and The Huffington Post.  For more information, please visit the I’m A Star Foundation website.

I’m A Star Foundation’s “Let’s Move JAX”

    8th Annual Field Day

DATE: Saturday, December 1, 2018
TIME: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

LOCATION: Henry J. Klutho Park
      
204 W. 3rd St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32206

‘The King and I’ troupe bedazzle JAX

Combined photo: PRI Productions & Ms. "V"
You may not want to see a repeat performance of some musicals, even though you may know the plot or you’re able to sing along with some of the songs (please don’t do this out loud); this production of The King & I is very unique.  The costumes, scenery, orchestra (10 pieces of quality sound) and actors are not duplicated from other presentations.  It’s major entertainment for your eyes and ears.  You don’t want to miss this show here in JAX, or at a venue near you.

Want to score bid with your kids?  Whenever you notice one of the shows from the Times Union Center promoting “
Family Night on Broadway” - get your tickets FAST!.  There is so much for you and your children to see and do before the show such as: arts & crafts, mementos, treats and valuable information from: Jax4Kids, PRI Productions photos, Savor…Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Public Library, Painting With A Twist, MOSH, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, face painting, Girl Scouts, Fun For First Coast Kids, Jacksonville Science Festival and much more.

If you missed Family Night, don’t miss seeing the show so that you and yours will be able to make your own lasting memories.  Tickets are still available for this weekend.  Also, as a friendly reminder, if you carry a purse (or a satchel like me) arrive a little early for a “Purse Inspection” before you enter the building.  This protects all patrons of the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts for unforeseen dangers.  Full Body Scanners are i place and will be functioning in the near future.  Kudos also ring out for the beautiful New Carpet that graces the aisles of the Moran Theatre

 “The King & I
by Rodgers & Hammerstein
DATES:      TIMES:
Tues., Nov. 13, 2018 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 14     7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 15    7:30 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 16      8 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 17    2 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 17     8 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 18    1:30 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 18    7 p.m.

LOCATION:Times Union Center Performing Arts
      
Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

TICKETS:start at $42 plus applicable fees, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series, sponsored by VyStar Credit Union (the official presenter of the Jacksonville show), or by calling (904) 632-5000 between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Discounts for groups of 10+ may be available by calling (904) 632-5050.  Performance cast is subject to change without notice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Carlos Rolon’s artwork on view at the Cummer Museum


The front landscape of The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens welcomes Lost in Paradise, an exhibition by artist Carlos Rolon.  The exhibition features sculptures that weave together nature and humankind found in both Florida and Puerto Rico and will be on display from November 3, 2018 to October 20, 2019.  Park across the street and view the collection before you enter the building.

In September 2017 two catastrophic hurricanes (Irma and Maria) made landfall in Florida and Puerto Rico, leaving a trail of devastation in their wakes, and linked Jacksonville and Puerto Rico together again in their relief efforts beyond the Jones Act. In Jacksonville, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens sits on the St. Johns River.  The Museum was not spared from hurricane Irma’s storm surge, and the Cummer Gardens were left heavily damaged.  Within the same week, Puerto Rico was hit head-on by hurricane Maria, leaving the entire island without power, supplies, or infrastructure.

Rolón’s new works draw inspirations from the architecture and natural landscapes that both Florida and Puerto Rico share.  In Lost in Paradise, Rolón seeks to bring attention to nature’s unbridled ability to change its own landscape, but also humankind’s ability to overcome catastrophe and rebuild stronger than ever. Rolon’s “losa isleño” (island tile) pieces break from the traditional repetitive decorative design, departing from the typical rug or carpet style layouts to create new sculptural paintings that reference homes in Puerto Rico. Looking to his mirrored mosaic floral works, the artist has created indestructible plant life in an effort to memorialize and create monuments to the native plants of Florida and Puerto Rico.


Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
  829 Riverside Avenue

  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857

  Hours of Operation & Admission

Spend Christmas with ‘Players By The Sea’ for Noises Off!


Holidays are joyous, but they can also be stressful if you allow them to be.  Why not spend a night or afternoon, during December, full of laughter with the Players by the Sea’s next production, Noises Off!”  What a great early Christmas gift - tickets to the theatre.  Don’t miss this opportunity!  You have a choice among eleven performances.

The New York Post said, “[Noises Off! Is the] … funniest farce ever written!  Never before has side-splitting taken on a meaning dangerously close to the non-metaphorically medical.”  A fond look at the follies of theatre folk whose susceptibility to out-of-control egos, memory loss and passionate affairs turn every show into a high-risk adventure, this play-within-a-play gives a window into the inner workings of theatre.  With slapstick comedy, slamming doors, and falling trousers, Noises Off! is a perfect escape from the Holiday craziness!

Director Tom Fallon says, “the point of the show is ‘fun’. Sometimes theatre wants to bend your mind, wants to make you think, wants to make you change perspective — and sometimes it just wants you to have fun.  And this show is all about having fun, especially if you’ve never been backstage at a live theatre experience and have seen what goes on behind the scenes — this particular play shows you what goes on behind the scenes and it’s a rare treat.”

Noises Off! features an incredibly talented team of local volunteers, onstage and off.  The cast includes: Cathy O’Brien, Michael Lipp, Michael Yarick, Katie Johnston, William Collyer, Christopher Watson, Samantha Parsons, Bryan Martins and Anabella Didion.  As previously mentioned, Tom Fallon directs the show, with stage management by Emilee Paris.

Noises Off
DATES:     TIMES:

Fri., Dec. 7, 2018  8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 8     8 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 13   8 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 14    8 p.m.
Sat.,
Dec. 15    8 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 16   
2 p.m.
Thurs. Dec. 20    8 p.m.
Fri., Dec.21     8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 22     8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 22    
º
8 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 23    2 p.m.

TICKETS: Regular tickets are $28, with a discounted price of $25 for Senior/Student/Military.  Thursday night performances are special Student Nights, wherein students can receive half price tickets with a valid student I.D.  Showtimes are 8 p.m. from Thursday - Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays (note 2 shows on Dec. 22nd.).  Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged.  Tickets are available at playersbythesea.org or by calling the Box Office at (904) 249-0289.

LOCATION: Players By The Sea Theatre
      106 6th Street North
      Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
      (904) 249-0289

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Cummer Museum is a great place for everyone

Dad and Daughter on a day off from school.
Ms. "V" and J Dianne of "At The Table"

"Garmin" sculpted by Augusta Savage

Sculpture of Mary McLeod Bethune by Augusta

Photos of Augusta Savage and her famous recreated sculpture of
"The Harp"
It’s a beautiful weekend to visit the “Augusta Savage” exhibit at the Cummer Museum.  What a wonderful time to teach our children a little history.  I don’t know why it has taken me so long to visit this wonderful establishment. I’ve attended other venues downtown, and the Cummer is ranked +5.  It was also much appreciated to be able to take quality pictures without a flash.  The staff is very knowledgeable (especially the security guards) and you will discover more about the exhibits by being friendly and striking up a conversation.  I have so much more to see there. We stayed 3 hours and only touched the surface of what’s available for the eye to see.

The Cummer Gardens are coming along nicely, nonetheless, your restorative contributions are always welcome.  The Cummer Museum of Art and it’s reconstructed gardens will continue to be featured in “Around Town With Ms. “V”.  It can be a great learning experience for the entire family.  Stay tuned!  And don’t forget to consider the Cummer for Holiday Gifts, FREE Children’s admission for November 2018, and the great events that are sponsored for this month.  There is ample FREE parking across from the museum.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

   829 Riverside Avenue
   Jacksonville, Florida 32204
   (904) 356-6857

   Hours of Operation & Admission

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

2019 St Augustine Celtic Festival ticket sale


International band, the Dublin City Ramblers, will return to St. Augustine in March 2019 during the 9th Annual St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival.  The annual event is set for March 8-10, 2019 at Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine.

Black Friday Super Discount Ticket Sale will be from Thanksgiving Day, Nov 22, 2018 through Monday, November 26 ONLY!  During the event, 8 of the top Celtic Bands in the world will perform in America's oldest Celtic city, along with the St. Augustine Highland Games, Celtic artisans and food, and so much more.

In addition, the St. Augustine St. Patrick's Day Parade is set for 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 9.  The world's ORIGINAL St. Patrick's Day Parade was held in 1601 in St. Augustine, Florida!

Dublin City Ramblers: The Dublin City Ramblers were named Ireland’s No.1 Ballad & Folk Group of The Year by The Irish Country Music Association.  The group has performed at major festivals worldwide, including headlining: The Milwaukee Irish Festival, The Cleveland Irish Festival, Hollywood Irish Fest, Miami Irish Fest, and other festivals around the globe.  In addition, the group has performed at every major venue in Ireland and abroad, including Dublin’s National Stadium, National Concert Hall, Cork’s Opera House, England’s Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall and many others.

Make plans to find the CELT in YOU in America’s Oldest Celtic City
The three-day St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival is the finest Celtic event in the United States, according to the international bands who perform here.  The festival is set for March 8-10, 2019 in downtown St. Augustine, featuring internationally acclaimed Celtic bands, a pre-festival Whiskey Tasting, Highland games, Celtic artisans and food, live music, and two stages with a variety of entertainment.  The ONLY St. Patrick’s Day parade in Northeast Florida begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 9.

Tickets are available at CelticStAugustine.com.  Festival tickets may also be purchased at Ann O’Malley’s Irish Pub located at 23 Orange Street, downtown St. Augustine. 
The St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival is produced by Romanza-St. Augustine, Inc. and is funded in part by the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, Visit Florida, and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.

Teens present large sum to Homeless Students


“I’m A Star Foundation” teen servant leaders presented a check for $30,000 to the Duval County Families in Transition Department, at the November 7th school board meeting.  “I’m A Star” teens raised the money through donations and their annual Jacksonville HELPS (Homeless students Empowered through Leadership, Partnerships and Service) Celebrity Basketball Game held in September.  See excerpt of game video HERE.

Since 2012, the Foundation has raised a total of $126,500 via live telethons, a 5K and four celebrity basketball games— donating all funds to the Duval County Families in Transition Department for homeless students. Out of the total amount raised, I’m A Star Foundation has awarded 20+ scholarships to homeless students entering college.

I’m A Star Foundation is a volunteer program that transforms middle and high school students into the next generation of servant leaders.  An acronym for “Smart, Talented And Resilient” students, the Foundation draws kids ages 13-18 from schools across Duval County.  Students meet on weekends to creatively co-work on solutions to problems affecting their peers.  Since its establishment in 2010, the organization has maintained a 100% graduation rate.  Founder and Executive Director Betty Seabrook Burney is a former Duval Co. School Board Chairwoman.  I’m A Star Foundation students have been featured in various press outlets, including: Florida Times-Union,
Around Town With Ms. “V”, ABC7Chicago and The Huffington Post. For more information, please visit “I’m A Star Foundation