The Summer Musical Theatre Experience (SMTE) provides seventh graders to seniors in Northeast Florida with an opportunity to get hands-on acting experience performing in well-known plays such as “Hairspray!” and Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast.”
This year, the eighth-annual SMTE is performing the satire “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Folio Weekly caught up with 18-year-old J.D. Rees by phone to talk about his lead role in the production.
Folio Weekly: Can you tell us a little bit about the production?
J.D. Rees: It’s all about this character who goes by Finch, and that’s my role actually. He basically finds this book, the book on "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," and he reads it and goes step by step. Throughout the play you see how he’s able to get from the mailroom, bottom of the food chain, to the executive boardroom. It’s kind of just his steps on how he gets up the business ladder without actually trying.
F.W.: How long have you been doing this program?
Rees: This is a summer program, and this is my second year. I was in "Peter Pan" last year. My sister Rachael, she actually did it the year before that, and she was the one that got me interested in doing this summer program. I believe they did “Hairspray” that year. So yeah, this is my second year.
F.W.: What’s the atmosphere like during the program?
Rees: It’s really cool because we’re all high school based. That’s the cool thing about the program honestly, they’re able to take a bunch of high school students and really kind of change them and put them in a professional setting. They give us a set schedule and this amazing show and amazing stage, amazing everything honestly. Everyone is just so nice and everyone is so helpful, no one really puts anyone down. You just make a ton of brand new friendships.
F.W.: Was the Summer Musical Theater …
Delta riffs roared high as draft beer and sauce-slathered meats stained fingers and beards and tie-dyed shirts during opening night of the Springing the Blues Music Festival, which runs April 5-6 at the Sea Walk Pavilion on Jacksonville Beach.
Parker Urban Band opened the main stage with some of the smoothest R&B singing of the evening from Juanita Parker-Urban and Myrna Stallworth. Their rich, full voices were complemented by the tight percussion and vibrant brass and harmonica musicians. The band would seamlessly transition from punchy verses to extended, loose jams that showcased the strengths of each musician.
The Brandon Santini Band hailed straight from Beale St. Tenn., which Santini made abundantly clear by his on-stage swagger and showbiz get-up. That’s not to say they’re all show and no pulp; Santini could rip the solos out of his effects-laden harmonica for minutes on end — occasionally stopping to gasp for oxygen and offer a charming wink. The guitarist’s rig was particularly bare-bones — he used a jacked-up-to-10 tube-screamer to make his telecaster squeal and kicked it off to fade back into the rhythm.
From a guitar-playing perspective, Joanne Shaw Taylor was possibly the best musicianship of the night. Taylor could skillfully coax an array of tones and textures out of her Les Paul, transitioning with ease from cool, emotive solos to loud, ballsy riffs that would garner at least a head nod from the audience. With the earnestness and grit she used to sing the blues, it was nearly impossible to tell she comes from across the pond.
“She ain’t no Southern country girl?” an audience member remarked after she dropped the drawl between songs to talk in a natural English inflection.
The Taylor outfit was an interesting crew, with a middle-aged bassist who looked like he just stepped off the ACDC reunion tour bus with the Angus Young-inspired antics and facial expressions he would get into while delivering the rhythm. The …
“Ancient City Stories,” a lifestyle show produced entirely by students and alumni of Flagler College, will debut at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 on CW17, according to a press release from Flagler College. The show will continue on WCWJ — Jacksonville's CW network affiliate — at 7 p.m. Sundays for 52 weeks.
Students from Flagler College's Communication Department as well as arts and graphic design researched, interviewed, shot and edited the show.
The show will cover people, locations and events highlighting St. Augustine.
A live screening of the premiere episode will play 7 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Gamache-Koger Theater in the Ringhaver Student Center, 50 Sevilla St., in St. Augustine.
"'Ancient City Stories' is a fantastic opportunity for our students who consistently create broadcast quality work," said Josh Wallace, the college's FCTV station manager, according to the press release. "The students have put a lot of hard work in to get the show to the point it is at, and with the premier right around the corner, we are all very excited to see the fruits of our labor."
An introductory video can be found on http://www.ancientcitystories.com.
An art project that traveled from China, via Australia, to the West Coast of the U.S., has arrived in Jacksonville.
Collector Mike Cavendish acquired "The Unauthorized Collection of John Kaldor," which centers on a room-sized installation. The project was then transported to Jacksonville by artist David De Boer along with filmmaker Aaron Giesel, who chronicled the journey.
“It allowed them to have all these happenings with different Americans everyday,” Cavendish said. “They had a pop-up exhibition in Chicago. It was about a process of allowing a special work of art to pass through for all to see.”
Cavendish is a downtown attorney at Gunster Jacksonville and was thrilled to have these two artists, De Boer and Giesel, both of Southern California, spend 3 days in the city and meet with the art community.
The work was commissioned by FELT Space, a gallery in Australia, and created in China. De Boer wanted Kaldor’s collection to be made piece for piece in the same place Kaldor made his fortune.
The art project is considered to consist of three essential parts that made the process special — the installation, the journey and the film — Cavendish said.
“It’s the first time this has been done anywhere in the world,” Cavendish said. “Kaldor had a collection of world-class contemporary art he paid for by doing trade between China and Australia. It is provocative, highly original and was met with a great reception in Australia.”
Cavendish says that the installation confronts the way that the art market is aligning itself with the billionaires or the one-tenth of the 1 percent, taking art away from the masses.
De Boer’s work challenges that ideal by taking a highly renowned collector’s pieces and duplicating them.
Cavendish hopes to have the installation put up around Jacksonville to help promote Jacksonville as the next art hub, similar to Brooklyn or …
A film written by a Jacksonville resident will screen in the same theater where the Oscars are handed out in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Best Friends Films’ “The Other Half,” written by Jacksonville’s Sharon Y. Cobb, received runner-up honors and $1,000 in cash and prizes in the 48 Go Green International Film Competition.
The short film will screen with other winners on April 19, about two months after Hollywood stars pick up their Oscars Feb. 24, at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
In the Go Green film competition filmmakers must create the concept, write the script, cast, film and edit the film all within the 48-hour time limit.
“The Other Half” is about Albert Smith, a young man searching for the girl in a torn photograph he discovered. Meanwhile, Lark Green is trying to teach the world ways to save the environment, but no one will give her the time of day. She seeks a boy in torn photo, because she believes he will help her save the world.
Cobb, a member of the Writers Guild of America, is also director of the University of North Florida Writers Conference and teaches literature classes at UNF. She also created the comedy website FunnyFixx.com and produces the web series “Thurapy.”
Best Friends Films, led by producer/director Marc Boese, had their film “Way Off the Grid” selected among the top-rated films for the 2011 competition.
In the past few years, reality shows have taken over television. With every channel change comes a different version of what “reality” is.
Luckily for Jacksonville, reality is pretty sweet.
Sweet Pete’s, a natural canning and sweet treat shop located in the historic district of Springfield, will now be known for more than its delicious candies. CW 17 has decided to make a show called, "Sweet Pete’s: The Show." It will highlight the in and outs and ups and downs of building a small business, all while maintaining the entertainment factor with a colorful cast.
Pete Behringer, son of Peterbrooke Chocolatier’s founders and co-owner of Sweet Pete’s, said he owes the recent deal with CW 17 to another local show.
“We were featured on a local show over here in Jacksonville, and the executive producer spent the day … with us and she liked what we were doing and thought, ‘We need to have cameras over here in this place because you people are crazy.’ … The rest is history,” he said.
For most people, having cameras following them around would put them in a frenzy; constantly worrying about how their hair looked, if there was anything in their teeth or what mom would think. But for Behringer and the cast, it became part of their everyday life.
“At first, it’s very strange. It’s a very strange sensation. But it’s not long before that feeling goes away, and you’re just doing your business, you’re going about your daily routine, you’re not really thinking about it, at least, I wasn’t. … I think [for] most of the people here, it just got to be natural,” Behringer said.
So who are “the people?” The cast is made up of co-owners and spouses, Peter and Allison Behringer; business partner Dane Baird; candymaker Demetric Nathan; shop manager Ericka Woods and decorator Christopher Cahill.
Each of these characters …
At times hokey, vague couplets like “We’re the fire, from the sun/we’re the light, when the day is done” are the norm for this husband-and-wife songwriting duo, but Johnnyswim’s able musicianship on their debut record, Diamonds, made that an easier pill. Amanda Sudano Ramirez, daughter of disco diva Donna Summers, leads most of the catchy, heartfelt pop material with a delicate, affecting voice. It’s pitch-perfect, but not so polished as to sound inorganic. Abner Ramirez, who studied at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, supports the melodies with an equally able, dynamic voice and acoustic guitar. No earth-shaking going on here, but that’s OK. 7:30 p.m. July 25 at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, $22.
It might not feel like fall in Northeast Florida yet, but the fall arts season is in full swing. This is one busy weekend for visual arts, with several major openings.
New York painter Leslie Wayne’s exhibit of abstract art created by building layers of oil paint into 3-D compositions opens J. Johnson Gallery's season. You have never seen paintings like these. The paint is sculpted, scraped, cut and combined to create works evocative of geological and oceanographic forms.
Reception 6-8 p.m. Sept. 20, exhibit continues through Nov. 1
J. Johnson Gallery, 177 Fourth Ave. N., Jacksonville Beach
‘Abstraction Over Time: The Paintings of Michael Goldberg’
The Museum of Contemporary Arts Jacksonville mounts the first retrospective exhibit to encompass the entire span of Michael Goldberg's career. Goldberg was an abstract expressionist who discussed art and studied with Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. Goldberg died in 2008, but his wife, the artist Lynn Umlauf, will attend the opening.
Reception 6 p.m. Sept. 20 for patrons, 7-9 p.m. for members, exhibit Sept. 21-Jan. 5, 2014
Admission: Free for members, $10 for nonmembers
‘The Human Figure: Sculptures by Enzo Torcoletti’
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens celebrates the opening of the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Community Sculpture Garden & Plaza with its inaugural exhibit. Permanent sculptures in the new space include William Zorach’s bronze “Spirit of the Dance.” The completion of the Olmsted Garden restoration is celebrated with live music, art-making activities and demonstrations.
Sculpture Garden Ponce de León Society opening and donor recognition 6-8 p.m. Sept. 20
Sculpture Garden community opening 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 21
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 829 Riverside Ave., …
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville announced the selection of Kim Bergeron as its new executive director, according to a press release Oct. 1.
Bergeron is expected to start Nov. 1, replacing Robert Arleigh White, who retired after 13 years as executive director.
Bergeron was the director of Cultural and Public Affairs in Slidell, La. In November 2012, she chose to resign from her post rather than select one of two other employees to be laid off, according to a story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
In Slidell, Bergeron spearheaded fundraising efforts for programming and worked with the New Orleans Museum of Art to bring in exhibits that included art by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Andy Warhol, according to the Cultural Council.
Bergeron was the unanimous choice of a search committee made up of Cultural Council board members and community representatives.
"The committee was wowed by all Kim has achieved in her previous roles," Cultural Council board member Abel Harding said, according to the news release.
The PRI 48-Hour Film Project screens the best films as decided by the judges at 7 p.m. July 13 at the Florida Theatre.
“Pushover” by Dads has a chance for a sweep as the film is nominated in all categories, including best film.
Joining “Pushover” in the best film category is “One & Change” by Mad Cowford and “Goodnight” by Best Friends. The three Best Film nominees are also nominated for best direction.
Both “One & Change” and “Goodnight” won an audience award for their respective screenings in Group A and Group C.
Best writing nominees include “The Philosophy of Psychology Series Video No. 24 "Romance” by Yeeaarrhh, “Pushover” and “Goodnight.”
“One & Change” and “Pushover” join “Sisterhood” by Ruby Red Productions with nominations in best cinematography.
Rounding out the nominations are the big three in “Pushover,” “One & Change” and “Goodnight” for Best Sound Design.
Other awards to be given out include best actor and best actress, best ensemble cast. Tickets to the screening are $10.
All of the films entered were viewed by judges and the nominees have been decided. The winners will go on to represent Jacksonville at Filmapalooza and be up for Best 48 HFP Film of 2013.
Each movie had to be written, shot, edited and scored in 48 hours to enter.