Thursday, December 8, 2016

Alhambra releases the 50th season Commemorative Book

The Alhambra Theatre and Dining stands proudly as one of the few remaining dinner theaters dotting North America.  “The Alhambra Theatre & Dining: 50 years of Memories” is a commemorative book that was released this week, to celebrate the Alhambra’s half-a-century anniversary.  Three generations of Alhambra owners (original owner Johnson, most recent owner, Tod Booth and current owner Craig Smith), will gather for a photo and be available to sign copies of this keepsake book.  Joining them for a complimentary light appetizers & desserts gala will be author, Charles Day.

Written by Jacksonville biographer and former University of North Florida professor, Charles Day, the Alhambra Theatre & Dining: 50 Years of Memories, features more than 175 pages of archival photos, biographies of actors and behind the scenes stories as the book chronicles the rise, fall and rebirth of America’s longest running professional dinner theater.  Mr. Day wrote the book over the course of 18 months, interviewing prior and current owners, guest stars, culinary staff, members of the press and patrons of the Alhambra.  The book is handsomely designed by David Parrish as a coffee table book.

The book is broken into three chapters, appropriately-referred to as “Acts,” each highlighting a different era in Alhambra lore.  From interviews with Ballis and Johnson to current owner, Craig Smith and tales from prior owner and long-term Director Tod Booth, the Alhambra’s story traces a remarkable history.  Weaved among several hundred photos, newspaper clippings and historical ads, are sidebars called, “Celebrity Showcase,” which call out the remarkable and seemingly endless list of talent who graced the Alhambra’s stage.

The Alhambra has hosted legends such as Imogen Coca, Bob Crane, Lee Meredith, Dawn Wells, Mickey Rooney, Tony Curtis, Claude Aiken, Sid Cesar, Cesar Romero, and, recently the likes of Loretta Swit, Barry Williams, Jamie Farr, Sally Struthers, Joyce DeWitt, Michael Learned, Barbara Eden, Lisa Whelchel and Mike Farrell. The Alhambra is also home to former Miss America, Orange Park (FL) native Leanza Cornett, who started at the Alhambra when she was 15.  Current owner Craig Smith often credits Swit for saving the Alhambra in 2010, and the book tells the story in detail.  A full page is dedicated to Betty Grable’s 1973 role in “Born Yesterday.” The show opened in early January and was scheduled for three weeks.  She was so popular that the show was held over for two weeks.  Grable died of cancer in July of the same year.  “Remarkably, despite her illness she never missed a show” — George Ballis.

"The Alhambra Theatre & Dining:
  50 Years of Memories" Event
DATE: Tues., Dec. 13, 2016
TIME: 4 - 5 p.m. (3 - 4 p.m. for Season Partners only!)
BOOK PRICE: $39.99

Alhambra Theater & Dining
       12000 Beach Blvd.
       Jacksonville, Florida 32246
CALL:(904) 641-1212 to reserve your spot and a commemorative book.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Cummer Museum will entertain you and the Children this Dec

Women Artists: from the Renaissance to Abstract Expressionism – Tues., Dec. 6 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. | Members Free, Non-Members $10 (includes admission) Registration required.

The last lecture in this series addresses the 20th century, when art education became available to women. For major artists from Georgia O’Keeffe to Helen Frankenthaler, a new question emerged: “to be an artist or a woman artist?” Space is limited. For further information, please email or call (904) 355-0630.

Champagne & Shopping At The Cummer Shop
Dates: Thurs., Dec. 8 & Fri., Dec. 9, 2016
Times: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. both days | Free. Additional 20% off
Enjoy complimentary champagne and appetizers while shopping expanded Shop inventory and special artisan merchandise brought in just for this two-day event.

Folk Art: Mixed Media Class – Thurs., Dec. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. | Members $30, Non-Members $40. Registration required.  Create a work of art that is yours to keep with instruction by mixed media artist Sharla Valeski.  All supplies, wine, beer, and light nibbles are included. For further information or to register, please call (904) 899-6038.

Art for Two: City On The Water! – Sat., Dec. 10 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon | Members $15 per pair, Non-Members $20 per pair. Registration required.  Students will look at artwork in the Permanent Collection, then explore the different techniques of watercolor painting to create a city silhouette on the water. Projects will be completed within one class. Open to children ages 3 through 5 and their favorite adult. Class size is limited. For further information, please email or call (904) 355-0630.

Talks & Tea: David Ponsler – Wed., Dec. 14 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. | Members and Non-Members $6. Registration required. You are invited to the Museum to enjoy an insightful talk over a cup of tea and a sweet treat. Enjoy a discussion by the featured Sculpture Garden artist David Ponsler, as he gives you an in-depth look at his art. For further information or to register, please call (904) 899-6038.

Art Adventures: Clay Hand-Building! – Sat., Dec. 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Members $10, Non-Members $15. Registration required.  This class will explore the works of sculpture in the Permanent Collection before returning to the studio to experiment with various clay tools and hand-building techniques. Projects will be completed within one class. Open to children ages 6 through 12. Class size is limited. For further information, please email or call (904) 355-0630.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
  829 Riverside Avenue
  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857
  Hours of Operation & Admission

Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol' returns to JAX before Christmas!

You may have already put the tickets in the stockings or under the tree, but now it’s time to get them out for an evening with Ebenezer Scrooge.  The Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s national tour returns to Jacksonville with its delightful stage production of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol.  The show will be at the spacious Moran Theater for one night only!

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 over 100,000 people in over 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 recreate 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.

A Christmas Carol
DATE: Saturday December 19, 2016
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

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

TICKETS:start at $23.50 for adults and $14.25 for children, plus applicable fees, and are available for purchase online at FSCJ Artist Series, sponsored by Chase (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