Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.

“Stalking Ottis Toole: A Southern Gothic”

FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE OF JACKSONVILLE THEATRE REVIEW A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM The presented the world premier of “” on April 6, 2017, for a run through April 9 in the Studio Theatre at the on FSCJ’s south campus. The play was written by FSCJ English professor , and is based on his book of the same name, which was published in 2013. Gilmore is the author of 14 books, most with a Southern setting. For most theatre goers in the full-house audience on opening night, Ottis Toole would have been an unfamiliar name. Playwright …

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When Women Speak “ON PURPOSE”

PHASE EIGHT THEATER COMPANY REVIEW A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM The new presented the World Premiere of “On Purpose” during April 7 – 9, 2017 on the stage at WJCT’s studio in downtown Jacksonville. This two-act production filled with original monologues was created, written, and performed by . She is a versatile actress, with a fantastic smile, a polished mastery of accents, and a fearless stage presence. Ms. Payne-English is a literary artist, performer, and educator and the author of “Secrets of Ma’at,” a prize-winning poetry collection (currently available on Amazon). Additionally, she has recorded …

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AN ENCHANTED EVENING WITH BARBRA

ALHAMBRA AFTER DARK REVIEW A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM The has opened one of its fabulous after hours tribute shows with an electric evening of songs and comedy starring Sharon Owens as the incomparable Barbara Streisand. The show, which opened on April 5th, will run through April 9th, 2017. Call 641-1212 or visit Alhabrajax.com for reservations. The atmosphere was that of a big time New York nightclub, as the Alhambra had a special lighted stage for this event. Ms. Owens was backed by an eight piece band of incredibly talented local musicians. The infamous , …

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THE GLASS MENAGERIE

Orange Park Community Theatre Review A Dual Critics Review by Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom Loyal patrons of were surprised this season by a first for the theatre, which has a forty-eight year history: the staging of a play by the great Southern writer . “” opened March 25, 2017 and will run through April 9 at 2900 Moody Avenue. Call 904-276-2599 or visit opct.info for reservations. “Menagerie” is a memory play narrated by a man looking back on his young adulthood in St. Louis in the late 1930s. Times were tough as jobs were scarce. Unmarried women without relatives …

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From Screen To Stage “FENCES” at PBTS

PLAYERS BY THE SEA THEATRE REVIEW A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM Jacksonville Beach’s and sponsors Scott and Nancy McLucas opened “,” by (1945-2005) on March 17, 2017. The play, which received the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for drama, along with a Tony for best play, will remain onstage in the Grace Darling Studio Theatre through April 1. We suggest that readers who want to see the production — which is one of this year’s most outstanding plays — make reservations immediately. The studio theatre has limited seating, and we’re predicting a sold-out house for almost all …

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Take a Short Trip: “4000 MILES” at ABET

ATLANTIC BEACH EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE REVIEW A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW by DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM ABET opened “,” an award-winning play by Amy Herzog, on March 10, which will run through March 26. For reservations, call 249-7177 or visit abettheatre.com. The play opened Off Broadway in 2011, won an Obie Award and also was selected by Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 plays/musicals in 2012, and was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The title refers to the miles 21-year-old Leo Joseph-Connell has bicycled across the country to visit Vera Joseph, his widowed 91-year-old grandmother …

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THE MYSTERY OF IRMA VEP

LIMELIGHT THEATRE REVIEW A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom St. Augustine’s opened “,” a delightful comedy, on March 10, 2017 for a run through April 2.  The play, which was written by (1943 —1987), premiered in 1984, won an Obie Award in 1985 for ensemble performance, and was the most produced play in the United States in 1991. The production is fast-paced and the casting is unconventional, with two actors portraying seven characters, each appearing in both male and female roles. Split-second costume changes are required throughout, along with special effects and props. In the process, …

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Jacksonville University’s “THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS”

Jacksonville University College of Fine Arts Review A Dual Critics Review by Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom presented a four-performance run of “,” the 1978 Tony Award winning musical .  The musical has an interesting history in Jacksonville. When the roadshow arrived in the early 1980s, the management of the then Civic Auditorium refused to display the correct title on the billboard; instead, the display read “Now playing, The Best Little Chicken Ranch in Texas.” Later in the decade, it was a big hit at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre, with fifty or more sold-out performances. The musical was based on …

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CONTEMPORARY & INTELLIGENT: “THE GOD GAME” at Theatre Jacksonville

THEATRE JACKSONVILLE REVIEW A BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM On March 3rd, 2017 opened “,” a contemporary drama which will run through March 19th at 2032 San Marco Boulevard. Call 904-396-4425 or visit theatrejax.com for additional information and reservations. Written by , this intelligent offering opened in 2014, two years before our last Presidential election. She has created a distinctive piece of theater which explores timely topics related to political and religious issues. The story takes place in Richmond, Virginia in the home of Tom and Lisa, who are preparing to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their marriage. Tom …

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Alhambra Dinner Theatre, Show Boat

Set Sail on the SHOW BOAT at the Alhambra

ALHAMBRA THEATRE & DINING REVIEW A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM Jacksonville’s Alhambra Theatre & Dining opened the second show of its 50th year celebration with “Show Boat.” This classic musical will be on stage through April 2, 2017 at 12000 Beach Boulevard. Call 641-1212 or visit alhambrajax for reservations. “Show Boat” is a 1927 musical about the life and loves of the members of a Mississippi riverboat theatre troupe. The story, based on an Edna Ferber novel, is one filled with romance and interwoven with unforgettable music written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II. …

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