The most highly-anticipated show in the Jacksonville Artists Series is here at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts through Sunday, and you don’t want to miss it!
The stars of the show are puppets, made of leather, cane and aluminum struts. It is the puppeteers who bring Joey, the War Horse, and the other assorted horses, birds and farm animals to life. A head puppeteer stands outside each horse and two other puppeteers inside the body. The movements are incredibly life-like, and it takes no time at all for one to become emotionally attached to the horses.
How was Jacksonville fortunate enough to be chosen for this show? Well, it seems that Michael Morpurgo, author of the novel “War Horse” requested the show come to Jacksonville so his 90 year-old cousin, Betty Bergmark, could see the production. “War Horse” is also being performed in London and Berlin, the capitals of the countries who fought each other in World War I.
The journeys of Joey, the horse, and Albert, his young owner who joins the army to search for him, are not always easy to watch. But ultimately, the ending is happy and the show is breath-taking. I loved this show!
Information and tickets are available by phone (904) 442-2929 or online at the Artist Series website.
The downtown Florida Theater is one of Jacksonville’s treasures. Built in 1927 as Jacksonville’s largest movie theater, this Mediterranean Revival style building is one of only four remaining movie “palaces” in Florida. The main lobby is designed as a Moorish courtyard, complete with glittering stars, balconies and fountains. Longtime Jacksonville residents remember fondly hearing the Mighty Wurlitzer Opus 1569 pipe organ played at most events.
One of the most famous artists to perform at the Florida Theater was Elvis Presley in 1956. It is said that Judge Court Judge Marian Gooding sat through the entire performance to make sure Elvis’s body movements were not too suggestive!
As our population deserted downtown and moved to the suburbs, the Florida Theater fell into disrepair. A major renovation in 1983 restored the building to its original splendor. Sadly, the renovation did not include the Mighty Wurlitzer, now adorning Grace Baptist church in Sarasota.
Today, the Florida Theater seats 1,900 and offers an incredible variety of over 200 events each year. From Merle Haggard (country), to Pat Metheny (jazz), Beach Boys (60s rock), Jake Shimakuburo (ukulele), the Temptations (do-wop), magicians, Chinese acrobats, and more, there is truly something for everyone. Check out their schedule at FloridaTheatre.com.
Just 5 more days to see Picasso Art & Arena at the newly renovated St. Augustine Visitor Center. The collection is on display for the first time in the United States and consists of graphic art, illustrated books and ceramics by Pablo Picasso.
Picasso had an answer for those who find modern art difficult to understand: “The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I take pictures that do?”
Another of his quotes: “It took me four months to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
Much of this exhibit centers on the theme of bullfighting, one of Picasso’s favorite sports. The displays are beautifully arranged and suitable for families as well as for the art connoisseur. What a wonderful opportunity to see the works of one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century!
If you go: The St. Augustine Visitor Center is located at 10 W. Castillo Drive. Exhibition hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm through Sunday, August 11, 2013. There is a small entrance fee. For more information, call 904.825.1000.
Sculpture on display in Hemming Park at One Spark Jacksonville
For 5 days, April 17-21, One Spark lights up downtown Jacksonville. One Spark gives creators, artists , entrepreneurs and innovators a venue to showcase their work. And there’s $250,000 to be distributed based on public vote.
You’ll enjoy speakers, food, music and entertainment. So come downtown and join the festivities!
He’s the undisputed master of the ukelele, and this Wednesday, March 20th, Jake Shimabukuro will be at the Florida Theater in Jacksonville. Tickets are $30. For a preview of what Jake can do with 4 strings, go to youtube.com and search for “Jake Shimabukuro”.
The ukelele has become increasingly popular. The ukelele is both affordable and relatively easy to play. There are 3 sizes of ukeleles – the soprano, the concert, and the tenor – and I have one of each. Looking forward to this concert!
Lt to rt: Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukeleles
The Cummer Museum is a place of beauty, a place that restores the soul. The Cummer was established in 1961 when art collector and garden enthusiast Ninah Cummer donated her riverfront home and art collection to the city of Jacksonville to be used as a museum. Since that time, the Cummer has expanded its original collection of 60 pieces to almost 5,000 works of art.
There are many ways to experience the Museum and Gardens. Take a docent led tour, hear music in the historic gardens, attend a lecture, or take an art class. Strolling through the various rooms, you will find world class art spanning from 2100 B.C. through the 21st century.
One popular event is the annual Garden Month, coming in March and offering outdoor concerts and community events. Also popular is the classical concert series held in the intimate Cummer Auditorium. Spaces fill quickly for these, so make your reservations early.
Information about the Museum as well as a calendar of events may be found at the Cummer website. See you at the Cummer!
It’s a beautiful weekend to be out and about in our River City. Looking for something to do? Here are a few suggestions:
Jacksonville Agricultural Fair: The Fair is here again with exhibits, rides, music, food, and fun for the entire family. Come celebrate our heritage, culture and community. October 31-November 11 downtown at the Fairgrounds. www.JacksonvilleFair.com
Northeast Florida Veg Fest: Saturday, November 3, 10:00am – 5:00 pm, at Riverside Park. Cooking demonstrations, speakers, live music, animal rescue groups, games and more. www.neVegFest.org
Jacksonville Symphony: Music of John Denver, Saturday, November 3rd, 8:00 pm at Jacoby Hall. www.JaxSymphony.org
Fall is such a beautiful time of year in Jacksonville. It’s also a great time to enjoy a state park, one of our national historic sites, a walk along our Riverwalk, or a stroll on the beach (the tourists are gone now).
Have a wonderful weekend!
Did you know that the Friday Musicale is the oldest musical organization in the state of Florida? And 2nd oldest musical organization in the country?
Founded in 1890, the Friday Musicale presents concerts free of charge to the Jacksonville community, provides educational outreach to local students, and awards college scholarships to music students. The Gala Opening Concert for the 2012-2013 season is this Friday, October 12th, at 7;30 p.m. with the Lynne Arriale Trio.
Most concerts are held at the Friday Musicale Auditorium at 645 Oak Street; many are offered both at 11:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Admission is FREE, but a $75 membership includes afternoon post concert receptions, admission to member events, and other benefits. More information is available at FridayMusicale.com.
Fall is in the air, and with the change in season, there is much to do in Jacksonville, Florida. Many newcomers are surprised to learn that we don’t spend all our time at the beach in the Sunshine State, and that we have many varied cultural events in our vibrant city.
Today, I would like to focus on two of my favorite chamber music/recital series: the Riverside Fine Arts Series and the Beaches Fine Arts Series.
The Riverside Fine Arts Series opens its Concert Series Friday, October 12th, at 8:00 with Julian Lage, guitarist. November events include the Bohemian Quartet, November 16th, and the Empire Brass, November 29th. Enjoy world-class music in an intimate atmosphere at the Church of the Good Shepherd in historic Riverside. Tickets are $25 with season discounts available.
The Riverside Fine Arts Organ Series opens this Thursday, October 11th, at 7:30 p.m. with Felix Hell performing with the Jacksonville Symphony in Jacoby Hall.
In 1972, the Beaches Fine Arts Series began offering world class music and dance in a series of 8 free programs annually. Most concerts are held at the stunning St. Paul’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Jacksonville Beach, FL. Upcoming performances include the American Boy Choir, Sunday November 21st at 4:30 and the American Brass Quintet, Friday November 9th at 7:30 p.m.
There’s even a reception after each of the Riverside Fine Arts Series and the Beaches Fine Arts Series performances, where you can meet and greet the performers, enjoy visual art work from regional artists, and perhaps pick up an autographed CD!
“Showing the Way” by artist Brower Hatcher in memory of the life and work of US Rep Tillie Fowler, 1942-2005. Located on the North Bank Riverwalk at 221 Riverside Avenue.
The three orbs represent the levels of energy of Tillie’s spirit: Family, Community, and Country.