On Stage

Anatomy of Gray

by DICK KEREKES Theatre Jacksonville officially opened its 89th season with Jim Leonard’s unique coming of age story Anatomy of Gray. It will run through November 15 at the Harold K. Smith Playhouse, 2032 San Marco in Jacksonville. The reservation number is 396-4425. The comedy/drama may well the sleeper of the year, and this is the North Florida premier of what is a very well acted and cleverly staged play that is eminently entertaining and filled with sagacity. It is set in the town of Gray Indiana in the late 1800s. When l5 year old June’s father dies, she sends …

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all shook up

by dick kerekes I saw the gala performance of the Elvis Presley inspired musical All Shook Up recently. This was the North Florida premier of this musical. I found it to be exhilarating, spirited, truly charming and clever, with a first class cast of wonderful singers and dancers and a plot that seemed to move well in and out of the 24 Elvis songs in the show. If you are an Elvis fan (they seem to everywhere from age 8 to 80), you will enjoy a story that has heart but doesn’t take itself too seriously. In these nervous times …

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Ragtime – The Musical

by DICK KEREKES The Jacksonville University College of Fine Arts opened the 2008-09 season with the Terrance McNally, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens’, musical, Ragtime, based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow. The show was nominated for 12 Tony Awards in l998 and won three. It lost out as best musical to the “Lion King.” As I write this, three performances remain on October 31 and November l at 7:30 pm and November 2 at 2:30 PM. All performances are at the Swisher Theatre on the campus of Jacksonville University. It is a wonderful production and I urge you …

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The Woman in Black

by DICK KEREKES How does that song go? Imagination is funny; it makes a cloudy day sunny. Gainesville’s Hippodrome Theatre latest production The Woman in Black will certainly test your IQ (imagination quotient). Why? There are only two actors and a woman who appears silently, an almost bare stage in an old theater with only a door, a couple pieces of furniture, and a few props. In act II, a child’s bed room appears briefly, and then disappears. The play does have two terrific story tellers, and outstanding special effects and of course, the audience’s imagination. The history of this …

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Rear End

by DICK KEREKES Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre opened a two weekend run of Fernandina Beach resident Richard Wolf’s play entitled Rear End. An unusual title for a play that is for sure, but simply explained by the fact it is a spoof of the l954 Jimmy Stewart/Grace Kelly movie Rear Window. In the movie, a photographer is disabled and sees a murder being committed in a window across the courtyard. In this play, a retired geologist who is disabled spends his spare time with binoculars watching the tenant’s windows across his courtyard. The title no doubt refers to the anatomy …

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Doubt: A Parable

by Dick Kerekes Players by the Sea opened a two weekend run of John Patrick Shanley’s DOUBT; A Parable. It is in their black box theatre that only seats 70, so if you want to see any of the remaining three performances on October 16, 17, l8, I suggest you call 249-0289. If great acting, an excellent scripts and cutting edge theatre appeal to you, than by all means Doubt is an absolute must see. This was the second time I had seen it and it had even a greater impact on me because of the excellent casting, direction and …

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ALL SHOOK UP

by DICK KEREKES I saw the gala performance of the Elvis Presley inspired musical All Shook Up last Friday night. This was the North Florida premier of this musical and I found to be exhilarating, spirited, truly charming and clever, with a first class cast of wonderful singers and dancers and a plot that seemed to move well in and out of the 24 Elvis songs in the show. If you are an Elvis fan, (they seem to everywhere from age 8 to 80) you will enjoy a story that has heart but doesn’t take itself too seriously. In these …

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Patient A

by DICK KEREKES The Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Theatre Department presented Lee Blessing’s play Patient A, in their Black Box Theatre for a four performance run last weekend. This play debuted in l993, but is very infrequently done probably because it concerns the subject of AIDS, which does not generally translate into good box office that most theatres need these days. The play is about the life and death of Kimberly Bergalis. Bergalis was a Florida resident who died in l991 from complications of AIDS, which she contracted from her dentist. She had some molars removed in l989 …

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lisa lampanelli

by ERIC STANIFORD       Lisa Lampanelli’s standup is hard-hitting, raw and brutally funny. Her appearances on Celebrity Roast and audience-jabbing standup earned her fast growing fame and an upcoming one-hour HBO special. Her newest tour brings her to the Florida Theatre on October 3. We were lucky enough to talk with Lisa before her arrival. EU: Thanks for taking time for this interview. LL: I guess we’ll see if it’s worth it. EU: So did you find this style of comedy or did it find you? LL: I think it finds you, but you have to listen and look for …

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West Side Story

by Dick Kerekes The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the Alhambra Dinner Theatre completed a four performance run of the 2nd joint venture of the season, with the Bernstein/Sondheim classic musical West Side Story. This excellent production was well received by enthusiastic audiences at all performances and I hope this means more of the same next season. The plot is well known to musical theatre fans since this show has been around since the l950s. This was a modern retelling of the Romeo and Juliet then, but unfortunately the story of hostile teen-age gangs still exists and in many more cities …

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