Imaginative Blue Guys Rule the Stage
Blue Man Group, Swamp Radio, Sea Wolf and Against Me! on tap
Family Night pre-show: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 21
Times-Union Center Lobby, 300 Water St., Downtown Jacksonville
Activities: Face painting, green screen photos in photo booth, arts and crafts and other activities sponsored by MOSH and MOCA.
BLUE MAN GROUP
No one really knows what to expect when the Men in Blue take the stage. The fusion of performance art, percussion, pop culture and a whole lot more sometimes make sense, and it almost always draws raves. Of course, there was that one TripAdvisor reviewer who saw the Vegas act and argued that the “Overpriced blue mimes SUCK!” (True story; Google it.) So, even these stunning, outrageous, imaginative blue guys can’t beat the Internet. Nevertheless, the vivid antics leave Blue Man virgins in a state of total bliss. Arrive late at your own peril — you could become part of the show. (Not in a good way.) 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21-23, 8 p.m. Jan. 24, 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 25, and 1:30 and 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, Downtown, $32-$82, 442-2929, artistseriesjax.org.
Don’t tell the Swamp Radio troupe that Jacksonville is searching for an identity. They see it in the community’s history and share it in poetry, story and song. The winter production “Moving Words” invites Irishman Derek Coghlan to spin a yarn on his upbringing and visual artist Barry Wilson to reveal the family heirloom that sparked inspiration. Tidbits owner Clara LeBlanc talks food with Belinda Hulin, local historian and Riverside guru Wayne Wood takes “A Backward Glance” again, and the Swamp Radio Band keeps jamming. 3 p.m.Jan. 19 at The Florida Theatre, Downtown, $22.50, 355-2787, floridatheatre.com.
BEEHIVE: THE ‘60S MUSICAL
Rekindling that love for big hair, strong voices and catchy tunes, the six-woman cast of “Beehive: The ‘60s Musical” belt out classics from the Chiffons and the Supremes as well as superstars who needed only one name — Aretha, Janis and Tina. And what’s a ‘60s musical without social commentary? Female empowerment and nostalgia dominate the scene in “Beehive.” With simple costumes and a basic set, it’s obvious that this production relies on pure talent. Jan. 16-Feb. 8 — 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday — at Players by the Sea, Jacksonville Beach, $28.
Alex Brown Church might just be the original One-Man Wolf Pack. The earnest Los Angeles folkie remains the only immovable piece of the live band Sea Wolf — named for the Jack London classic. Church goes solo on his current tour, playing stripped-down acoustic versions of an upcoming experimental album. Church’s sound often evokes natural imagery from his childhood exploring the Sierra Nevada mountains. With Colin Adkins of Civil Brute. 8 p.m. Jan. 16 at Jack Rabbits, San Marco, $15, jaxlive.com.
AMELIA ISLAND RESTAURANT WEEK
Fresh-off-the-boat seafood, traditional meals and eclectic cuisine merge during the 16th annual Amelia Island Restaurant Week. During the 10-day event, 18 participating area restaurants feature a three-course fixe-prix menu, each with a signature dish from the historic barrier island. The week kicks off at the Ritz-Carlton Cafe with the Farm-to-Table dining event. Meet and mingle with local restaurant chefs and Fernandina Beach seafood farmers as they present a four-course dining experience. Farm-to-Table is 6 p.m. Jan. 16, Ritz-Carlton Café, $96; Fixe Prix Menu: $19-$26, Jan. 16-26, 277-0717, ameliaislandrestaurantweek.com.
ST. AUGUSTINE FILM FESTIVAL
If you’re lining up to see “Paranormal Activity 5” and “The Legend of Hercules,” it’s time we intervened. The St. Augustine Film Festival offers a welcome alternative to the studios’ winter dump months, with more than 20 films and parties over four days. Jacksonville filmmaker Damien Lahey’s “Heroes of Arvine Place,” Danny Glover’s tale of forbidden love, “Chasing Shakespeare,” and films from Brazil, France, Israel, Spain and elsewhere might just turn some film biffs into buffs. Jan. 16-19 at Flagler College venues, Lightner Museum and Epic Theatre, St. Augustine, $45 for admission to all films and parties.
We have in fact been to Allentown, and what the Piano Man wrote some 32 years ago about the slow-motion implosion of a former steel giant still rings true. Billy Joel’s rare ability to so perfectly capture the ethos of a place, the brash, sexually charged angst of youth (“Only the Good Die Young”), or the beautiful sentiment of young love (“She’s Always a Woman”), is what — if you can ignore the poor-me pomposity of “The Entertainer” or whatever the fuck “River of Dreams” was — has made him a legend, and a legend with a deep catalogue at that. 8 p.m. Jan. 22 at Veterans Memorial Arena, Downtown, $48.50-$98.50, jaxevents.com.
Gainesville quartet Against Me! tours in support of “Transgender Dysphoria Blues,” which drops Jan. 21 as the punk rockers’ first full-band release since vocalist Laura Jane Grace transitioned into a woman. According to Rolling Stone, the new record lyrically addresses discontent with one’s sex, self-discovery and the loss of a friend. Sonically, all elements remain. “FUCKMYLIFE666,” a single from the record, features the band’s signature delivery of overdriven guitar, breakneck drumming and soaring chorus hooks. Grace’s voice bears every bit of piss-and-vinegar from previous efforts. With the band’s dedicated Florida fan base packed into an intimate venue the day after a much-anticipated album release, anarchy, disorder and good times are inevitable. 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at Freebird Live, 200 First St. N., Jacksonville Beach, $20, 246-2473, freebirdlive.com.
Don’t let the brass tan, bushy sideburns or meteorite-size pinky ring fool you: ’60s pop sensation Engelbert Humperdinck can still croon, scat and jive his way into your lady’s heart. “Humperdinckers” — the fan-coined moniker of the artist’s devoted followers and, yes, they do exist — swoon and rejoice. Emerging from a tradition of classic entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, Humperdinck interacts with his band and audience, incorporating humor and charisma into a set list filled with timeless hits (“Release Me,” “After the Lovin’,” “The Last Waltz”). Time may have rendered his style cheesy, but the charm hasn’t gone anywhere. 8 p.m. Jan. 21 at The Florida Theatre, Downtown, $40-$65, 355-2787, floridatheatre.com.