Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens’ excitement for Jan.2019

It’s the beginning of a New Year and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens want to invite you and you family to some special events during the month of January.  Why not make plans to do a day, luncheon, or evening as their special guests.  You’ll be wonderfully surprised.

Museum Closed
Mon., Dec 31, 2018 and Tues., Jan 1, 2019

Florida Blue Free Tuesday - Each Tuesday Evening (Except January 1) from 4 to 9 p.m. | Free | No registration required.  Every Tuesday, 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. Each Tuesday evening, the Cummer Café is open for Tapas Tuesday sponsored by VyStar Credit Union.

Tapas Tuesday -
Tap into Tapas Tuesday sponsored by VyStar Credit Union at the Cummer Café | Reservations recommended.  Every Tuesday Evening from 5 to 8 p.m. (Except January 1), on the Cummer Café patio; take in the sunset while listening to local musicians with 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., Jan. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Free | No registration required.  The first Saturday 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. For further information, please call 904.899.6038.

Labor Of Love: Augusta Savage’s Blueprint Lecture & Book Signing With Dr. Jeffreen Hayes - Sat., Jan. 5 from 11 a.m. to Noon and 2 to 3 p.m. | Free | Registration required.  Augusta Savage (1892 - 1962) provided a blueprint for the Harlem community members she tirelessly worked with and for, the artists she mentored, and the youth she taught throughout her lifetime.  Guest Curator, Dr. Jeffreen Hayes, will highlight specific creative strategies Savage instituted to navigate the art world that can be used in the contemporary moment to affect change and build community.  Dr. Hayes will also be signing copies of her book, “Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman”, following her lecture.  Books will be available for purchase in the Cummer Shop.  For further information or to register, please call 904.899.6023.

Bank Of America And Merrill Lynch Museums On Us - Sun., Jan. 6 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 further information, please call 904.899.6038.

Art Fundamentals: Acrylic Painting - Wed., Jan. 9 through Feb 13 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. | Members $180, Non-Members $210 | Registration required.  Ages 18 and up.  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. For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630.

Artful Umami: A Japanese Dinner Party - Thurs., Jan. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. | Registration required by Jan. 4, 2019.  Single Dinner: VIP | $250; General | Members $150, Non-Members $175; Young Professionals (40 and under) | Members $100, Non-Members $125.  Full Series: VIP | $675; General | Members $400, Non-Members $475; Young Professionals (40 and under) | Members $275, Non-Members $350.  Join the museum for a homage to Japanese culture, with an evening filled with beautiful music, colorful performances, umami-packed food, and of course, sake.  Guests are invited to dress in their favorite hue to celebrate the Museum’s Fields of Color: The Art of Japanese Printmaking exhibition.  Get ready to say “Kanpai!” and who knows, everyone might even break into karaoke at the end of the night!

All Dinner Party guests will enjoy beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, themed music, artful experiences, and dinner.  VIP guests will enjoy a private art tour with selections chosen to complement each event, along with a signature cocktail prior to the start of the evening, from 5:30 to 6 p.m.  For further information or to register, call 904.899.6023.

Art For Two: Faces Of Favorites - Sat., Jan. 12 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon | Members $15 per pair, Non-Members $20 per pair | Registration required.  Ages 4 & 5 with an adult. 
Make art with your little one and enjoy gallery and garden visits on the second Saturday of each month. In this class students will view Mosaic with Mask of Silenus in the permanent collection.  Then they will return to the studio to collage a self-portrait with their favorite things using magazine photos.  Class size is limited.  For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630.

History Of Western Gardens: The Renaissance Garden -
Tues., Jan. 15 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. | Members Free, Non-Members $10 | Registration required.  Explore garden history through this four-part lecture series.  Join Museum staff for a trip through some of the world’s great gardens as they trace the connections between art and gardens.  Space is limited.  For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630.

Art Adventures: Pop Of Color - Sat., Jan. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Members $10, Non-Members $15 | Registration required.  Ages 6 through 12.  Join the Cummer on the third Saturday of each month for studio classes.  In this class students will observe works from the Museum’s permanent collection and then return to the studio to experiment with dry media to create their own work.  Class size is limited.  For further information, please email
or call 904.355.0630.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration - Mon., Jan. 21 from Noon to 6 p.m. | Free | No registration required.  In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of peace, you are invited to enjoy special open hours and programming at the Cummer Museum.  Enjoy educational art-making activities, live music in the Cummer Café, and an Ecumenical Prayer for Peace with local faith leaders in partnership with OneJax.  In addition, Museum Educators will be making art with participants at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation MLK Day Celebration at the Ritz Theatre and Museum, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Trolley transportation between the Cummer Museum and Ritz Theatre & Museum will be available from noon to 6 p.m.

Art For Tots: The Shape Of Things - Sat., Jan 26 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. | Members $10, Non-Members $15 per pair | Registration required.  Ages 2 & 3 with an adult.  In this class children will visit the special exhibition Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman to look at the sculptures and answer questions like “What did Ms. Savage depict in her sculptures?” and “What shapes make the figures?”  In the studio they will create two sculptures of their own.  Entry is through Art Connections.  Class size is limited.  For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630.

Cummer Beaches Gala: Swing Into The Night - Sun., Jan. 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. | Members $150, Non-Members $175 | Registration required.  TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse.  Cummer Beaches is hosting its annual Celebrate!  Gala fundraiser at the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse.  The Gala will include: cocktails, dinner, dancing, a pop-up shop from the Cummer Shop, an auction to support the Museum’s mission-based programming, and entertainment by the Jacksonville University Music Department’s Jazz Orchestra.  For further information or to register, please email Brittany Nazario or call 904.899.6007.

History Of Western Art: Rococo, Neoclassicism, And Romanticism - Tues., Jan. 29 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon | Members Free, Non-Members $10 | Registration required.  Explore art history through this monthly series of lectures that includes time in the galleries.  Brush up on your art history for personal enjoyment as Museum staff leads you through the history of Western Art. Space is limited.  For further information, please email or call 904.355.0630.

Cummer Amelia An Afternoon Of Art: Italian Renaissance In Florence - Thurs., Jan. 31 from 2 to 4 p.m. | Free | No registration required.  Fernandina Beach Branch Library.  This lecture will explore one of the most spectacular flowerings of creativity in the history of art against the background of such titans as Donatello, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, and Raphael. Renaissance works from the Museum’s collection such as: the Madonna of Humility with Angels by Agnolo Gaddi, the Portrait of Bartolomeo Compagni, by Pier Francesco Foschi, and The Holy Family by Giorgio Vasari will be examined in the broader context of Florentine art. For further information, please email Brittany Nazario or  call 904.899.6007.

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

Florida Government shutdown relief

Free healthcare services are being offered for those impacted by the government shutdown. eMDnow is offering free telemedicine services for furloughed employees in Florida.  It is convenient and easy.  eMDnow uses telemedicine to bring quality care to patients wherever they are.  This is healthcare on-demand.  Healthcare services are just a click away.

Have you been impacted by the government shutdown and need medical care now?  eMDnow is offering free telemedicine services for furloughed employees in Florida.  See a board-certified provider for your urgent care needs, acute and chronic conditions, mental health services and more.  It’s convenient and easy. Download the eMDnow app and connect with a provider on your computer, tablet or cell phone.

Healthcare for some Florida government employees is available.
“We know this is a difficult time for many. We believe it is important to give back to the men and women who serve and provide vital services that keep our government running on all levels,” said CEO and Medical Director Ivorique’ Turner, DO.  “We want to make sure they have access to the care they need during the government shutdown.”

Download the eMDnow app and connect with a board-certified provider for urgent care, acute and chronic conditions and mental health services.  Healthcare services are just a click away.  Furloughed employees can visit to schedule their free medical appointment.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Florida Theatre’s attendance ranks high

Photo: courtesy of the Florida Theatre
Pollstar, a trade publication reporting on the concert industry, has released its 2018 year-end charts. It ranks the historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre’s attendance during 2018 as among the Top 100 theatres worldwide.  With attendance of 134,053, the Florida Theatre was #56 overall on the Top 100 Theatre Venues chart, and #6 for theatres under 2,000 seats.

The Florida Theatre’s attendance surpassed all other Jacksonville venues, including Veteran’s Memorial Arena, which ranked #134 on the arena chart with attendance of 120,255; Daily’s Place, which ranked #53 on the amphitheater chart with attendance of 102,466; and Moran Theatre at the Times-Union Center, which ranked #90 on the theatre chart with attendance of 91,020.

The only North Florida venue that hosted more people this year was the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, which ranked #46 on the amphitheater chart with attendance of 150,669. The Florida Theatre seats 1,918. Veteran’s Memorial Arena seats 15,000. Daily’s Place seats 5,500. The St. Augustine Amphitheater seats 4,100, and Moran Theatre at the Times-Union Center seats 2,979.

Overall Pollstar reports that the concert industry is healthy, even though fewer tickets were sold this year. According to Pollstar, in 2018, total tickets from the Top 100 (tours) reached 59,811,438, an 11.1 percent decrease from last year. Ticket prices, however, were higher this year on average. In 2017 the average ticket price was $84.63, yet this year’s average is $94.31, an 11.9 percent increase.

According to Florida Theatre president Numa Saisselin, “Every decade from the 1960s through the 2000s is represented in the Top 10 tours, and that is representative of the Florida Theatre’s schedule as well. In the last year we promoted more than 100 performances.”  “About one-third were acts that were new to us, and two-thirds were artists we have a continuing relationship with.  Part of our success is keeping the schedule’s balance correct, but another part is the historic theatre we manage.  Anyone can promote a concert, and you can call an open field a venue, but there’s only one Florida Theatre. It’s a great venue.

The Florida Theatre’s 2017 season is sponsored by Community First Credit Union.  For a complete list of upcoming season events, visit the link below.

Florida Theatre
      128 E. Forsyth St.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202
      (904) 355-2787 (ARTS)

‘Let’s Go Science Show’ is coming back to JAX

Why not ease the children back into school by exposing them to some science fun.  “Let’s Go Science Show” plays at the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts for one performance only!  If you missed them a couple of years ago, don’t let it happen again.  Get your tickets today!

The wacky and talented Professor Smart and Dr. Knowitall join forces for an educational, entertaining, exciting, and experiential extravaganza.  Professor Smart shrinks his head, has toilet paper flying, juggles, and has peoples’ hair standing on end, all while demonstrating principles of physics.  Researcher and comedic sidekick Dr. Knowitall keep all the facts straight.

During Let's Go Science Show, kids learn science concepts through impressive and memorable demonstrations.  They learn about air pressure, figure out flight, see awesome optical illusions, are shocked by static electricity, see experiments with falling masses, grasp gyroscopic properties, and get a handle on the scientific method.

Let’s Go Science Show
DATE: Sunday., January 13, 2019
TIME: 2 p.m.

LOCATION: Wilson Center for the Arts
      Florida State College at JAX So. Campus
      11901 Beach Blvd.
      Jacksonville, FL 32099

TICKETS: start at $9 plus applicable fees and are available at the Artist Series Box Office between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday–Friday, at (904) 632-5000 or online 24/7.  Parking is always free at the Wilson Center.  Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (904) 632-5050 or emailing

‘Pavlo’ will be in Orange Park this January

A Dream-of-a-Lifetime Concert from Greece to Jacksonville! Hot off the heels of his PBS-TV concert smash hit, “Live in Kastoria”, Pavlo will perform music from his extensive catalogue at the Thrasher-Horne Center for only two performances on January 12, 2019.

Pavlo is known for bringing every audience to their feet. Enjoy a night of incredible musicianship; laughter; storytelling and of course, the infamous Guitar Give-Away!  As most fans are aware, Pavlo gives away the very guitar he performs with every night to a lucky audience member.  Opa!

  ‟Pavlo in Concert
DATE: Saturday, January 12, 2019
TIMES: 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.

LOCATION: The Thasher-Horne Ctr.
      St. Johns River State College
      283 College Drive
      Orange Park, FL 32065

TICKETS: $46 +Tax.  They may be purchased in person, online at THcenter, or by calling (904) 276-6815 between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Friday.  The Thrasher-Horne Center is a performing arts venue and conference center owned and operated by St. Johns River State College.  It is located on the Orange Park campus at 283 College Drive in Orange Park, Florida.

**Please note: This is an external event and any Thrasher-Horne Center season promotions or discounts may not be applicable. **

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

‘Les Misérables’ returns to JAX - don’t miss it!

Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables will be at the Times Union Center, for only 8 performances.  As recalled, the last time
Les Misérables showcased in JAX was during May of 2012; well you’ll have the opportunity to experience this magnificent show because it’s returning to Jacksonville. Florida once again. 
To date, Les Misérables remains the 5th longest-running Broadway production of all time.

The new production was conceived in 2009 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary, with record-breaking productions in the U.K., Australia, Korea, Japan, Spain, France, Manila, Singapore, São Paulo and Dubai. The North American Tour traveled across the U.S. for two years then played a five-month engagement in Toronto before returning to the Imperial Theatre on Broadway in March 2014 for over 1,000 performances. The new production is currently playing to sold out houses across North America and in Mexico City with a new U.K. Tour beginning November 2018.

With glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking production of
Les Misérables, which broke box office records during its pre-Broadway tour, has left both audiences and critics awestruck, cheering “Les Miz is born again!” (NY1).

Les Misérables originally opened in London at the Barbican Theatre on October 8, 1985, transferred to the Palace Theatre on December 4, 1985 and moved to its current home at the Queen’s Theatre on April 3, 2004 where it continues to play to packed houses and is the only version of the original production left in the world.  The original Broadway production of Les Misérables opened at the Broadway Theatre on March 12, 1987 and transferred to the Imperial Theatre on October 17, 1990 running for 6,680 performances.  The original US National Tour began in November 1987 and visited over 150 cities before closing in St. Louis, MO in 2006.  Broadway audiences welcomed Les Miz back to New York on November 9, 2006 where the show played the Broadhurst Theatre until its final performance on January 6, 2008.

About the Show: Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France,
Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption – a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.  Featuring one of the greatest scores of all time, with thrilling and beloved songs including: “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “Stars," “Bring Him Home,” “One Day More,” “Do You Hear the People Sing” and many more, this epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.  Along with the Oscar-winning movie version, it has now been seen by more than 130 million people in 44 countries and in 22 languages around the globe.  Les Misérables
is still the world’s most popular musical, breaking box office records everywhere in its 33rd year.

Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Boublil and Schönbergs Les Misérables has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer from the original French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, additional material by James Fenton and original adaptation by Trevor Nunn and John Caird.  The original Les Misérables orchestrations are by John Cameron with new orchestrations by Christopher Jahnke, Stephen Metcalfe and Stephen Brooker.  The production is directed by Laurence Connor and James Powell, designed by Matt Kinley inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo with costumes by Andreane Neofitou and Christine Rowland, lighting by Paule Constable, sound by Mick Potter, musical staging by Michael Ashcroft and Geoffrey Garratt and projections by Fifty-Nine Productions. Music Supervision is by Stephen Brooker and James Moore, with casting by Kaitlin Shaw for Tara Rubin

Les Misérables
Tues. Jan. 22, 2018  7:30 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 23     7:30 p.m.
Thurs. Jan. 24    7:30 p.m.
Fri. Jan 25      8 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 26    2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sun. Jan. 27   1:30 p.m. & 7 p.m.

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

TICKETS: (Vary) and start at $42.  They may be purchased at the box office from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (904) 632-5000, or online 24/7.  Discounts for groups of 10+ may be available by calling (904) 632-5050.  Performance schedule, prices and cast are subject to change without notice.

Friday, December 14, 2018

‘Something Rotten’ is coming to Thrasher Horne - What is it?

The completely new musical Something Rotten!”, originally directed and choreographed on Broadway by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Mean Girls, The Book of Mormon, Aladdin), with music and lyrics by Grammy Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe Award and Tony Award nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Tony Award nominees Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O’Farrell, opens at Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park, FL.

About the Show: This hilarious new musical comedy tells the story of brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, two playwrights stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar Will Shakespeare.  When a soothsayer foretells the next big thing in theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, the Bottom brothers set out to write the world's very first MUSICAL!  With the most singing, the most dancing and the most gut-busting laughs on Broadway, it's something wonderful... something for everyone...  Something Rotten! is, "the funniest musical comedy in at least 400 years" (Time Out New York)!  Nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Something Rotten! is a deliriously entertaining new musical comedy that brings down the house!” (New York Post).

With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, Something Rotten!” is an uproarious dose of pure Broadway fun and an irresistible ode to musicals — those dazzling creations that entertain us, inspire us, and remind us that everything’s better with an exclamation point!

The award-winning design team of Broadway veterans includes: Scott Pask (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design), Phil Reno (music supervision), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations), Steve Bebout (associate director), Brian P. Kennedy (associate music supervision) and (casting) by
Wojcik | Seay Casting.

Something Rotten! was originally produced on Broadway by Kevin McCollum, Broadway Global Ventures, CMC, Mastro/Goodman, Jerry & Ronald Frankel, Morris Berchard, Kyodo Tokyo Inc., Wendy Federman, Barbara Freitag, Lams Productions, Winkler/DeSimone, Timothy Laczynski, Dan Markley, Harris/Karmazin, JAM Theatricals, Robert Greenblatt, Jujamcyn Theaters.  Follow them on Twitter: @RottenBroadway, Facebook, and Instagram.

 ‟Something Rotten
DATE: Sunday, January 6, 2019
TIME: 6 p.m.

LOCATION: The Thasher-Horne Ctr.
      St. Johns River State College
      283 College Drive
      Orange Park, FL 32065

TICKETS: range from $49 - $79 with all fees included.  They may be purchased in person, online at THcenter, or by calling (904) 276-6815 between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Something Rotten!” is presented as part Thrasher-Horne Center’s 2018-2019 Broadway Orange Park season sponsored by Garber Automall.  The Thrasher-Horne Center is a performing arts venue and conference center owned and operated by St. Johns River State College.

The Players Championship and the Florida Theatre unite

“The Florida Theatre” and “The Players Championship” has announced that the organization will become the historic, nonprofit Theatre's newest corporate partner.  As a result of the agreement, patrons now visiting the theatre will enter “The Players Promenade Lobby.”

"Supporting local organizations that enhance the arts and cultural environment of Northeast Florida is important to The Players," said Adam Campbell, The Players 2019 Tournament Chairman.  "The Florida Theatre is a historic venue that enriches our downtown as well as the lives of those within our community."

"Florida Theatre is honored to welcome The Players as the newest member of our corporate partnership program.  We look forward to strengthening the connections between downtown and the beaches communities," said Florida Theatre President Numa Saisselin.  "One of the things that THE PLAYERS and the Florida Theatre have in common is service to the Northeast Florida community.  Through our own activities, and through the organizations we both support, we are working to make Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida community a better place to live and work."

The historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre is sponsored by Community First Credit Union.  For a complete list of upcoming events or to buy tickets visit the Theatre's official
web site or “Around Town With Ms. “V”.

About The Players Championship: They annually combine the best field in golf with the world-class venue that is The Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.  Optum®, Morgan Stanley and Grant Thornton LLP are the exclusive Proud Partners of The Players.  Proceeds from The Players benefit Northeast Florida charities and have totaled $100 million since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977, including a record $9 million generated in 2018. For more on The Players and the surrounding area.

Florida Theatre: From ballet and opera to contemporary pop, jazz, rock, country and blues the nonprofit Florida Theatre offers 200 cultural and entertainment events annually for every taste and age.  More than just an entertainment center, The Florida Theatre is also home to graduations, awards ceremonies, lectures, business meetings and charity events that support the community's schools, churches, hospitals and civic groups.  As an anchor to downtown development along the beautiful St. Johns River, The Florida Theatre draws 250,000 people to Jacksonville's center each year.  The magnificently restored Florida Theatre is recognized as one of the finest concert venues in the Southeast. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Florida Theatre holds special memories for four generations.  From the Vaudeville acts and silent films of its earliest days to today's blend of performances of all kinds, The Florida Theatre has served as Jacksonville's premier entertainment center since 1927.

‘ELF’ meets the ‘Jaguars’ before game

Exciting news for the Alhambra: Some of the "Elf...the Musical" cast will be performing the National Anthem at this Sunday's Jaguars Game.  They are excited about this honor!  The Alhambra’s Dinner Theatre cast singing at an NFL game...WOW!!!  You might still get your tickets for the game HERE, but sorry to say that Elf tickets are gone.

DATE: Sunday, December 16, 2018
TIME: approximately 12:55 p.m.

     1 TIAA Bank Field Dr.
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

‘Michael W. Smith’ rocked the house in JAX

Courtesy pics: Ms. "V"
Courtesy pics: Michael W. Smith & Ms. "V"
He was only in town for one night, yet Michael W. Smith gave a wonderful array of music, not just Christmas and Christian genres, but all types of music were enjoyed by all.  The iconic Florida Theatre presented Michael W. Smith’s Christmas with his special guest Melinda Doolittle.  The theater was packed with people of all nationalities who wanted to come out for a good time, in an anointed atmosphere.

Multi-Platinum artist, best-selling author and acclaimed actor Michael W. Smith continues to live out his dream; he releases new music regularly and performs around the world to sold-out crowds of loyal and inspired fans.  During Michael’s storied career, he’s been honored with three Grammy Awards, 45 Dove Awards, an American Music Award and has sold more than 15 million albums.

Melinda Doolittle is a powerhouse vocalist in her own right.  She
was tone-deaf as a child, and her choir teacher would plead with her not to sing, but just silently move her mouth.  Undaunted, her love of singing drove her to enter a talent show in the seventh grade where she stunned the audience with her miraculously spot on vocals and beautiful voice.  She never looked back!  Doolittle became a household name during season six of American Idol in 2007. She came in third in the voting, first with Simon Cowell calling her his “personal favorite.”  Melinda sings well on her own, with Michael and also harmonizing with their four backup singers.

With his six-piece band, Michael was great on the Baby Grand Piano as he sung numerous songs and medleys.  In his concert, there is a screen that will show videos of an organization that is near and dear to Michael’s heart.  If you go to the
Compassion website, you can see how your tax-deductible contribution will help children who desire to live a fulfilled life.  You will be able to choose the child that you’ll be helping, and you’ll establish a relationship with that child through correspondence.

Toward the end of the concert, Michael sang “Friends” which was the selection that he sung at the funeral of former President George H. W. Bush.  As Smith sang on the Florida Theatre stage, a group of photos pictured him in his relationship with the Bush family.  In an interview with CBN News, Smith said having the opportunity to perform at the 41st Presidents funeral is an “honor beyond words.”