BWW Feature: VITAL 5: This Weekend In Jacksonville Theatre
Remember way back when (okay, it was 5 weeks ago) when I said I would start pairing restaurants with can't miss shows for date night? The time has COME, friends. Let's do this. Here's this weekend's Vital 5 in Jacksonville (June 9-11th).
THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLE at Theatre Jacksonville: A family favorite! This toe-tappin', revamped classic is sure to be a hit. The winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLE was the 2002 season's most awarded new show on Broadway! Based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film, it takes you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when "moderns", including a flapper named Millie Dillmount, were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce, and rewriting the rules of love. This high-spirited musical romp is a delightful valentine to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there. Featuring an adored cast with direction by Curtis Williams and music direction by Erin Barnes, this is an excellent choice for date night or a family outing. Nestled in its long-running home in San Marco, you almost can't go wrong with dinner plans. Taverna is a popular spot, so get those reservations in early if this is the route you're going. For a full-out flapper feel, swing by Sidecar in San Marco for a bourbon old-fashioned or dirty martini to get find your 1920's New York state of mind...as for me, you'll find me grubbing on calamari and cocktails at Indochine a few doors down before Saturday night's show at 8 pm. Come say hi! Tickets are available here, and the show runs through June 25th. (SECRET: THIS IS MY FAVORITE SHOW EVER...with music that can barely keep me in my seat and a storyline that pulls on my heartstrings, I am excited about this one, y'all!)
THE EXPLORER'S CLUB at Amelia Community Theatre: The setting is London, 1879. The prestigious Explorers Club is in crisis: their acting president wants to admit a woman, and their bartender is terrible. True, this female candidate is brilliant, beautiful, and has discovered a legendary Lost City, but the decision to let in a woman could shake the very foundation of the British Empire, and how do you make such a decision without a decent drink? Grab your safety goggles for some very mad science involving deadly cobras, irate Irishmen and the occasional airship. Tickets can be purchased here. Direction by Frank O'Donnell. Wondering where to grab a bite to eat in Fernandina before the show? Follow the theme here, and snag a table at Gilbert's Underground Kitchen, a local favorite offering "exploratory" twists on southern barbeque and seafood. Running through June 24th, the Explorer's Club opens this weekend, and I'll be there Friday night at 8 pm! Will I see you there?
SENTENCES: Part of Players By The Sea's New Voices program, playwright Drew Brown's SENTENCES enjoyed a sold out opening weekend. Running through the 17th, SENTENCES illustrates the unjust prison sentence of Robin, a simple southern woman who is framed by a new lover of a crime she did not commit. Riddled with worry for the daughter she's left behind, Robin struggles to adjust to prison life. Unbeknownst to her, a multi-faceted drug ring involving guards and inmates progressively unfolds, leading to catastrophe. SENTENCES offers an authentic look into the flaws of our criminal justice system through the experience of a mother desperate to reunite with her child. Please note: content may be unsuitable for those under 14. Players has run a beautiful video feature on this project, which can be seen here . Tickets are available on their website, and it's sure to sell out again, so grab your tickets soon. Additionally, Players will be offering a special "Pay What You Want" night on Monday, June 12th. Need a recommendation for a date night dinner? With so many great choices in Jacksonville Beach, I'm sticking with one of my personal favorites: The Blind Rabbit. Located within walking distance of Players (which is a huge plus on a breezy summer night), the burgers and drinks here are great, and the service is personal and fun.
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: More Fernandina Beach Fun! The Amelia Musical Playhouse presents this beloved musical, running through June 24th. Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill them with traditional values in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof's universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality, and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness. Tickets are currently sold out. Please contact the box office if you'd like to be added to the waiting list. If Gilbert's Underground Kitchen isn't your jam, consider checking out the Shrimp and Grits at Burlingame before raising a glass and singing "L'Chaim!"
The Tony Awards: Literally the ONLY thing you should be doing on Sunday night. Whether you're in sweatpants or evening wear, tune in to CBS to shake your fist and celebrate with delight over your Broadway favorites this season (read: I will riot if Ben Platt doesn't win.). Whether you party at home or on location, food and theatre are some of life's sweetest gifts, so fill your plate with comfort food and enjoy the magic! Check back on our facebook page Monday for reactions from some Jacksonville artist's thoughts on this year's awards.