Wednesday, March 6, 2019

‘Legally Blonde’ was a HIT at the Thrasher-Horne Center

If you missed the production of the Broadway hit showLegally Blonde the Musical at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park - you really missed a treat.  It might have been inconvenient for a Tuesday night out on the town, but the unwieldiness of the date did not affect the entertainment for that evening.  The show was fabulous!  If the performance comes to a location near you, make sure you get your tickets today.

Kudos go out to Sound Design engineer Steve Rogers, for finding and correcting the audio mishap at the beginning of the second act.  Instead of trying to troubleshoot the problem while the audience sat in the dark, the staff tastefully made an announcement, turned the lights up and made the corrections very quickly.

The stunning Live Music was Conducted by Andrew Smithson and Associate Director and Keyboardist - Eddie Carney.  The magnificent sounds were enhanced also by: Reeds - Henry Hernandez, Trumpet - Melinda Ho, Trombone - Eric Spencer, Bass - Tim O’Hara, Drums - Brad Bailey and Guitar by Meghan Doyle.  The live music gave depth to the visuals and assistance to the magnificent vocals and dance numbers.

The Set designed, by Randel Wright, moved across the stage with the ease of so many cast members (some of whom play multiple roles).  The gorgeous Video Design of Jon Infante, that changed continually in the background, was a real treat for the eyes and an addendum to the storyline.  If you like bling-bling and sparkles, then you’ll appreciate the work done by Costume Designed - Derek Lockwood.  Elle Woods and her sorority sisters really stood out in both song and dance.  Bravo to the two dogs in the cast: Bruiser and Rufus - they almost stole it.

The 2019 National Tour of Legally Blonde is produced by Daniel Sher of Big League Productions, Inc.  The musical is directed by Jeff Moss, with choreography by Bob Richard and it is a “must see”.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

‘True West’ to be featured at Players by the Sea Theatre

“It's clear, funny, naturalistic. It's also opaque, terrifying, surrealistic.  If that sounds contradictory, you're on to one aspect of Shepard's winning genius; the ability to make you think you're watching one thing while at the same time he's presenting another,” so says the San Francisco Chronicle about True West”, the play that’s up next at Players by the Sea Theatre in Jacksonville Beach.

Sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer have chosen extremely different lives.  Their sibling rivalry violently erupts as they compete for the attention of a Hollywood producer, each trying to sell him a story for a new motion picture.  “True West” is unsettling and intense.  This American-Classic tackles identity, family and self-doubt.

Director Brian Niece says “The theatre should be a safe place to do the dangerous work of facing ourselves - what's true and what's real about ourselves - and this play, in particular, gives us an opportunity to do that.”  Niece’s process of working with the powerhouse four-actor cast revolves around uncovering that truth and pushing further into the words of Sam Shepard.

“With all material, what’s most important to me is the honesty of what you’re doing. I think as an audience member, that’s what is most important as well -- is really believing what’s happening in front of you and the fact that it’s happening for the first time in front of you. For me, being honest through the choices of the character and the given circumstances of the play -- that’s paramount to a spectacular performance, not just a mediocre one,” says Josh Andrews, playing Austin.

All four actors are making their Players by the Sea debuts in True West! The cast is Josh Andrews, Tyler Hammond, Tyrone Thornhill and Brooklyn Murphy. Each actor brings a diverse set of rich theatrical and film experience to the production. True West is directed by Brian Niece in his Players by the Sea debut, with stage management by Kristin Livingston.

The process of bringing this story to life further exemplifies Players by the Sea’s mission of enriching the community through excellence in theatre.  The Jacksonville Beach community theatre hopes to create and spark discussion and profound thought. Suzanne Hudson-Smith, Executive Director, says that “Let’s have a conversation!  Though the play written in the late 1970s, the conversation for generations has been about the mixed messages our culture sends to men, and the way these continue to shape male identity. Sam Shepard is a master in exposing relationships of rawness.”

True West

Fri., March 15, 2019 8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 16    8 p.m.
Thurs. Mar. 21    8 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 22    8 p.m.

Sat., Mar. 23    8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 24    2 p.m.
Thurs., Mar. 28   8 p.m.

Fri., Mar. 29    8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 30    8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 31    2 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

New exhibit at the Thrasher Horne in Orange Park

The Art Guild of Orange Park presents “Fin, Feather & Fur” an exhibit of work by member-artists who represent a variety of ideas, images and interpretations through Fine Art.  The creators of these works reflect unique work; a collaboration of interests, techniques, media applications, and experiences.  The juried show will contain the finest examples of photography, pottery, drawings, paintings, collage, or mixed media - 2 D and 3 D works: Art at its Best.

The Art Guild of Orange Park was established in 1973 to celebrate the fine arts and to promote the creation of art by the many talented artists living in the Clay County area.  The Guild is a strong supporter of its members encouraging artists to express their own individuality, talents, and skills.  Throughout the years, both professional and non-professional members have stated that the Art Guild of Orange Park was a crucial stepping stone to the betterment of both careers and interests.

Also, celebrate art in Clay County on
Thursday, March 14th from 5:30
8 p.m.  This is a free event offering a fun-filled evening of artistic exploration, including question and answer sessions with The Art Guild of Orange Park, multiple creative vendors in the lobby, food, music and giveaways!

Fin, Feather & Fur

DATES:  Fri., Mar. 1, 2019 – Sat., June 15, 2019
Thurs., Mar. 14th from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

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

The Thrasher-Horne Center is a not-for profit performing arts venue and conference center owned and operated by St. Johns River State College.  The Thrasher-Horne Center is located on the Orange Park campus.

Garden Concert: ‘Hear In Now’ at the Cummer

In partnership with Avant Arts, join the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens for a concert with Hear In Now, featuring: Mazz Swift, Tomeka Reid, and Silvia Bolognesi.  This world-class collective is a string trio that composes and improvises fluidly among free jazz and contemporary classical, folk music, and avant-garde.  Be prepared to be engaged by their signature weaving of song, melody, and improvisation in a rich, unique, and diverse musical experience that speaks directly to your soul.  Expect to be transported.

The Garden Concert series takes place in the beautiful and historic Cummer Gardens overlooking the St. Johns River.  Guests are invited to bring chairs, picnics, and beverages to enjoy an evening of music under the stars.  Reservations are required.  See below for further information.

General Admission: Guests may bring blankets, chairs, food and alcoholic beverages. Cummer CafĂ© can prepare your meal; to pre-order call (904).899-6022 or
email by 3 p.m. Friday, March 8. Your meal will be ready for you to pick up in the Loggia when you arrive at the concert.  Beer, wine, sodas, and light snacks will also be available for purchase that evening.

Reserved Tables: Includes concert reservation and seating for 10 only.  The purchase of a table must be made by one person or group for the entire table via one payment by check or credit card.  The museum is unable to accept checks or credit cards for individual seats at tables.  There are a limited number of tables available.

The Cummer Museum is a non-smoking facility and do not permit candles or live flames to be used at the Cummer Museum. Battery-operated candles are permissible.  *In the case of inclement weather, this concert will be moved indoors.

Garden Concert
“Hear In Now”

Date: Sat., Mar 9, 2019
Time: Doors open at 6 p.m.
   Concert from 7 to 9 p.m.

Tickets: Members $20, Non-Members $25, Reserved table with seating for 10 $400

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