Jazz Divas? Hollywood Blondes? Celebrity Caricatures? In Jacksonville?
So what’s the occasion?
A big one, actually: The Kick-Off to the 99th season of the oldest continually-producing community theater in Florida, Theatre Jacksonville.
Treat yourself to an experience different from anything else that happens in Jacksonville. On Saturday, October 13, three talented performers take the stage at Theatre Jacksonville beginning at 2:00 p.m. and going through the evening. Two of them have deep and early roots to hometown Jax, and the third has performed professionally in nearly every entertainment forum you can imagine.
Show and Tell: The Wit and Art of Celebrity Caricaturist Ken Fallin opens the day’s events at 2:00. Fallin spent his childhood in Jacksonville, graduating from Lee High School. He fell in love with theater while acting at The Little Theatre, now Theatre Jacksonville, and has maintained ties there ever since. After college at Parson’s School of Design, Ken became inspired by Al Hirschfield caricatures and began his long career depicting stars and other celebrities in cartoons.
Ken’s Show and Tell wittily recounts his legendary career through colorful stories and personally selected images from his vast cache of celebrity drawings. He shares his poignant and hilarious experiences with such personalities as Carol Burnett, Liza Minnelli, and Barbra Streisand, among many others. His presentation is followed by a question/answer session to personalize the experience for every audience member.
At 4:30, Sarah Boone hits the stage – not in her usual role as Theatre Jacksonville’s executive director, but in Sarah Boone and Her Hollywood Blondes, her new cabaret show that pays homage to the fair-haired leading ladies of classic screen musicals, including Debbie Reynolds, Doris Day, Betty Grable and Ginger Rogers … just to name a few. Sarah shares the songs and stories of these fascinating and glamorous stars who sang and danced their way into America’s mid-twentieth century heart, influencing geneations along the way. She brings the show to Jacksonville after several recent appearances in New York City and Los Angeles.
It is through her long-standing friendship with Sarah Boone that the event’s headliner finds herself in Jacksonville. Linda Purl has appeared in productions too numerous to count, including as Fonzie’s fiancée on “Happy Days,” Charlene on “Matlock,” and in over forty-five made-for-TV movies. She has also appeared on the Theatre Jax stage in the one-woman play, The Year of Magical Thinking. Besides her non-stop acting career, Linda founded the California International Theatre Festival. Linda Purl is the real deal, and we can thank Sarah Boone for bringing her here again.
Midnight Caravan, Purl’s one-woman show that will wrap up the evening (curtain time 7:30), salutes the great female singing stars of the 1940s and 50s. From Ella Fitzgerald to Judy Garland to Rosemary Clooney, her renditions of great jazz classics conjure a nighttime world of posh clubs and free-flowing drinks.
And don’t forget Theatre Jacksonville is located in San Marco Square, also known as Restaurant Row for many good reasons; among them Rue Saint Marc, Matthew’s, Taverna, The Loop and Town Hall, all within walking distance of the theatre.
Single tickets are available for all shows at various prices. Limited All-Show Passports are also available including special Theatre Jacksonville subscriber pricing. Call 396-4425 or go to www.theatrejax.com.
Don’t miss these fabulous shows and the chance to support a thriving cultural institution that has been a mainstay in Jacksonville for generations.
By Carol Grimes