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.

REVIEW: ‘Buyer & Cellar’ at 5 & Dime is One of the Funniest One-Person, One-Act Shows You Will Ever See

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW The 5 & Dime Theatre Company has opened Buyer & Cellar, one of the funniest one-person one-act shows you will ever have the opportunity to see. The group was founded seven years ago and has consistently staged outstanding productions; this is their second year in their permanent home in . This outrageously humorous comedy written by Jonathan Tolins opened on October 5th and will remain on stage through October 21, 2018. Mr. Tolins was inspired to write the play after encountering “My Passion for Design,” a lavish coffee table book by Barbra Streisand published in 2010. …

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A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: "Cabaret" at Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: “Cabaret” at Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine

St. Augustine’s Limelight Theatre opened a revival of “Cabaret” (September 20 – October 21, 2018) on the Matuza Mainstage. The theatre is located at 11 Old Mission Avenue; ample free parking is available. Visit limelight-theatre.org or call 904-825-1164 for reservations. John Kander and Fred Ebb created this enduring musical, which received eight Tony awards after opening on Broadway in 1966. A film adaptation followed in 1972, which received eight Academy Awards. The story explores the rise of the Nazi Party in pre-World War II Germany, and is as relevant today as when it debuted over fifty years ago. As you …

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'James and the Giant Peach' at ABET in its New Neptune Beach Home

DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: ‘James and the Giant Peach” at ABET, All Beaches Experimental Theatre

We attended the festive debut of the brand new home of the at 544 Atlantic Boulevard in , Florida on Friday, September 22, 2018. The theatre was founded by a number of years ago and named the Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre; their new name reflects their more expansive audience. Their new home is located in the Neptune Beach Plaza; excellent parking and pre-show dining opportunities are within walking distance. We were greeted with smiles by ABET’s Managing Artistic Director Ceila Frank and ABET board members. The opening show for the venue and the new season is “James and the Giant …

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Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? Alhambra Theatre & Dining Review

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW Jacksonville’s Alhambra Theatre revives one of the most popular shows it has ever done with the staging of “” This musical about eight Catholic school students in the 1950’s debuted in 1979 and is based on an earlier novel by John Powers; he subsequently wrote the book for the play, while James Quinn and Alaric Jans added music and lyrics. The Alhambra’s production opened on September 12 and runs through October 11, 2018. At times, we are asked if those of other faiths can enjoy this show: our response is “Yes!” and is based on the …

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DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: 'Arsenic and Old Lace' at Theatre Jacksonville

DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ at Theatre Jacksonville

Theatre Jacksonville began the 2018-19 season with the staging of Joseph Kesselring’s “” as the selection for its annual Classic in San Marco series (September 14 —30, 2018). Good reviews followed the play’s debut in 1941 and it has remained popular. It is one of the best dark comedies of all time; a comedy filled with hilarious frenzied activity, and the funniest play we have seen this year. As we waited for the opening scene, we were impressed by the interior of the Brooklyn mansion created by Tim Watson, the theatre’s Scenic, Lighting and Technical Director. The setting, which portrays …

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Jacksonville Beach’s Community Theatre: Players By The Sea 2018 Pelican Awards

The Pelican Awards are presented annually by Players by the Sea, Jacksonville Beach’s community theatre to honor the many contributions of its actors, musicians, technical staff, and volunteers. The celebration and awards ceremony for the 2017-18 ceremony was staged for a packed house filled with friends and passionate supporters. This year’s party was Black Tie Optional, and many attendees dressed as though in a fashion show. Note: While this is a free event, demand is high and seats are limited – if you’re planning on attending next year, you will need a reservation. The evening began at 6:00 pm, when …

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DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: ‘How I Learned to Drive’ at The 5 & Dime Theatre

The 5 & Dime, Jacksonville’s downtown theatre, has opened “How I Learned to Drive.” This 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama written by Paula Vogel opened on August 10 and remains on stage through August 26, 2018. The theatre is located at 112 East Adams Street; additional information is available on the company’s Facebook page. For reservations, call (904) 637-5100 or visit www.The5andDime.org. “Drive” is a memory play; a dark coming-of-age story with mature themes mixed with humor at times. It’s a familiar story: these days, the news is filled with reports of powerful figures (almost all male) having used their positions …

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Ruined, Phase Eight Theater Company, WJCT Television Studios

DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: Phase Eight Theater Company’s ‘Ruined’ at WJCT Television Studios

Jacksonville’s Phase Eight Theater Company notably opened a two-week run of “Ruined” on August 3, with remaining performances scheduled for August 10 – 11, 2018. The production is being staged at in , a venue with ample free parking. The play, by Lynn Nottage, received the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  Nottage has received multiple awards for her work, including a second Pulitzer (in 2017 for “Sweat”) and the New York Drama Critics 2004 Best Play award for the well-known “Intimate Apparel.” The play was commissioned by Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, where it debuted in 2008. Before writing, Nottage travelled to …

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DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: ‘Kiss Me Kate’ at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining

Jacksonville’s Alhambra Theatre opened “Kiss Me Kate,” a classic musical with a score filled to the brim with tuneful and thoughtfully fun songs. The production (August 1 – September 9, 2018) is staged at 12000 Beach Boulevard. Call (904) 641-1212 or visit alhambrajax.com for tickets and additional information. The musical, based on William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” features the fabulous music and lyrics of Cole Porter and is very funny. The Bard’s work was adapted for the stage by Jeremy Sams, who set it in Baltimore in the 1940s, where a theatre company is planning a production of …

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Theatre Jacksonville’s 98th Volunteer Awards

Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom, Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville On Sunday July 22, 2018, Theatre Jacksonville held its annual celebration honoring volunteers from the 2017 –2018 season. The theatre combines the annual awards ceremony with its membership meeting. This year, the celebration was held at the theatre. Board President, , began by summarizing the past season and its accomplishments. He enthusiastically announced that TJ has once again finished in the black, thanks to the many individuals and groups who have generously contributed funds. Contributors included local foundations and non-profit organizations, businesses, and city and state organizations. New members of …

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