Recent Posts

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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FLAGSHIP ROMANCE REIMAGINES THEIR ART AFTER COVID 

Flagship Romance has always carved its own path, steaming across the great wide open for months on end and creating connections through stories and song. But the life of a traveling musician gets cut tragically short when the wheels come off the bus. When COVID-19 forced them off the road, the husband and wife alt-folk duo of Shawn Fisher and Jordyn Jackson hit rewind and decided to give an existing project a fizzy, retro treatment. “Eccentric” is the reimagining of the band’s 2019 release “Concentric” and it’s just the punch in the Serotonin we needed to resuscitate this stagnant season …

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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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Bitcoin Jacksonville FL

Why is Jacksonville, FL a Cryptocurrency Hotspot?

Jacksonville, FL has become something of a cryptocurrency hotspot over the last few years, with several landmark moments and occurrences strengthening the city’s bond with digital currencies. As far back as 2010, Jax was making history with bitcoin. It was the location of the first-ever bitcoin transaction, something that is commemorated on a plaque at Papa John’s on Atlantic Boulevard. Back then a computer programmer called Laszlo Hanyecz decided he wanted to buy pizza with bitcoin. Action News Jax explains how a resident from the UK sent pizza to his home in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins, worth around $100m in today’s climate. …

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Music Industry In Trouble – Small Venues Like Blue Jay Listening Room Need Your Help

When the Blue Jay Listening Room first opened its doors Aug. 18, 2017 in Jacksonville Beach, owner Cara Murphy hoped to create an intimate space for music lovers to really hear the music being played, listen to the stories and engage with the artists on a personal level. No audience chatter, no rowdy bar noise or big flashy stage acts; just a warm, inviting environment catering to a comfortable listening experience with a soft glow and artfully arranged vignettes of cozy seating nestled close to the stage. It’s exactly the kind of space that is struggling to find safe and …

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The Midnight Gospel Review

Watch Season 1 Now on Netflix A fantastical trip through thought and spirituality from Pendleton Ward (“Adventure Time”) and comedian Duncan Trussell. Over the course of the 2000s, podcasts have become exponentially popular, with people listening to them both to hear whatever the hosts have to say or because they make for good background noise while performing some other task. By definition, podcasts are pretty much always digital audio files that are available for downloading and easy listening. So, as none of you are probably wondering: what happens when you take a podcast, specifically The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, and …

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JACKSONVILLE ZOO AND GARDENS ASKS FOR HELP TO RAISE $250,000 BY SUNDAY 

When COVID-19 forced Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens to close its gates for two months, the nonprofit lost critical revenue during its busiest months. The Zoo is now asking for the community’s help to recover through the ZOO-A-THON, which aims to raise $250,000 in donations by Sunday. “Many people are surprised to learn how expensive it is to maintain our day-to-day operations, even after we closed to the public on March 14. We still had to feed and care for our animals daily, as well as employ the dedicated staff who worked through our closure. We were closed during our busiest …

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CuliVino – Local Chef Tom Gray Offering Product Line at Local Markets

Campanelle pasta, Arrabiata sauce, both made right here in Jacksonville by a master Chef and his team right here in Jacksonville are waiting for you at Native Sun Kitchen + Market in Jacksonville Beach. Going out in the age of Corona hasn’t been as much of an option, and a lot of us are cooking at home. To support those safe decisions, for a lot of restaurateurs that means doing something differently, from online cooking classes to more convenient take-out. That’s why you can find CuliVino’s line of sauces, pizza kits, pasta and more– straight from  Chef Tom Gray’s kitchen …

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Streaming Spotlight: Ted Lasso on Apple TV

If you spent time watching NBC Sports in 2013, you might recognize Jason Sudeikis’ moustachioed character, Coach Ted Lasso. To promote the network’s coverage of the Premier League, Ted appeared in a mini-documentary chronicling his time as the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Ted was loud, demanding, utterly clueless and as American as apple pie in the promo spots. He was also hilarious and popular enough to inspire his own television show. That show, aptly titled Ted Lasso, premiered on Apple TV+ on August 14th and was picked up for a second season just five days later. The …

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What To Watch in September 2020

EU’s Kellie Abrahamson has done the research on what’s streaming in September 2020 and is worthy of your screen time. Netflix Back to the Future trilogy (September 1) Great Scott! After a long, long spring and summer full of lockdowns and uncertainty, who wouldn’t want to go back in time for a few hours and get away from it all? These classic time traveling tales are the perfect nostalgia-laden antidote for the COVID blues. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (September 4) Based on the truly twisted 2016 debut novel by Ian Reid and directed by the incredible Charlie Kaufman, this …

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Keedron Bryant: Jax Teen Inspires Hope for Social Justice

If the last few months have shown us anything, it’s that we are capable of so much more than we ever thought possible. They have tested our resolve, pushed us to find strength and inspired us to do better, to be better even in the worst of times. These past few months have been a whirlwind for Keedron Bryant. The 13-year-old Jacksonville native recently inked a deal with Warner Records after sharing an emotional acappella performance on social media. The song “I Just Wanna Live” is a plea for social justice, spoken from the heart of a young man inspired …

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The 2020 Cultural Council Rolls Out the Arts Awards

The Cultural Council Virtual Arts Awards Will Include Violin Virtuoso Phillip Pan, a Caribbean Vacation and One-of-a-Kind Glass Wave Awards Cultural events are at a standstill but the 44th annual Cultural Council Awards is live-streaming ahead! A virtual fete re-imagined event will be showcased Sept. 2 at 7pm on the Cultural Council, WJCT, and Downtown Vision’s Facebook page and the Jesse Ball DuPont Center website. The theme of this year’s Arts Awards is “Bridges: Connecting Arts, Business, and Community” which highlights the inter-connectivity between the arts, business and community. Organizers shifted programming to a virtual format ahead of the pandemic …

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Players By The Sea Theatre, Worth & Lauren New Voices winners, New Voices Young Voices

Players By The Sea is Looking for New Voices

New Voices Program at PBTS Puts Important, Relevant Stories Into The World Players by the Sea is looking for new voices to participate in a year-long program designed to bring original works to the stage. Established in 2016, the was created as a vehicle to nurture and develop scripts by local playwrights. Now that theatres have gone dark during the pandemic, Players revived the program after a yearlong hiatus into a virtual platform “New Voices: Voices Unheard.” “I created the New Voices program as a way for to help nurture and elevate the voices of local playwrights. At that time, …

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ANNUAL ARTS AWARD PLANNED WITH A NEW TWIST

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville 44th Annual Arts awards is scheduled for September 2, 2020. The theme for this year’s event is “Bridges: Connecting Arts, Business and Community”.  To work within the unknowns of the current public health and social climate, they have planned an exciting hybrid event that will combine videos and interactive streaming for a virtual Arts Awards event that can’t be missed.  “Moving forward with this reimagined Arts Awards will actually allow us to acknowledge the extraordinary individuals and businesses who are advocates and champions of arts and culture in our city to a much broader audience”, …

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Will the Florida Theatre’s Darkened Stages and Empty Seats Survive COVID?

The iconic marquee at the Florida Theatre is among the most recognized landmarks in the downtown Jacksonville landscape. Since its second act from a movie house to a performing arts venue, the neon lights have illuminated some of the biggest names in entertainment, until March when it all went dark. No one could have predicted what was to come in early 2020. After closing out 2019 on a high note, the year was off to an auspicious start. But when Numa Saisselin, president of the Florida Theatre, took the stage March 12 to welcome the audience to that evening’s show …

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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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DANCING WITH GHOSTS drops new song in a landscape of cancelled plans

By Stephanie Conner I think I speak for many in saying that this year has been weird, frustrating, or just downright demoralizing, for a lot of people. Many in the music and entertainment industry, especially, are feeling the crunch. Josh Cannon and Stephanie Conner (that’s me) of Dancing with Ghosts–known locally as a highly-productive band–we are the type of artists who need to “create to exist.” 2020 has been quite the ride, and we’ve had to adapt in order to move forward. In this bizarre age of livestreams instead of concerts, and FaceTime instead of dinnertime with loved ones, how …

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Jacksonville, Florida is the Hidden Gem of Florida

Jacksonville, Florida is a Hidden Gem to Live and Play

Jacksonville, Florida, is emerging as a rising travel destination. But what about a destination to live in? The locals have always known that Jacksonville, or Jax as we like to call it, is one of Florida’s little gems. Now others are slowly discovering that Jacksonville is a pretty cool place to live.  Here are 6 things about Jacksonville, Florida that many people overlook, making it one of Florida’s most underrated cities. 1.  Plenty of Outdoor Activities Jacksonville boasts the largest land area of any city in the United States spreading across more than 840 miles. The St. Johns River runs through …

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Fishing the First Coast: Jacksonville and Northeast Florida are a Fisherman’s Paradise, Photos by James Brown

Fishing in Northeast Florida: Jacksonville is a Fisherman’s Paradise

Numerous fish species, unbeatable weather, and a healthy fishing infrastructure make the First Coast a fisherman’s paradise. Our state offers 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline, 10,550 miles of rivers, 7,700 lakes, and countless ponds. The First Coast offers a multitude of options. From offshore saltwater fishing, surf fishing, bridge fishing, river fishing and plenty of freshwater ponds or lakes around, there are options far and wide. Inspiration That Lasts a Lifetime Former Jacksonville Beach Councilman and Mayor Rick Hale has been a fisherman in Florida’s waters for close to 70 years. The native’s passion for fishing was largely influenced by …

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Summer for Divorced Dads

Suggestions for divorced dads to spend time with their kids in the summer of COVID including help for kids with disabilities. Father’s Day often marks the official beginning of summer, but the sunny season looks very different for many this year — especially since kids will be less occupied than usual. Summer camps are closed. Daycares have restrictions. Vacations have been postponed or canceled. Many summertime activities like waterparks, movie theaters, bowling alleys, skating rinks and more are still reopening and navigating new social distancing guidelines. For divorced dads, this summer might be even more difficult than usual. So how …

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CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS

View Fireworks from Multiple Locations throughout the City of Jacksonville Join the City of Jacksonville as we celebrate the nation’s independence with the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration offering an enhanced viewing experience this year with various ways to watch. The spectacular fireworks display will begin at 9:45 p.m. all around Jacksonville with in-person and at-home viewing options. “Jacksonville’s annual fireworks celebration downtown has become a tradition on Independence Day,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “As a City, we have taken the necessary precautions in providing additional locations across Jacksonville for our residents to view the fireworks safely. We’re looking …

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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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Cummer Museum to Reopen Gardens

The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens will open in phases, beginning June 20, 2020. The first phase of the Museum’s reopening will restore community access to the historic riverfront gardens; phase two will include the Museum’s galleries and exhibitions. Details are as follows: The gardens will reopen for a special free admission weekend starting on June 20, 2020. Free admission on Saturday, June 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., has been sponsored by Florida Blue. Free admission on Sunday, June 21, will be available to all guests from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The gardens will be closed for …

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HOPE & HISTORY MURAL

Black History Matters: Mural Project Brings Awareness to Jacksonville’s Historic Eastside

This article was originally published April 5, 2018 THE HOPE & HISTORY MURAL PROJECT DEBUTS AT PUBLIC ART WEEK Public Art Week, an annual event hosted by the , is an opportunity for the city to celebrate local art and to reassert the ‘public’ aspect of public art. Not only a moment to celebrate Jacksonville’s arts scene, it also invites locals to be a part of it–and not just by passive appreciation. ‘The Hope and History Mural Project,’ an initiative by the University of North Florida’s Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP), embodies this spirit, as a fusion of …

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Epik Burger introduces Poutine using Wainwright Dairy & Creamery Cheddar Cheese Curds

12740 Atlantic Blvd #105, Jacksonville Epik Burger has long been a Jacksonville favorite when it comes to their burgers, but they recently added a new menu item that is guaranteed to knock your socks off, a Poutine using fresh Cheddar cheese curds from Wainwright Dairy & Creamery in Live Oak. In early March, we took a trip down to the farm to check out the creamery and pet some cows. Sadly, the cows did not cooperate, but we had a great time learning all about the farm and the amazing family that has been running it since the late 60’s. …

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Documenting This Time in History

Documenting #Pandemic2020Jax How can we, as a community, document this unprecedented time in history? Two local organizations are giving us a gift that we will be able to give to generations to come. “A little more than a century ago, Jacksonville citizens faced loss in many ways from a series of events that were documented, for the most part, by news reporters and photographers, along with diaries and journals by citizens. The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1888 (in which St. Luke’s Hospital played a healing role)… the Great Fire of 1901 (which stopped short of St. Luke’s Hospital) … the …

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Enjoy Jazz Festival Weekend on the Jacksonville Music Experience from WJCT

Programming From Local and International Jazz Artists across TV, Radio, Streaming and Social Platforms Over Memorial Day Weekend WJCT will feature Jazz Festival Weekend on the Jacksonville Music Experience (JME), which will run through Memorial Day Weekend (May 21-24, 2020), the traditional dates of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jazz Festival Weekend will feature music from some of the biggest names in jazz across WJCT’s television, radio and online platforms. The virtual event will kick off with “Music Thursdays” on WJCT-TV, with programming that showcases performances by a roster of international jazz giants …

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Jacksonville Historical Society Releases Annual List of Endangered Buildings

List includes Doro Fixture building slated for demolition In observance of National Historic Preservation Month, the has released its annual list of Jacksonville’s Most Endangered Buildings. “Historic sites and properties matter to Jacksonville’s people. When historic buildings – such as Fire Station No. 5 and soon the George Doro Fixture Company building – are demolished, we erase another part of the culture, history, and life stories that form our Jacksonville,” said Alan Bliss, the Jacksonville Historical Society’s chief executive officer. “Historic places lend authenticity to their surroundings, making us all more invested as citizens. In addition, data proves that historic preservation …

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