Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January looked great at the Times Union Center in JAX

January 2017 was a month for ballet, comedy, impersonators and music from the 1940’s at the Times Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida.  There were four different shows to satisfy the entertainment appeal of almost everyone.

Swan Lake” was a great ballet that could be enjoyed by old and young alike.  Unlike an opera, a ballet can be better understood through the dance, costumes, the storyline within the program or previous knowledge of that particular classical dance.  The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presented fifty of Russia’s brightest ballet stars to bring the ballet to the stage as a romantic tale of true love within four acts.  Swan Lake is set to the music of Tchaikovsky and based on Russian folklore and German legend that follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell.

It’s true – Men & Women see things differently.  Peter Story came for a few days to educate (with comedy) and give some antidotes from John Gray’s famous book: “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”.  This one-man-show kept everyone laughing and may have helped to make things better within relationships.  If there’s nothing that needs improvement, then the show is a hoot anyway.  Moving swiftly through a series of sketches, the performance covered everything from dating, to marriage and also to the bedroom as Peter exposed the differences between the sexes.

Close your eyes – each Elvis singer (Dean Z, Jay Dupuis and Bill Cherry) sounded just like the real deal.  Open your eyes and “Elvis Lives” right before your eyes.  As your eyes pan the attendees, heads were bobbing and people were dancing in their seats.  Elvis Lives was better than any Elvis show that you could see on the Las Vegas Strip.  When asked if the actors would rather be in Vegas or on the road, their unanimous reply was most of them live in Vegas and going elsewhere is more enjoyable.  Ann Margaret came on the scene & sang a couple of duets with “the king”.  At this time, some of the men in the house began to smile a little bit.  The impersonator (Carol Maccri) imitated Ann’s wispy vocals and her shaking moves.

The final show for January was “In the Mood”, a 1940’s musical review that brought realization of a time when all America was listening and dancing to the same kind of music.  Six vocalists (Emillie Bienne, Jordan Ellis, Daniel Fuentes, Alexander Markowitz, Brittney Leigh Morton and Paige Sabo), along with a 13-piece band called “String of Pearls”, captivated the audience with over 42 memorable songs from that era.  The entire night reminded the attendees of the McGuire Sisters, Benny Goodman or Bob Hope and his USO shows.  It was a time of war, yet the music made the time period easier to accept and persevere.
Get ready for more shows to come in the months ahead.

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

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