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PLAYING AROUND

Julio Iglesias thinks nearly all his songs are “sexy.” And he made sure to introduce them as so.

For the 1,400 fans clapping and laughing March 2 in Downtown Jacksonville, Iglesias probably couldn’t turn that charm off.

In between songs, he took a seat on his stool to talk and joke with the audience.

He asked only for a small favor, “If you make love tonight and you get pregnant, name [the baby] Julio.”

Julio Iglesias’ charm reflected in both his singing and his on-stage delivery, energizing about his fans at the Moran Theatre in the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts.

He thanked the audience again and again for coming to his concert on Oscar night.

Iglesias sang in Spanish, French and English. He drew the biggest reaction with his rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

Two ballroom dancers added an extra kick as they danced throughout many of Iglesias’ Spanish songs. They had an electrifying chemistry, and Iglesias later explained that they were married. He then asked the man, “Can I kiss your wife?” before he proceeded to kissed her.

One of the most defining instruments in the performance was the saxophone. Even Iglesias remarked, “If I played the saxophone like you, I would invite all my girlfriends to bed and play for them.”

Iglesias is so natural on stage that one can’t help but think it is second-nature for him. The entire performance seemed like it was improvised, yet it flowed so smoothly and seamlessly.

Iglesias might have surprised some with his exit. After an hour and a half, he walked off stage, the band finished, and the lights turned on. That was the end of that.

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PLAYING AROUND

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville’s “Contemporary Classic: Artisan Edition,” a fundraising gala to benefit MOCA’s educational endeavors, is 6-11 p.m. April 6.

Tickets for the gala are $200 for the “Classic Dinner,” which is seated in the galleries and will feature dishes made by local chefs with local ingredients.

Tickets are $50 for the “Classic Party” after dinner with dancing, interactive art experiences and Jacksonville-brewed spirits.

Dinner will kick off at 6 p.m. in the galleries and the party will follow at 8 p.m. in MOCA’s Teresa and Arthur Milam Lobby.

Proceeds from the ticket sales will support MOCA’s exhibits, educational programs and outreach initiatives. Among these programs is “Voice of the People,” which features recorded accounts and descriptions of works of art by students and adults; and “Rainbow Artists,” which promotes social interaction among children with autism through artistic activities.

The featured exhibit during the gala is “SLOW: Marking Time in Photography and Film.” This exhibit focuses on still photographs, films and video works that explore questions of time and duration. The exhibit features the works of seven artists whose methods in addressing the concept of time complement and challenge one another.

MOCA Jacksonville is located at 333 N. Laura St., in Downtown Jacksonville, next to the main library.

To purchase tickets call Director of Development Jason Kirk at (904) 366-6911, ext. 202, or visit mocajacksonville.org/event/cc.   More

PLAYING AROUND

Legendary singer-songwriter, poet, actor and cultural phenomenon Bob Dylan arrives in May, but for those who want tickets, the time is now. Dylan performs with support from Dawes, 7 p.m. May 5 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The $40-$60 tickets go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. March 22 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall and the amphitheater. Those who bought tickets to the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival have a pre-sale opportunity, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 20, only at the amphitheater box office. Members of the nonprofit Friends of the St. Augustine Amphitheatre may purchase tickets 10 a.m.-10 p.m. March 21 at fosaa.org. 1-800-745-3000, ticketmaster.com, findmytix.com.   More

PLAYING AROUND

One local man aims to keep local creative people in town with his music video countdown show "Music 4 U" (M4U). The show premieres 7:30 p.m. April 7 on CW17 with an emphasis on local music, fashion and art.

The show will feature Kentucky-born Kojo Robinson the show’s host and creator, as he presents a weekly viewer-chosen, top-five music video countdown, as well as a fashion segment from “Mz London,” or Shadae Myers. Kojo will speak with Northeast Florida artists, entertainers, athletes and personalities during the half-hour show.

Jake McCain of CW17 spoke about the year-long process the station and the show's creators went through to get to this point.

“We worked with Kojo and made suggestions and changes to get it to the quality of which we could air the show,” McCain said. “We gave constructive criticism throughout, and it was a back-and-forth process. As revisions were made, they implemented those suggestions, and we moved forward towards the green light.”

Kojo said that the process was a lengthy one, but it has been fun pursuing his dream.

“The main purpose is to show viewers that Jacksonville has a lot of talent that people aren't aware of,” Kojo said. “Many artists have to leave Jacksonville to get exposure. We want to stop that. We want to keep our talent and even bring talent from surrounding areas here.”

Strongly supportive of local music, artists and Jacksonville, Kojo said that he plans to keep the show here even if it he’s able to develop a national following.

“We are having a lot of people contacting us and sending us their videos,” Myers said. “It's a great feeling to get that support. We would love to eventually go national with the show, while keeping M4U right here. We want to make sure Jacksonville becomes that place where artists go to get their music to the masses.”   More

PLAYING AROUND

Comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and his Stand Up Revolution Tour attracted more than 2,000 spectators to the Times-Union Center’s Moran Theater on March 24.

Fellow Stand Up Revolution comedians Martin Moreno, Lance Patrick, Alfred Robles, Rick Gutierrez, Thai Rivera and G Reilly opened the show, each delivering a short set. After a short intermission, “Fluffy” took the stage.

Iglesias joked about raising his stepson and his three Chihuahuas and shared stories of traveling to the Middle East to tour and perform for a prince. A set that he promised would be 45 minutes lasted more than an hour to the delight of his fans.

The spectators were all ages — even to the surprise of Iglesias. “Fluffy” was shocked by the screams of a 4-year-old girl in the audience who seemed to enjoy the show whether she understood all the jokes or not. 

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PLAYING AROUND

Two Jacksonville University theater students received national recognition for excellence in acting.

Nick Boucher and Elaine Tyson were nominated for the prestigious Kennedy Center Irene Ryan Award for their work in the recent one-act comedies “Laundry & Bourbon” and “Lone Star.”

The nomination places the actors in the regional and national competitions for the American College Theatre Festival.

“I think our acting program at Jacksonville University produces student actors with a firmly rooted acting process and technique, and also provides them with the tools to pursue further training on the graduate level,” said Deborah Jordan, an assistant professor of theater at JU who directed the plays, in a press release from the university.

Since 1972, the Irene Ryan Foundation awarded scholarships to outstanding student performers at each festival. This year, the foundation is giving 19 regional awards and two fellowships consisting of 16 $500 scholarships, two $2,500 scholarships for the winners at the national level in Washington, D.C., and a cash prize of $250 for the student that is awarded the Kingsley Colton Award in national auditions.

The late Irene Ryan played Granny Clampett on “The Beverly Hillbillies.”   More

PLAYING AROUND

Americana music lovers camped beneath the live oaks at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for the 17th annual Suwannee Springfest March 21-24.

The first two days of the festival lucked out with fair weather. There were memorable performances by Spirit Family Reunion, Tornado Rider, Scythian, Von Grey, Keller and the Keels, Elephant Revival, Peter Rowan, Grandpa’s Cough Medicine, Whetherman, Leftover Salmon, the Travelin’ McCourys and countless more off-stage in the campgrounds.

Day three’s weather was not so kind to Springfest. Thunderstorms cancelled many of the day’s shows. Park employees had to bring in bales of pine straw to counteract the puddles and mud.

Despite the heavy rains and tornado-worthy winds Saturday, headliner Old Crow Medicine Show’s set still went on. The 6-piece string band kept the rain-soaked crowd’s spirits high by playing their hits “Wagon Wheel” and “Tell It to Me”. Fiddle player and vocalist Ketch Secor revealed it was not the band’s first time in Suwannee, they had played there 11 years before.

Covering Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ songs seemed to be a popular choice throughout the weekend. Keller and the Keels did a rendition of “Breakdown” and Old Crow Medicine Show played “American Girl.”

Artists came together for jam sessions throughout the weekend. Peter Rowan joined Keller and the Keels for a number, as did the Travelin’ McCourys. Violinist Darol Anger played with Leftover Salmon at their Friday set on the amphitheater stage. 

Festivalgoers who stuck it out in the rain Sunday morning enjoyed a sunny and warm afternoon of music by The Mosier Brothers, Donna the Buffalo, Peter Rowan & Friends, Jerry Douglas and Nikki Talley.

Springfest attendees can share their experiences and recommendations on the Suwannee Springfest Facebook page.

 

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PLAYING AROUND

Since it formed in 2010, the Coastal Georgia Film Alliance has facilitated the production of two television pilots, two full-length film features, two television series and four short films. The CGFA recently secured two new projects for Camden County, the short films “Mime in a Box” and “Preserve.”

Producer Kim Murray’s “Mime in a Box” is set to begin filming in Camden County in late spring. Murray is the producer of “The Prisoner,” another locally shot film, directed by the award-winning Mahmoud Shoulizadeh.  Shoulizadeh’s film “Noora” took first place at the 49th International Film Festival of Taormina in Italy. Samad Banks, the writer of “Mime in a Box,” has said the presentation and plot of the short is very “Twilight Zone”-ish.

“Preserve” is a post-apocalyptic short that was written by Wayne Deegan and filmed at the old paper mill site in St. Marys. The setting of the short is 170 years after a disaster that drove the survivors underground. The film focuses on four people who emerge to the surface and seek safe harbor in an unwelcoming world.

“These survivors are a lot like the pioneers in the early days of America,” Degan said. “Fighting the need to be complacent, they leave a comfortable place to explore life and improve their lot.”

According to CGFA co-founder and chair Doug Vaught, the organization works closely with the state of Georgia to fulfill location requests and see that the filmmakers’ needs are met.

“Georgia’s ‘up to 30 percent tax credits’ for filmmakers is a compelling reason for filmmakers to come to the area,” Vaught said, “but with so many locales to choose from and the potential of economic impact to a community so desirable, bringing film projects to an area can be very competitive.”

“We’re in the business of ‘repeat …   More

PLAYING AROUND

You either love him or you hate him, and he doesn’t really care which side you’re on.

Author, “Parts Unknown” host and chef Anthony Bourdain entertained a full house with anecdotes, laughs and plenty of the unapologetic irreverence for which he’s known April 25 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts Moran Theater.

While the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra performed for a dressier crowd next door in Jacoby Hall, Bourdain began his two-and-a-half hour show with what he called “The case against Paula Deen,” displaying a giant photo of the Food Network host with “dead doll eyes” and justifying his 2011 comments to TV Guide that Deen is “the worst, most dangerous person to America” when it comes to cooking personalities.

“The South is the cradle of great American gastronomy,” Bourdain said while showing photos and calorie counts of signature Paula Deen dishes, including The Lady’s Brunch Burger and Deep Fried Stuffing on a Stick. “Did anybody’s grandmother ever in history cook that shit?”

The first part of the one-man show was like a stand-up comedy routine as Bourdain joked about his previous drug problems and justified his career moves to host reality-TV cooking show “The Taste” and go on a lucrative speaking tour.

“This integrity shit is overrated. Guy Fieri makes more money than me!” he said, pausing to say that Fieri is the offspring of a drunken Billy Idol and a panda. “Point is, fuck it. I’m selling out.”

But Bourdain went on in a somewhat more serious tone to say that he would never sell out his principles of respect for food origins and world pluralism.

“I think food is important, that it’s more than just stuff you put in your face,” Bourdain said.

He bemoaned the disconnect of the American chain food industry as he said the best food culture in the world …   More

PLAYING AROUND

The hundreds of football fans who came to watch the Jacksonville Breeze play the Baltimore Charm May 25 were not disappointed.

The Breeze beat the Charm 27-12 in the second game of the season, after overwhelming the Atlanta Steam 48-0. After the March 30 blowout of the Steam, this game was a surprising defensive affair.

The Breeze scored on their first drive as Shelltrice Turner powered her way into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown and gave them a 7-0 lead.

After the Charm answered with a long touchdown pass from quarterback Holly Wilson to Ashley Helmstetter and missed the ensuing extra point, The Breeze only led 7-6.

That changed when Breeze quarterback KK Matheny connected with Bryn Renda on a four-yard touchdown to go up 14-6. Saige Steinmetz then rushed four yards on the next drive for the first of two touchdowns in the game making the score 21-6.

After halftime, the Charm immediately scored to make the score 21-12, but their momentum halted, and neither team scored for nearly the rest of the game.

After struggling on offense, but getting two interceptions from Adrian Purnell and an interception from Renda, Steinmetz ran for a one-yard touchdown to make it 27-12, which was the final score.

The win makes the Jacksonville Breeze 2-0, and the team is one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the Legends Football League. The Philadelphia Passion have not yet played a game.

The Jacksonville Breeze will play the Omaha Heart and Philadelphia Passion to finish the season.   More

 
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