Friday, February 1, 2019

STOMP is coming back to JAX - have you seen it yet?

After seeing them in 2015, at Planet Hollywood in Vegas, and in Albuquerque, NM before that; this writer will NOT miss them on their return trip to JAX.  Yes, they are that good!  STOMP, the international percussion sensation, makes returns to Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center on February 15-16, 2019 for three performances only.  From its beginnings as a street performance in the UK, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.

Created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, STOMP continues its phenomenal run with four global productions: the ongoing sell-out production at New York's Orpheum Theatre, a permanent London company, and North American and European tours.  Throughout its life, the show has continued to change by creating new material; next year, it will incorporate two new pieces.  It is safe to say you will never again look at supermarket carts or plumbing fixtures the same way… or paint cans, or kitchen sinks or…

STOMP, an overwhelming success marked by rave reviews, numerous awards, and sell-out engagements, is the winner of an Olivier Award for Best Choreography (London's Tony Award), a New York Obie Award, a Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatre Experience, and a Special Citation from Best Plays.  STOMP also boasts an Academy Award nomination, four Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award for their acclaimed HBO special Stomp Out Loud, along with many noteworthy TV appearances including: The London 2012 Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, The Academy Awards (produced by Quincy Jones), Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and a series of award-winning international commercials.

The performers “make a rhythm out of anything we can get our hands on that makes a sound,” says co-founder/director Luke Cresswell.  A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, STOMP has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression: both household and industrial objects find new life as musical instruments in the hands of an idiosyncratic band of body percussionists.  It is a journey through sound, a celebration of the everyday and a comic interplay of characters wordlessly communicating through dance and drum.

Synchronized stiff-bristle brooms become a sweeping orchestra, eight Zippo lighters flip open and closed to create a fiery-fugue; wooden poles thump and clack in a rhythmic explosion.  STOMP uses everything but conventional percussion instruments - dustbins, tea chests, radiator hoses, boots, hub caps - to fill the stage with a compelling and unique act that is often imitated but never duplicated.

Critics and audiences have raved: STOMP is as crisp and exuberant as if it had opened yesterday,” says The New York Times. The San Francisco Chronicle declares “STOMP has a beat that just won’t quit!” The Los Angeles Times exclaims: “Electrifying! Triumphs in the infinite variety of the human experience.” “A phenomenal show! Bashing, crashing, smashing, swishing, banging and kicking – a joyous invention!” says the Chicago Tribune.


DATES: Fri. Feb. 15, 2019TIMES: 8 p.m.
    Sat., Feb. 16      4 & 8 p.m.

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

TICKETS: $39, plus applicable fees, and may be purchased at their box office, by calling (904) 632-5000 between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday, or online 24/7 at  Discounts for groups of 10+ may be available by calling (904) 632-5050.

‘Comedian Jo Koy - Break The Mold Tour’ adds another date

JoKoy two shows in JAX
After successfully selling out two shows at the historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre in 2017, comedian Jo Koy announced he will bring his Break The Mold World Tour to the Theatre on Thurs., February 14, 2019 at 8 p.m., and a second show on Sun., Feb.17, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Jo Koy has come a long way from his modest beginnings performing at a Las Vegas coffee house.  As one of today’s premiere stand-up comedians, Koy sells-out theaters and arenas across the world with his infectious and explosive energy onstage.  The comedian pulls inspiration from his family, specifically his son, with material that has universal appeal.

Koy is one of the few acts to successfully sell out two shows at the historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre.  He returns this year as part of his new Break the Mold World Tour.  In November 2017, Koy broke a record for the most tickets sold by a single artist at The Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu with 11 sold-out shows and over 23,000 tickets sold. Celebrating this accomplishment, the mayor’s office in Honolulu proclaimed November 24th as “Jo Koy Day.”

Koy is also the only comedian to sell out six shows at The Warfield in San Francisco, he broke the attendance record at Club Regent Event Centre in Winnipeg with four sold-out shows, and is one of the few acts to sell-out two shows at the Florida Theatre. In July 2018, Koy was given the prestigious “Comedian Of The Year” award at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal.

In 2005, Koy had the opportunity of a lifetime when he performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  He became one of a select few comics to receive a standing ovation on the show.  Since then, Koy has had two highly rated and successful comedy specials on Comedy Central, Don’t Make Him Angry and Lights Out.  In 2017, Koy released his third stand-up special, Jo Koy: Live from Seattle as a Netflix original.

Koy has appeared on more than 140 episodes of Chelsea Lately as a season regular roundtable guest. Other appearances include: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, @Midnight with Chris Hardwick, Spike TV’s Adam Carolla & Friends Build Stuff Live, Celebrity Page TV, VH1, World’s Funniest Fails, Sean In The Wild, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Last Call with Carson Daly.

Later this year, Koy is confirmed to film his second Netflix original stand-up special at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, and will also be seen co-starring alongside Brandon Routh and Donna Murphy as “Vladimir Lenin” in the upcoming live-action film Anastasia.

Jo Coy can be heard as a weekly guest on the popular podcast, The Adam Carolla Show.  He also hosts the weekly podcast The Koy Pond with Jo Koy on Podcast One.  Additionally, Koy can be seen on
Kevin Hart’s LaughOutLoud as the host of Inglorious Pranksters.  For more info on the podcast and tour dates, visit:

   “Jo Koy”
Break the Mold Tour

Thurs. Feb. 14, 2019     8 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 17, 2019      7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: start at$38.50 and are on sale NOW.  Everyone is invited to purchase their tickets by calling the box office at (904) 355-2787(ARTS), or at, the official site for Florida Theatre event tickets.

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

JAX Mayor proclaims Feb ‘Augusta Savage Month’

Cummer Museum Staff showing Savage proclaimation
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is pleased to announce that Mayor Lenny Curry has proclaimed February 2019 as Augusta Savage Month in Jacksonville, Florida.  The Cummer Museum is currently featuring Savage’s work in its exhibition Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman.”  February is also the artist’s birth month and will be the United States’ 43rd Annual Black History Month.

Savage, a Green Cove Springs native, became an accomplished sculptor and is widely considered a core figure in the Harlem Renaissance.  Savage faced racism, sexism, and discrimination throughout her life, which hampered her commercial pursuits.  The “Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman” exhibition is the largest ever organized by the Museum and the most comprehensive exhibition highlighting Savage’s unique story.  
The exhibition includes sculptures, watercolors, historical photos from Savage’s life and career as well as historical artifacts and the works of her students.

“Savage’s history and place in our city, state and nation should be honored,”
said the Cummer Museum’s George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director & Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adam Levine. “With our current exhibition, the Cummer Museum and guest curator Jeffreen Hayes are leading the effort to tell Savage’s story and further explore and solidify her place in history.  We thank Mayor Curry for recognizing her contributions to North Florida and beyond.”

Savage (1892 – 1962), a female sculptor, overcame poverty, racism, and gender discrimination to become one of this country’s most influential artists of the 20th century, playing a pivotal role in the development of some of this country’s most celebrated artists, including William Artis, Romare Bearden, Gwendolyn Bennett, Robert Blackburn, Gwendolyn Knight, Jacob Lawrence, and Norman Lewis.

A prodigious and highly-acclaimed artist in her own right, Savage achieved excellence through talent, self-determination, and vision, ultimately creating sculptures and large-scale commissions that elevated positive images of Black culture into mainstream America.  She was the first Black woman to open her own gallery, challenging exclusive arts institutions to recognize the talent of Black artists.  As a community organizer and teacher, Savage’s commitment to mentorship and education became a model for other art schools run by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  Savage is best known for “The Harp”, her commissioned sculpture for the 1939 World’s Fair, and is recognized in American Black history as an educator and important community leader.

“Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman” can be viewed and enjoyed with regular Museum admission during the exhibition dates.  As always, it is free for anyone in the community on Florida Blue Free Tuesdays from 4 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday evening and again on Weaver First Saturday Free for All, held the first Saturday of each month.  A full companion program and events calendar will support the exhibit and additional community events, private tours and receptions can be booked in conjunction with the exhibit by visiting this
LINK.  Exhibit Dates: Fri., Oct. 12, 2018 to Sun., Apr. 7, 2019

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

  Hours of Operation & Admission

Thursday, January 31, 2019

‘It’s Not You, It’s Me, The Second City’ back again

The Second City is returning to Jacksonville (last here in 2015) on February 14, 2019 for one performance only!  The Second City has been laughing at love and its infinite scroll of side effects for decades. In the world-famous comedy company’s latest laughter-inducing undertaking, It’s Not You, It’s Me, The Second City” takes shots at heartbreak, missed connections and the mire of human relationships.  Your friends, your parents, even your blind date will find something achingly familiar to laugh at, thanks to comedy’s newest generation of writers and performers...who all fit squarely into the “it’s complicated” category!

About The Second City: Since opening its doors 1959, The Second City has grown to become the world’s premier comedy club, theater and school of improvisation, entertaining 1 million theatergoers a year around the globe.  Alumni of The Second City’s resident stages, touring companies, and theatrical divisions across Chicago and Toronto include some of the biggest names in entertainment such as: Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and more.

It’s Not You, It’s Me
 The Second City

DATE: Thursday Feb. 14, 2019
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

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

TICKETS:  $50 plus applicable fees, and 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 at Discounts for groups of 10+ may be available by calling (904) 632-5050.

Josh Groban appearing on the Big Screen in a city near you

Josh Groban
Multi-platinum award-winning singer, songwriter and global superstar Josh Groban announced that his critically acclaimed, sold out performance from New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, which recently marked the end of his Fall arena Bridges Tour, is coming to cinemas nationwide, for one night only!  This event will be held on February 12, 2019 in collaboration with global event cinema distributor, Trafalgar Releasing and Warner Bros. Records.

The Bridges Tour follows the release of Groban’s eighth studio album, Bridges, which debuted at number one on the Billboard US Top Album Sales chart in October.  Recorded before a live audience, the show includes a mixture of new songs and classic hits as well as duets with both Menzel and Nettles.

Possessing one of the most outstanding and instantly recognizable voices in music, GRAMMY nominated singer, songwriter, and actor Josh Groban has entertained fans across the globe with his multi-platinum albums and DVDs (over 30 million sold worldwide), electrifying live performances, and comedic film and television appearances.  The 37-year-old Los Angeles native is the only artist who has had two albums appear on the Top 20 Best-Selling Albums list of the past decade, according to Billboard.  He has appeared in the feature films Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hollars, Coffee Town, and Muppets Most Wanted, as well as on NBC’s The Office, FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, CBS’ The Crazy Ones and Netflix’s The Good Cop opposite Tony Danza.

Described as “beautiful, pitch-perfect” (NY Times and the “eighth world wonder” (Digital Journal), Groban’s voice is instantly recognizable to fans around the world.  Joining him on stage at this very special concert is Tony-Award winning, multi-platinum recording artist and actress, Idina Menzel as well as Grammy-Award winner and Billboard chart topper Jennifer Nettles.

Tickets for Josh Groban Bridges from Madison Square Garden are on sale at participating theater box offices.  Click HERE to find a Theatre near you.

Groban has released eight studio albums, his 2001 self-titled 5x-platinum debut, 2003’s 6x-platinum Closer, 2006’s double-platinum Awake, 2007’s 6x platinum Grammy-nominated Noel, 2010’s gold-certified Illuminations, and 2013’s gold-certified All That Echoes, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, giving Groban his first No. 1 debut and third chart-topper.  In 2015 he released Stages, a collection of songs from Broadway Musicals, and in 2017, Groban concluded his Broadway run in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, which Time Out New York called, “one of the best musicals of the decade”.  He also released his first coffee table book, Stage to Stage: My Journey to Broadway. which documented the past two years of his life on Broadway.  Groban remains an active arts education philanthropist and advocate as a member of Americans for the Arts Artists Committee and Groban’s Find Your Light Foundation helps enrich the lives of young people through arts, education, and cultural awareness.

“My favorite moments as a musician are on stage, where songs fully take flight the way they were always intended,” Groban said.  “Performing songs, old and new, at such an iconic venue as Madison Square Garden is always demanding and exciting.”  To have the experience captured on film is going to be such a special night.  Josh Groban’s Sold-Out Bridges Concert from Madison Square Garden”
is going to be a nationwide treat.

Kymberli Frueh, Trafalgar Releasing’s SVP Programming and Content Acquisitions, added “We are delighted to bring this monumental concert to cinemas for Josh’s fans to experience in an intimate setting, with an exclusive message from Josh to cinema audiences about the importance of this concert to him.”

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

‘SPAMALOT’ is coming to Jacksonville FL

The Tony Award-winning Best Musical Monty Python's Spamalot, will arrive at Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center on February 11, 2019 for one performance only!

This outrageous musical comedy is lovingly ripped off from the film classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”  Monty Python's Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and their quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Spamalot features a chorus line of dancing divas, flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen, and show-stopping musical numbers!

Directed and Choreographed by Sam Viverito, Monty Python's Spamalot features a book by Eric Idle, based on the screenplay of Monty Python and the Holy Grail by Monty Python creators Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, with music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Mr. Idle and John Du Prez.

Monty Python isn't a person, but a group of British actors and writers (and one American) that performed their famous comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus on the BBC from 1969 to 1974, with subsequent international fame and success.

Monty Python's Spamalot is produced by Phoenix Entertainment.


DATE: Monday, February 11, 2019
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

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

TICKETS: (Vary) and start at $39.  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.

‘Legacy Poster Design’ competition hosted by The Florida Theatre

1920 Inspired Theme
To celebrate the rich history of entertainment and special events that have taken place on the stage at the historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre, the theatre is inviting local artists and creatives to compete in designing its first-ever legacy poster.

The theatre will begin accepting legacy poster submissions on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.  The competition is open to local artists within the Jacksonville area.  This first design will focus on Mardi Gras.  Deadline for art submissions is Feb. 18 at 8:30 a.m. All submissions should be
emailed to

The winner will be announced on Tuesday, Feb.26, and will receive a prize package valued at $500.  For complete guidelines and contest restrictions visit

The historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre is sponsored by Community First Credit Union.

Florida Theatre : From ballet to contemporary dance, jazz, rock, country and blues the nonprofit Florida Theatre offers 175 to 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 175,000 to 200,000 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.

Thrasher Horne Center showcases Queen’s music

The Black Jacket Symphony presents: Queen's: A Night at the Opera.  Relive Queen’s greatest hits as The Black Jacket Symphony ft. the one and only Marc Martel (who performed the Freddie Mercury's vocals for the Oscar nominated Bohemian Rhapsody) recreates Queen’s A Night At The Opera album LIVE in its entirely plus a full set of Queen's greatest hits!

A portion of each ticket sold will benefit the Jacksonville USO.  The event is sponsored by the Jacksonville USO & presented by the Thrasher-Horne Center.

Black Jack Symphony presents:
Queen’s A Night at the Opera

DATE: Friday, February 1, 2019
TIME: 8 p.m.

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

TICKETS: range from $19 to $63 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.  Group Discounts Available!

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.

Anti-Bullying Play ‘CHALK’ at the Florida Theatre

Community arts organizations, The Florida Theatre in partnership BABS’ LAB will present a special school - time presentation of Al Letson’s critically acclaimed anti-bullying play “CHALK” on Feb. 5 at 10 a.m.

“Not only is this an awesome opportunity for our students to see other artist at work in their craft, but this is also a chance to address an extremely significant topic in which many students are faced with every day – bullying,” said Chelvert J. Wellington, Principal Fort Caroline Middle School.
 “There was no hesitation in my response. This production is so groundbreaking that we are offering the experience to ALL of our students.”

Written by Al Letson, a nationally known poet and award-winning host of the NPR radio broadcast, Reveal (heard weekly on WJCT 89.9), CHALK centers around a group of kids making the transition to middle school.  Through poetic monologues, CHALK reveals the inner voices of kids who are trapped in a society where bullying is tolerated in schools and on social media.

“Through the experience of witnessing this powerful piece of theatre, students, educators, parents, and the wider community will examine the complexities of how verbal abuse and bullying can be addressed and transformed.  Letson’s poetic language moves us to a deeper level of thinking about aggressive interaction giving us a vocabulary for our feelings,” said Barbara Colaciello, Artistic Director of BABS’LAB. 
“Everyone knows the Florida Theatre as one of Northeast Florida’s best venues, but what they may not realize is that the theatre is managed and operated by a nonprofit corporation.”

Our partnership with BABS’LAB is a terrific example of why that operating model matters,”
said Florida Theatre President Numa Saisselin.  
“As a nonprofit theatre, we are thrilled to help secure funding from PNC Bank, and we’re excited to provide the performance space, and we’re thrilled to host hundreds of students for free who might otherwise not see this show, or maybe any show this school year.”

Tues., February 5, 2019
TIME: 10 a.m.

A PNC Bank Arts Alive grant will make it possible for students at Fort Caroline Middle School, a Title One school, to attend CHALK for free.  Additionally, discounted $5.00 tickets are available for students at non-Title One schools. A limited number of general public tickets are available for purchase for $10.00.  Everyone is invited to purchase their tickets by calling the box office at (904) 355-2787(ARTS), or at, the official site for Florida Theatre event tickets.  The historic, nonprofit Florida Theatre is sponsored by Community First Credit Union.

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

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Players By the Sea rekindles ‘Bridges of Madison County’

From the dynamic stage settings (Ian Black {also from the Alhambra} & Company), to ALL the talented-scripted-actors; the Players By the Sea presentation of The Bridges of Madison County is very deep in its subject matter, yet it has moments of comedy, times of sadness and a few compassionate moments. Bridges of Madison County was originally adapted from the book published in 1992, and the movie was produced and directed in 1995 by Clint Eastwood and starred him and actress Meryl Streep.

After coming home and renting the original movie, this writer could see the similarities and some of the differences between the two presentations.  Players came so close to the movie that I dare you to try to distinguish the changes.  Special recognition goes to the lead actor and actress (Erin Barnes as Francesca and David Diehl as Robert Kincaid; and also to the Newsy Neighbor...  Eric Yarham, Lexi Inks, Susan Roche, Del Austin, Kaylee Hendry, John Flannagan, Jodie Jernigan, Zoe Bell, Leanne Gullo, Jodie Jernigan, Alex Young and Richie Rosado round out the cast.  You will also be amazed at the live band that continuously play accompanying music for the songs (except a few radio tunes).  Zeek Smith (Piano/Conducotr); Jacob Schuman (Guitar); Damon Martin (Bass); Joseph Henderson (Violin); Andrew Simpson (Percussion) and Alexander Downs (Cello).

If you’ve never attended opening night (which was sold-out on Friday, Jan. 25th) then next time you won’t want to miss the show inspired
hors d'oeuvre that are served by 927 Events.  For the Bridges show, Chef Chriss prepared: Pineapple Glazed Ham finger sandwiches, Corn Cakes with Pineapple Mango Salsa and Rice Krispy treats.  Now you can see why the gala tickets are usually gone.

The Bridges of Madison County

Sun. Jan. 27, 2019   2 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 1     8 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 2     8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 3     2 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 7    8 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 8     8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 9     8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 10    2 p.m.
Thurs., Feb 14    8 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 15     8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 16     8 p.m.

TICKETS: Regular tickets are $28, with a discounted price of $25 for Senior/Student/Military.  Thursday night performances are special Student Nights, wherein students can receive half price tickets with a valid student I.D.  Showtimes are 8 p.m. from Thursday - Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.  Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged.  Tickets are available online, or by calling the Box Office at 904.249.0289.

LOCATION: Players By The Sea Theatre
      106 6th Street North
      Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
      (904) 249-0289