Monthly Archives: January 2023

Joyful! Mary Poppins at Players by the Sea in Jacksonville Beach (Through February 5, 2023)

Mary Poppins, the movie, was released in 1964 starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. That year, the movie took home Oscars for best score and best song (“Chim Chim Cher-ee”) and Julie Andrews was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress.  In 2004, the musical version opened in London’s West End. In 2006, the show debuted on Broadway and on April 7, 2017 at Mercury Theatre in Chicago. And now, in January of 2023, it opens at Players by the Sea in Jacksonville Beach.

The show stopping songs are the highlight of the show. “Spoonful of Sugar”, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, and “Feed the Birds” top the list. Not to mention, it’s pretty great when Poppins pulls out a really tall coat rack out of her bag.

Joanna Berry is fantastic as Mary Poppins. This talented fully captures the character with her big smiles and endless charm. She has just returned to Jacksonville after performing for Disney and Universal. Neal Baker is excellent as Bert.  His dancing and singing of “Chim Chim Cher-ee” is a major highlight of the show. Kathryn Allison is fantastic as Miss Andrew, the very strict nanny. She relishes in her devilish nature. Kathryn’s talent brings so much to this small role which makes for a very memorable performance.

See the program here.

Cost of a ticket: $35

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value –

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Get tickets now for Mary Poppins through February 5th!

Quinn Delaney


A Masterpiece! Tedeschi Trucks Band at The Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida (January 22, 2023)

The Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Gainesville, Florida is packed tonight. The band returns the favor by packing the stage with 12 musicians: Susan Tedeschi (guitar, vocals), Derek Trucks (guitar), Gabe Dixon (keyboards, vocals), Brandon Boone (bass), Tyler “Falcon” Greenwell (drums), Isaac Eady (drums), Mike Mattison (vocals), Mark Rivers (vocals), Alecia Chakour (vocals), Kebbi Williams(saxophone), Ephraim Owens (trumpet) and Elizabeth Lea (trombone).

Tedeschi says she is not sure if they have every played Gainesville before. This is surprising as they are based in Jacksonville, just an hour and a half drive away.

“Until You Remember” truly shows Tedeschi’s range. She sings the verses so soft and sweetly, but then she cranks it up for the chorus. “Well I know it ain’t refined /  But I’ll hold your place in line / Until you remember that you’re mine!” Then Trucks excellently complements her singing with his guitar solos. They interact as only a married couple can.

The epic instrumental “Pasaquan” showcases Trucks outstanding guitar skills. It also features a big drum solo with both drummers letting loose. After the 15+ minute song, the crowd erupts in applause as they realize they just witnessed an exhilarating roots rock masterpiece.

“I would go anywhere, anytime (Anywhere, anytime) I would do anything, anyway (anyway) Anyhow”. “Anyhow” is such a beautiful song. Tedeschi’s voice and the full band come together so perfectly.

See the full setlist here.

Photos by Stuart Levine

Cost of a ticket: $72 (Rear Orchestra)

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Catch Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Chicago Theatre on March 17, 18, 31, and April 1st!

Quinn Delaney

Indie Rock! Mo Lowda & The Humble at Jack Rabbits Live (January 20, 2023)

Mo Lowda & The Humble are an indie rock band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They formed 10 years ago, in 2013.  This is their first time playing in Jacksonville. The band consists of Jordan Caiola on vocals, Shane Woods on drums, Jeff Lucci on bass, and Kirby Sybert on lead guitar.  They have a style similar to Kings of Leon. It’s rock and roll with a strong groove.

Midway through the set, they play “Beachtown”. “You guys have a beach here, right?” he jokes.

At one point, an audience member yells “Duval!” Everyone responds, “Duval!” The lead singer says, “What the hell was that?” An audience member explains to him that it is a chant used at Jacksonville Jaguar games. Duval is the name of the county. The team is currently one of only 8 teams remaining in the NFL playoffs.

Their most popular song now is Curse the Weather, which has over 7.8 millions streams It’s a real rocker that features some great guitar work.

Cost of a ticket: $26

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They have a self titled album slated to be released on March 3, 2023. They will tour this album in the spring with a stop in Chicago on April 22 at Lincoln Hall.

Quinn Delaney

Short and Sweet: Last Train to Nibroc at Theatre Jacksonville (Through January 29, 2023)

A young woman and a young man meet on a train traveling across the country from Los Angeles to New York City in 1940. She is heading home to Corbin, Kentucky. He was originally planning to go his home in a neighboring town in Kentucky. However, after learning that F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West are also on the train, he has become inspired to continue all the way to New York to begin his career as a writer. They quickly develop a chemistry with each other.

Arlene Hutton has written a very sweet and romantic play. In this production, they talk very quickly. There are almost no pauses without anyone talking. It makes the play feel a bit rushed. The runtime is about 70 minutes, which is quite short for this play which usually lasts 90 minutes. There are two short breaks between scenes. These could easily be converted to short intermissions to allow the audience a minute to breath and digest all the dialog. It may also be a good idea to add in more movement, instead of them sitting down next to each together most of the time.

Alec Hadden is charming and friendly as the man ready to begin his career as a writer. He is very happy and plays a very likeable character. Kelsey Wittig is great as the woman who wants to be a missionary. She is so very sweet and kind.

Cost of a ticket: $31
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price +
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Get tickets to Last Train to Nibroc through January 29th!

Quinn Delaney

Classic Country Music: A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline at Alhambra Theatre and Dining (Through February 5, 2023)

A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline explores the life and career of the country music legend. The story starts in her hometown radio station in Wincester, Virginia. It then heads to honky tonks on the road. Then she is recording at a studio in Nashville, TN. The Grand Ole Opry soon follows along with Las Vegas and Carnegie Hall.

A great song in the show is “Leaving On Your Mind”. “If you’ve got leaving on your mind, tell me now, get it over.” It’s so simple and so heartbreakingly beautiful which also perfectly describes the show. If you aren’t familiar with Patsy Cline’s music, this is an excellent introduction. 

The best song is saved for last, “Crazy”, which was written by Willie Nelson. “I’m crazy for trying. And crazy for crying. And I’m crazy for loving you.” The band is fantastic, prominently playing at the back of the intimate stage.

Gail Bliss is fantastic as Patsy. This is her final tour of this show after doing it for 30 years. Over this time, she has truly mastered this role with her excellent voice. In addition, Dan Embree is hilarious as the radio DJ and the comedians. He’s so goofy and corny.

Cost of a ticket: $76 (A three course dinner is included with all tickets and it is served before the show.)

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Get tickets now for A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline through February 5th!

Quinn Delaney

High Energy! Step Afrika! at the Auditorium Theatre (January 14, 2023)

Stepping is a dance style created by historically African American fraternities and sororities. Step Africa! was founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams and has toured more 60 countries and ranks in the top ten of African American dance companies.

The performance tonight at the Auditorium Theatre is very high energy and the dancers have great coordination with each other. There is also a lot of interaction with an enthusiastic audience as they encourage clapping, stomping, and dancing along in a call and response style.

Early in the show they have a competition between the men and the women, fraternities verse sororities. It ends up in a 1-1 tie, as I suspect they intended.

The show could use an intermission. It runs about 85 minutes and the audience was clearly getting restless towards the end. Most of the dance shows at the Auditorium Theatre do have one or even two intermissions.

During the show, there is never any music playing. it’s just the sound of them stomping with their tap shoes and clapping. Only at one time do they use drums.

Late in the show, they introduce a dance that they learned by traveling to South Africa. They wear shin high boots like the ones worn by the miners who created the dance. It is very similar to Step and fits in very well with the rest of the pieces.

Cost of a ticket: $83 (Mid Orchestra)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

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Check out their website for information about future shows.

Quinn Delaney

Very Funny! Stand Up Stand Up at The Den Theatre (January 11, 2023)

Stand Up Stand Up is a premier stand up show that is on every Wednesday in January at the Den Theatre. Wait staff will take your orders during the show, but there isn’t a drink minimum.

The host and opener for the evening is Eric Emerson. He regrets majoring in Sociology, because it doesn’t lead to any jobs. His first job out of college was as a swim instructor, for dogs! He’s very funny and does a great job hosting all night.

The next comedian, Brandon Kieffer, talks about taking his dog to the vet and being shocked by the $1200 price tag for a 3 day stay at the vet. Afterwards, the vet says his dog will need a specialist. He decides to get the dog 2 weeks of pain killers while he decides what to do. He calls around to find out how much it would cost to put down his dog. Most places say $300 to $400, but one place says $75. “That’s just a Polish guy with a hammer!”, he says.

The next night he comes home to discover that his dog got into the pain killers and ate them all! Well, maybe this issue just fixed itself. However, the next morning, the dog is just fine; “I guess he really is a member of the family!”

Michael Meyers talks about how Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder have very specific mannerisms. Ever wonder why there aren’t white performers like that? It’s because the blind white guys can’t see their mannerisms to copy them! Later on he talks about how he suspects that at this point in his life, he will never have children. However, he does think it’s very possible for him to become a step-dad. In a very funny bit, he explains that he is fully ready to be called Mike condescendingly by his step children. “Screw you, Mike!” he says pretending to be his step child. 

Cost of a ticket: $24

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Get tickets for Stand Up Stand Up now!

Quinn Delaney

Solid! The World Premiere of Bald Sisters at Steppenwolf Theatre (Through January 21, 2023)

Two sisters are trying to sort out the details of their mother’s funeral. The elder sister, named Him, was by her side as she was dying. She already went ahead and made funeral arrangements. The other sister, Sophea, didn’t even know her mother was dying until after the fact. Upon returning to town, she insists that her mother be cremated in accordance with Buddhist tradition, to help her soul reincarnate. Him struggles with her history as a Cambodian refugee while Sophea searches for her identity as she was born after they fled the country.

Vichet Chum has written a very complex but balanced play about Cambodian refugees. It interweaves flashbacks seamlessly with drama and humor.

It really could use an intermission. Multiple audience members exited during the long play which was very distracting. After the climactic fight between the sisters would be a perfect time for this.

Photos by Michael Brosilow

Jennifer Lim is excellent as Him, the responsible older sister who feels like it’s all on her shoulders. Francesca Fernandez McKenzie is great as Sophea, the rebellious younger sister trying to grapple with the situation. Wai Ching Ho is outstanding as the wise-cracking mother who says whatever she wants. Coburn Goss is solid as Him’s husband, the light hearted and caring Christian pastor. Lastly, Nima Rakhshanifar is very funny as the college student who cuts their grass and enjoyed conversations with their mother.  

Cost of a ticket: $64 (Standard Ticket)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

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Get tickets now for Bald Sisters through January 21st!

Quinn Delaney

Very Funny! Holiday Showcase at Comedy Key West (December 22, 2022)

Tonight’s show is cohosted by Claire Caplan and Tom Dustin. Claire is an excellent singer. She sang during breakfast at Blue Heaven this morning. She sings a few Christmas songs, including “Santa Baby”, which sounds absolutely great.

They present a funny video where Aubrey Urban and Tom Dustin are interviewing candidates to play Santa for the kids. Gwen Filosa comes on stage dressed as Santa. A tall bearded guy (Steve Crane) is on stage dressed very casually in pajamas. After some deliberation, the tall guy is chosen because he looks more like Santa Claus. Gwen is pissed as she clearly put more effort into the auditon.

Steve Crane has slogans for all the bars in Key West. These might be funny for the locals, but the room full of tourists don’t get the jokes.

A guy who regularly performs at Irish Kevin’s takes the stage with a guitar. He proceeds to play a very funny song about a dysfunctional Christmas. The son is pissed off because he didn’t get his bike. The daughter is angry because she didn’t get her gift either. The song includes a lot of profanity, including the C-word, which he can only say if it is in a song at Irish Kevin’s.

Cost of a ticket: $29

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets for future shows here.

Quinn Delaney