Theatre

Relief for the Arts compiled by The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Dear friends and colleagues, As the country and world respond to coronavirus and the COVID-19 situation, our team at the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville would like to share the following information. First and foremost, the Cultural Council is invested in the health and well-being of the artists, arts organizations, and communities whom we serve. Please follow all directions and recommendations from your local and state authorities as well as entities such as the CDC and WHO. We also want to make you aware of campaigns to include artists and the nonprofit arts community in any federal relief funds that are made available. Please ask your elected …

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“CHARLEY’S AUNT” BY ACT II PLAYERS   

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM The Dual Critics traveled to Jacksonville’s Mandarin area on March 7 to see the first recent North Florida production of “Charley’s Aunt,” which was staged at the Mandarin United Methodist Church (11270 San Jose Blvd.) by the newly formed Act II Players. The group evolved as a theatre troupe of the Fine Arts Conservatory, and is filled with energetic talented members. This farce by British author Brandon Thomas was first performed on an English stage in 1882 and made it to Broadway in 1893; long runs followed.  The play still …

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ROMEO & JULIET Presented by an All-Female Cast at PLAYERS BY THE SEA

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW BY DICK KEREKES & LEISLA SANSOM On Saturday February 23, 2020, the Bard’s Romeo and Juliet was staged at Jacksonville Beach’s Players by the Sea Theatre, and played to an appreciative almost full house. The play, first mounted in the late 1500’s, is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known and most- produced plays. The production at Players included a twist: an all-female cast.  So how did they get to Players, and why an all-female cast? Tyler Lewis’s Self-Produced Theatre initially planned to stage the play in a venue in Springfield, but regrettably lost its space. Players by …

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LOVE QUEST at THEATRE JACKSONVILLE

A Romantic Comedy is part of the Historic Theatre’s 100th Season A Dual Critics Review by Dick Kerekes and Leisla Sansom Theatre Jacksonville opened “Love Quest,” the third show of its 100th Season, on February 21, and will remain through March 8, 2020. This contemporary romance, which brings new insights into today’s tactics for seeking a mate, was written by Mary Maguire and Steven McGraw; both were in the audience on opening night. Theatre Jacksonville is a city treasure founded in 1919. Afterward, Philanthropist Carl S. Swisher donated land and financing for the construction of the company’s historic San Marco …

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HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS AT ALHAMBRA THEATRE AND DINING

This show is filled with comedy and razzle dazzle numbers! A Dual Critics Review by Dick Kerekes and Leisla Sansom The Alhambra Theatre opened “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” on February 20th, 2020, which remains on stage through March 22nd.  This power house production, with songs and lyrics by Frank Loesser, debuted in 1961 and garnered seven Tony awards along with the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; a film adaptation was released in 1967. Director and producer Tod Booth has done a marvelous casting job in his selection of the twenty actors who bring the frenzied world …

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A Good Time for the Complete History of America (Abridged) at Island Theater 

by Madeline DeLorie (photos by Rachel Pontarolo) The Island Theater has brought a comic and quick version of the history of America to its stage in this new comedy sure to have you laughing throughout its two hour run time.  You may even have the chance to participate in this fun show put on by the energetic cast. If you are unfamiliar with Abridged shows – you may not know what to expect. However, if you enjoy satire and take a joke – you will be entertained. The three players of the show include Liane Barkley, Cindy Baker and Tricia …

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Players By The Sea Presents a Powerful All Female Cast in Romeo & Juliet

A Behind the Scenes look at Romeo & Juliet, Players By The Sea Presents a Powerful All Female Cast in Romeo & Juliet

When the now-defunct announced it was closing its doors with an unrealized production of an all-female production of Romeo & Juliet in the works, it took the spirit of collaboration to help bring the story to life Players by the Sea partnered with , artistic director of Self Produced Theatre, Romeo & Juliet Director Amy Canning Love and Assistant Director to create a space for this groundbreaking production. Romeo & Juliet will be staged Feb. 20-23 at in (www.playersbythesea.org). “I knew the directors and the leads were passionate about the project, so I never had doubts that they were going …

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Rob Clove Talks Bandstand: The Musical, Presented by FSCJ Artist Series

EU Talks with Bandstand’s Rob Clove Before each performance of the award-winning Bandstand: The Musical, Rob Clove takes pause to tap into the struggles facing young African American men returning home from war in 1945. He digs deep into the pressures of working hard to rise above the societal pressures and make a meaningful mark on the world. Clove found inspiration in his character, Jimmy Campbell who discovers music as a way to  cope with the horrors of war in his generation. “I have a ritual. At the beginning of each show, I just take a moment to myself and …

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Keeping Company at Orange Park Community Theater

Scotty Briggs Art, mural

Company, a 1970 musical comedy with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, was among the first musicals to deal with adult themes and relationships and is not for young audiences (cautions on language and subject matter).  To quote Sondheim, “Broadway theater has been for many years supported by upper-middle-class people with upper-middle-class problems.  These people really want to escape that world when they go to the theatre, and then here we are with Company talking about how we’re going to bring it right back in their faces.”  The original production was nominated for a record-setting fourteen Tony Awards and won six. Returning to …

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“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at Players by the Sea

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW by Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom “Forum” is based on the comedies of long-ago Greek playwright Plautus (251-183 BC), with a modern-day book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. An interesting little-known fact about the show occurred during pre-Broadway tryouts when it wasn’t doing well. Jerome Robbins was consulted; he advised presenting the show as a wild, ribald comedy, and got the talented Sondheim to write “Comedy Tonight” for the opening number. That did it: after opening on Broadway in 1962, it remained for almost 1,000 performances, garnered six …

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