Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Alhambra 50-year commemorative book available

Charles Day
If you’ve ever wanted to see what the Alhambra Theater & Dining was/and is all about, you now have the opportunity to see pictures, read stories and browse beyond the iconic walls of this historic dinner theatre.  Just in time for the Christmas holidays, this colorful “Alhambra Theatre and Dining, 50 Years of Memories” hardback coffee table book, will be a wonderful addition to any home.

Ted Johnson and Craig Smith
On Tuesday December 13, 2016, writer/author Charles Day was on hand, at the Alhambra, to autograph copies of his commemorative book.  It was truly amazing how people would come up and ask him if he recalled a moment in time, when that particular person made history doing something funny or was one of the original servers at the establishment.  Charles knew exactly where in the book, that the incident had been recorded, and he was able to point each story out to those random individuals.

Chef DeJuan Roy and Tod Booth
The next person who was there for the celebration was founder and visionary - Ted Johnson.  In late July of 1967, Mr. Johnson shared his insight with partner, George Ballis.  It took the two men only 152 days to bring their dream into fruition.  Johnson is such a go-getter that he decided to go skydiving to celebrate his 80th birthday over an October 2015 weekend.

Ms. "V and her book
Also present was another owner/actor and current producer/director - Tod Booth.  Tod has overseen the growth of the theater and remains devoted to the Alhambra.  Booth’s ultimate dream was to establish a new Alhambra that could seat 600 persons in the dining and banquet facility.  He has overseen many famous actors/actresses and developed many newcomers to the art of theatre.  Tod even found his bride, Lisa Valdini, who continues to grace the stage in some presentations.

It wouldn’t be a Dinner Theater without an Executive Chef and in 2011, Chef DeJuan Roy brought delectable dishes, service delivered to your table, and meals that never need any additional condiments.  He added gluten-free selections to every show, as he expounded on each show’s theme.  Gone is the cafeteria, self-serve style,  as elegance and variety has been added.

Tod, Ms. "V" and Craig
Current Managing Partner/Owner, who took over in 2009, is now the backbone of the Alhambra Theater and Dining.  He had first gone to the Alhambra as a teenager, an occasion worthy of family photographs (still made available for your memorable pleasure) that become keepsakes.  That’s how big a deal that a night at the theater use to be, and Smith wanted it to be a big deal again; and it truly is a big deal today.

Last, but not least is the many people who make things happen behind the scenes.  When you get the book, you’ll be reminded that it takes a village to make a prosperous dinner theater.  So many beautiful pictures, so many stories and so much history, you’ll be drawn into the pages of this memorable escapade from fifty years and the journey continues.

Is Gucci guilty?

Just a slight observation about a commercial that is airing this Christmas season.  Gucci Inc. could be promoting promiscuity in their selling of “Gucci Guilty” fragrance.  The commercial in the video is the extended version of the television commercial.  Children are seeing the short advertisement and towards the end, sees another hand touching the woman, who is lying in bed with a man.  Even if it’s two men and a woman, or two women and a man; it’s a threesome.  Now, what would you say to your child if they ask about this relationship?

Is Gucci suggesting that little kids buy cologne that may suggest that their Mom and Dad “get-it-on” with another person?  What was their advertising campaign department trying to say - that a threesome is the way to go?  Did it do its job?  But what about the promiscuity that the ad is spreading to our younger demographic audience?

We know that the two female models in the ad (Vera Van Erp and Julia Hafstrom) may not be taking a bath with male (actor, singer-songwriter, and director) Jared Leto, nonetheless, the hand that appears to be stroking the woman, at the end of the of the commercial, leaves much to the imagination.

Is Gucci Guilty fragrance the reminder that you want under your Christmas tree this year?  As the hashtag implies, is Gucci Not Guilty?

Lightwire Christmas came to JAX to light up the season

The recent showing of “A Very Electric Christmas” at the Thrasher Horne Center for the Arts, was packed with young and mature alike, who oohed and aahed during the magnificent light and story presentation.  As seen on ‘America’s Got Talent’, Lightwire Theater builds everything themselves from the ground up, with each sculpture taking nearly 200 hours of intensive labor.

The Lightwire actors presented a story of Santa’s helpers putting the final touches on presents as a young bird named Max and his family head south for the winter.  When Max gets blown off course during a snowstorm, he ends up alone and lost at the North Pole. As he tries to make his way home, his adventure begins when he encounters friendly caroling worms, dancing poinsettias, Nutcracker soldiers, mischievous mice and an evil Rat King.

It was so amazing to see how seven amazing actors, who were first recognized on the popular television show “America’s Got Talent”, disappeared under the guise of metal, lights and refurbished materials.  These semifinalists gave the audience more than what they bargained for, and due to popular demand, they may be coming to a city near you.