Dual Critics

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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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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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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“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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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 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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The Immigrant: An Upbeat, Limited-Set Story at Players by the Sea’s Studio Theatre

The Immigrant: An Upbeat, Limited-Set Story at Players by the Sea's Studio Theatre

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW Jacksonville Beaches is always coming up with new ideas. Last year, they created a “Second Season” to expand their offerings. The plays, most with limited sets and costuming, are staged in the Studio Theatre, which has about eighty seats. The first play of this venture was “Memories of Ruby Mae” in September, 2019. Players did not sell tickets for the play but did accept donations. This year they staged “The Immigrant,” during January 9 – 11. “The Immigrant” was written in 1985 by multi-talented Mark Harelik, an American television, film, and stage actor, and playwright. The play …

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october, 2021

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