Rich in allegorical themes and teeming with tragic irony, Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer winner TOPDOG/UNDERDOG opened at The 5 & Dime Theatre Monday night. Celebrating the removal of the theatre's arch nemesis, a support pole that previously ran straight through the front of the stage, the house was packed (sold out, in fact), brimming with anticipation for this necessary show. TOPDOG/UNDERDOG tells the story of two brothers who have been dealt desolate hands in the game of life, and how each processes his fate.BWW Review: Gimme, gimme! THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE Opens at Theatre Jacksonville June 12, 2017
With wide eyes and big dreams, Millie Dillmount leaves behind her small town of Salina, Kansas to pursue a life of riches and fame in New York City. Like most of us, it takes Millie mere moments in the Big Apple to learn her goals may be a little harder to come by than she had originally thought. THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, a comedic musical in two acts is full of fun choreography, toe-tapping songs, and larger-than-life characters.BWW Feature: VITAL 5: This Weekend In Jacksonville Theatre June 8, 2017
The 5 & Dime held an evening of song at BABS Lab in Riverside Friday and Saturday night. Some of Jacksonville's finest took the stage in a themed 'Miscast' Cabaret, and I was there to speak with the castand audience members post-performance.BWW Review: STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Alhambra Dinner Theatre May 31, 2017
Summer is right around the corner for Jacksonville students, and that means sun, fun, andsummer camp! If you're looking for a week-long adventure for your children this summer, you'll want to consider Shortstack Theatre Company's Acting and Musical Theatre Camp offerings, hosted by The 5 & Dime in Jacksonville's urban core.BWW Feature: Douglas Anderson's SPRING MUSICAL THEATRE SHOWCASE at the DuBow Theatre May 22, 2017
With tear stained cheeks, the 2017 graduating Musical Theatre class at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts took their final bows in the DuBow Theatre last Thursday night at the Spring Musical Theatre Showcase, directed by David Loudermilk. In his first year at Douglas Anderson, Loudermilk directed a phenomenal performance of PARADE in the fall, which was met with high acclaim and appreciation, and set the tone for a diverse and compassionate season.BWW Feature: SENIOR THEATRE SHOWCASE at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, with Interviews May 11, 2017
There was an energy buzzing throughout the black box theatre at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts last Wednesday night. A thoroughly packed house, full of family, friends, and students awaited the final theatre projects of the graduating class of 2017. The evening was stuffed withtwo movement pieces, 12 monologues, five duet scenes, and four ensemble scenes, and I experienced so many emotions.BWW Feature: VITAL 5: This Weekend in Jacksonville Theatre April 27, 2017
Ron Shreve's vision for this show is stunningly complimented by Erin Barnes' musical direction. Intricately staged, every movement is purposeful to the story. The acoustics at The 5 and Dime are swell, and this cast of ten posesses a full, awe-inspiring sound. Rarely a missed note was uttered, and not once did I catch an early execution of a line.BWW Review: STEEL MAGNOLIAS in Full Bloom at Theatre Jacksonville April 23, 2017
If you are like me and were practically raised inTruvy's Beauty Parlor, when STEEL MAGNOLIAS hits the stage, you're in the front(ish) row, trying to get Shelby to drink her juice. If you're not like me, you might check it out because it has become a classic and you want to know why. Whichever your stance, you're in luck, because Theatre Jacksonvilleopened STEEL MAGNOLIAS Friday night, and it will play through May 7th.BWW Review: STRAIGHT OUTTA OZ Spends One Short Day at the Thrasher-Horne April 23, 2017
Brilliant costumes and catchy, well-written songs cannot salvage this provoking concept that ultimately misses the mark. This is not my story or your story, and no one in the room is encouraged to see themselves in Todrick's story (unless we are one of the ensemble dancers). Todrick knows that, acknowledges it in the pricey playbill, and his fans do not seem to mind one bit.BWW Interview: VITAL 5: This Weekend in Jacksonville Theatre April 20, 2017
'Whattya wanna do?'
'I dunno, what do YOU wanna do?'
'I dunno, what do YOU-'
Stop the madness, y'all. Jacksonville is the smallest big town I've ever seen, and although there is so much to do, it can be overwhelming trying to narrow it down. The Vital 5 is here to help you decide. This weekly feature breaks down my top 5 theatrical picks for the upcoming week. Share this to help your friends, and we can then all avoid the frustration of having to choose (well, kind of - you're on your own for dinner plans!)BWW Feature: Northeast Florida Premieres A NEW BRAIN at The 5 & Dime April 11, 2017
The northeast Florida premiere of William Finn and James Lapine's A NEW BRAIN (1998) opens April 21st at The5 & Dime's new, permanent space off East Adams Street in Jacksonville's core. A NEW BRAIN carries risks, much akin to that of the lead character's brain condition, but Josh Waller's soaring voice as Gordon Schwinn complemented by the fluid sound of a strong ensemble should top your to-do list next week.BWW Review: THE DINING ROOM Delights at Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts April 6, 2017
A.R. Gurney's THE DINING ROOM, a play in two acts, presents the audience with a series of vignettes with nearly 60 characters, all played by only 7 actors. Covering decades of family life for North Eastern "WASPS"s (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants), this disappearing upper middle class is poked fun at in moments, revered in others, and delectably exposed in Douglas Anderson School of the Arts' production of this Pulitzer nominated piece.BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LITTLE MERMAID is Making Waves in Jacksonville March 22, 2017
The curtain set sail as the orchestra led an overture riddled with recognizable tunes. Two rows behind me, an adorable little girl clad in turquoise fins and a long red wig bounced up and down in her seat, eager for the show to begin. From behind a brilliantly dressed proscenium, Diana Huey popped out through playful bubbles, singing "This is where I belong!" to open the 5th Avenue Theatre's touring production of Disney's The Little Mermaid. Huey, who leads as Ariel, is absolutely accurate in her first lines. Masterfully assuming the role of the stubborn little mermaid with a show-stopping voice, Huey is joined by a stellar cast of theatrical strength.