Thursday, March 23, 2017

Barbara Streisand tribute artist coming to the Alhambra

Beginning on April 5 for only five shows, the Alhambra Theatre & Dining continues their 50th Season Celebration with nationally renowned Barbra Streisand Tribute Artist, Sharon Owens.  Mannerisms, vocals, and appearance are the exact duplicate of the famous Barbara Streisand as Sharon opens her show entitled, “An Enchanted Evening with Barbra Streisand.”  Owens will take her audience on a journey through Ms. Streisand’s biggest years – 60s Broadway, 70s Disco, and 80s Films.  You will be captivated them with such favorites as: Don’t Rain on My Parade, The Way We Were, Evergreen, Woman in Love, Somewhere and People.  Attendees will laugh, cry, chuckle and singalong on these songs as Owen’s precise interpretation of the infamous Streisand hits the stage.

If you thought that you heard her sing and saw her dance at the Busch Gardens Main Theater in Tampa Bay Florida – you did!  When she landed a nightclub gig in Los Angeles singing a lone Barbra Streisand song, Sharon Owens didn’t realize at the time that she was to become a pioneer in the music tribute business.  Unlike many of the other impersonators who are “lookalikes.”  Owens didn’t study voice and acting simply to be called a tribute artist.

“Imitating Streisand became an acting job,” Owens explains, “So many movies have been made where actors immerse themselves into their movie character and then tell a life story of the real person.  I simply do the same thing, but on stage.”

Soon after starting out as a dynamic mimic of the incomparable Streisand, Ms. Owens began to take the comedy routine more seriously.  She honed her Brooklyn accent, studied Streisand’s intense vocal sounds and spent hours recreating her look with gorgeous gowns.  In the 15 years of her “Streisand career,” she has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, Extra, and in People Magazine.  She also starred in a ABC’s reality show, “The Next Best Thing.”  Winning the Fox TV show, “Performing As…” propelled her career.

Executive Chef DeJuan Roy will have an exquisite dinner prepared especially for Ms Streisand’s/Owens guests.  If you’re a fan of the Alhambra After Dark concerts, you’ll want to get your tickets before they’re “sold out”, as so many of the other Alhambra shows have been.  Hope to see you there!

  Alhambra After Dark
Sharon Owens
An Enchanted Evening with Barbra Streisand

DATES: Wed. April 5 – Sat. April 8, 2017
SHOW TIMES: Evening shows Wednesday through Saturday start at 7:50 p.m.  Doors open at 5:50 p.m., and dinner will be served until 7:20 p.m.  Saturday Matinees begin at 1:15 p.m.  Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch ends at 12:45 a.m.
DRESS: “Business Casual” or “Concert Best”

TICKETS: Regular pricing for tickets is $64.  Ticket prices include: a plated dinner served to your table, an incredible show and prime parking.  Price does not include gratuity or orders from the bar.

LOCATION: Alhambra Theater & Dining
       12000 Beach Blvd.
       Jacksonville, Florida 32246
       (904) 641-1212

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' makes a BIG splash in JAX

“In a magical kingdom fathoms below, we meet Ariel, the little mermaid, who is tired of flipping her fins and longs to be part of the fascinating world on dry land. Joining her are Sebastian, Ariel’s crabby sidekick; Ursula, the evil sea witch; Triton, King of the Sea and the handsome and human Prince Eric.”  This is only a little part of the story, and the beginning of what’s in store for you during the presentation of The Little Mermaid at the Times Union Moran Theatre from now until this Sunday.

So many little girls came in their Little Mermaid costumes; while some mothers, and attendees adorned in blue and green hair promenaded the halls for the annual ‘Family Night on Broadway’.  There was excitement everywhere!

The Choreography is top notch and the cabled flights will remind you of scenes from Peter Pan, but you are right there to witness the thrills of the evening.  Do you remember ‘sneakers with wheels’?  Well, you’ll see some crazy birds glide across the stage (see photo) during this spectacular show.  The live orchestra did not get their just recognition in the playbill, but they did a magnificent job under the direction of Colin R. Freeman.  The music and singing were top-notch and worthy of the Disney name.

It’s amazing how Ariel and the other underwater creatures flex their bodies back-and-forth to represent swimming, nonetheless, they accomplish these moves while saying lines, singing, and flying through the deep-blue ocean air.  Costumes are very vibrant in so many pastel colors.  The scene “Under The Sea” is like viewing a Louisiana Mardi Gras or dancers on the Vegas strip, but you are viewing it on the Times Union stage.

Crazy birds on skates (top) Ariel (bottom)
Because of all the changes in characters from the Marquee playbill, this writer cannot give total credit to the proper actors, but I will try to do my best.  On one of the many papers flying around the auditorium (you should stay until the end and see who is going to clean up all the clutter), kudos go out to Dennis O’Bannion whose name was omitted.  Let it be known that all but one of Ariel’s Mersisters also doubled as the Maids; well done ladies.

Ariel (Diana Huey) has a stunning operatic-soprano voice that doesn’t allow a body harness to hamper her acting or vocals.  Sebastian (Melvin Abston) stole the show with his lobster-like moves and precise diction.  Besides having a wonderful octopus (minus a couple of tentacles) costume, Ursula (Jennifer Allen) gave a stellar performance with her mean antagonistic self.  All the actors, stage coordinators, manager, director and every assistant that “The Little Mermaid” show uses in putting on this musical, deserve to be recognized.  You don’t want to miss this show.  By far it has to be the most stunning show of the year and maybe of 2016 too.

DATES:         TIMES:
Wed., Mar. 22      7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Mar. 23     7:30 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 24       8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 25      2 & 8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 26      1:30 & 7p.m.

      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

REGULAR SHOW TICKETS: start at $38.50, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series (the official presenter of the Jacksonville show), or by calling (904) 442-BWAY (2929) between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 442-2947 or emailing

Saturday, March 18, 2017

'The Price is Right - Live!' will be back in JAX

Jerry Springer - Host
No foolin’!  The Times-Union Center’s Moran Theater will play host to The Price is Right Live™ stage show, sponsored by VyStar Credit Union.  If you remember the show coming to JAX in 2012, then you will recall the prizes, exciting crowds of possible contestants, and special guest hosts.  This is something that you want to grab your tickets, get your personality ready, to register for a chance to be a contestant on the Moran theater stage.

The Price Is Right Live™ is the hit interactive stage show that gives eligible individuals the chance to "Come On Down" and play classic games from television's longest running and most popular game show.  Contestants can win cash, appliances, vacations and possibly even a new car by playing favorites like: Plinko™, Cliffhangers™, The Big Wheel™, and the fabulous Showcase.

Playing to near sold out audiences for more than ten years, The Price Is Right Live™ has given away over 12 million dollars in cash and prizes to lucky audience members all across North America.  This year, The Price is Right Live™ will be hosted by Jerry Springer and will have prizes that may include: appliances, vacations and possibly a new car!

The Price is Right™ is the longest running game show in television history and is loved by generations of viewers.  This on-stage traveling version gives fans the chance to experience the same fun and winning excitement up close and in-person.  The Price Is Right is produced by: FremantleMedia North America and licensed by FremantleMedia.

The Price Is Right - LIVE
DATE: Saturday, April 1, 2017 (No Foolin’)
TIMES: 8 p.m.

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

TICKETS: start at $34.50, 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) 442-BWAY (2929) between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 442-2947 or emailing  ***Additional purchase not required for contestant registration.  Open to legal US residents, 18 years or older.  Ticket purchase will not increase your chances of being selected to play.  For complete rules & regulations, including eligibility requirements, visit or call the venue box office.  To enter theater to watch show, a ticket purchase is required.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

'Star' on Fox TV-Sexuality and Christianity: What?

Many people are afraid to talk about homosexuality for fear of being ridiculed, labeled, chastised, hated (the list goes on), so they just keep quiet, bury their heads, or don’t say anything at all.  There’s a nighttime soap-opera (oh, there are many other ones on evening TV, so put down your rocks & please listen to the important issue), “Star”, in its first season on the FOX network.  The show has a character that wants to change from a man to a woman (you’ll have to look up the episode ‘on demand’).  What I found disturbing was the attempt to perform an Exorcism on this person, by a pastor of a local church.  There’s more plots to the show, but this is the focus of this article.  How would you approach a person who is NOT a  heterosexual?

Ms. "V" center
You may want to tag people who question their gender as gay, homosexual, transsexual, transgender, and the classifications go on (with some not-so-nice terms).  Nevertheless, how are Christians, who say they love God, going to badger and belittle a person, as they tell the person that they are going to die and go to hell?  Christians have their Bible scriptures, but What Would Jesus Do in confronting a person who was born one way and have desires for the other gender?  Are we God?  What would Jesus say and do about a Hermaphrodite?  Are we Christians supposed to beat the devil out of other people?  Are we to ignore the person and what they do?  In the words of a familiar show, “What Would You Do?”

Member of "The Pearl Box Review"
There’s an old saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.”  Didn’t Jesus show love to those who were NOT like Him?  How are people going to love and follow Christ, if they can’t see the love of Jesus in YOU?  Some of us have family members who are transgender, yet how do we treat them?  Are we ashamed to invite them to dinner, or what about inviting them to church (that’s the last place they might come because of the whispers or looks they would receive - that’s not your church; is it?).  Do we shun them or classify them as outcasts?  How would you handle it if a loved one professed that they were different than you?  Would you still love them or hide them in the closet?  Is casting demons out of the person, the answer or showing that person to a loving God?  We are to lead folks to Christ by our example, and He gets the increase.

Years ago, when I was a barmaid, we had a “Pearl Box Review” (men who dressed and performed as women) come to town.  They needed a place to stay and I was single, with a four-bedroom house; so, I had them stay with me.  That was a time that I hold dear.  It was like having a group of sisters around.  We ate, cooked, shopped, drank and had fun together.  That was then!  Today, I would have to check with Hubby and they could probably afford a hotel room, but the fact remains that these are still people (don’t be asking my Husband what he would do), and they have feelings.  Some of you readers might be saying, “They wouldn’t be in my house.”  Well, shame on you!  Did Jesus do that?  He got upset with the money changers at the temple, but who’s to say that He didn’t have a glass of wine with them at another time.

My question to you is, “How does a Christian approach and treat a person who appears to be one way, yet feels that they are the other?  What would you do?  Are we Christians so heavenly bound (going to heaven no matter what), that we’re no earthly good?  Are we willing to seek that one lost sheep from the herd and show them the Good Shepherd? Sometimes one situation can lead to another less favorable conclusion.  What will happen on the season finale of “Star” and will you judge less you be judged?