Introduction & Listings by Karin Fabry • Stories By JoAnn Guidry
Last year was another successful one for the arts in Marion County. As the calendar months, (and also the weather) begin to usher in fall, we look forward to what our many talented, dedicated arts groups have to offer.
This year, we welcome the Square Theatre to the growing list of cultural organizations that grace the many stages throughout Marion County. This newly formed group has a busy season planned with six mainstage performances including Driving Miss Daisy and Steel Magnolias. So, take a look at what’s coming ahead on our area’s 2005-2006 cultural calendar. Pick your favorites. Buy your ticket. You’ll be glad you did.
Executive Director, Marion Cultural Alliance
For more than two decades, Cherie Beers had to approach most matters with the arms-length objectivity of a journalist. But she is embracing her new position as the first paid executive director of Marion Cultural Alliance with all-out enthusiasm.
“I love the reach and interaction of the MCA,” says Beers. “The relationship with the community is wonderful and invigorating. I’m having a great time.”
After 23 years with the Star Banner, the last five as executive editor, Beers was ready for a change of direction.
“It was time to do something different with my life and my career,” explains Beers, 47. “I have been interested in MCA from the moment it came into being. The message was so positive, the need was so great, and the methodology was so sound.”
As a journalist who greatly admired the arts, Beers witnessed the impact of MCA’s Horse Fever campaign.
“That project did such wonderful things for the community. It made Ocala feel so good about itself and gave us such pride,” she says. “It allowed us to showcase our equine industry and our sense of art. Those are the kinds of projects we want to continue to bring to Ocala.”
With MCA’s continuing focus on making the arts accessible to the community, Beers promises several new exhibits, involvement in the downtown renovation, and a surprise project in the fall. Pressed to disclose the surprise project, Beers reverted to her journalist persona and refused to divulge that information, saying only, “It will be wonderful and very exciting.”
For more information on the Marion Cultural Alliance, visit its website at mcaocala.com or call (352) 369-1500.
Storyteller, Ocali Storytelling Guild
Jeremy Evan’s slogan is “Have Story, Will Tell.” And at only 17, Jeremy is one of the best storytellers around. A member of the Ocali Storytelling Guild since he was 13, Jeremy is a past winner of the Florida Storytelling Association’s “Search for Youthful Voices” and was the 2004 Grand Torchbearer of the National Youth Storytelling Olympics.
“Jeremy is an absolutely wonderful storyteller,” says Don Leonard, co-founder of the Ocali Storytelling Guild. “We are very proud to have him as a member of our group.”
The guild can also boast of Leonard being the recent recipient of the “Southeast Regional Leadership Service Award In Storytelling.” Leonard was presented with the award at the National Storytelling Conference in mid-July in Oklahoma City.
For Jeremy, storytelling just came naturally. “I always liked listening to stories,” says Jeremy, a native Floridian who lives in Weirsdale. “Then my mom taught a 4-H storytelling workshop when I was 12 that I took. That’s when I told my first story and I’ve been doing it ever since.”
In five years, Jeremy’s repertoire of stories has grown to a revolving 25-30. He specializes in short, humorous stories and says, “Folktales are my favorites.”
Jeremy has become known for enhancing his stories with a variety of sound effects. “I guess I make a lot of weird noises,” he says. “I think it brings the stories to life and everyone really gets into the stories.”
His signature and award-winning story is Wide-Mouth Frog, the tale of a journeying frog encountering different fellow animals and asking them what they like to eat. Of course, Jeremy makes the sounds of the various animals as the story progresses until… Well, we won’t give away the ending. It’s better if you let Jeremy tell the story.
For more information on the Ocali Storytelling Guild and its upcoming activities, visit freewebs.com/ocalistorytellingguild/
Central Florida Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1975, the Central Florida Symphony Orchestra has recently launched a new fundraising drive. Under the title of Friends of the Symphony, the drive has revitalized this important member of the Ocala cultural scene.
“The response to Friends of the Symphony has been excellent,” says Paul Sarfarazi, CFS fundraising chairman. “It has been just outstanding and reaffirms how strongly the people of this community feel about classical music.”
The Friends of the Symphony allows for several different levels of membership from $2,500 to $10,000, or more. Additionally, a Central Florida Guild has been established to oversee fundraising events and the scholarship program.
Sarfarazi says plans are to continue with the four concerts during the October through July season. The CFSO also performs free concerts in co-operation with the Marion County Public Education Foundation, sponsors the Young Artist Competition, and takes part in the Fine Arts for Ocala’s Symphony Under the Stars each year.
Several new events are also being organized. “We are looking at some entertainment, education, and social functions that will give the symphony more exposure and presence throughout the year,” he says. “For instance, we hope to have an annual Symphony Ball. Many more exciting functions are being planned. Stay tuned.”
Visit cfsymphony.com for more detailed information concerning the Central Florida Symphony Orchestra.
For Ocala’s Marie Jo, music isn’t just a passion. It’s a way of life.
Photo By Cindy Mikell
Marie Jo sits at the piano, her fingers floating over the keys as she mysteriously conjures up the most wondrous sound. It’s a romantic piece by her favorite, Chopin, her heart and soul in each and every note.
For Marie, life and music have always been woven into one. Her mother, Sue Cho, was an opera singer in her native Korea and by five, Marie was playing the violin. By six, she had fallen in love with the piano.
After her family moved to the United States in 1980, Marie’s professional resume began. At 15, she performed Beethoven’s 2nd Piano Concerto with the Durham Symphony Orchestra. She studied music at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio before earning a Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of Music at Johns Hopkins University. Next was a Master’s degree in Music from Yale University.
“My parents sacrificed everything to come to this country so their children could have all the opportunities possible for a better life,” says Marie, 38, sitting in a casual, cozy music room just off the living room of her Ocala home. “My passion is music and I feel very blessed to have been able to pursue it.”
Marie’s talent matches her passion. She gained top accolades at the Chopin Kosciuzko National Competition, Elizabeth Competition, and the Westminster Piano Competition. While teaching in the Opera Department of Memphis State University, she was a pianist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Memphis Opera Theatre. She has traveled throughout the United States and Asia, enthralling concert audiences.
Marriage to Dr. Paul Jo in 1991 (after an eight-month courtship) and raising a family soon took precedence over her professional career. Not surprisingly, all three Jo children — Stephen (11), Kevin (8), and Grace (6) — play the piano, as well as other instruments. The centerpiece of the music room is Marie’s seven-foot black Steinway. Joining it are a cello, two violins, a flute, and a saxophone. Sheet music is stacked atop the piano and on stands in front of the other instruments. Bright light streams in from the large window and a whimsical black-and-white cloth screen bought from Pier One, classical composer’s names scripted on it, occupies a corner.
“We enjoy playing music as a family,” says Marie, smiling. “It’s a wonderful way to be together.”
Not long after moving to Ocala in 1997, Marie began looking for opportunities to return to playing for audiences. And she wanted to find a way to share her music in an altruistic way. Thus was born the Celebrate Life Concert Series, a non-profit corporation established to promote and serve the community through the advancement of classical music while benefiting local charitable organizations.
With Marie serving as founder and president, the Celebrate Life Concert Series has hosted a special concert once a year since its 2001 inception. Organizations that have benefited include Church of Family Ministries, North Marion Outreach Ministries, Church Without Walls, The Skill Day Center, and Interfaith Emergency Services.
“The concert series has been very well received by the community,” says Marie, who is quick to point out that she is assisted by a great board of directors. “It takes many people to put these events together. All the money raised by the concerts goes directly to the organization and we give them the check that night. It’s a wonderful way to give back to the community. Classical music is a gift that should be shared with everyone.”
Appleton Museum of Art
4333 NE Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala
The Appleton Museum of Art is one of the south’s premier art repositories and education centers. Originally built to display and preserve the collection of Arthur Appleton, the museum has expanded to include traveling exhibitions, educational programs, and cultural events.
Pacific Exotic: Woodblock Prints of Paul Jacoulet (Sept. 17-Nov. 13)
This group of 47 original prints — about a third of his total output — demonstrates not only Jacoulet’s interest in exotic subjects, but also the remarkable range of techniques and unsurpassed skill his carvers and printers used to achieve the images.
Cephas Wong: A Contemporary View on Eastern Landscapes (Sept. 17-Nov. 13)
This exhibit explores the inspired work of a contemporary artist from Singapore. His creations include a variety of traditional eastern media such as ink on paper and porcelain vessels.
Young in Art (Apr. 1-23)
The Sixth District: Congressional Art Show (Apr. 1-23)
The Appleton Biennial (June 3-July 30, 2006)
An original, juried exhibition from the Appleton Museum of Art.
Brick City Center for the Arts
23 SW Broadway St., Ocala
This art center offers exhibitions, special events, workshops, and demonstrations. It also functions as a gallery.
Art Outside the Frame (Sept. 6-Oct. 14)
Artists go beyond the traditional, eliminating the constraints of mat and frame.
OAG Members’ Show (Oct. 25-Nov. 19)
This annual art exhibit presents traditional and contemporary art by Ocala Art group members. Founded in 1950, OAG is the largest art group in Marion County.
The Best of the Season (Nov. 28-Jan. 3)
This exhibit is two shows in one. Artists adorn the walls with their best work in this juried exhibit, but also deck the halls with browse boxes of smaller works in the spirit of the season.
Florida Museum of Natural History
University of Florida, Powell Hall
SW 34th Street & Hull Road, Gainesville
With more than 25 million specimens of amphibians, birds, butterflies, fish, mammals, mollusks, reptiles, vertebrate and invertebrate fossils, recent and fossil plants, and associated databases and libraries, the Florida Museum is the largest natural history museum in the Southeast. The Florida Museum of Natural History, located at the University of Florida, is dedicated to understanding and preserving biological diversity and cultural heritage.
In Search of Giant Squid (Sept. 2-Jan. 6)
This traveling exhibit explores what is known about these mystifying animals and describes scientists’ ongoing efforts to observe them in their undersea environment.
Journal of Light: A Photographer’s Search for the Soul of Florida (Sept. 24-Jan. 2)
This exceptional collection of framed images and essays caps John Moran’s 20-year odyssey to discover the soul of one of the most photographed states in the country.
Harn Museum of Art
SW 34th Street & Hull Road, Gainesville
With more than 6,000 original works of art in its permanent collection and an ambitious exhibition schedule, the Harn Museum has quickly become known as a leader in university art museums in the southeast.
GAWU: El Anatsui (Through Oct. 16, 2005)
His latest work is a series of metal sculptures made from found scraps including food tins, aluminum roofing, and bottle caps.
Toulouse-Lautrec: Artist of Montmarte (Through Oct. 30, 2005)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) came into artistic maturity as lithographic posters were transforming the whole of Paris into an out-of-doors art exhibition.
For the Next Life: Pre-Columbian Grave Objects (Through June 1, 2006)
The exhibition is drawn from the Harn’s Pre-Columbian collection and is organized according to the theme of burial goods and art that demonstrates ideas about the afterlife.
Painting and Sculpture From The Harn Museum Collection (Through June 30, 2006)
This collection of paintings and sculpture spans the period from the mid-nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth century.
Asian Art: Culture and Context (Through June 30, 2006)
This exhibit reflects the museum’s continuing success in building one of the best public collections of Asian art in the southeastern United States.
Sense, Style, Presence: African Arts of Personal Adornment (Through June 30, 2006)
This exhibit explores a range of African objects and modes of personal adornment, in both everyday and ritual contexts.
Webber Center, CFCC
3001 SW College Road, Ocala
The Exhibit Gallery was created to the specifications of the Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibit Standards so that it meets the criteria for showing national treasures and displays. Every exhibit is enhanced with local artifacts and the rich resources and talents of our community. All exhibits are free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged.
Grand Ole Opry (Sept. 1-Oct. 5)
This is an exhibit of 60 black-and-white photographs taken by commercial photographer Gordon Gillingham. Gillingham was hired to capture the spirit of the Grand Ole Opry between 1952 and 1960.
Nuevas Voces Latinas (New Latin Voices) (Oct. 20-Dec. 10)
A showcase of contemporary work in a variety of media by eight Latin American artists who live and work in Florida.
Trains at the Holidays (Dec. 17-Dec. 31)
Now in its 10th year, this annual exhibit has become a holiday tradition for the young and the young at heart.
1325 NW 2nd Street, Gainesville
This professional ballet company is headquartered in nearby Gainesville. Each year, the performers wow the audience with their various holiday performances.
On the Edge (Oct. 27-28)
Celebrating the opening of the Mary Ann Harn Cofrin Pavilion of the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art. The premier exhibit, American Matrix: Contemporary Directions for the Harn Collection, sets the theme for a DANCE ALIVE! evening featuring all new choreography.
The Cracked Nut (Dec. 15)
A comical Christmas production to get you into the holiday spirit.
The Nutcracker (Dec. 17-18)
Enjoy an Act I populated by soldiers, mice, and partygoers representing 6 Florida counties, and thrill to DANCE ALIVE! principals, soloists, and guest artists at their best in the voyage to the Land of the Sweets.
Lady Bug: Action Hero (Feb. 18)
Once upon a time, in the Forest of Forever, lived Lady Bug and her friends, Jeremy the Frog, Mr. Turtle, and Betsy Butterfly. Then came the Caterpillar, the Wasp, the Army Ants, and The Hunter!
Carmen (Mar. 30-31)
A liberated woman comes to a bad end, but oh, how we love to watch her as she falls in and out of love with a soldier, a bullfighter, and her own fate.
Gainesville Ballet Theatre
Joni Messler Studio of Dance, Gainesville
Since its founding in 1973, the Gainesville Ballet Theatre has shaped the lives of hundreds of dancers while providing truly magical gifts to the community. Each season, the Gainesville Ballet Theatre presents both full-length ballets and programs of widely varied repertoire in many different styles of dance. For performance locations, visit the website.
Spine-Tingling Fun (Oct. 30)
A fun program featuring a variety of dances in the spirit of the season including GBT favorites, BAGS, The Voodoo Swing, Spirits In the House, and GBT’s traditional Danse Macabre.
Downtown Festival and Art Show (Nov. 13)
The Gainesville Ballet Theatre will be performing at 2pm at the Downtown Community Plaza.
ACT II of “The Little Match Girl” (Dec. 2)
This program is geared toward school-aged children, pre-K through grade 8.
The Little Match Girl (Dec. 2-3)
This beloved story by Hans Christian Andersen revolves around a poor little girl who tries to sell matches to the townspeople of a small town at Christmastime. Snow begins to fall and all find shelter except for the Little Match Girl. Now alone, the girl soon realizes that when she strikes her matches, magical things begin to happen.
Dances From the Heart (Feb. 12)
A varied program of dance with a special Valentine’s Day theme.
Hansel & Gretel (Apr. 28)
This production is presented by the Performance Series for Children & Youth. See Hansel & Gretel like you’ve never seen them before.
Dance Fantastique (Apr. 28-29)
This multi-repertory performance features works of classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, and modern dance, featuring both re-staged and newly choreographed works by resident and guest choreographers.
Annual Recital (June 3)
Joni Messler’s School of Dance presents its 46th recital.
Marion Performing Ballet
Jeanne Benson-Smith Dance Academy
1713 SW 17th Street, Ocala
Following its tradition of the past 23 years, the Marion Performing Ballet will yet again provide visions of beauty, grace, passion, romance, and drama for its patrons in the 2005-2006 season. Audiences can enjoy two enchanting ballets: The Nutcracker during the holidays and another in the spring. Evening performances are scheduled for 8pm, with matinee shows at 2pm. To reserve tickets, please call the Ocala Civic Theatre at 236-2274.
The Nutcracker (Dec. 9-11, 15-18)
Spring Ballet TBA (Apr. 14-16)
Central Florida Community College — Fine Arts
3001 SW College Road, Ocala
Concerts are scheduled in Ocala at the CFCC Fine Arts Auditorium and in Lecanto at the Curtis Peterson Auditorium. Please call for specific venue and show time information.
Linda English-Holland (Sept. 10)
Central Florida Symphony (Oct. 15-16)
CFCC Band Concert/Patriot Singers (Oct. 22-23)
CFCC Band Concert/Patriot Singers (Dec. 10-11)
Central Florida Symphony (Dec. 17-18)
Central Florida Master Choir
Although one of the newest cultural groups in Marion County, the Central Florida Master Choir has much to celebrate after seven years. Formed from a dedicated nucleus of singers, the CFMC has blossomed into a fully professional choir under the direction of Dr. John Lowe Jr. Stay tuned for upcoming concert information.
Central Florida Symphony
416 SE Fort King Street, Ocala
The 60-member orchestra of area professional musicians has maintained a well-received season of traditional favorites, powerful classics, and lighthearted popular music. The CFS is affiliated with Central Florida Community College and performs its regular season at the CFCC Auditorium in Ocala and the Curtis Peterson Auditorium in Lecanto. Additional, special engagements take them to other venues in the area. Please call for specific show information.
Symphonic Celebration (Oct. 15-16)
Three symphonic masterworks will be presented. Ravel’s spirited virtuoso Concerto for the Left Hand Alone is an amazing technical display as well as a musical one. The “Sixth” is one of Beethoven’s most beloved symphonies — an homage to the nobility and life in the country. The season gets off with a ‘rip-roaring’ start with Giachhino Rossini’s witty and musician-demanding overture.
Holiday Semi-‘Pops’ (Dec. 17-18)
Romantic masterworks with a seasonal theme add an excitement and serenity to the holiday season.
Special Subscriber’s “Perk” (Jan. 29)
This program will feature the best of the best as they feature the finalists of the competition. This is a bonus program, “free” for CFSO subscribers
Almost Amadeus (Feb. 25-26)
The strings of the orchestra will present Mozart’s most recognized work, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. As a special treat, world-renowned principal bassoonist Arnold Irchai will grace the stage with the delightfully playful Weber Concerto.
Romantic Masterpieces (Mar. 18-19)
The symphony ends the season with the winners of the 15th annual Young Artists Competition as soloists.
FAFO Symphony Under the Stars “Ocala Pops” (May 14)
An Ocala tradition, the CFSO assumes the “Pops” mode for this outstanding civic event.
Gainesville Chamber Orchestra
Formed in 1983, this group of dedicated music lovers is in its 22nd season. The group is currently under the direction of Maestro Evans Haile. Locations vary, check the website for complete details.
Chamber Music Concert No. 1 – 55 Strings (Oct. 30)
This Halloween’s eve concert will feature the chamber music group 55 Strings. Selections by J.S. Bach, Bela Bartok, and Antonio Vivaldi.
Chamber Music Concert No. 2 – A Soldier’s Tale (Nov. 6)
Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale will be presented along with other eclectic works.
Got Beethoven III (Nov. 13)
This concert will be GCO’s third annual Beethoven showcase and will feature a guest soloist who will present the Violin Concerto, Op. 61 in D-major.
Chamber Music Concert No. 3 (Dec. 18)
GCO’s annual Holiday Chamber Music Concert will feature Antonio Vivaldi’s Double Trumpet Concerto, Mendelssohn’s Octet, and a piano concerto performed by Gainesville’s own Carlos Beltran.
Dance, Dance, Dance! (Jan. 22-23)
A foot-stomping journey through music written to dance to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake will be featured, and the evening will end with the traditional “walk through the orchestra.”
International Potpourri (Feb. 19)
Take a musical journey around the world.
Chamber Music Concert No. 4 (Mar. 5)
Enjoy a variety of musical selections performed by the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra.
An Evening with the Maestro (Mar. 24)
An elegant evening with solo and small group performances by the orchestra musicians and Maestro Haile.
Spring Arts Festival Pops Concert (Apr. 1)
This free concert on the downtown plaza coincides with the Santa Fe Community College’s Spring Arts Festival.
Gainesville Civic Chorus
Now in its 30th season, The Gainesville Civic Chorus presents four major concerts each season. Performances are scheduled for 8pm at several area Gainesville churches. Call for specific venue information.
A Baroque Christmas Trilogy (Dec. 10)
Messiah Sing-Along (Dec. 16)
Famous Opera Choruses with the National Philharmonic (in Washington D.C. on Mar. 18)
The Genius of Mozart — Requiem (Mar. 25)
Performing Arts Series — Dvorak-Requiem (Apr. 22)
Marion Chamber Music Society
It is the purpose of the Marion Chamber Music Society to present fine music to the community. All performances take place at 3pm at Countryside Church in Ocala unless otherwise noted.
Kristen Stoner, Flute and Harpsichord (Nov. 6, location TBA)
Guy St. Clair, pianist (Jan. 8)
Feb. performance (Date TBA)
Clarinet Ensemble from the University of Florida (Mar. 5)
Marion Civic Chorale
The Marion Civic Chorale is a 40- to 50-member community mixed chorus under the direction of Grat Rosazza that performs choral materials from Bach to Broadway, sacred to secular. Visit the website for upcoming show information.
Ocala Community Concerts
(352) 629-5940 or (352) 694-3179
Now in its 50th season, the Ocala Community Concert Association has brought some of the world’s most well-known and respected musicians to Marion County. Each performance begins at 7:30pm and is held at Center Point Community Church (the old Springs Theatre in Ocala.)
Season Subscription Drive (Oct. 10-15)
Susan Egan, Broadway star of song and dance (Jan. 19)
Side Street Strutters, Dixieland Jazz (Feb. 17)
Edgar Cruz, guitarist extraordinaire (Feb. 28)
Kuki & Tomoko Mack, duo pianists (Mar. 16)
Performing Arts Series
(352) 873-5800, ext. 1374
Presented by the CFCC Foundation, this long-running series strives to showcase some of the top musical entertainment of the last 50 years. Each season is a potpourri of styles, from big band and jazz to vocalists and instrumentalists. All Ocala shows are at 7:30pm in the CFCC Fine Arts Auditorium and all Lecanto shows are at 3pm in the Curtis Peterson Auditorium.
2005 Ocala Schedule:
Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Oct. 10)
Nominated for four Tony awards, this production opened on Broadway in March 1995. Smokey Joe’s Cafe features nearly 40 chart-topping hits from Leiber and Stroller originally performed by a variety of rock and roll legends.
Beachfront Property (Nov. 21)
This dynamic California-based quartet performs jazz, pop, and rock and roll classics from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. Beachfront Property is accompanied by a three-piece band.
Golden Dragon Acrobats (Jan. 16)
With amazing precision, 29 performers create a blend of daring acrobatics and traditional dance, dazzling audiences with their skill and grace.
Piano 4 (Feb. 13)
Piano 4 is America’s only touring piano quartet. Together, they create a grand symphony of thunderous sound and majestic music, including works by Gershwin, Chopin, and more.
John Davidson (Mar. 13)
Whether he’s singing country or pop, playing banjo or guitar, or moving the audience with laughter or inspiring words, John Davidson and his three-piece band will be the highlight of the concert season.
8th annual CFCC Foundation Dinner Theater
Having A Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Her (Select nights between Jan. 25-Feb. 5)
In this wild bedroom farce, three couples get tangled in an intricate web of passion, infidelity, and double standards during a weekend retreat.
University of Florida Performing Arts
The University Auditorium was completed in the mid-1920s and renovated and expanded as a bicentennial project in 1976. The Auditorium is one of several university buildings included in the National Register of Historic Places. The auditorium is also home to the Anderson Memorial Organ. Donated in 1925, the organ has since been expanded and improved with the installation of additional pipes and a manual console, making it one of the major instruments of its kind in the southeast.
Lizz Wright (Sept. 23)
Mitchell Estrin, clarinet (Sept. 24)
UF Wind Symphony Concert (Sept. 28)
Borodin Quartet (Oct. 30)
DIVA with Rachael Price (Nov. 12)
Ahn Trio (Nov. 20)
New York Chamber Soloists (Jan. 27)
Ferdinand the Bull featuring NY Chamber Soloists (Jan. 28)
Tokyo String Quartet (Feb. 4)
California Guitar Trio (Feb. 11)
Joshua Bell (Feb. 26)
Lang Lang (Mar. 31)
Spanish Harlem Orchestra (Apr. 7)
New Arts Trio w/Mitchell Estrin (Apr. 9)
Roby Lakatos Ensemble (Apr. 23)
Acrosstown Repertory Theatre
619 South Marion Street, Gainesville
Since its inception in 1980, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre has provided Gainesville and Alachua County with a unique and innovative cultural experience. Plays run Thursday through Saturday with an 8pm curtain time.
The Complete History of America Abridged (Sept. 1-Oct. 1)
Like its companion piece, The Abridged Shakespeare, this comedy races irreverently through American history and historical figures, with loving but biting humor.
It’s A Man Thing (Oct. 27-Nov. 19)
This production focuses on a rising young African-American woman whose well-intentioned Aunt Jelell gives her a potion that causes her to change from female to male and back again with surprising results.
The Annual Holiday Show (Dec. 8-18)
Be prepared for talented young actors, lots of current music, and all sorts of stage jokes as well as heart-moving pieces for the season.
The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)
This well-known Neil Simon comedy involves Barry Cashman, a middle-aged man whose life is dull until he decides to have three extra marital affairs while his mother’s apartment is vacant.
Jesus Hopped the A-Train (Mar. 2-Apr. 1)
This gritty, realistic social-political drama takes a hard look at the life about us, especially among those struggling in the inner city.
Suckerfish (Apr. 7-12)
Suckerfish combines the cosmic mood and wild humor of Waiting for Godot and Zoo Story while exploring the complex issues of social consciousness and homelessness.
Six Characters In Search of an Author (May 11-June 3)
A play about what happens when characters, escaping from an author unable to flesh them out, come upon an acting company in rehearsal and seek the director’s support in giving them a full stage life.
Gainesville Community Playhouse
4013 NW 16th Blvd., Gainesville
GCP is the oldest community theater in the State of Florida, having been in continuous production since 1927. Each year the GCP season consists of a variety of shows including dramas, musicals, and comedies.
The Subject Was Roses (Sept. 2-18)
This production is about the ways — large and small, intended and accidental — that family members can hurt and help each other during times of strain and outside upheaval.
My Three Angels (Oct. 28-Nov. 13)
Three convicts combine a bit of larceny, a few “accidental” deaths, and a whole lot of comedy to rescue an unsuspecting family from financial and emotional ruin.
GI Holiday Jukebox (Dec. 8-18)
It’s Christmastime, the world is at war, and for 90 brief minutes, the world is at peace as the singing stars deliver some of the best music from the 1940s.
Cinderella (Jan. 27-Feb. 19)
Adapted for the stage, Cinderella features great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity. The hearts of children and adults alike will soar when the slipper fits.
Beauty and the Beast (Mar. 24-Apr. 15)
Based on the Academy Award winning animated feature, the stage version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes all of the wonderful songs from the film, plus new songs written just for the play.
Brighton Beach Memoirs (May 19-June 4)
In Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical story, Eugene is a 15-year-old aspiring writer with only two things on his mind: baseball and sex.
The Music Man (July 14-Aug. 5)
An affectionate paean to Smalltown, U.S.A., The Music Man follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band he vows to organize.
Hippodrome State Theatre
25 SE 2nd Place, Gainesville
A cornerstone of the artistic life of north Florida, the Hippodrome is a landmark of the downtown Gainesville landscape, occupying a beautifully restored historic building built in 1911. It presents several mainstage plays each season, comprising the best in contemporary theatre, and has played to over 1 million audience members.
Mere Mortals (Through Sept. 18)
This evening of one-act comedies combines satire, wit, and hilarity. Six talented actors expertly perform five zany stories from the author of the 1996 hit production of All in the Timing.
Dracula (Oct. 7-Nov. 6)
In this production, Dracula appears in a translation never before seen on the Hippodrome stage, just in time for Halloween!
A Christmas Carol (Nov. 26-Dec. 18)
Join Scrooge, Marley, the Cratchits and a host of Christmas ghosts for this holiday favorite and a Hippodrome tradition.
A Tuna Christmas (Nov. 25-Dec. 18)
Those wacky characters from Tuna, Texas have once again entered the heated Yuletide lawn display contest. Socialite Vera Carp hopes to win another consecutive victory, but this year, she faces stiff competition.
Frozen (Jan. 6-29)
A child’s disappearance connects the lives of her mother, her murderer, and a criminologist.
A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings (Feb. 24-Mar. 19)
One night in a town that was forgotten in time, a mysterious, winged creature falls to earth. This joyous story explores the kind of magic that exists in everyday reality.
The Sleeper (Apr. 14-May 7)
This slightly zany, sexy comedy is a nervy look at the way we live in post 9/11 reality through the eyes of a housewife, her family, and a mysterious math tutor.
A Summer Musical (June 2-25)
A soon-to-be-announced musical hit to take audiences into the summer.
Ocala Civic Theatre
4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala (352) 236-2274
Ocala Civic Theatre produces more than ten fully staged productions each season, in addition to hosting touring companies. This volunteer-based organization is one of the largest community theatres in the state and serves more than 50,000 Marion, Citrus, and Lake County residents each season.
The Mikado (Sept. 8-Oct. 2)
Set in old Japan, this comic operetta takes a look at the foibles of the British. The plot concerns the condemned prisoner KoKo (elevated to the position of Lord High Executioner) who must contend with fulfilling the wishes of the Emperor of Japan without first becoming his own victim.
Harvey (Nov. 3-27)
Elwood P. Dowd is a mild-mannered eccentric, known in all the saloons in his small town. He has just one problematic character trait: his best friend is an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit named Harvey.
Nunsense (Jan. 26-Feb. 19)
The story of five nuns from Hoboken with a problem. While they were playing bingo at a neighboring parish, the convent cook accidentally poisons 52 Sisters with her vichyssoise. Threatened by the board of health, the nuns decide to put on a variety show to raise funds.
Enchanted April (Mar. 16-Apr. 9)
Four Englishwomen sharing the cost of an Italian villa fall under the spell of their idyllic surroundings. They rediscover laughter, learn new truths about themselves, and find just the romance they need — though not the romance they expect to find.
CATS (May 11-June 4)
Felines from around the city come together annually for the Jellicle Ball. At the height of the celebration, one cat is chosen to ascend into heaven. The choice is made by the oldest and wisest among them, as each feline is given his or her moment to meow in the spotlight.
2005-2006 Special Presentations:
A Piece of My Heart (Oct. 6-16)
The true story of six courageous women who went to Vietnam and their efforts to make sense of a war that irrevocably changed them and a nation that shunned them.
A Toast to Broadway: A Musical Revue (Dec. 29-Jan. 8)
An original musical revue featuring some of Broadway’s most famous songs.
The Champagne Charlie Stakes (Feb. 8-13)
It’s a special day at the racetrack. Charlie, a regular, has had a race named in his honor. To celebrate the occasion, he decides to place the bet of his life and wager his savings on a long-shot hunch. His daughter objects — until she finds out he is ill and this will be his last season at the track.
The Square Theatre
In the Marion Theatre, Ocala
Ocala’s newest performing arts group, the mission of the Square Theatre is to explore and illuminate human nature through ensemble collaboration. You’ll experience a touch of nostalgia while enjoying one of the Square Theatre’s productions.
Steel Magnolias (Through Sept. 11)
This classic production is set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are “anybody” come to have their hair done.
A Raisin in the Sun (Oct. 14-30)
Set in Chicago’s South Side during the 1950s, this story revolves around the dreams of and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family.
Songs for a New World (Nov. 18-27)
Meet an array of characters ranging from a young man who is determined that basketball is his ticket out of the ghetto to a woman whose dream of marrying rich nabs her the man of her dreams, or so she thought.
Reduced For Quick Sale/A Trick of the Light (Jan. 6-22)
Enjoy two very different one-act plays performed in a single evening.
Driving Miss Daisy (Feb. 17-Mar. 5)
Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Wertham, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow is informed by her son that she must now rely on the services of a chauffeur.
On Golden Pond (Apr. 14-30)
This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 44th year.
Fine Arts for Ocala
The Ocala Arts Festival, FAFO’s signature event, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30 at the McPherson Governmental Complex in Ocala. Show hours are from 9am until 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. Two hundred artists and fine craftsmen from throughout the United States will sell their artwork and compete for over $21,000 in prize money during the two-day festival which also includes live entertainment, food, and children’s activities and art workshops. Festival admission is free.
Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Each season, University of Florida Performing Arts presents the very best established and emerging national and international artists on the Phillips Center mainstage. For performance times, visit the performing arts website.
Sister Hazel (Sept. 16)
Miami City Ballet (Sept. 30)
King’s Singers and Sarband Sacred Bridges: The Psalms of David (Oct. 11)
Broadway Junior on Tour: Afterschool Special (Oct. 16)
Trio! Stanley Clarke, Béla Fleck, and Jean-Luc Ponty (Oct. 20)
Beijing Modern Dance Company (Nov. 1)
United States Army Field Band (Nov. 2)
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra (Nov. 3)
Jen Chapin (Nov. 13)
Gainesville Community Band Winter Concert (Nov. 20)
Madama Butterfly (Nov. 20)
Chi (Nov. 22)
Oklahoma! (Nov. 25)
Alachua County Youth Orchestra Winter Concert (Nov. 27)
Ballet Flamenco José Porcel (Nov. 29)
Danscompany presents Cinderella (Dec. 10)
Blast! (Dec. 13)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Jan. 11)
Diavolo (Jan. 14)
L.A. Theatre Works: The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial (Jan. 17-18)
Renee Fleming (Jan. 20)
CATS (Jan. 28-29)
Soweto Gospel Choir (Feb. 4)
The Ten Tenors (Feb. 10)
My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy (Feb. 14)
The Tchaikovsky Ballet and Orchestra: Sleeping Beauty (Feb. 25)
Russian National Ballet: La Bayadère (Mar. 4)
Beauty & the Beast On Ice (Mar. 10-12)
Natalie MacMaster (Mar. 17)
Hayley Westerna (Mar. 22)
Garrison Keillor (Apr. 4)
UF Symphony Orchestra and Combined Choruses (Apr. 22)
2005-2006 Fall Arts Preview
Introduction & Listings by Karin Fabry • Stories By JoAnn Guidry