Saturday, April 22, 2017

'MJ LIVE! Concert' was a thriller to Michael Jackson fans

Besides being a quick-change artist and not leaving a drip of makeup on his towel after wiping all the perspiration from his brow, tribute artist Jalles Franca gave a stellar performance during the “MJ LIVE! the MichaelJackson Tribute Concert”, to both young and mature attendees at the Times Union Center Terry Theatre.  Jalles Franca (Michael Jackson look and sound alike) came to JAX to give the people a remembrance of their famous king-of-pop legend.  Jalles IS Michael Jackson straight from the Las Vegas strip!  He mimics, sounds and moves just like Michael.

The only thing that was missing from the ‘Marquee’ Program Credit was a little accolade for the extremely talented dancers and the fourpiece band, who danced and played continually for nearly two hours.  Too much credit, in the brochure was given to the: music arranger, producers and director; and not one mention about then choreographer or costume designer was listed in the program.

As you can see in the photos and video, people were encouraged to take all the non-flash photography and post their memories on social media with #MJLive.  Jalles, or better known as MJ, sang song after song and even conversed while going backstage to do his quick-change.  The music was favorites from the MJ era and a couple of the Jackson 5 hits.  In the repertoire of MJ’s work, Jalles Franca sang: “Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', Bad, Another Part Of Me, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough, Dirty Diana, The Way You Make Me Feel, She's Out Of My Life, Human Nature, Annie, Thriller, Beat It, Man In The Mirror, Black Or White, Billie Jean and Let's Dance Let's Shout”.  Some of the dancers came out adorned in Jackson 5 wear and moved to the sounds of: “I Want You Back, ABC, Stop The Love You Save & I’ll Be There.”

It was a real treat when Michael brought some young fans to the stage to show off their MJ moves.  Each participant was given a MJ tee-shirt and a hug from Jalles.  After the concert was over, Jalles (Michael Jackson) came out and took individual selfies with his adoring fans.  It will be a night that attendees will cherish for a while.

Despite the huge crowds downtown at the Jacksonville Landing and the barrage of people at the Times Union Center (Rap concert in Moran Theatre, symphony in Jacoby Hall, and MJ Live in the Terry Theater); everyone who came out for entertainment on Friday night, were thoroughly entertained.  You still have time to take advantage of the special ticket price and treat the family to a Las Vegas show in JAX.  Leave early for prime parking and don’t miss this Vegas spectacular.
    “MJ LIVE 
“Michael Jackson Tribute Concert” 
DATES:         TIMES:
Thurs., Apr. 20        7:30 p.m.
Fri., Apr. 21       8 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 22       2 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 22       8 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 23        2 p.m.
Sun., Apr. 23        7 p.m.

LOCATION: Times Union Center Performing Arts 
                       Terry Theater
         300 West Water St.
                        Jacksonville, FL 32202
SPECIAL PRICE TICKETS: *Offer is 50 percent off purchase of two tickets (one adult and one child 12 and under) plus facility fee and service charge; facility fee and service charge not discounted. Valid for all performances. Subject to availability. Restrictions apply, not valid on previously purchased tickets, and cannot be combined with any other offer.  Promo code MJ expires at 3 p.m. on each show day (April 20-23) or may be withdrawn at any time.

REGULAR SHOW TICKETS: start at $32.50, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series (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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Clara White Mission homeless Veterans Villa opens in downtown JAX

The Clara White Mission had the Grand Opening of its “Beaver Street Veterans Villas”, on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.  The mission celebrated the completion of its new permanent housing initiative for homeless veterans that is located at 605 West Beaver Street, Jacksonville, Florida.  To the surprise of Ju’Coby Pittman, CEO/President of Clara White Mission, Damien Haitsuka of Wells Fargo Banks presented BSVV with a check of $200,000.  The generous donation will help with maintaining the facility for a little while.  Sponsors are still needed to consider sponsoring the furnishing of an apartment.  The property will be managed by Magnolia Properties Management.

The opening of BSVV represents the culmination of a public-private partnership begun in 2012, that has transformed a historic vacant downtown structure into a life-changing mix of housing and services for homeless veterans and low-income residents.  Major partners and contributors include: the City of Jacksonville (CDBG & DIA), HUD, Wells Fargo, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Fanny Landwirth Foundation, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Delores Barr Weaver Fund, Wells Fargo Foundation, Acon Construction, Reynolds Smith and Hills, and the Home Depot Foundation, Synovous Bank, CORTS Furniture, Ashley Home Store, Penske, The Grimes Companies, Cox Media and Kim Larson.

The furnished, “One-Stop-Shop Full-Service Permanent Housing Facility”, with supportive services will feature 16 private apartments on its upper two floors, and a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) on the ground floor.  The project goal is to provide homeless veterans transitioning from the streets or shelters with incentives and options that will encourage a more stable, sustainable lifestyle and the ability to live independently.  Supportive services will be coordinated through both the VA CRRC and Clara White Mission, and will include case management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, medical services, housing placement, job training and placement, budget and financial counseling, life skills training and educational services.  Currently, the mission has 5 new residents.

“The renaming of the facility will be dedicated to Dr. Eartha M. M. White, founder of the Clara White Mission, and philanthropist Henri Landwirth.  The legacy of these two generations of philanthropist continues to help veterans and low-income residents in need.  In addition, to  honoring and naming the floors after long time philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver and Wells Fargo, will be a part of the program. This unique and important milestone, would not have been possible without the support of the community and longtime partners”, said CEO/President, Ju’Coby Pittman.

Honored guests included: Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, Senator Audrey Gibson, Congressman John Rutherford, Delores Barr Weaver, Henri Landwirth & Family, Mia Jones, Sherry Magill, renown Author Brenda Jackson, Jacksonville City Council representatives, Bishop Rudolph McKissick, and many more.

Christian comedian 'Chonda Pierce' on a big-screen near you

If you’ve been craving great comedy that you won’t care if the whole family or your church folks can view, then you need to check your local theater and get your tickets now!  Following her successful 2015 cinema event, “Laughing in the Dark,” best-selling comedian Chonda Pierce returns to the big screen for one special night with an important message for audiences nationwide: Laugh – Cry – Love. “Chonda Pierce: Enough” serves as a powerful reminder that our value is found in Christ; because of Him, we are enough.

Following the feature content, audiences will see Pierce and acclaimed singer/songwriter and comedian Mark Lowry answer questions submitted by fans. “Chonda Pierce: Enough” comes to cinemas nationwide for one night on Tuesday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m. local time, presented by Fathom Events and Fuseic Entertainment.

Tickets for “Chonda Pierce: Enough” can be purchased online beginning now, by visiting or at participating theater box offices.  Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 750 select movie theaters.  For a complete list of theater locations visit (theaters and participants are subject to change).

"This event is a hilarious journey to show how far you can come after dealing with life's lessons,” Pierce said. “You'll get to learn some new things about me that weren't revealed in ‘Laughing in the Dark,’ from insights into the dating scene to some hilarious times spent with some childhood girlfriends.”

America’s best-selling female comedian of all time, Pierce continues to overcome obstacles through her faith, humor and the support of her community.  Beginning two years after the death of her husband, “Enough” explores Pierce’s ongoing path to healing, highlighting the importance of friendship.  “Enough” is a passionate, heartening and funny call to connect with those who love you the most.

“Fathom is thrilled to partner with Chonda for the second time to bring her empowering and emotional story to movie theaters,” Fathom Events Vice President of Programming Kymberli Frueh said. “'Laughing in the Dark’ left a lasting mark on audiences, and we expect nothing less from ‘Enough.’”  "Chonda really connects with the pressure women are under to be perfect,” producer Kent Songer said.  “In 'Enough,' Chonda is funny, real and once again rallies women to embrace their uniqueness and feel satisfied and confident during any of life's challenges."
About Chonda Pierce: A stand-up comedian, television hostess, author and actress, Chonda Pierce has been making people laugh for more than two decades with her winning combination of fierce wit and southern charm. The Recording Industry Association of America's (RIAA) best-selling female comedian of all time, Pierce has six Platinum DVDs, three Gold DVDs and five Daytime Emmy® Award nominations to her credit and is ranked among Pollstar’s top-selling live performers. For further information, visit

About Fathom Events: Fathom Events is recognized as the leading domestic distributor of event cinema with participating affiliate theaters in all 100 of the top Designated Market Areas®, Fathom Events offers a variety of one-of-a-kind entertainment events such as live, high-definition performances.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

JAX continues to fight 'BLIGHT' in the area

It’s time to get involved, make a little cash and clean up our neighborhoods on Saturday, May 6, 2017; at Everbank Field Lot “J”, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.; through the cities 4th. annual “BLIGHT” campaign.  Show your neighborhood and city pride by helping FIGHT BLIGHT in Jacksonville!  Duval County residents (proof of residency is required) can receive a cash REWARD for their efforts to help clean up and dispose of old tires and “snipe” signs found throughout the city.  Earn $2 per tire up to 10 tires, and 50 cents per sign up to 40 signs, with a maximum payout of $40, or $20 maximum per item.
Real Estate signs, agricultural tires (i.e. tractor tires), concrete tires and bicycle tires are NOT accepted. Commercial businesses are NOT allowed to participate in this event, and it is a violation for tire shops to hand out used tires to residents, 403.717(3)(d) F.S. Violators of this Florida statute will be reported to Florida Department of Environmental Protection authorities for investigation and/or enforcement.

Neighborhood BLIGHT refers to the deterioration and decay of neighborhoods in many cities across the country due to neglect, crime or lack of economic support.  This can also be referred to as urban decay.  As homes or properties fall further into disrepair, they can negatively affect other properties around them.  Blight conditions can lower surrounding property values, create havens for crime and illegal activity, and can threaten the public health and safety of a community.  Blight is a drag on community energy, a siphon on city vitality, and a strong deterrent to economic investment.  It can be a source of despair or cynicism for people who have witnessed the decline of a particular building or neighborhood over time.  Eliminating Jacksonville’s blight will dramatically improve the next chapter of the city’s future.

So, get together with your neighbors, family and friends as we make our city a cleaner and safer place to live.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

'Kinky Boots' stomps into JAX for a limited engagement

Kinky Boots, the smash-hit musical, opens in Jacksonville, Florida, at the Times-Union Center with eight shows.  The show, which is sponsored by the Vy Star Credit Union, brings together four-time Tony® Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (Book), and Grammy® Award-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper (Tony Award-winner for Best Musical Score for Kinky Boots).

Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan.  Charlie Price is struggling to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business of Price & Son.  With the factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

Directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell, Kinky Boots has won every major Best Musical Award.  It is represented around the world with the Tony Award-winning Broadway company now in its fourth year.  The show had a North American First National Tour that launched in September 2014, a London production that opened in September 2015 (where it won the 2016 Olivier Award for Best Musical), and an Australian production that opened in October 2016.  Previous productions include: an extended run in Toronto, two Korean productions and a Japanese language production.  The Grammy Award-winning Original Broadway Cast Recording of Kinky Boots is available on Sony Masterworks Broadway.

Kinky Boots took home six 2013 Tony Awards, the most of any show in the season, including: Best Choreography (Jerry Mitchell), Best Orchestrations (Stephen Oremus) and Best Sound Design (John Shivers).  The show also received the Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Awards for Best Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Album, along with many other accolades.

DATES:        TIMES:
Tues., May 2, 2017   7:30 p.m.
Wed., May 3      7:30 p.m.
Thurs., May 4     7:30 p.m.
Fri., May 5       8 p.m.
Sat., May 6      2 & 8 p.m.
Sun., May 7      1:30 & 7p.m.

      Moran Theater
      300 West Water St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

SHOW TICKETS: start at $38.50, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series (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