Saturday, April 8, 2017

Is it Barbra or Sharon Owens? - Check her out!

Simply Exquisite!  Those are the only adequate words to describe the performance given this week, by Sharon Owens in the persona of Barbra Streisand.  Sharon appears in Jacksonville, Florida (north of her birthplace in Tampa), at the Alhambra Theatre and Dining, to a mature audience who loves the music of a popular songstress who has appeared in films, on stage and all over the world.  Sharon Owens IS Barbra Streisand and you still have an opportunity to experience the glamour and entertainment of “An Enchanted Evening with Barbra.

Sharon is always in the character of Barbra Streisand with her singing, speaking, impression, and dress.  It was so eerie when, during the second set, that Sharon transformed from Barbra to her REAL SELF.  She never left the stage and never removed her wig or clothing, yet she appeared to be a little different - right before your eyes.  Immediately after she answered some questions from the audience, Sharon went back to Barbra and continued singing, interacting with the crowd and giving a stellar show.  Take a moment to hear her HERE!

Sharon sings popular Streisand numbers as: “The Way We Were, Cry Me A River, Lover Come Back To Me, Second Hand Rose, Don’t Rain On My Parade, My Man, Hello Dolly, Guilty, Woman In Love, Evergreen, Enough Is Enough, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers, Main Event, Papa, Can You Hear Me?, A Piece of Sky, On A Clear Day, Stoney End, New York State Of Mind, I Finally Found Someone, Tell Him, My Yiddishe Momme, Somewhere, Happy Days and People.”  Besides the published song choices in the program, Sharon belted-out other popular songs from Ms Streisand’s repertoire.

Owens is backed by a great eight-piece local band.  Kudos go out to: Keyboardists - Jack Pierson & Rob Eccles; Bass - Stephen Rees; Guitar - Kyle Cohen; Drums - Joe Sacco; Trombone - Marc Dickman; Trumpet - Steve Strawley, and Saxophone - John Thomas; for giving the attendees a complementary night of professional sounds that was enjoyed by all.

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

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

'River and Post' restaurant coming to JAX in summer of 2017

After receiving zoning approval from Jacksonville’s City Council last week to be designated a Planned Unit Development, the way is cleared for River & Post Restaurant and rooftop bar to join Jacksonville’s thriving culinary scene.  River & Post will be located in the newly renovated Summit Building at 1000 Riverside Avenue, on the corner of Post Street.  The focal point of the restaurant will be the sweeping views of Jacksonville’s skyline.

River & Post will actually be two distinct spaces, a full-service restaurant with high-end amenities, a chef’s table and banquet space on the first floor, and a rooftop concept that will include both indoor and outdoor seating.  The total square footage will amount to approximately 10,300, with about 3,000 of that footage being the ninth-floor rooftop space.  River & Post will have about 450 seats total, including a pet friendly outdoor patio with 48 seats on the first floor.  The Summit Building has nearly 200 parking spaces, a significant commodity in the Riverside area.  Plans call for more than 50 employees, and the hiring process will begin this summer.  The first-floor restaurant will be open for both lunch and dinner, with the rooftop opening for happy hour and dinner.

Managing Partner Jeff McCusker and investing partner Bob Fleckenstein have been working closely with city officials to navigate the zoning process, and signed the official construction contract March 27, 2017.  Though he’s a restaurant industry veteran in operations and management, River & Post will be the first restaurant in which McCusker has an ownership stake.  McCusker attended UNF where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.  Bob Fleckenstein, his investing partner, opened Summit Contractors in 1989 and retired in 2014.

McCusker and Fleckenstein are wasting no time on their goal of opening in summer of 2017.  Construction has already begun, with new floor to ceiling glass windows installed on the first floor.  The current menu concept features seafood- and steak-focused Southern American cuisine.  The bar will feature craft cocktails as well as wine selections.  They will soon be hosting interviews for servers, managers, kitchen and bar staff.  River & Post already has its social media presence and website running.  Stay tuned for future progress.

UNF students raise mega funds for CMN Hospitals

A Dance Marathon at the University of North Florida (UNF) raised $38,385.26 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at its ninth annual 12 hour and 9-minute event to raise runds and awareness for Wolfson Children’s Hospital and UF Health Jacksonville.  The marathon took place on Saturday, April 1, 2017.  Proceeds will benefit the two local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals - Wolfson Children’s Hospital and the pediatric programs at UF Health Jacksonville.

In honor of all children being treated at the local CMN Hospitals, students stood on their feet for 12 hours and 9 minutes.  The 12 hours signify the typical shift of dedicated hospital staff while the 9 minutes tributes the event’s ninth year in the Jacksonville community.  To keep dancers motivated, miracle children impacted by the hospitals made special visits throughout the day to share their unique journey and interact with all participants.  There were games, entertainment and, of course, dancing!

The week prior, the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Club at Ponte Vedra High School hosted its second annual Dance Marathon in the school gym.  Planned by a philanthropic focused committee made up of various high school students and led by overall chair, Hays Molm, this five-and-a-half-hour event raised $8,004.75!

Dance Marathon is a nationwide movement involving college and high school students at more than 300 schools. These students spend a year learning invaluable leadership and life skills while raising funds and interacting with children’s hospital patients and families. More students participate in Dance Marathon than any other student-led philanthropy in the United States. Since its founding in 1991, this movement has raised more than $80 million for CMN Hospitals.

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Events for April 2017

April showers might bring May flowers and you will be able to smell the roses in the Gardens of the Cummer Museum, along with many other family friendly things to do.  Take a look at the following itinerary, make your list and get ready to have some fun. 
Florida Blue Free Tuesday – Each Tues. Evening from 4 to 9 p.m. | Free.  No registration required. Every Tues., enjoy free admission to the Cummer Museum and its historic Gardens, thanks to the generous support of Florida Blue. Guests can enjoy free admission to the Galleries and Gardens. Each Tuesday evening, the Cummer Café is open for Tapas Tuesday sponsored by VyStar Credit Union.

Tapas Tuesday – Each Tues. Evening from 5 to 7:30 p.m. | The Cummer Café Reservations recommended.  Tap into Tapas Tuesday sponsored by VyStar Credit Union at the Cummer Café, on the Cummer Café patio.  Take in the sunset while listening to local musicians as you also enjoy some beer, wine, or artfully inspired tapas for sale at the Café.  Reserve your table by calling (904) 899-6022.
Weaver First Saturday Free for All – Sat. Apri.1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Free.  No registration required.  The first Sat. of each month at the Cummer Museum is FREE FOR ALL, thanks to the generous support of J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver. Guests can enjoy free admission, as well as art-making activities for all ages in the Cummer Gardens, live music, and a Docent-led tour at 2 p.m.

Bank of America And Merrill Lynch Museums on Us – Sun., Apr. 2 from Noon to 4 p.m. | Free to Cardholders.  No registration required.  The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens offers free admission on the first Sunday of the first full weekend of the month to all Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholders through the Museums on Us program. Each cardholder receives one free general admission to the Museum. For more information on the Museum's programming and events, please call 904.899.6038.

Cummer Amelia in Partnership with Amelia Island Plantation Real Estate bring you two exciting events:
Garden Walk – Fri., Apr. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m. | Members $20, Non-Members $30.  Registration encouraged.  Join Cummer Amelia for the 3rd annual Garden Walk at the Amelia Island Plantation.  The event begins with a presentation by renowned Omni Chef Daven Wardynski held at The Sprouting Project, followed by a walking tour of four beautiful private gardens, each with their own unique charm.  Art demonstrations, live music, food, and drink will be provided along the tour route. Transportation is offered. For additional information, contact Wendy Mayle at 904.899.6007.

Art Home Tour – Sat., Apr. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. | Free. No registration required.  Enjoy a complimentary self-guided tour through a variety of fabulous properties. Each location will feature artwork by local artists. Begin your tour at the Amelia Island Plantation Real Estate office (at the Omni Resort Amelia Island Plantation, 10 Amelia Village Circle, Amelia Island, FL 32034) to pick up your map of the properties included on the tour. For further information, please call Amelia Island Real Estate at 904.277.5980.

History of Western Art: Modern Art – Tues., Apr. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Members Free, Non-Members $10.  Registration required.  Art exploded out of its boundaries in what art historian Robert Hughes called, “The Shock of the New.” The tumultuous events of the 20th century changed the world and changed art. Join Director of Education Lynn Norris for this final talk in the series as she begins with Gustav Klimt and the Secessionists and ends with Andy Warhol’s Pop Art in the History of Western Art. For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630.

Art Fundamentals: Acrylic Painting – Wed., Apr. 12 through May 24 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. | Members $170, Non-Members $190.  Ages 16 and up. Registration required.  Instructor Allison Watson introduces painting to beginning students and strengthens the skills of intermediate painters. Learn composition for landscape and still life, color theory, and techniques in acrylic. Participants may sign up for multiple sessions. Supplies are not included.

Cummer Beaches: Adventures in The Arts – Thurs., Apr. 13 from 2 p.m. | Free.  Ponte Vedra Library.  No registration required.  Join Director of Education Lynn Norris for her presentation about this year's exhibitions at the Cummer Museum, which have a synergy about how perceptions of different cultures were formed in the 18th and 19th centuries and the role that art played. From the Grand Tour of An American in Venice: James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy, to the strict rules of the art academy of Academic Splendor and the cataclysm of World War I in Heroes & Battlefields: World War I Prints by James McBey, art helped shaped how we saw the world and each other. The 19th century also gave birth to the term Islamic Art, and there will be a special preview of the summer’s upcoming exhibition Ink, Silk, and Gold: Islamic Treasures from Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  The Adventures in the Arts program is co-sponsored by Friends of the Library, Ponte Vedra Beach and Cummer Beaches.

Art Adventures: Cityscapes! – Sat., Apr. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Members $10, Non-Members $15. Ages 6 through 12. Registration required. In this class, students will view several works depicting cityscapes in the Museum’s mixed media cityscape of their own. For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630.

A History of Western Gardens: The American Garden – Tues., Apr. 18 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. | Members Free, Non-Members $10.  Registration required. While the United States didn’t have Versailles, gardens had been integral to American life since the Colonial era. This series concludes a look at great American gardens from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to Ellen Biddle Shipman’s Italian Garden at the Cummer Museum. For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630. 

Talks & Tea: Heroes & Battlefields – Wed., Apr. 19 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 lecture over a cup of tea and a sweet treat. Enjoy a talk on Heroes & Battlefields led by Associate Curator Nelda Damiano.

2017 Cummer Ball – Sat., Apr.22 from 6:30 p.m. | General member ticket $350; ages 42 and under $200; for all other ticket prices, please visit the Cummer website.  Registration required.  Join them for another exciting Cummer Ball featuring artistic moments, great food and drinks, fabulous entertainment, and a chance to support the mission of the Museum.

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

2017 First Baptist Church Passion Play will be in JAX soon

If you missed it last year, don’t miss this year’s presentation of the 2017 PASSION PLAY presented by First Baptist Church in downtown Jacksonville, FL.  Featuring a choir, cast, assistants, and an orchestra of more than 400, the 2017.  This year, the Jacksonville Passion Play will encompass the Easter experience with the story of power, of betrayal, redemption and HOPE.  This 2017 season, you will have four opportunities to experience the magnificence of the prelude and Passion of Jesus Christ, the hope of glory.

Now entering its 10th year, the Jacksonville Passion Play has become an annual tradition at First Baptist Church, JAX.  The stage production features more than 400 parishioners including: magnificent set designs, individual singers, a choir, the cast, and a complete orchestra.  The Jacksonville Passion Play celebrates a few stories from the Bible along with some of the life, passion, death, and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

The story of Jesus of Nazareth, told in the Bible, never gets old.  You may have seen this play before, but there is always something different: new costumes, stage sets, musical numbers, drama, and other surprises that are breathtaking.  As in 2015, there will be live animals and Jerusalem scenes throughout the first floor of the church.  You and you guests might desire to come a little earlier for all the festivities, and to mingle with the characters.  Take a look at the video to see a little piece of the tremendous 2015 presentation.

2017 JAX Passion Play
DATES:         TIMES:
Fri. Apr. 14       7 p.m.
Sat. Apr. 15       1 p.m.
Sat. Apr. 15       6 p.m.
Sun. Apr. 16        6 p.m.

LOCATION: First Baptist Church
      119 West Beaver St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202
      (904) 356-6077

ADMISSION & PARKING are free.  The doors will be open one hour prior to performance times.  NB: Some content may be difficult for younger viewers.  Donations/Offerings are always welcomed.  "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself." – John 12:32

LUNCH & DINNER: will be served on Saturday, April 15th from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 4 – 5:30 p.m.  Fried or Herb-Roasted Chicken along with the Fix ‘ins.
  ALL: $8 in advance and $10 at the door
A limited number of tickets will be available at the door

CHILDCARE: available for Infant – 3 years during Friday and Sunday performances by pre-registration. NO CHILDCARE is provided for the Saturday performance.  Click here to pre-register your child for the Friday or Sunday performance.