Sunday, January 12, 2020

‘Love Letters’ communication at the Alhambra Theatre

This two-man play is a mature WIN at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining.  This play is excellent for anyone who remembers writing letters to someone dear, mailing them and waiting for a response to come back.  It wasn’t as simple as it is today - only being a keystroke away, but letters had meaning and it took thought and time to grab some paper & pen, and make a trip to the post office.  This presentation brings back fond memories.  Younger people might not “get it”, but the more mature audience will enjoy a reminder of times gone by.

Producer (and usually Director) Tod Booth* (Andrew Makepeace Ladd III) and Booth’s real-life-actress wife Lisa Valini* (Melissa Gardner), give much meaning to this presentation through their flawless reading, and heartfelt facial expressions.  Lisa’s jewelry and both their outfits are grand and add enjoyment for the eyes while listening to their extensive dialogue.

There is no music nor dancing, but most people could not read for two hours and express the love that a couple of characters held for each other that spanned a number of decades.  Imagine taking a journey of two young people through many years of school, graduation, jobs, love affairs, military commitment, growing families, life’s entanglements, and finally death.  That’s what Love Letters is all about.  It’s a mind game of an exciting journey.

Making her Directing debut, Jessica Booth* who did a wonderful job, behind the scenes at bossing her parents around the stage.  Take a look at some funny outtakes from her preopening experience.

As noted in the Playbill’s Author's Note: This is a play, or rather a sort of play, that is designed to be read aloud by an actor and actress sitting at tables, in front of a group of people, with no special set or memorization.  In performance, the piece would seem to work best if the actors didn’t look at each other until the end.  They listen eagerly and actively to each other along the way, as we might listen to an urgent voice on a one-way radio, coming from far, far away.

Chef DeJuan has not disappointed, especially with his famous Roasted Prime Rib.  This writer is not a fan of lobster, so the Monk Fish was not a favorite (don’t google it before you try it - the fish is hideous looking).  Both the first course selections are delicious, but the salad’s dressing tasted and looked like thousand islands.  Still it was tasty.  The Broccoli & Cheddar Soup is well seasoned and (as with most of Chef’s meals) did not require additional condiments.  For dessert, both the Carrot Cake and the Warm Pear Cobbler are hits.  Bon Appetite and enjoy the Show!

* denotes Actors’ Equity Association

Love Letters

DATES: January 9, 2020 through February 9, 2020

SHOW TIMES: Evening shows Tuesday through Friday start at 7:50 p.m.  Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner is served until 7:30 p.m.  Saturday Matinees begin at 1:15 p.m.  Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch served until 12:30 p.m.  Sunday Matinees are at 1:50 p.m.  Doors open at 12 p.m. and the meal is server until 1:50 p.m.

DRESS: “Business Casual”, or “Sunday Best”.

TICKETS: Prices range from $38 – $66, but for “Love Letters”, the Alhambra is offering a special pricing package in honor of this Booth family moment, two tickets for just $89..  Often following a show, the cast will make an appearance in the main lobby for an informal meet and greet.  Ticket prices include: a plated three-course meal that changes for each show, and is served directly to your table; a Broadway-style performance and complimentary parking.  Tickets may be purchases on line, or by calling (904) 641-1212.
     **Prices do NOT include gratuity, professional photos, nor orders from the bar**

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

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