Saturday, July 20, 2019

‘SHREK’ brings the swamp to PBTS

Courtesy: Maxie Lamont Coleman III
When you enter Players By the Sea (a Little Theatre that makes a BIG Impact), you’ll be transported to the magical land of Far Far Away and greeted by Kenosha who is one of the admin assistants.  The tropical, swamp-like atmosphere puts you in the mood for SHREK the musical, which you don’t want to miss.  This show is entertaining from the opening number, to Donkey’s rendition of “I’m a Believer” at the end.

There are so many talented volunteer actors in this production of SHREK, whom you might have enjoyed at other theaters around JAX, and they have a treat for you at PBTS.  The audience is composed of patrons from the mature to the very young at heart and everyone seems to be entertained thoroughly.

If you missed opening night, you missed the delectable hors d'oeuvre presented by Chef Chriss of; the champagne toast, and the introduction to some of the creative team members – given by production manager Jereme Raickett.

Speaking of a creative team, some people (besides Jereme) whom you might have read in a program from the Alhambra Theater & Dining would be: Director/Actor - Jason Nettle, Actors Alec Hadden, Bob Pritchard, Walter Johnson, Deena Davis; Actresses - Katie Nettle, Kalea Leverette, & Lauren Albert; and former students from: Douglas Anderson School and Ponte Vedra High School.  These people’s talents have taken them to many other venues besides the establishment mentioned above.

Accolades go out to all the characters from the swamp and the castle.  The voices are very harmonious, especially the merging voices of the 3 Fiona characters (Katie Nettle, Reese O’Brien and Claira Williams).  The tremendous voice of The Dragon is brought to you by Jazz Zamor who sings in front of the Dragon puppet (kudos to the puppeteers).  The dancing is impeccably on-time especially from the Top Hat and Tails Ensemble, and the antics of The Three Blind Mice.

If you missed opening night, there are a few more available tickets for the other performances of “SHREK”.  Don’t miss Donkey, Shrek and all the other performers on stage now!

Sat., July 20    8 p.m.
Thurs. July 25    8 p.m.
Fri., July 26    8 p.m.
Sat., July 27    8 p.m.
Sun., July 28    2 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 1   8 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 2    8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 3    8 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 4    2 p.m.

Thurs., Aug. 8   8 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 9    8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 10    8 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 11    2 p.m.

Friday, July 19, 2019

The Cummer Gardens are flourishing once again

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is proud to announce the full reopening of its historic gardens, which sustained extensive damage from Hurricane Irma in 2017.  The $1.3 million reconstruction of the lower tier of the Museum’s historically significant English, Italian and Olmsted Gardens started in January 2019.  The project was completed in June 2019.  Historic records from the Cummer family archives, including plant logs, photographs and invoices, were incorporated into the reconstruction plans to preserve the original intent and historic character of the riverfront gardens, which were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

“The Cummer Gardens are among the most precious works of art in our permanent collection. We have been tirelessly working to restore the gardens for the community to enjoy, and welcome the community to celebrate this milestone with us all summer — especially during free access opportunities like Florida Blue Free Tuesdays, Weaver First Saturday Free for All and Summer Fridays, presented by PNC Bank,” said Adam Levine, Ph.D., the Museum’s George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director & Chief Executive Officer.

Hurricane Irma swept through Jacksonville on September 11, 2017. As a result of the storm and subsequent flooding of the St. Johns River, the lower tier of all three formal garden spaces are believed to have been submerged in as much as four feet of water for more than 24 hours.  The water uprooted plants, detached the railing along the river, contaminated the soil and damaged the physical infrastructure of the gardens, including drainage, electric, fencing and the well that services the landscape.

In January 2018, the Museum announced the selection of WLA Studio, an award-winning landscape architecture and planning firm based in Athens, Ga., to lead the garden reconstruction.  The firm’s experience in both historic landscape preservation and environmental design was critical to the Museum’s goal of preserving the atmospheric intent of the original gardens, while making necessary adjustments to reflect modern-day climate and soil conditions.  A comprehensive project team managed by Danis worked alongside WLA Studio.

Funds for the reconstruction came from grants and private donations from several benefactors, including the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), the State of Florida, the Garden Conservancy and the Garden Club of America’s Restoration Initiative.

“We are grateful to those organizations and individuals who committed support to bringing the Cummer’s gardens back to their former glory, and ensuring this institution remains a place for art and beauty for all of Jacksonville,” said Levine.

Through the Summer Fridays Program, sponsored by PNC Bank, admission to the gardens (along with the Museum’s permanent collection) is free from 4 - 9 p.m. tonight and every Friday through September 6, rain or shine.  Tonight’s theme is “Sunshine State: Flora, Fauna, and Festivities.” Activities will include:

• Silent disco on the front lawn
• Live music by The New Moon Ramblers
• Lawn games
• Succulent workshop
• Food available for purchase from the Cummer CafĂ© and Saffron Mediterranean Kitchen Food Truck
• Beverages available for purchase at pop-up bars throughout the campus.

Times Union JAX tickets are on the move

There are a limited amount of tickets left and it’s your last chance to become a season subscriber for the FSCJ Artist Series 19/20 Broadway in Jacksonville season!  As a matter of fact, there are just 250 packages left and they are going quickly, so don’t delay!

The 19/20 Broadway in Jacksonville lineup will include the eagerly anticipated Hamilton, Wicked, Rent 20th Anniversary Tour, Bandstand and Anastasia. A season package is the only way to guarantee your seats to all five shows.  All performances will be at the Times-Union Center located at 300 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.

Ticket packages for the 19/20 Broadway in Jacksonville season begin at just $250, averaging out to just $50 per show!  Tickets can be purchased at our box office from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling (904) 632-5000, or online 24/7 at

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, and access to other FSCJ Artist Series events, many at a discount.  Information regarding additional tickets for HAMILTON (if available) will be provided at a later date.  Subscriber ticket exchanges and ticket replacement may be restricted.  Subscribers are limited to purchasing four subscription seats, subject to availability.

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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

‘SHREK’ opens at Players By The Sea’s mainstage

This Friday, July 19th., marks opening night for the cast of “Shrek The Musical” at Players by the Sea.  After months of rehearsals, the cast of 30 actors and a creative team of 14 are so excited to share their hard work with you during their fourteen performances.

The hit musical Shrek
, set in a mythical “once upon of time” fantasyland, follows a large green ogre who calls an ugly green swamp his home.  After living in happy isolation for his entire life, Shrek is awakened by a pack of fairytale creatures who were evicted by the short-tempered Lord Farquaad.  In order the take back his swamp, Shrek embarks on an adventure to defeat the fire-breathing dragon that keeps the feisty Princess Fiona locked in a tower.  Come follow him on this musical journey filled with self-discovery, love and lots of laughs.

Jennifer Balestra, Stage Manager of Shrek The Musical, spoke about her experience:
What I’ve loved most about this production is how much I’ve learned about theater.  I’ve enjoyed learning from all the hard working, passionate
people around me.”



Fri., July 19, 2019 8 p.m.
(Starting at 6:30 p.m. on July 19th, Players will host a festive reception in the lobby that you won’t want to miss)
Sat., July 20    8 p.m.
Thurs. July 25    8 p.m.
Fri., July 26    8 p.m.

Sat., July 27    8 p.m.
Sun., July 28    2 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 1   8 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 2    8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 3    8 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 4    2 p.m.

Thurs., Aug. 8   8 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 9    8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 10    8 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 11    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 ($14) 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.  Tickets are still available for opening night!  Watch in awe as Jacksonville’s own dancers, singers and actors paint the town green.

LOCATION: Players By The Sea Theatre

      106 6th Street North
      Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
      (904) 249-0289

— For over fifty years, Players by the Sea has brought quality creative and classic theatre to the Jacksonville community.  With a team of only three full time workers, the theatre relies on volunteers to dedicate their time and talents to making each show a success.  Through the years, Players has grown in its operations, incorporated educational programs, and increased its membership and volunteer base.  PBS has not lost site of the main ideal its founders lived by — “the passion of individuals for creating satisfying theatre experiences to share with audiences.”


Local Florida students present Disney’s show - ‘Newsies’

FSCJ Artist Series and the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts are proud to present the 14th Annual High School Summer Musical Theatre Experience!  This program provides theatre opportunities to 7th-12th graders in the First Coast area and allows them to work hands-on with some of the highest recognized local and regional theatre professionals at the FSCJ Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts.  This year, participants will perform “NEWSIES” July 19-28 for six performances only!

It's time to carry the banner with Disney's NEWSIES!  Set in turn-of-the century New York City, NEWSIES is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged "newsies."  When titans of publishing raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what's right!

Based on the 1992 motion picture and inspired by a true story, NEWSIES feature a Tony Award-winning score by Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act) and Jack Feldman and a book by Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein (Kinky Boots).  Featuring the now classic songs: “Carrying the Banner,” “Seize theDay,” and “Santa Fe,” NEWSIES is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family and every audience.

DATES: Fri., July 19, 2019 TIMES: 7:30 p.m.
    Sat., July 20       7:30 p.m.
    Sun. July 21
       2 p.m.
    Fri. July 26       7:30 p.m.
    Sat., July 27       7:30 p.m.
    Sun., July 28       2 p.m.

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

TICKETS: $25 for Reserved Seating; $20 for seniors (55+), 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.
For tickets to NEWSIES, call the Wilson Center for the Arts Box Office at (904) 646-2222 or the FSCJ Artist Series Box Office at (904) 632-5000.
Tickets can also be purchased
online.  Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 632-5050 or emailing.   Parking is always free at the Wilson Center.