Friday, February 7, 2020

Broadway Musical “Waitress” comes to Orange Park

Come to the Thrasher-Horne Center and meet Jenna, a waitress and expert pie-maker who dreams of a way out of her small town and rocky marriage. Pouring her heart into her pies, she crafts desserts that mirror her topsy-turvy life such as “The Key (Lime) to Happiness Pie” and “Betrayed By My Eggs Pie.” When a baking contest in a nearby county — and a satisfying encounter with someone new — show Jenna a chance at a fresh start, she must find the courage to seize it.  Change is on the menu, as long as Jenna can write her own perfectly personal recipe for happiness.

“Waitress” tells a story of redemption, recovery, forbidden love and a reward for doing the right thing in the end.  The house was packed on the third night of the stage show in JAX.  Young and mature were in their seats as they enjoyed the scenery changes, vocals, and an evening of Broadway in Florida.  If you’ve never seen the movie or the musical, you’re in for an eye-opening experience.

Situations happen to us every day and sometimes we’re left to “look for love in all the wrong places”, yet, a moment of indiscretion, like that in “Waitress”, led to a life of joy, and fulfillment in the end, as things are turned around for the good. People may treat you rotten, yet if you put your trust in God and believe that He is the master of this universe, then things may change for the better.

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this hilarious hit Broadway musical features original music and lyrics by 7-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles (‟Brave” & "Love Song"), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam), original choreography by Lorin Latarro (Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Waiting For Godot), recreated by tour choreographer Abbey O’Brien and original direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Hair, Pippin), recreated by tour director Susanna Wolk.

“WAITRESS is a little slice of heaven!” says Entertainment Weekly, and is “sweet, sassy and passionate,” according to New York Magazine.  "It's an empowering musical of the highest order!" raves the Chicago Tribune.  Don't miss this uplifting and hilarious musical celebrating friendship, motherhood, and the magic of a well-made pie.

DATE: Mon. February 10, 2020
TIME: 7:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Prices range from $49-$109 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.  The Thrasher-Horne Center is a performing arts venue and conference center owned and operated by St. Johns River State College.

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

Donation to the Cummer Museum to support a position

Photo: Bob Self
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is excited to announce that long-time supporters J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver have made a $3 million gift through the Weaver Family Foundation Fund to endow the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Chief Curator position, currently held by Holly Keris.

The Weavers’ decades of generosity to and leadership at the Cummer Museum began in 1997 and has included important initiatives such as Weaver First Saturday Free for All – free admission for all visitors the first Saturday of each month.  Their Weaver Family Foundation Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida also has provided long-term support for Art Connections, the Museum’s interactive learning center for children and adolescents, as well as Cummer in the Classroom, a comprehensive art education program for Title 1 elementary school children.

“The core of an art museum is its artistic program — it is this content that engages diverse audiences, that provides the stimulus for educational programming, and, at our institution, that connects gardens and galleries,” said Pam D. Paul, chair of the Cummer Museum’s Board of Trustees.  “The work of developing this program belongs first and foremost to the Chief Curator, and Delores and Wayne’s thoughtful gift guarantees quality in this role into the future — ensuring both the Cummer Museum’s sustainability, as well as its continued relevance to Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.”

Designed to highlight and celebrate the Cummer Museum's extensive holdings of Eugène Louis Charvot, the largest collection of Charvot works in the world, this exhibition will be a reflection of this accomplished artist and prominent member of French society. Through an in-depth review of his career as an artist, the exhibition will focus on Charvot’s breadth of processes, productivity and inspiration in painting, etching, and drawing. The exhibition will coincide with a new catalogue about the artist, published by Holly Keris and the Cummer Museum and D. Giles Ltd. London with guest curator, Susan Gallo.

Delores Barr Weaver noted, “Our gift is meant to ensure that the Cummer’s Chief Curator continues to be a leading voice in our cultural community for generations to come.”  Because of their inspiring generosity to provide access and meaningful connections with art and nature, the Weavers encourage and advance Ninah Cummer’s vision for the Museum as a 'center of beauty and culture for all of Jacksonville.’

Holly Keris, J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Chief Curator, have been with the Cummer Museum for 17 years and has been instrumental in the Museum's impactful exhibition season.  They hope to see you at the Museum soon to experience this season's exhibitions Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt and Eugène Louis Charvot opening February 11, 2020.

About the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens: For almost 60 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens, and education. A permanent collection of more than 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers nearly 140,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities. For further information, including hours, visit their website.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

PBTS seeking local talent for next show

Players By The Sea is only one month away from casting their next musical, “Spring Awakening”. On February 8th and 9th, the theatre will welcome local talent to audition for the award-winning musical that takes the Mainstage from April 24 - May 16. Auditions will be held at Players by the Sea Theatre at 106 6th Street North.

Director Bradley Akers, who was last seen at Players directing The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, shared his thoughts on how to have a successful audition: “I WANT TO CAST YOU!  So, be yourself.  Be authentic.  Be bold. Be brave.”

Auditions for Girls and Boys will take place on Saturday, February 8th.  Registration will run from 11 - 11:55 a.m. with auditions beginning promptly at 12 noon.  Auditions for Adult Man and Adult Woman will take place on Sunday, February 9th starting at 6 p.m.  Registration will run from 5:30 - 5:55 p.m.  Some actors from Saturday may be asked to read with those auditioning for the adult roles.

Actors auditioning for Girls and Boys are asked to prepare 16 – 32 bars of a musical theatre song in the style of any of the music found in Spring Awakening.  They should bring sheet music to the audition. An accompanist will be provided. No acapella auditions or recorded accompaniment will be permitted. They should dress for a dance audition and be prepared for cold readings from the script.

Actors auditioning for Adult roles do not need to be prepared to sing or dance.  They will only be asked to read from the script.  All actors should also bring a headshot, resume, and list of conflicts from February 8th through May 16.  The rehearsal schedule will be created based on cast-member conflicts.  Due to mature subject matter, only actors 16 and older will be considered for casting.

“The audition process is not only designed to align the casting dynamic of the show, but it’s also a way for us to interview each other and make sure it’s a right fit.  I’m looking for honesty, bravery, resilience, and safety in your choices (in your vocals, your movement, and your interpretations),” said Akers.

Please visit for more information about available roles.

About the Show – The winner of eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical), ‟Spring Awakening” explores the journey through adolescence with poignancy and passion.  It examines morality and sexual politics while unapologetically plumbing the depths of the hormonal teenage psyche in a way that feels both fresh and all too familiar.  This landmark musical is an electrifying fusion of sex, rock & roll, and 1890s Germany.  For more information on how to buy tickets, visit or call the Box Office at (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.

Grumpy’s Restaurant receives six ‘Bold City Best’ awards

Noted as Jacksonville’s “Best Kept Secret”, Grumpy’s Restaurant recently earned six “Bold City Best” awards, presented by The Florida Times-Union and  The traditional full-service Americana breakfast diner is a local favorite that brought home awards for their food, work environment, and leadership.

Grumpy’s won the most awards for the night out of any other nominees, earning “Best Restaurant Overall”, “Best Breakfast”, “Best Crab Cakes”, “Best Kept Secret”, “Best Place to work (Medium, 25-99 employees)”, and President and CEO Daniel DeLeon was presented with the “Mover & Shaker of the Year” award, beating fellow nominee and Jacksonville Jaguars owner, Shahid Kahn.

“We were really honored to be nominated and selected for all of these categories,” DeLeon said.  “Jacksonville holds such a special place in our heart and it’s very rewarding to hear that the community feels the same way about us.  We are more inspired and motivated than ever to deliver the best experience to the people of Jacksonville and North East Florida.  We hope to continue to impact the community and serve all: excellent home-style cooking, with sweet southern hospitality at a working-class price.”

Grumpy’s Restaurant
       834 Kingsley Ave.
       Orange Park, FL 32073
       (904) 215-1956

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Second annual ‘Clay Bridal Spectacular’ in JAX

Calling all bridal parties!  Thrasher-Horne Center presents the “Clay Bridal Spectacular.”  This event features the very best of local professionals in an intimate setting.  Brides and their party will have the opportunity for planning conversations in preparation of their weddings, with a variety of vendors.  Last year was such a success that the TH Center has done it again and  even bigger than before.

Wedding parties will also have the chance to register for vendor door prizes and a two grand prizes: a complimentary wedding venue rental from Thrasher-Horne Center and honeymoon accommodations of a 7 day/6 night Caribbean hotel stay from “It’s Your Day Bridal & Formal Boutique”.

Vendors currently include: A Unique Entertainment, Avondale Dance Directions, BC Entertainment, BPH Entertainment, Complete Weddings and Events, Destination Planning, DIRenee Creations, Dr. June Gentle, It’s Your Day Bridal & Formal Boutique, La Rosa Realty North Fl, LLC, Lees Alterations, Make-Up by Adie, Inc, Mary Kay – Atkins Music by Vince, Oh Sweet Heavens Decorating, Party Planning & Event Rentals, Orange Theory Fitness, Pinto Carriage Works, LLC, Primerica, Professional Concessions, Inc., Rhonda’s Bling Bash – Papparazzi Accessories, Rodan + Fields Independant Consultant, Sarah Miller, S&S Menswear, Southern Palms Studio, Thrasher-Horne Center, and Twins Luxury Limousines.

Clay Bridal Spectacular

DATE: Sun. Feb. 9, 2020
TIME: 12 noon to 4 p.m.

TICKETS: Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door and are available HERE online, or at the Thrasher-Horne Box Office, (904)-276-6815.

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

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.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

‘AFTHOTWTTF’ hits Players By The Sea with a jolt

Slap-Stick comedy comes to Players By The Sea with its latest rendition of the Tony Award winning Broadway hit, “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum”.  You still have an opportunity to experience this fast-paced comedy.  I wouldn’t wait too long if I were you.  This writer almost didn’t get a seat during the second week, but we were able to acquire one.  Don’t procrastinate!  Order your tickets today.

It’s not just a musical or a regular play, but AFTHOTWTTF reminds you more of the antics from watching TV shows like: The 3 Stooges, Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy or Monty Python.  This JAX Beaches cast has resurrected this presentation through the costumes, vocals, periodic set designs, choreography, and a fantastic six-piece band (Alexander Hernandez, Woodwinds; Andrew Phoenix, Drums & Keyboard II; Carson Smisek, Trumpet; Erin Barnes, Keyboard I; Kimberly Zielinski, Violin and Sean Tillis on Bass).

Hats off to the entire cast of this production including: Pseudolus – Al Emerick; Hero – Billy Speed; Philia – Julie Harrington; Hysterium – Paepaeala Pimienta; Senex – Allen LaMontagne; Domina – Amy Allen Farmer; Marcus Lycus – Christopher Humphries; Miles Gloriosus – Jimmy Alexander; Erronius – Jim Warren; Gymnasia – Chelsea Black; The Geminae – Shauna Clark and Anna Fleece; Vibrata – Kimberly Cooper York; Tintinabula – Amanda Jackson; Panacea – Charity Zappone & The Proteans – Jake McGraw, Chinua Richardson, and Kris Stam.  We in the audience, expected Jim Warren to make it around the block “one more time”.

About the production: “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum” is a hilarious Tony-winning musical and a non-stop laugh-fest.. The show takes us back to Ancient Rome for a unique and unforgettable production.  Pseudolus is the laziest slave in Rome, and has one wish, to purchase his freedom.  When his master and mistress leave for the day, he finds out that the young master has fallen in love with a virgin in the house of Marcus Lycus, a slave dealer specializing in beautiful women.  Pseudolus concocts a deal in which he will be freed if he can procure the girl for young Hero.  Of course, it can't be that simple as everything begins to go wrong. — John Vogel
Come early or stay late and see the meaningful art work of 15 Arabic Women.  The display will be in the lobby gallery from Jan. 24th - Feb. 15, 2020. (See two selections in the photo above).

A Funny Thing Happened
ººOn the Way to the Forum

Thurs., Feb. 6   8 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 7    8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 8    8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 9    2 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 13   8 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 14    8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 15    8 p.m.

TICKETS: Tickets are on sale now at or by calling the Box Office at 904.249.0289. General admission is $28 per ticket and Senior/Student/Military tickets are available for $25. Thursday Nights are Student Nights at PBTS with $14 tickets for students with a valid student I.D. at the door.  Group rates are available for parties larger than 15 people.

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