Friday, January 24, 2020

The Lit Af Tour 2020 hosted by ‘Martin Lawrence is coming to JAX

Martin last came to Jacksonville, FL in 2018; and he’s coming back once again.  AEG Presents has announced that The LIT AF Tour, hosted by Martin Lawrence, will embark on another nationwide tour in 2020.  The 25+ date tour will kick off on Friday, January 31, 2020 in Washington D.C. at the Capital One Arena including a stop in Jacksonville, Florida at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 8, 2020 (featuring Rickey Smiley, DeRay Davis, Jay Pharoah, Tommy Davidson, Benji Brown in JAX), and conclude on Saturday, May 30, 2020 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Other stops include Barclays Center and Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

Martin has proven to be a real touring force over the last years selling out marquee arenas across the country.  His enduring film and TV resume is timeless and it has been such a pleasure and honor to work with one of the most legendary comedy forces in the business,” says Jesse Stoll, Senior Talent Buyer for AEG Presents. “Following on the heels of Bad Boys III, he is bringing some of his biggest and baddest friends on the road continuing the LIT AF brand and bracing the world for a killer comedy explosion!”

“Being on the road with this group of funny AF comedians is a blast,” says Lawrence. “Bringing the tour back out on the road is always exciting, no two shows are the same and we all bring something different to the party.”

The LIT AF Tour 2020 follows the anticipated release of Bad Boy For Life, and Lawrence’s 2018 LIT AF Tour, presented by AEG.  2018’s tour spanned 35 cities, more than 280k+ tickets sold, and grossed more than $18million.  The star-studded line-up included: Rickey Smiley, DeRay Davis, Michael Blackson, Jay Pharoah, and Bruce Bruce.  2020’s line-up introduces new talent to the bill such as Lil’ Rel, Lil’ Duval, Hannibal Burress, and Tommy Davidson. Line-up varies by city, and details can be found on the website below.

Martin Lawrence
2020 Lit Af Tour

Friday May 8, 2020
7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: The full tour itinerary is listed on the tour’s website.  For ticket information and lineup by city, please visit HERE.

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

Opera ‘La Traviata’ in JAX for one night

Teatro Lirico D'europa’s La Traviata will play Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center January 30, 2020 for one performance only!

G. Verdi’s La Traviata is set in 19th Century Paris and is the famous story of a young man, Alfredo Germont, who falls deeply in love with a wealthy French prostitute, Violetta Valery.  Without Alfredo’s knowledge, his father visits Violetta and asks her to give up her relationship with his son because it has brought shame upon their entire family; the generous woman agrees. At the conclusion of the tragic story, Violetta dies of tuberculosis in the arms of Alfredo.

Teatro Lirico D’Europa was created in 1988 by the late Yves Josse, a former ballet divo and brilliant French arts promoter, and Giorgio Lalov, a young Bulgarian opera singer who made his debut at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, at the age of 25 while participating in Scala’s famous international training program for young singers.  The collaboration between Josse and Lalov was a huge success in a very short time, resulting in tours with over 250 performances a season throughout France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Sicily, and Portugal.  The tours included performances for: Opera Dijon, performances at Salle Pleyel in Paris; Okinawa Performing Arts Center, Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen; Theatre Carre in Amsterdam; Congresshaus in Zurich; Theatre Trinidade in Lisbon; Teatro Atlantida in Barcelona; Salida de La Compania in Madrid; Teatro Cervantes, Madrid; Teatro Bueno Vallejo, Madrid; Teatro Lope de Vega in Seville; Le Cirque Royale in Brussels & L’Atrium Theatre on the Island of Martinique.

La Traviata

DATE: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 TIME: 7:30 p.m.

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

TICKETS: start at $25 for adults and $12.50 for children (12 and under), 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.

Arabic Women brings art exhibit to PBTS

‘Home’!  It is a physical manifestation of our identity.  As a built environment it is imbued with social and cultural meaning, while it provides shelter, security, and a place for our daily activities. Home is the surrounding landscape, both public and private.  Home is also an emotional space where we find a sense of belonging and attachment.

Home is a complex concept that has a diversity of meanings for all of us, but especially for those who are displaced.  In this exhibition women, from Iraq, Syria, and Egypt share their experiences of home...from tables where tea connects friends and family to the trauma of war and the need to seek refuge.  Home has often been neither ‘here’ nor ‘there’, but somewhere in-between.

For all of the women whose stories are told in this installation, this city has become their home.  The process of integration is long and complicated, filled with frustration and joy, new experiences and the heaviness of all that has been lost.  Preserving their cultures, building new relationships, and feeling welcome and whole in a new place is how most now define home.

As these women create a space where empathy flows freely, they are also countering the dangerous rhetoric, war mongering, and restrictive immigration policies that are far too prevalent, today and throughout America’s history.  We are all asked to recognize and reject the xenophobia and racism inherent in the calls ‘to go home’, knowing that it is in the honoring of our differences and the connectedness of our humanity that our shared home is strengthened.

The works displayed in the Players By The Sea’s lobby gallery are a selection of those that were in the original exhibition held at Yellow House in the Fall of 2019, which included the works of 15 women.  The show is the result of a partnership among: Artugee, an organization that uses art as a means for social connection, economic empowerment, and advocacy for Arab American women making their home in Northeast Florida; the Florida Immigrant Coalition and We Are All America organizations; and Yellow House, an organization committed to the intersection of art and social justice. It was co-curated by Malath Alarnosi, Basma Alawee, and Hope McMath, director of Yellow House.

Players by the Sea is thrilled to bring this work to the local community.  The community will be able to witness this work when they buy tickets to see “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum”, Players by the Sea’s first musical of 2020.  Tickets are available online now, or by calling (904) 249-0289.  You won’t want to miss this cultural experience!

Meaningful artwork presented in lobby gallery

January 24 — February 15. 2020

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

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Wanda Willis welcomed to the Cummer Museum

Wanda Willis
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is pleased to welcome Wanda Willis as Director of Community Development, a significant appointment that will support the Museum’s vision of being one of the country’s most relevant and accessible art museums.  Her tenure begins on February 3, 2020.

Strengthening the Museum’s efforts to be an inclusive arts and culture institution for all, the Director of Community Development will be the Museum’s senior outreach officer, and will be responsible for extending the Museum’s brand, mission and identity into the Northeast Florida community — and, in collaboration with the CEO, inviting the community into the Museum.

“Ninah Cummer imagined that the Museum she founded would be a ‘center of beauty and culture for all of Jacksonville,’” said the Cummer Museum’s George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director & Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adam Levine.  “The Director of Community Development is a structural addition to the Museum’s staff that ensures we achieve our founder’s inclusive vision, and there is no person better-suited for this role than Wanda Willis. Her reputation and accomplishments in this community speak for themselves, and her dedicated track record of strengthening some of Jacksonville’s anchor institutions will add tremendous value to the Cummer.

A leader with extensive experience in relationship development and strategic planning, and a supporter of arts and culture in Jacksonville, Willis will lead the Museum’s efforts to cultivate meaningful partnerships with various stakeholder institutions and promote strong community engagement.  Most recently, Willis worked at the Florida State College at Jacksonville Foundation as Associate Director of Development for Major Gifts; previously, she served Edward Waters College as Assistant Vice President of Institutional Advancement.  She currently is president of the Bold City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and has served on numerous boards and committees for organizations that include WJCT, Teach for America, Women’s Giving Alliance, Junior League of Jacksonville and the Bridge of Northeast Florida.

“The vision of the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is to be a vital partner that connects diverse audiences and is inclusive and representative of our community,” said Wanda Willis. “I am both honored and thrilled to be a part of the team, enhancing the work they already have done to enrich our community and create an institution for all to enjoy and experience.  I look forward to fostering a sense of belonging among our audiences, connecting visitors to the arts, gardens and each other, creating new relationships with engaged partners and, most importantly, welcoming everyone to the Museum.”

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens

  829 Riverside Avenue
  Jacksonville, Florida 32204
  (904) 356-6857

  Hours of Operation & Admission

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

‘Whitney Houston’ will be back in JAX via ‘Belinda Davids’

Her last time here in JAX was 2018, and she was fabulous.  Showtime Australia’s acclaimed tribute concert The Greatest Love of All: A Tribute to Whitney Houston starring Belinda Davids is making its second visit to the U.S., following rave reviews of its debut tour last year.  The show will play Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center on January 26, 2020 for one performance only.  In fact, the positive feedback last year was so overwhelming that many of those venues have already locked in encore performances.

Producers are determined to also visit some of the regions that missed out last year, such as the North Western states, and take in as many new venues as possible in order to introduce the show to fresh audiences.

Producer and Director of the show, Johnny Van Grinsven, explained the reaction he received to the first U.S. tour: “Actually, the overwhelming reaction we got from people was ‘surprise’.  So many people said they weren’t expecting that level of show, and people who haven’t seen Belinda before are always shocked to hear her voice in real life because it really is unique, she really is a very special talent. But now they’ve heard her firsthand they can’t get enough of it and that’s why we’re coming back to the U.S. so soon – pure demand.”

A five-piece band, backing vocalists and troupe of choreographed dancers and acrobats will again accompany Davids on stage in the full-scale concert production which also boasts state-of-the-art sound, custom-designed lighting, LED walls, theatrical effects and a swath of delicately hand-crafted gowns and costumes.

All of Houston’s most memorable tunes are lined up for Davids’ treatment during the two-hour production, including Pop highlights I Wanna Dance With Somebody, How Will I Know and I’m Every Woman, favorites from her movie career such as Queen of the Night and Exhale (Shoop Shoop) and of course all her most iconic and timeless ballads including I Have Nothing, Didn’t We Almost Have it All, Run to You, One Moment in Time and I Will Always Love You.

Davids is quoted as saying, “U.S. audiences are amazing, they truly appreciate Whitney’s legacy and her music is very personal to them and you can feel that from the stage.  To look out and see people feeling every note and nuance and emotion that you sing is so intimate.  That’s what it’s all about.  I can’t wait to go back.”

*This production is presented by Showtime Australia which is not affiliated with the Estate of Whitney Houston. 
For more information, visit Belinda’s website.  Pick up your tickets today!

 “The Greatest Love of All:
A Tribute to Whitney Houston

  Starring: Belinda Davids

DATE: Saturday, July 21, 2018
TIME: 8 p.m.
Take a look HERE to see if she will be coming to a venue near you.

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

TICKETS: start at $44, plus applicable fees. 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. Discounts for groups of 10 + may be available by calling (904) 632-5050.

Stage Aurora presents ‘A Dinner With Booker T.’

Update: Jan. 29. New caterer to be announced through the Stage Aurora website.

“Dinner With Booker T.”
, written and performed by Darryl Reuben Hall, will be presented February 8, 2020 6:30PM at Worsham Hall located at 1100 Stockton Street, Jacksonville, FL.  The dinner show will be presented dinner-theatre-style.

About the Show: Darryl Reuben Hall takes the audience on a journey into the life of Booker T. Washington by portraying the many friends and enemies that kept him strong in the fight for equality from a United States Officer to a General, a Coal Miner to Mrs. Ruffner, 14 characters in all.  Due to its historical nature, some may find some of the language offensive as narrative follows southern newspaper headlines as well as comments made by senators and other politicians alike.  "Dinner with Booker T." is an inside historical look into the life of one of America's greatest orators and leader of the Negro race, Mr. Booker T. Washington and based on his rise from slavery, to student, to educator, to national and worldwide leader.  This 60-minutes work is comprised of original rhetoric, research, song, dance, speeches, historical dialogue, and visual presentations.  Mr. Booker T. Washington was catapulted to national acclaim following his 1895 Atlanta Exposition Compromise Speech.

Darryl Reuben Hall has been noted for his philanthropy, theater directing, show production and acting in such theatrical shows as: “A Raisin in the Sun, Bag It, Black Arts Festival, Colored Museum, Color Purple, Crowns, Dream Girls Driving Miss Daisy, Fences, FRAT House, Friends, God’s Trombones, Harlem of the South, Little Shop of Horrors, Louis N Ella, Miss Ever's Boys, Motown, Respect, Sinner Man, Soldier’s Story, The Me Nobody Knows, Three Divas, To Kill a Mockingbird, Steel Magnolias, and The WIZ” and other notable productions too numerous to mention along with other venues in cities across the US and other countries.  Hall has appeared with several actors/actresses including: Angela Robinson, Ella Joyce, Melba Moore Ertha Kitt & Scott Whitehurst - just to name a few.

“Hall does a brilliant job at capturing the realistic nature of the dinner's backlash.” - Brooke Clariday, Theatre Reviews.  “Hall is earnest in his characterization of Washington.” - Nancy Bishop-Third Coast Review.

Get your tickets today because tomorrow may be too late.

“Dinner With Booker T.”
 Starring: Darryl Reuben Hall

Sat., Feb. 8, 2020  TIME: 6:30 p.m.

LOCATION: Good Shepherd Episcopal
      (Worsham Hall)
      1100 Stockton Street
      Jacksonville, FL. 32204

TICKETS: Admission: $45 includes dinner.  For tickets and more information, please contact Stage Aurora Theatrical Company at (904) 765-7373 or visit Brothers 2000 (904) 768-6004 located at 5238-1 Norwood Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32208.  You may also purchase tickets at Stage Aurora Box Office.