Saturday, July 28, 2018

‘Young Frankenstein’ has many exceptional local actors

The 13th Annual High School Summer Musical Theatre Experience of Young Frankenstein at the Wilson Center for the Arts was a pretty terrific show, and you have two more chances to see it.  Mel Brooks would be very proud of these young people.  Their acting is top notch, singing is pitch-perfect, musical accompaniment highlight the singing, and the show follows the original script with some minor adjustments.  This is the final weekend for this presentation and you would be amiss if you don’t catch it.

Most of these actors and actresses attend local schools in the Jacksonville area and you’ll probably see some of them in upcoming productions at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, Broadway and other theatrical venues around the country.  The whole world can be their stage.

Some of the schools that are represented by these talented children are: Saint Johns Country Day, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Eagles View Academy, Oceanway School of Dance, Landrum Middle School, LaVilla School of the Arts, Bishop Kenny High, Ponte Vedra High, Sandalwood High, Duval Charter at Baymeadows, Stanton College Prep, Bolles, Providence School of JAX, Bartram Trail High, Duncan Fletcher High, St. Augustine High, Florida Virtual, Clay County High, Mandarin High and Florida State College.

Special recognition go out to Jeremy Ferri (Dr. Fredrick Frankenstein), Jasmine Hurt (Frau Bl
űcher), Igor (Brendan Murphy), Inga (Lana Davidenko), Elizabeth Benning (Isabella Williams), The Monster (Johnny Flannagan), Inspector Hans Kemp (Gannon Thomas), The Hermit (Jack Niemczyk), Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein (Aidan Jones) and Ziggy (Auggie Pulliam).  These talented individuals had many lines, and songs throughout the Two Act presentation.  Thanks and kudos go out to ALL those who made Young Frankenstein a huge success.

Young Frankenstein
Sat., July 28     7:30 p.m.
Sun., July 29     2 p.m.

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

$25 for Reserved Seating
$20 for seniors (60+), Military (with valid ID), and non-FSCJ students
$15 for Florida State College at Jacksonville students and employees (with valid ID) Limit 2 discounted tickets per valid ID.
Call the Wilson Center for the Arts Box Office at (904) 646-2222.

Friday, July 27, 2018

‘Hippiefest’ tour 2018 headed to JAX

The Thrasher-Horne Center is bringing Flower power back to Northeast Florida!  Hippiefest, featuring: Vanilla Fudge, Rick Derringer, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and Badfinger featuring Joey Mulland is celebrating its ninth tour this year with greatest hits that span the generations.  With over twenty-two Billboard charted albums, thirty Billboard charted singles, and ten Billboard top 10's combined this is a don’t-miss night of hits!  It’s peace, love, happiness and an evening full of great music.

Vanilla Fudge was one of the first American groups to infuse psychedelia into a heavy rock sound to create "psychedelic symphonic rock," an eclectic genre which would, among its many offshoots, eventually morph into heavy metal.  Over the years, the band (now consisting of Stein, Martell, Appice and eight-year member, bassist/vocalist Pete Bremy) has continued to perform and record together.

When guitar slinger Rick Derringer breaks into his legendary rock anthem, "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," you'll likely see many an air guitar in the audience.  Now more than four decades after its release, the hugely popular hit continues to be a staple on classic rock radio and has been featured in several movies.

The hits began for Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels at the tail end of '65, with the release of their first hit single, "Jenny Take a Ride!"  Mitch has recorded over two dozen albums since in his illustrious career and continues to tour all over the world.  Known for his incredible live show, Mitch will be bringing all his hits in a night to remember.

If you're aware of such classic rock songs as "Come and Get It," "No Matter What," "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue," then you'll thoroughly enjoy the performance of Badfinger featuring Joey Molland.  Sure, the long hair may be gone... but we all know the music lives on!  Come out and enjoy the fun in an evening to remember!

Hippiefest Tour 2018

DATE: Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

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

TICKETS: range from $39 - $79 with all fees included, and 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.

‘Corteo’ Cirque du Soleil will be in JAX for a few days

“Corteo” is the latest and one of the best-loved Cirque du Soleil’s arena productions, will embark on a new journey throughout North America.  The show will visit Jacksonville at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena for a limited run of seven performances. This unique production, directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, first premiered in Montreal under the Big Top in April 2005.  Since then, the show has been a great success and has amazed 8 million people in 64 cities in 19 countries on four continents.

“Corteo”, which means cortege in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown.  The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.

The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us.  The music turns lyrical and playful carrying Corteo through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality

The concept and disposition of the stage bring the audience in a theatrical atmosphere like never seen before in Cirque du Soleil arena shows.  The set curtains, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, and the central curtains, which were hand painted, give a grandiose feel to the stage.  This sets the tone for the poetry of Corteo.  The cast of Corteo includes 51 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from all around the world.

Corteo’ Cirque du Soleil
Wed. Aug. 1, 2018 TIMES: 7:30 p.m.
    Thurs. Aug. 2       7:30 p.m.
    Fri. Aug. 3        7:30 p.m.
    Sat. Aug. 4      3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
    Sun. Aug. 5       1 p.m. & 5 p.m.

TICKETS: starting at $36.  All seats are reserved, and tickets are available at Ticketmaster.Com, or at The Tom Bush Family of Dealerships box office, at Veterans Memorial Arena online, or by calling (800) 745-3000.

LOCATION: JAX Veterans Memorial Arena
300 A Philip Randolph Blvd., Downtown
      Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 630-3900

Cirque du Soleil gratefully acknowledges the official partner of the Corteo USA tour: Forsythe, A Sirius Company  Social media: Facebook, Twitter #CORTEO & Instagram #CORTEO

About Cirque du Soleil:
Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil completely reinvented circus arts and went on to become a world leader in artistic entertainment. Established in Montreal, the Canadian organization has brought wonder and delight to over 180 million spectators with 42 productions that have taken place in close to 450 cities in 60 countries. Cirque du Soleil currently has over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 artists, from nearly 50 countries. In 2017 alone, 19 shows are being presented simultaneously throughout the world.

SMG Jacksonville manages seven sports, entertainment, and convention venues on behalf of the City of Jacksonville. Their beautiful venues include:
EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Florida-Georgia, the TaxSlayer Bowl and Monster Jam.  Daily’s Place, a 5,500-seat amphitheater with concert programming year-round and an indoor practice facility for the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, showplace of such entertainment greats as Kenny Chesney and Jimmy Buffett and home to the Arena Bowl XXIV Champions Jacksonville Sharks, the ABA Jacksonville.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

New shows are coming to the Times Union Center in 2018/2019

The FSCJ Artist Series, sponsored by Vystar Credit Union, is proud to announce the 2018-19 Broadway in Jacksonville season, filled with award-winning blockbusters and family favorites. Next season’s lineup will feature Broadway in Jacksonville’s debuts of Waitress and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new high-octane hit The School of Rock, along with Les Misérables and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I. All performances will be at the Times-Union Center.

Dr. Milt Russos, executive director of the FSCJ Artist Series/Broadway in Jacksonville states,
“We are thrilled to announce HAMILTON, currently the hottest ticket in America, is now confirmed for the 2019-20 Broadway in Jacksonville Season! Subscribers for the upcoming 2018-19 season will have first access to Hamilton with their Season ticket renewal next year.  You will not want to miss it!”

Four-Show Broadway Subscription:
“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King And I”  November 13-18, 2018
“Les Misérables”              January 22-27, 2019
“Waitress”                 March 12-17, 2019
“School Of Rock”              April 16-20, 2019

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I -
Two worlds collide in this “breathtaking and exquisite” (The New York Times) musical, based on the 2015 Tony Award®-winning Lincoln Center Theater production. One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King And I, boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.”

Les Misérables - Cameron Mackintosh presents the new production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables, direct from its acclaimed Broadway return. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. With its glorious new staging and dazzlingly reimagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo, this breathtaking new production has left both audiences and critics awestruck. “Les Miz is born again!”

Waitress Inspired by the beloved film, “Waitress” tells the story of Jenna, an expert pie maker who dreams of a way out of her small town. A baking contest and the town’s new doctor may offer her a fresh start, but Jenna must summon the strength to rebuild her own life. Don’t miss this uplifting celebration of friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

School of Rock
is based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star turned substitute teacher who transforms a class of straight-A students into grade-A rockers. It features 14 new songs from ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, all the original songs from the movie and musical theater’s first-ever live kids rock band!

There will be many other shows appearing during both years that will be posted later through this Blog.  Season tickets to the FSCJ Artist Series’ 2018-19 Broadway in Jacksonville Season, sponsored by Vystar Credit Union, are on sale now, with four-show package prices starting at just $159. Season ticket prices vary depending on the show time, day of the week and seating location.  A renewal brochure and invoice has been mailed to current FSCJ Artist Series subscribers and should arrive within the week.

Current subscribers can
renew online with no seat changes, or by calling (904) 632-5000 or (888) 860-BWAY, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Current subscribers may also mail their invoices to the FSCJ Artist Series Box Office, 501 W. State Street, #109, Jacksonville, FL 32202. Upon renewing, current subscribers have the opportunity to request changes to their seating location. In addition, current subscribers who renew before May 8, 2018 will be rewarded for their loyalty and continued support with an additional savings of $10 off per season ticket subscription they renew.

New subscribers can order their season tickets to reserve their seats for all four shows long before single tickets are available to the public. New subscriptions may be
ordered online, or over the phone by calling (904) 632-5000 or (888) 860-BWAY, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Subscriber benefits include: guaranteed package pricing, access to the best seats in the house, priority access to purchase additional tickets for friends and family, seat locations, exchange privileges, free lost ticket replacement, access to other FSCJ Artist Series events- many at a discount.

VIP Seating is available to contributors to the FSCJ Artist Series at five levels: Angel, Producer, Benefactor, Patron and Donor.  Donor contributions start for as little as $150. Call (904) 632-5000 or visit to learn more about the additional benefits available through the VIP Theater Club.

Groups of 10 or more are eligible to a discount on tickets to most shows.  To receive the best pricing, reserve your group tickets before June 8, 2018. Groups may begin placing reservation requests at this time by calling (904) 632-5050 or

Performances for the FSCJ Artist Series’ 2018-19 Broadway in Jacksonville Season for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King And I and Les Misérables are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Waitress The Musical will not have a performance on Sunday evening, and School Of Rock will not be performed on Easter Sunday for both the matinee and evening performances.  Subscribers may choose alternate performances at the package price with no additional cost.

‘Kiss Me-Kate’ coming to the Alhambra Theatre and Dining

Appearing in August at the Alhambra will be Cole Porter’s sparkling 1948 musical “Kiss Me, Kate”, written by Samuel and Bella Spewack.  The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew.  There is conflict between Fred Graham (the show's director, producer, and star), and his leading lady (his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi). Add the secondary romance concerns of Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill, and you have calamity.  Throw in some mistaken identity, a pair of surprisingly eloquent gangsters and a whole lot of romantic entanglements, and what you get is a dazzling classic.

About the show: Kiss Me, Kate was Cole Porter's response to Rodgers & Hammerstein's, Oklahoma!, as the first show he wrote in which the music and lyrics were firmly integrated into the script.  The show proved to be his biggest hit and the only one of his shows to run for more than 1,000 performances on Broadway.  In 1949, Kiss Me, Kate won the first-ever Tony® Award presented for Best Musical.  In March of 2015, it was announced that the 1949 original cast recording would be inducted into the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry for the album's "cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society and the nation's audio legacy."  Kiss Me, Kate will open its revival on Broadway in February of 2019; and you have the opportunity to see it here in Jacksonville, Florida.

About the Menu:
Executive Chef will be cooking up a culinary experience fitting of Jacksonville’s iconic dinner theater, the longest-running such theater in America.  First Course
(Choice of One): Chilled cucumber bisque with shrimp & dill; Caprese salad with diced tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, pesto, balsamic glaze. Second Course (Choice of One): Southern Style Pepper Steak with white rice; BBQ Chicken with baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens; Scallops Carbonara with penne pasta, sweet peas; Roasted Vegetarian Kabobs with yellow rice pilaf, smoked tomato sauce Third Course (Choice of One) Raspberry Sorbet with Meyer lemon cookies; Key Lime Pie.

Kiss Me, Kate
DATES: August 1 — September 9, 2018

SUMMER SHOW TIMES: Evening shows Tuesday through Sunday start at 7:50 p.m.  Doors open at 6 p.m., and dinner is served until 7:30 p.m. 
Saturday Matinees begin at 1:15 p.m.  Doors open at 11 a.m. and the brunch served until 12:50 p.m.  Sunday Matinees are at 1:50 p.m.  Doors open at 12 p.m. and the meal is server until 1:30 p.m.

DRESS: “Gala Night” (Friday August 3, 2018) attire is “Dressy/Formal/Black Tie”.  All other shows could be “Business Casual” or “Sunday Best”.

TICKETS: Prices range from $38 – $64.  Ticket prices include: a plated dinner served to your table, a Broadway-style performance and prime parking.  Group sales of 20 + are available upon request.
    **Price does NOT include gratuity, professional photos, or orders from the bar**

Alhambra Theater & Dining
       12000 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville, Florida 32246
       (904) 641-1212

Belinda Davids was welcomed in Duval

The show is fabulous and was enjoyed by young theatre goers as well as seasoned attendees.  Accomplished South African songstress Belinda Davids, starring in The Greatest Love of All: A Heartfelt Tribute To Whitney, captivated the audience at the Times Union Center in JAX. FL.  The songstress gave the crowd the best performance along with her singers, dancers and musicians.  She IS Whitney Houston.

Belinda is a quick-change artist, and besides giving her visitors an earful, she is very pleasant on the eyes.  The woman is absolutely gorgeous! 
Take a look and listen to the short video and plan to see her when she comes to a venue near you here in the US or overseas.  You will NOT be disappointed.  Check HERE for the next shows.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cummer Museum adds ‘Green Wall Art’ to Café Patio

If you’re back from vacay and looking for some local fun - check this out!  Featured in many iconic cities, Green Walls are taking urban art to the next level—and they have arrived at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens! In early May, the Cummer Museum welcomed Green Wall artist Ricardo Gil Mendoza, who has spent 20 years developing his craft in a wide variety spaces, such as sports facilities, highways, public squares, and ornamental areas. Mendoza’s work strives to reflect and celebrate the vegetal world, which has inspired him since childhood.

Organic Green Walls, the company founded by Mendoza and Ram Matheus, finds passion in weaving Green Walls into urban areas to bring people back to nature. The company strives to “raise awareness that [everyone is] part of a whole, that natural beauty feeds the soul, enhances our spirit, and protects us.”

Mendoza and his team designed a unique Green Wall for the Cummer Café patio, featuring its “C” logo, and generously donated the work to the Museum. The installation offers a new take on the foliage that the Cummer Museum has long valued in its gardens and other landscaping. The Green Wall will grow and adapt to the wall it lives on, promising an ever-changing exhibition.

Organic Green Walls has many installations throughout North America and the world, and the Cummer Museum is proud to welcome its very own piece of organic art to the Museum.

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

   Hours of Operation & Admission

‘White Harvest Farms’ is open and ready

At White Harvest Farms, they have harvest fresh produce that is grown in a food desert.  Growing on the farm is: Summer Squash, Zucchini*, Yellow crookneck* Collard Greens, Sweet Banana Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, Cayenne, Jalapeno, & Datil.  You can also find: Okra, Eggplant, Cranberry Hibiscus, Taro, White Acre Peas, Cantaloupe and Watermelon.

Herbs: Basil, Dill and Rosemary.

Call Clara White Mission to get days and times that the store is open and come get your fresh produce as you help others help themselves.

*Ready now on the farm.
Volunteers are always needed at White Harvest Farms. Help them with harvesting, watering, weeding and composting. If you are not able to volunteer, please consider donating the following items:
•Bags of leaves (good to make compost)
•Coffee grounds (good nitrogen source to help ensure vegetables are green)
•Tools – flame weeder, harvesting tub, jang seeder and more

Volunteer: (904) 354-4162, ext. 1100
Donation Drop-off:
613 W. Ashley St.
Jacksonville, FL 32202

White Harvest Farms & Farmer’s Market
      Ju’Coby Pittman/CEO
Location:5348 Moncrief Road
     Jacksonville, Florida 32209
     Office: (904) 354-4162

‘Smooth & Groove Presents: The Sweat Hotel’ relocation

The Smooth & Groove presents the Sweat Hotel” event originally located in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena has been relocated to the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts at 300 Water Street. The event date and time remains the same at Friday, July 27, 8 p.m.  The line-up features: Keith Sweat, Faith Evans, Lalah Hathaway, and Jon B.

Current ticket holders can exchange their original tickets for new seats the night of the event at the Times-Union Center. VIP tickets can be picked up at the Ticketmaster outside window starting at 5:30 p.m., while regular ticket holders can pick up at the Relocation Tables in the Water Street Hallway at 6:30 p.m. All guests that need to exchange tickets will enter the security check point first and then enter into the Times-Union Center. Ticket exchanges are not available before Friday night. Refunds, if required, are available at the point of purchase.

DATE: Friday, July 27, 2018
TIME: 8 p.m.

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