Theatre Reviews

A New Intimate Atmosphere for Performances: ‘Reasons to Be Pretty’ at Self Produced Theatre

Reasons to be Pretty, Self Produced Theatre, Photo by Kenggy Bravo, Jacksonville, Florida

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW Self Produced Theatre, one of Jacksonville’s newest theatre groups, chose Reasons to Be Pretty by Neil LaBute for the first main stage show in their new theatre, with four performances during April 26 – May 4, 2019. The company, which was founded by Tyler Lewis, has been nomadic, staging productions in hospitable venues throughout the area. Their permanent home is now at 1840 Southside Boulevard, Unit 3B. Of note, the space includes a cafe with coffee bar; an official opening of the Black Box Cafe is planned in the near future. LaBute’s play was Tony-nominated for best …

Read More »

Truly a Wild Party and Immersive Experience at Players By The Sea, Remarkable Direction by Lee Hamby

Andrew Lippa's Wild Party, Players by the Sea, Photo by Bradley Akers

A DUAL CRITICS PLAYERS BY THE SEA THEATRE REVIEW Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party opened on April 26th, 2019, at  opened. It runs through May 18th. The theatre is located at 106 6th Street North in . For reservations call 904-249-0289 or visit The play, with book, music and lyrics by (who wrote music and lyrics for The Addams Family) offers a trip back to the 1920s, the days of flappers, jazz, illegal hooch, and reckless disregard for societal conventions. The original story, a book-length poem, was written in 1926 by Joseph Moncure March, who previously worked as the managing editor …

Read More »

The Launching of a New Theatrical Genre: ‘Small Mouth Sounds’ at The 5 & Dime is Soul-Searching and Intimate

Small Mouth Sounds, The 5 & Dime Theatre Company, Photo by Maya Adkins

A DUAL CRITICS 5 & DIME THEATRE REVIEW REVIEW The 5 & Dime, Jacksonville’s Downtown theatre company, opened Small Mouth Sounds on April 19th, which remains on stage through May 5th, 2019. The theatre is located at 112 East Adams Street; additional information is available on the company’s Facebook page. For reservations, call (904) 637-5100 or visit The theatre, founded in 2011, has staged many exceptional shows. Small Mouth Sounds is one of the most unusual in content and staging. The play was written by Bess Whol, a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama. Check out her internet …

Read More »

‘I Hate Hamlet’ at Theatre Jacksonville: Two Hours of Fast-Paced Comedy

I Hate Hamlet, Theatre Jacksonville, Photo by Maya Adkins

A DUAL CRITICS THEATRE JACKSONVILLE REVIEW Theatre Jacksonville opened I Hate Hamlet on April 19th, 2019. This classic comedy by Paul Rudnick runs through Sunday, May 6th. is located at 2032 San Marco Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida. Visit for additional information or call 904-396-4425 for reservations. I Hate Hamlet, which opened on Broadway in 1991, is a captivating comedy and a popular choice for community stages. The story provides a look at the struggles of contemporary thespians encountering the challenges of portraying Shakespeare’s revered works. TJ’s production has an outstanding cast of talented actors, which includes both veterans of Jacksonville …

Read More »

Rock Will Set You Free – ‘School of Rock: The Musical’ is Quirky, Fun, and Entertaining

Quirky, fun, and entertaining, School of Rock: The Musical serves up a strong dose of humor paired with a lesson in self-acceptance and the life changing power of music. Dewey (Merritt David Janes) is a guitarist and rock-star wannabe who’s down on his luck. Kicked out of his band in favor of a cooler guitarist, he finds himself crashing with friends, Ned (Layne Roate) and Patty (Madison Micucci), who quickly tire of his freeloading ways and demand he pay rent. A phone call for substitute teacher Ned provides an unexpected opportunity. A prestigious private school needs a substitute teacher for …

Read More »

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Brings Slapstick and Stamina with ‘Black Comedy’

A DUAL CRITICS DOUGLAS ANDERSON SCHOOL OF THE ARTS REVIEW Jacksonville’s Douglas Anderson School of the Arts staged the English farce Black Comedy, the last main stage play of the current season, in the Dubow Theatre during April 10 – 13, 2019.  The play was written in 1965 by British playwright Peter Shaffer, who is deservedly well-known as the Tony award-winning author of “Amadeus” and “Equus.” The play was directed by Theater Faculty Member Joseph Kemper who apparently chose it to ensure the student actors and crew had demanding challenging material. They were equal to the task, which required British …

Read More »

Hungry For Interesting Theatre: Phase Eight Brings “Food of Love” by Kelby Siddons to NOLA MOCA

Food of Love, Phase Eight Theatre

A DUAL CRITICS PHASE EIGHT THEATRE COMPANY REVIEW For those hungry for interesting theatre, the in is the place to have been on April 5th, where Food of Love, ’s latest play, was staged in , the on-site cafe. A second (sold-out) performance is scheduled for April 11th. Founder and director of the Phase Eight Theatre, , has produced many provocative and interesting plays, but Food of Love is unique; it’s the first time food has been a major component. Playwright Kelby is a full-time educator who finds time in private life to become involved in many theatre projects. She is …

Read More »

Film Favorite Comes to Alhambra’s Stage as ‘Big – The Musical’

A DUAL CRITICS ALHAMBRA THEATRE & DINING REVIEW Jacksonville’s Alhambra Theatre & Dining opened the third show of the 2019 season with the North Florida debut of BIG, THE MUSICAL, which runs through May 5, 2019. The theater is located at 12000 Beach Boulevard. Visit or call 904-641-1212 for reservations. Many of our readers may recall the 1988 Penny Marshall movie of the same name which starred a young Tom Hanks. Both Hanks and the screenplay received Oscar nominations.   A musical followed in 1996, which opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theater, received five Tony nominations, and closed …

Read More »

Sixty-Plus Performers Light Up the Stage at Jacksonville University in ‘Legally Blonde – The Musical’

Legally Blonde The Musical, JU College of Fine Arts

A JACKSONVILLE UNIVERSITY LINDA BERRY STEIN COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS THEATRE DUAL CRITICS REVIEW  Jacksonville University opened Legally Blonde – The Musical at Swisher Theatre on their Arlington campus (at 2800 University Boulevard North) on March 28, 2019. Additional evening performances are scheduled during March 29 – 31 at 7:30 pm; followed by a concluding matinee on March 31 at 3:00 pm. Legally Blonde began as a novel based on the real-life experiences of author Amanda Brown, was adapted as a film starring Reese Witherspoon in 2001 which became a blockbuster, and transformed into a musical in 2007 which also …

Read More »

‘Eleemosynary’ at All Beaches Theatre – Three Unique Women with Unconventional Life Stories

ABET, ELEEMOSYNARY, Photos by Caryl Butterley

A DUAL CRITICS REVIEW The All Beaches Experimental Theatre is staging a play (March 17 – 31, 2019) with an unusual name which was written by Lee Blessing in 1985. “Eleemosynary” means “of or relating to charity” and is of special importance to the narrative, as that’s the word that Echo, the youngest of the characters, spells correctly to win the National Spelling Bee Competition. This thought-provoking script explores the vicissitudes of mother-daughter bonds among three generations of women. It is an intriguing study of the ties that bind mothers despite their strong personality differences. The action takes place on …

Read More »