Dual Critics

Love Letters: A Booth Family Affair at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining

Love Letters: A Booth Family Affair at the Alhambra Theatre & Dining, Alhambra_Love Letters_Photography by Jamie Iames Repper_Tod Booth and Lisa Valdini Booth

Love Letters: A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW  Jacksonville Florida’s opened “Love Letters” on January 9th, 2020, which remains on stage through February 9th, and is the first of nine golden oldies in the Alhambra’s 2020 season. The play, written by A.R. Gurney, premiered in New York in 1988 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  Casting is easy as the play has only two characters: Melissa Gardner and Andrew Makepeace Ladd III. Throughout the play, they sit at separate tables on opposite sides of the stage and read cards, notes and letters they have sent to each other over the …

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A New Story for our Local Stages: Shadowlands at Theatre Jacksonville

A New Story for our Local Stages: Shadowlands at Theatre Jacksonville

Shadowlands: A Dual Critics Review    opened the second play of its 100th season with Shadowlands by William Nicholson on January 10, 2019, which will remain on stage through January 26. This true story, new to our local stages, is both a romantic drama and an exploration of challenging theological issues.  The play opened in London in 1989, premiered on Broadway in 1990, and garnered a Tony nomination.  Shadowlands is set in the 1950’s in England, and begins with confirmed bachelor C. S. Lewis (known as “Jack”) carousing with his buddies, a scene meant to show his comfortable carefree life.  He …

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New Year’s Eve Gala was a Roar at Alhambra Theatre & Dining

New Year's Eve Gala was a Roar at Alhambra Theatre & Dining

Jacksonville’s fabulous closed out 2019, a year filled with many outstanding sold-out productions, which included their traditional New Year’s Eve Gala. Suggested attire included formal wear and 1920’s flapper era garb, and we saw many many ladies in beautiful dresses this year. The party began around 6:00 pm in the lobby and library with wait staff offering champagne flutes and fine appetizers (best-ever appetizer: Classic Oysters Rockefeller). Seating followed at 6:30. Dinner included Lobster Bisque or Caesar Salad and four entrée choices: the most popular was Filet & Maine Lobster with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Other choices included deviled crab, …

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Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) at the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine

Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some) at the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine

A Dual Critics Review St. Augustine’s Limelight Theatre is staging the wildly entertaining “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some)” during November 22 – December 22, 2019 in the Koger-Gamache Black Box Theatre. The play, written by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez, was initially staged in New Jersey in 2003 and has become a popular holiday choice for venues throughout the country.  Limelight’s version is directed by , and features , Cameron Hodges, and , who portray three actors planning a Christmas show. Craig is well known at Limelight for past roles which have included “Heathers: …

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Romeo and Juliet: An Immersive Experience with Jacksonville University’s Theatre Program

Romeo and Juliet: An Immersive Experience with Jacksonville University’s Theatre Program

Jacksonville University’s Theatre Program presented “Romeo and Juliet,” William Shakespeare’s masterpiece, during October 1 – November 3, 2019. The tragedy of the star-crossed lovers was staged in the Swisher Theatre and directed by Deborah Jordon. Scholars think The Bard wrote the play around 1594; a printed edition was released in 1597. And while we don’t know the date or location of the play’s debut, we do know that Renaissance plays were longer than those of today; productions could easily extend to three or four hours. From the director’s perspective, some editing was needed. She shortened the stage time to two …

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American La Ronde: A Provocative Dietz Play Staged by FSCJ Dramaworks

American La Ronde: A Provocative Dietz Play Staged by FSCJ Dramaworks

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW  Florida State College of Jacksonville staged the North Florida premiere of American La Ronde, by noted playwright , during October 31 – November 3, 2019. The script is based on Reigen a much older play by Vienna writer Arthur Schnitzler (1862 – 1931).  The play, written in German in 1890, portrays sexuality in a social context. It was first staged in 1920, and was not well-received by the public. A storm of criticism led to a court case. And although the charge of immorality was dismissed, Schnitzler no longer allowed productions in German-speaking countries. However, the work …

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Something Rotten: Funniest Musical Ever Seen at Theatre Jacksonville

Something Rotten: Funniest Musical Ever Seen at Theatre Jacksonville, Photo by Maya Adkins

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: Something Rotten at Theatre Jacksonville Theatre Jacksonville officially opened on November 1, 2019 with the North Florida premier of what you will find is the funniest musical ever seen on this historic stage, “Something Rotten.” At least that was our reaction which, judging from the laughter and thunderous applause we heard, was also shared by the full-house audience on opening night.  “Something Rotten” remains on stage through November 17th. The book is by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell with music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick. The musical officially opened on Broadway in April, …

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‘Jekyll & Hyde’ at Alhambra is a Chilling Unforgettable Tale

'Jekyll & Hyde' at Alhambra is a Chilling Unforgettable Tale

Alhambra Theatre & Dining Dual Critics Review  The Alhambra Theatre, Jacksonville’s only dinner theatre, opened “Jekyll & Hyde” on October 23, 2019, which runs through November 24, 2019. The theatre is located at 12000 Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida. Visit alhambrajax.com or call 904-641-1212 for reservations. The musical is based on a novella by Robert Louis Stevenson first published in 1886. Book and lyrics are by Leslie Bricusse, with music by . This mesmerizing production of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ is directed by Alhambra’s , who directed the same show on this stage eighteen years ago. Dr. Henry Jekyll is a …

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“Rocky Horror” Fans will Love “The Toxic Avenger” at Players by the Sea

The Toxic Avenger, Players By The Sea in Jacksonville Beach, Photos by Josh Andrews

Jacksonville Beach’s Players by the Sea opened the cult classic “The Toxic Avenger” on October 25, 2019, which runs through November 10, 2019. The theatre is located at 106 6th Street North in . For reservations call 904-249-0289 or visit playersbythesea.org. This classic has its beginnings in a non-musical film released in 1984. Three sequels followed; none were hits. However, the story found a receptive audience as a musical, which made it to New York in 2009, and received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Off-Broadway Musical. The work was crafted by (lyrics) and David Bryan (music). The …

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Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun at Limelight is fast-paced and fun

Irving Berlin’s "Annie Get Your Gun” at Limelight is fast-paced and fun, Photo by Sharon Friedes

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW: Annie Get Your Gun at Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine St. Augustine’s opened a rip-roaring version of Irving Berlin’s 1946 hit musical Annie Get Your Gun on September 20, which runs through October 20, 2019. The production is sponsored by St. Augustine’s , which has a wonderful menu and is currently offering a combined full course dinner and theatre ticket to patrons at a discount. Call (904) 824-7211 for more details.  Annie Get Your Gun, which is based on historical characters and happenings, is popular with both adults and school-age children. Notably, Berlin was asked to write …

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