Theatre Reviews

FOOTLOOSE AT THE ALHAMBRA

“Footloose” opened at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre on October 22 and will remain on stage through November 22, 2020. The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville – Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom – did not review the opening of this production, which was sold out before it even opened! Looks like the “Grease” crowd wanted to see it and turned out in force. We’ve seen productions in other venues and loved them: the plot revolves around a teenager facing the challenge of life in a small town that has outlawed dancing. If you want to see it, you can try calling …

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Review for Big Fish at Island Theatre 

The Island Theater Delivers a Whopper with Big Fish the Musical Good stories sometimes take a long time to tell. Such is the case with Big Fish at The Island Theater. Originally scheduled for May of 2020, this heartwarming tall tale was a victim of the pandemic and one of many theatrical shows postponed but not cancelled.  And we should be so glad it was not cancelled. The show is on stage through October 18th. Based on the 1998 novel by Daniel Wallace and the subsequent 2003 film by John August, this father/son musical story of Edward Bloom and his …

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LOVE, SEX AND THE I.R.S at the ALHAMBRA

ALHAMBRA THEATRE AND DINING REVIEW The Alhambra Dinner Theatre is staging “Love, Sex and the IRS,” a farce that plays out at whirlwind speed. It opened on September 30, 2020 and will remain through October 18, to be followed by “Footloose” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The play, written by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, debuted in 1979, delivers non-stop laughs for two hours, and remains one of the comic greats. The setting is a large two-story apartment in New York, which at today’s prices would probably cost at least $3,000 dollars a month to rent. Two struggling musicians …

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EXIT STRATEGY – A PHASE EIGHT THEATER COMPANY REVIEW

Phase Eight Theater Company Delivers Excellent Acting with Superb Direction and Performances Phase Eight brought the Jacksonville premiere of “Exit Strategy” to the stage on October 3, 2020 to an enthusiastic audience. The company, known for provocative productions, was founded several years ago by JaMario Stills, a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate. He is currently pursuing an advanced degree in directorial studies at Brown University, and Kelby Siddons has agreed to accept the role of Managing Director during his absence. She is well known to theatre audiences as an actress, director, playwright, and teacher. And perhaps now, after …

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Grease at Alhambra Leaves You Feeling Electrified

Summer lovin’ and audiences are definitely having a blast at the Alhambra Theatre’s production of the beloved musical “Grease.” After an indefinite hiatus and reluctantly easing into a new normal, embracing a night of live theatre felt like a familiar hug from an old friend. Social distancing kept the hugging at bay but there was plenty of singing and dancing to such classics as Greased Lightning, You’re the One that I Want and We Go Together. Grease opened July 30 and runs through Sept. 27 with an extra three weeks added to the show’s run to meet the demand since …

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CINDERELLA at the ALHAMBRA

The Dual Critics review of “Cinderella” at Alhambra Theatre & Dining find it to be “A lively heartfelt charmer.” The Alhambra Theatre opened “Cinderella,” a long-awaited summer musical on June 11th, 2020, which remains on stage through July 26th. The music is by Richard Rogers, the lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, with an updated book by the talented Douglas Carter Beane, who also provided a new book for “Sister Act” and wrote the Tony-nominated “Nance.” The tale is an old one and well-known; the version we are most familiar with is based on “Cendrillon” a French story published in 1697. …

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: QUILTERS AT PLAYERS BY THE SEA IN 2002  

Reviewed by Dick Kerekes and originally published in EU JACKSONVILLE in 2002 As theatres are closed throughout the world because of the current pandemic crisis, the Dual Critics along with many others, are revisiting and republishing some of their previous work. The musical “Quilters,” was staged at Players By the Sea in 2002 and took home the trophy for best play of the year. Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek used the book “Quilters: Women and Domestic Art” (first published in 1977), as the basis for the production, which dramatized the history of the American frontier in a most unique way. …

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: SIDE MAN BY JACKSONVILLE STAGE COMPANY IN 2002   

Reviewed by Dick Kerekes and originally published in EU JACKSONVILLE in 2002  Theatres throughout the country are dark and shuttered. So what’s a reviewer to do?  Terry Teachout, a well-known New York Times reviewer, has an answer which the Dual Critics are adapting: republish older reviews and articles that will revive the past and bring back memories for theatre lovers. Our first selection, drawn from EU Jacksonville’s extensive collection, is “Side Man,” which was published in 2002. The 1999 Tony Award Winner, Warren Leight’s “Side Man” debuted last weekend at the Church of the Good Shepherd, currently the home of …

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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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october, 2021

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