Tuesday, October 29, 2019

ʽPlayers By The Sea’ announces the cast of ʽA Christmas Carol’

The holiday season is right around the corner.  A holiday classic vamped with diversity and a magical vision is coming to the beaches.  Rehearsals for Players by the Sea’s holiday show, “A Christmas Carol”, are underway.  The Charles Dickens classic, that runs December 6 through 22, 2019 is filled with diverse talent.

Directed by Suzanne Hudson-Smith, Players Executive Director, this timeless story is complete with Scrooge, the three spirits, and thirty community actors, young and old, who bring the tale to life and transport you to London.  “Over 50 people auditioned,” stated Hudson-Smith, “what an incredible display of community spirit for this holiday offering.”

The cast is official!  Here’s who you can expect on stage for “A Christmas Carol”:
Old Joe – Frankie Rady; Ebenezer Scrooge – Elgin Moore; Bob Cratchit – Adam Thompson; Fred – Shawn Stermer; Jacob Marley – Bob Shellenberger; Belle – Hannah Cereghino; Lucy/Fezziwig Daughter #1 – Anna Hobbs; Caroline/Fezziwig Daughter #2 – Victoria Pregent; Caroline’s Husband/Fezziwig Guest #1 – Christian Douglas; Boy Scrooge/Peter Cratchit – Jack Lockett; Boy at Crossroad – Noah Toops; Boy at Crossroads – Tiyuka Jamba; Young Adult Scrooge – Andres Bravo; Fan/Belinda Cratchit – Claire Smith; Mr. Fezziwig – Ruben Oliva; The Ghost of Christmas Present – Jackie Jantzen; Gentleman #1/Mrs. Fezziwig – Kenggy Bravo; Fezziwig Guest #2/Topper – Mason George; Mrs. Cratchit – Lisa Fleming; Undertakers Woman– Jeanie Lijol; Charwoman/Business Man #1 – Catherine Courtney; Gentlemen #2/Laundress/Business Man #2 – Sherry Rosen; Tiny Tim – Connor Oliva; Fezziwig Daughters #2/Julia Fred’s Wife – Catherine Tetzlaff; Fezziwig Guest #3/Business Man #3 – Ben Sparenberg; Ghost of Christmas Past – Farah Nesargi; Gillian Cratchit – Avery Graves; Fezziwig Daughters #3/Martha Cratchit daughter – Arden Trusty; Miranda Cratchit – Madison Oliva; Caroler /Want – Olivia Rodgers (Understudy Miranda Cratchit); Ignorance – Freya Nesargi (Tiny Tim Understudy).

This presentation of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is an adaptation by Romulus Linney of Ebenezer Scrooge's journey from an embittered, ungenerous creature into a giving, caring human being at the hands of three spirits, who, one Christmas Eve, show him what life means.  This richly textured play brings the full spirit of the book, as well as those of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come, to life on the stage.

“The Beaches community can stay out at the beach this holiday season and enjoy a timeless classic tale of transformation,” Hudson-Smith said.  The vision for this version of A Christmas Carol is one of ghostly movement.  “I imagine the set becoming a character in and of itself,” she said.  The audience will be transported to the foggy city of London to experience some magical effects for ghostly flight.

Players by the Sea is the perfect place to spread the cheer! This Holiday season, treat your staff or clients to a Live Performance of a Christmas Carol and a PreShow or Post-Show party in our Studio Theatre and Classroom space.  Contact the theatre for more information and to schedule your Carol encounter.

A Christmas Carol

Fri. Dec. 6, 2019  8 p.m.
Sat., Dec.7      8 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 12   8 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 13    8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 14    8 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 15    2 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 19   8 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 20    8 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 21    8 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 22    2 p.m.

TICKETS: General Admission tickets are $28.  Student/Senior/Military may purchase theirs for $25.

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

ABOUT PLAYERS BY THE SEA— For over fifty-three years, Players by the Sea has brought quality creative and classic theatre to the Jacksonville community.  Players mission is to enrich the community through excellence in theatre.  The nonprofit community theatre welcomes all creative artists to participate in making the magic of theatre come to life, whether on stage, through advocacy or assisting backstage.

Romanza in St. Augustine ‘Spreads the Love’!

In its tenth year promoting and producing performing arts and cultural events in St. Augustine, the Romanza Organization will now support smaller, yet noteworthy, independent cultural projects.  Known for its highly acclaimed Romanza Festivale, the organization wants to further induce the development of new and excellent cultural offerings.

Each year, Romanza will grant 3 to 5 awards to performers, artists, bands, troupes, and cultural organizations.  Awards will range from $500 to $2,000 each, in support of selected arts and culture activities that show excellence.

“All of us at Romanza are extremely grateful to members of the St. Augustine community for the support we have received throughout the years. This is our way of giving back” stated Albert Syeles, Director of the Romanza.

Applications for 2020 must be submitted before November 1, 2019.  The events receiving funding must take place the following year EXCEPT during festival season - the months of March, April, and May.  All activities must take place in St. Augustine.

This is the Last Week for all artists, groups and organizations with projects in the music, dance, visual arts, and film/video/media disciplines to apply.  For more information about this award, visit HERE.

‘Jekyll & Hyde The Musical’ is just what the doctor ordered

Photos: Jamie Iames Repper & Alhambra
If you like/liked the intrigue of stories like “Dr. Frankenstein” or Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, “Psycho” or “Vertigo”, then you need to take time and make your reservation right now for “Jekyll & Hyde the Musical at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, in Jacksonville, FL.  The acting, singing and dancing are marvelous throughout the show.

Justin Murphy, who has not performed at the Alhambra since 2008, does quite well in playing the dual-lead roles of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde.  Murphy last performed at the Alhambra as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar (See center photo in collage).

Also returning are Gary Marachek* as Gabriel John Utterson (Marachek last appeared in the Christmas Carole as Ebenezer Scrooge),  Kenneth Uibel as General Lord Glossop (audiences will remember Uibel for his long-time portrayal of the ghost in the Alhambra’s Christmas Carole).  Jessica Booth as Lucy Harris has been in numerous presentations at the Alhambra and we watched her blossom into the national performer that she has become.  Her Mom (Lisa Valdini*) & Alhambra producer/director (Tod Booth*) are very proud of their daughter.

Also in the lineup’s main characters, whom you’ve seen in previous Alhambra shows are: Kurt McCall* (Sir Danvers Carew), David Diehl (Simon Stride), Patti Eyler* (Lady Beaconsfield), Alec Hadden (The Bishop of Basingstoke), Andrew LeJeune (Lord Savage), Melvin Nash (Sir Archibald Proops) and Traci Bair* as Emma Carew.  What a marvelous performance and kudos to these capable actors.

Lee Hamby, Katie Nettle*, Cat Brindisi*, Leland Pettis, Carley Levy and Erin Leigh Knowles are six performers who sing and dance the night away in this English Operatic musical; thanks to musical direction of Cathy Murphy Giddens, and stage manager/choreographer - Shain Stroff*.

* Denotes the player who is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association

From the dining room: The Executive Chef Dejuan Roy’s menu is simply superb.  Even though Chef Dejuan is on vacation, he made sure that his selections were created to the letter.  The following are selections that were sampled by this writer and my tablemates.  You will be delighted with any of these choices. First Course – Pumpkin Bisque with crème fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds; or a Kale Salad with roasted fall vegetables {The soup is delightfully warm in temperature and not chilled.  If you like kale, then you will enjoy the salad}.  Second Course features a choice of Braised Pork Shank with polenta and pole beans {This is a large portion of meat as you would enjoy from an osso bucco shank.  It is flavorful and very delicious}; Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya {a little spicy, yet scrumptious}; house-baked Toffee Chocolate Cream Pie {melts in your mouth}.

Jekyll & Hyde the Musical

DATES: October 23, 2019 through November 24, 2019

SHOW TIMES: Evening shows Tuesday through Friday 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 12:30 p.m.  Sunday Matinees are at 1:50 p.m.  Doors open at 12 p.m. and the meal is server until 1:50 p.m.

DRESS: “Business Casual”, or “Sunday Best”.

TICKETS: Prices range from $54 – $61.  Ticket prices include: a plated three-course meal that changes for each show, and is served directly to your table; a Broadway-style performance and complimentary parking.  Tickets may be purchases on line, or by calling (904) 641-1212.
     **Prices do NOT include gratuity, professional photos, or orders from the bar**

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