Thursday, November 29, 2012


At least once a month, or as best as we can arrange, my best mate and I have a man-date. We go to the movies, dinner, drinking, whatever we can find fun to do to get away from our regular lives and shoot the shit and usually laugh till it hurts. Its been getting a little more difficult as of late because he's soon getting married. But even then I've told his soon-to-be wife that I'm retaining custody one day a month. The other night we managed to free up some time from our equally busy schedules and got our night out. We decided to keep it simple and stick around the 5 Points area and grab dinner and some drinks. I've pretty much worn a path through just about every eatery in the neighborhood -- that's the open door for you haters to start chiming out the fat jokes -- so no place really came to mind that would be worth our company on our one night out this month.

We considered BLACK SHEEP, which I have been admittedly eager to try. But as we were walking my friend asked if I had been to the new Derby on Park since they opened. I hadn't, but I had my reservations. In an area I have grown up in, lived in, and experienced so much in, when an iconic landmark is replaced with something new and trendy, I tend to have to be dragged in kicking and screaming. It broke my heart to enter the old Club 5 for the first time when they gutted it for an event space. Oh the times we had in that building. Some so wild we didn't leave until the sun was up the following morning. Which we then spent recovering over plates of greasy breakfasts at the Derby House diner. Waitresses that had been there as long as the mortar that held the place together poured strong coffee into our cracked and stained cups as we wiped off some mysterious stain from our silverware and groaned and laughed about the insanity of the never ending night before. Those were the days. Was I ready to sully the memory of those times and try the now revamped and upscale Derby? Upscale Derby. It sounded wrong to even say. But my comrade had taken the plunge before me and raved about it. I trust his taste, how could I not, he chose to spend the evening with me, so obviously his taste is impeccable.

We passed by the windows and I peered into the new interior. Shiny surfaces, modern new furniture, sleek lighting. This was no Derby I knew. Where was the grease and the dank? Long gone. And with it the open air patio and former news stand. In its place a warm comfortable cafe patio and well stocked bar. The staff were welcoming and friendly, especially to a sour pussed grump like myself ready to be extra critical of the fancy pants new joint that had replaced one of my old haunts. On being seated I found the tables a bit close for comfort, having to pull my chair right up against the chair of the gentleman at the table next to us. I would normally attribute that to my fat ass, but my assessment vindicated when he (a much slimmer guy) rammed the back of his chair into the back of mine to get up from his seat. Not a deal breaker of course, just spacing issues. Then as I started looking over the menu, I realized my placement with the lighting was causing the shadow of my massive head to eclipse the menu. I leaned to one side, bringing the menu to the other so I could see. A waiter noticed me shifting around and offered to turn up the lighting, but I told them it was no issue since that actually would have made it worse. Still, no big deal. Aside from the strategic environmental issues, I was intrigued by the diversity and selection on the simple paper menu. My friend suggests the Fried Green Tomatoes to start, to which I agreed. He ordered the shrimp and grits and as with any new place I dine that offers it, I order the salmon. Not only my favorite fish, one I would happily bat out of a stream myself to eat, but how a place cooks a piece of salmon is also a good barometer as to how good any other dish there would be.

We got our appetizer, four slices of fried green tomatoes stacked a top one another with crumbled cheese sandwiched between each slice and drizzled in sauce. Neither of us are big fans of tomatoes, but these were delicious. We finished those off in short order. It took a bit more time and a few downed beers before the entrees finally arrived. His, some plump shrimp over a triangle shaped patty of grits. Something he had had before and come back for. My plate, the STONEWALL SALMON offered a well sized piece of salmon over spinach, grape tomatoes, and mixed grain brown rice. I took my first bite. It was incredible. The sauce was the star of the plate and really set off the salmon. However, the second time my fork went in for a bite of this fish, it came up with a very raw piece. Inspecting it further, the rest of this slice of delicious fish was raw throughout. Disappointing considering the long wait time for it to arrive to the table. I alerted the waiter who returned the plate to the kitchen for a do over. Meanwhile my friend and I nerded out about the recent Lucasfilm sale to Disney and the upcoming line up of Star Trek TNG stars who will be at next years MegaCon.

The replacement dish finally made it to the table shortly after he had finished his shrimp and grits, which normally would have been a doomed review for any eatery, but dammed if the second try at the salmon wasn't spot on. Perfectly cooked and so delicious the only thing left on the plate just moments later was a small bit of garnish. The management were good enough to right their kitchens error and make up for our wait by comping the meal and apologizing. Customer service like that goes a long way with me.

Overall, despite the small seating arrangement and lighting issue -- likely exclusive to my particular seat on the patio -- my first new experience at my old haunt cleared out some cobwebs from the past and made way for the potential for all new experiences at this landmark location in 5 Points. I tip my hat to the new owners and the good job they did re-envisioning the space and bringing a new flavor to the district. I look forward to many more fulfilling times at the new Derby on Park.

- Max Michaels

1068 Park Street 
Historic 5 Points 
Jacksonville, Florida 32204 
Phone (904) 379-3343 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Artist Series Presents A Christmas Carol — Friday December 21

Artist Series Presents: A Christmas Carol

Friday, December 21 at 8 PM at the Times-Union Center's Moran Theater

JACKSONVILLE, FL: A Christmas Carol plays Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center’s Moran Theater for one performance only on Friday, December 21, 2012 at 8:00PM, and great seats are still available! Tickets start at $26.50 (and at $13.25 for children 12 and under). Tickets for A Christmas Carol are available at or (904) 442-BWAY (2929). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more; call (904) 442-2947 or email

When Charles Dickens wrote his “ghostly little tale” in 1843, he couldn’t know that A Christmas Carol was destined to become one of the most beloved holiday traditions of all time. The Nebraska Theatre Caravan has been touring Charles Jones’ delightful adaptation of A Christmas Carol since 1979. The Caravan’s Carol is probably the most widely produced production of Dickens’ in the nation, annually performing for more than 100,000 people in more than 60 cities across the country. Twenty-eight performers bring Dickens’ fable of redemption to life on a magical set created by noted designer James Othuse. This Victorian version of Christmas magic is presented with a full array of traditional Christmas carols interwoven with the well-known story. The songs themselves are traditional, but musical arrangements courtesy of John Bennett are contemporary and exquisitely beautiful. The colorful scenery and elaborate costumes faithfully recreate the Victorian period. Exceptional voices, lively dancing and dazzling special effects like the mysterious spinning bed combine to create a spectacular holiday treat for the entire family!

The heartwarming tale of A Christmas Carol depicts Ebenezer Scrooge, whose values are focused exclusively on profit, and his conflicts with the struggling Cratchit family, whose tragic problems typified the working class during the Industrial Revolution in Victorian England. The touching climax is based on Dickens' belief that the ills of a greedy world can be healed by brotherhood and unselfishness.

Ticket Info:
Tickets for A Christmas Carol start at $26.50 (and at $13.25 for children 12 and under) and are available at or (904) 442-BWAY (2929). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more; call (904) 442-2947 or email

To order by phone with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover call The Artist Series Box Office at (904) 442-BWAY (2929) (toll-free outside of Jacksonville 1-888-860-BWAY).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Artist Series Presents: Golden Dragon Acrobats — Saturday, December 1st

Golden Dragon Acrobats

JACKSONVILLE, FL—The Golden Dragon Acrobats play at Jacksonville’s Wilson Center for the Arts for one performance only next Saturday afternoon, December 1st, at 2PM! The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a time honored tradition that began more than 25 centuries ago. The reputation of the company is solidly rooted in a commitment to the highest of production values and an attention to artistic details that is unparalleled in the art form. The Golden Dragons are recognized throughout the United States and abroad as the premiere Chinese acrobatic touring company of today.

World-renowned impresario Danny Chang and choreographer Angela Chang combine award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques to present a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty.

Check out a video preview of the Golden Dragon Acrobats show:

Ticket & Location Information
Tickets are $34.50 ($15.25 for children 12 and under) and are available at (904) 442-BWAY (2929) or Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more at (904) 442-2947 or via e-mail. The Wilson Center for the Arts is located on Florida State College at Jacksonville’s South campus at 11901 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32246.

To order by phone with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover call:
The Artist Series Box Office at (904) 442-BWAY (2929), or toll-free outside of Jacksonville 1-888-860-BWAY (2929). Tickets are also available online with Instant Seat Selection by visiting the Artist Series’ website.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away — Advance Tickets On Sale Now

Get Your Tickets Early for the Holiday Movie
Event of the Year with Advance Tickets for
Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away — On Sale Now!

HOLLYWOOD, CA (November 14, 2012)—Tickets for Paramount’s Pictures’ 3D film “CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY” are on sale now for select showtimes across the U.S. and Canada. The advance tickets can be purchased online or at participating box offices for special showings at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. December 21st through December 24th. Beginning December 25th, “CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY” will extend its theatrical engagement with regular showtimes in North America.

The film, which Variety has called “A bona fide high-wire act…delivering towering thrills,” and The Hollywood Reporter has called a "3D spectacular", opened in Japan on November 9th and earned $1.5 million in its opening weekend, making it the #1 U.S. release for the weekend, following the film’s opening of the Tokyo International Film Festival. It makes its North American theatrical debut in Montreal, the home town of Cirque Du Soleil’s world famous productions, on December 7th.

From the big top to the big screen, visionary Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Cameron and director Andrew Adamson (“Shrek,” “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”) invite you and your family on an all new 3D adventure: “CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY.” A young couple who is separated must journey through the astonishing and dreamlike worlds of Cirque du Soleil to find each other as audiences experience the immersive 3D technology that will allow them to leap, soar, swim and dance with the performers. Written and directed by Andrew Adamson and executive produced by James Cameron, Jacques Méthé, Cary Granat and Ed Jones. The film was produced by Cirque’s Martin Bolduc, Andrew Adamson and Aron Warner. Vincent Pace oversaw the 3D stereo production aspect of the film.

For additional information about the film, please visit

West Side Story LIVE at the Moran Theater 12/4—12/9


West Side Story

December 4 – 9, 2012, at the Times-Union Center's Moran Theater

The tour of the smash hit Broadway revival of WEST SIDE STORY is coming to Jacksonville! WEST SIDE STORY opens at the Times-Union Center’s Moran Theater on Tuesday, December 4th and runs through Sunday, December 9th for 8 performances only! Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents’ Broadway direction is recreated for the tour by David Saint, the Associate Director on Broadway. The original Jerome Robbins choreography is reproduced by Tony Award-nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy from Oz, The Life).

Tickets for West Side Story begin at $37.00 and are available at the Artist Series Box Office at (904) 632-3373 or online at Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (904) 632-3228 or e-mailing

WEST SIDE STORY tells the story of star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria as they struggle to rise above the hatred and intolerance that surrounds them. WEST SIDE STORY soars as the greatest love story of all time and remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as Something’s Coming, Tonight, America, I Feel Pretty and Somewhere.

The cast features Addison Reid Coe as Tony, MaryJoanna Grisso as Maria, Michelle Alves as Anita, Theo Lencicki as Riff and Andrés Acosta as Bernardo.

Also featured are Amber Ardolino as a Shark, Yesenia Ayala as a Shark, Lauren Cannon as Graziella, Konrad Case as Lt. Schrank, Blue Cervini as a Jet, Max Chucker as A-rab, Mark Deler as a Shark, Erika Hebron as a Swing, Dan Higgins as Diesel, Matthew Krob as Glad Hand, Greg London as Doc, Guy Mandia Jr as Action, Thomas Mothershed as Officer Krupke, Louie Napoleon as a Swing, Thaddeus Pearson as a Shark, Josh Pins as Baby John, Anthony Raimondi as a Swing, J. Nycole Ralph as Consuela, Tory Ramirez as a Shark, Bridget Riley as Anybodys, Ricardo Rique-Sanchez as Pepe, Arianna Rosario as a Shark, Carolina Sanchez as Rosalia, Michael Shultz as Big Deal, Jeff M. Smith as Snowboy, Tony Thomas as a Shark, Juan Torres-Falcon as Chino and Laura Volpacchio as a Swing.

What Critics Are Saying About the Show
The Associated Press says WEST SIDE STORY “remains Broadway’s best dance-driven musical. Five decades have not dimmed the extraordinary choreography or the score that pulsates throughout.” Variety says, “The true stars of WEST SIDE STORY are Jerome Robbins' graceful, endlessly expressive choreography and Leonard Bernstein's score, which still sounds bracingly modern a half-century after it was first heard. The music is a primal force.” WEST SIDE STORY is written by three theatrical luminaries: two-time Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents (book) and multiple Tony and Grammy Award winners Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) in his Broadway debut. WEST SIDE STORY features scenic designs by James Youmans, costumes by Tony Award nominee David C. Woolard, lighting by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley and sound design by Peter McBoyle.

West Side Story Performance Schedule:

  • Tuesday, December 4th at 7:30PM
  • Wednesday, December 5th at 7:30PM
  • Thursday, December 6th at 7:30PM
  • Friday, December 7th at 8:00PM
  • Saturday, December 8th at 2:00PM and 8:00PM
  • Sunday, December 9th at 1:30PM and 7:00PM

Cirque Du Soleil, MGM Resorts International & The Light Group Present LIGHT, Las Vegas

Cirque Du Soleil, MGM Resorts International &
The Light Group Present… LIGHT, Las Vegas


Returning to its roots with an eponymous nightlife venue known for revolutionizing the Las Vegas nightlife experience more than 10 years ago, The Light Group—in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts International—will introduce LIGHT at Mandalay Bay in March 2013. View the trailer below:

LIGHT, the first-ever nightclub turned on by Cirque du Soleil, will merge cutting-edge creativity with incredible music to produce a new kind of nightlife experience. The chic, fashion-forward 38,000-square-foot venue featuring state-of-the-art production, theatrics, and, of course world-renowned DJs and performers will turn on a new kind of passion and creativity, redefining a “night out” and creating a unique, memorable event each night.

“The nightclub will serve as a laboratory, very much like our special events and projects have done in the past, for different and new artistic possibilities”

Guy Laliberté, Founder (Cirque du Soleil)

Designed as an experience to play with your senses, LIGHT—turned on by Cirque du Soleil—will offer far more than the traditional nightclub. Upon arriving at LIGHT, guests enter the realm of the unknown, as everyone in the club is part of the show. Headlining DJs and performers will lead the charge, coupled with exclusively built performance elements and visuals provided by revolutionary video mapping, lighting, sound and special effects experts Moment Factory, as well as avant-garde costumes and unique choreography. At LIGHT no two nights out will be the same. The spectacle and feeling forever engrained in the mind of guests beg the ultimate question: Have You Seen The Light?

Light by Cirque Du Soleil

Spearheading LIGHT at Mandalay Bay is The Light Group founder Andrew Sasson who has been intimately involved with each detail of the venture. Often credited with establishing and cultivating nightlife on the Las Vegas Strip, Sasson is no stranger to worldwide entertainment, having also launched venues throughout Europe, New York and Miami. Longtime music-industry executive Amy Thomson, manager of global artists including Swedish House Mafia, also worked on the development, music and marketing of LIGHT.

Andrew Sasson said, “This partnership and the projects we are working on will be unlike anything the world has ever seen before–the ultimate theatrical nightlife venue. Cirque du Soleil has built a brand with worldwide recognition and their creativity, attention to detail and passion for their work perfectly complement The Light Group and everything we stand for.”

Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, said “This new creative challenge is exciting for us. We have the opportunity to re-think the nightclub experience and apply our creative and artistic signature to different audiences and live experiences.”

Amy Thomson said, “I rarely get to work on production outside of a festival space or arenas and the chance to work with Cirque du Soleil, putting their creativity alongside the music I love, was not something I could pass up. The DJs and performers who have come to work with us all have such high artistic aspirations, and to be able to try this in a space as iconic as Mandalay Bay I hope will be the beginning of many adventures with Cirque du Soleil and The Light Group. It will be a melting pot of ideas and the focus is equally spread across music, the experience and the crowd. Each one relying on the other, like an emotional ecosystem set up to cultivate and grow a magical night out.”

The list of DJs and performers already on board rivals some of the world’s biggest festival line-ups and will be announced soon at and the LIGHT social networks:

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Drumline LIVE in Jacksonville: Presented by the Artist Series at the Moran Theater on 11/17

drumline live in jacksonville

Jacksonville, FL: DRUMLINE LIVE plays Jacksonville’s Times-Union Center’s Moran Theater for one performance only on Saturday, November 17th at 8PM! Tickets begin at $32.00 and are on sale online now or (904) 442-BWAY (2929).

DRUMLINE LIVE’s energetic cast has honed its precision and energy with years of training in marching band programs across the southern United States. This versatile group of musicians and dancers brings an explosive energy and athleticism to an eclectic mix of sounds. Equally at home with the hottest contemporary hip hop, R&emp;B, classic Motown tunes, and the rousing sounds of the great brass tradition, DRUMLINE LIVE is thrilled to share the American Marching Band experience with a wider audience.

With riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, the staged show will be a synchronized musical showcase. Incorporating original compositions and soul-infused interpretations of top 40 hits, group performances will range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences.

“We’ve taken the excitement of an HBCU football game halftime show, increased the intensity by a thousand watts, and created a musical journey that will touch every emotion,” says Don P. Roberts, Creator and Director of DRUMLINE LIVE. As the Executive Band Consultant for the Twentieth Century Fox hit movie, Drumline, Roberts was responsible for training the actors, writing the precision drills, and rehearsing the band. As the chief band consultant, he played a vital role in the making of Drumline and its success. The movie received national and international acclaim.

DRUMLINE LIVE kicks off its fourth US tour in the 2012-2013 season following its extremely successful tours in 2008-2009, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012.

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more at (904) 442-2947 or via e-mail.

Through December 21st, The Artist Series is hosting a Food Drive to support Second Harvest North Florida. The most requested items are canned fruit, vegetables, and beans (preferably low sodium), canned meat/protein-tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter, pasta, soups, Mac n cheese, cereal, instant potatoes, granola, rice, grits, snacks, and breakfast bars. To avoid damage, everything should be plastic, bag, or can. Sponsored by Publix, the Food Drive is held at every Artist Series show through December 21st at the Times-Union Center.

drumline live in jacksonville

Order tickets by phone:
Local: 904.442.BWAY (2929) | Toll Free: 1.888.860.BWAY

Order tickets by online:
Artist Series website at

Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover accepted.

Florida Mining Gallery Presents Jim Draper: The Highway Gallery

Clear Channel Outdoor in collaboration with Florida Mining Gallery presents the Highway Gallery—a city-wide public art campaign that displays art along with advertising. Continuing throughout November 2012, digital billboards throughout the city will feature work by Jacksonville artist, Jim Draper, momentarily transforming space typically used for commerce while giving the public a chance to experience the magic of art.

The Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards will be seen thousands of times by visitors and residents alike, reaching people of all ages and backgrounds.

Jim Draper has been working on Feast of Flowers—a multi-disciplinary project that critically investigates news ways of understanding Florida's history, environmental aesthetics, and our place within the natural order.

Learn more: The Highway Gallery

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

'The Phlunk' by Lou Rhodes

'The Phlunk' by Lou Rhodes & Tori Elliott published 3 Dec 2012

LAMB are thrilled to announce that Lou has written her first children's book - The Phlunk. Published in hardback on 3 Dec 2012, The Phlunk has a gentle rhyme penned by Lou and beautiful illustrations by Tori Elliott. The Phlunk is perfect for children aged 2-7 but we hope it will also appeal to people of all ages with a lively and open imagination.

Pre-release signed copies of The Phlunk are available in the Lamb store during Nov 2012 only for £7.99 plus postage. The Phlunk can also be pre-ordered from Amazon UK and other online UK retailers, or from any UK bookseller (ISBN: 9780957369009 | Strata Books).

A paperback edition will be published in March 2013 and the musically-inspired follow-up, The Phlunk's Worldwide Symphony, will be published in September 2013.

Friday, November 2, 2012

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D Coming to Universal Orlando Resort in Summer 2013


Hugely-Successful Attraction Will Now Be Featured at Three Universal Parks Worldwide
Guests Will Be Fully-Immersed in a TRANSFORMERS Adventure with Their Favorite Characters and Nemeses from the Popular Film Series

ORLANDO, Fla. (November 2, 2012) – Get ready – it’s time to prepare for battle…
Universal Orlando Resort announced today that its next blockbuster attraction will be the widely-popular TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D. The groundbreaking ride – created under license from Hasbro, Inc. and based on its iconic TRANSFORMERS brand – will bring the intergalactic battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons to Universal Studios Florida in summer 2013.
Already a “must-see” at Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Hollywood, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is a mind-blowing, action-packed ride experience that you have to see to believe. You will come face to face with Megatron. You will dodge explosions and attacks by the Decepticons. You will fight to save mankind alongside Optimus Prime and the Autobots. It will be the greatest battle you’ll ever ride.

Click here to see an important message from Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots.

Universal worked closely with Michael Bay, the award-wining director of the “TRANSFORMERS” film series and the ride’s creative consultant, to create an authentic experience that brings the non-stop action of the films to life. The attraction combines the larger-than-life TRANSFORMERS characters and an exciting storyline with life-like HD CGI media, state-of-the-art 3-D technology and amazing special effects to place riders right in the middle of an epic battle between good and evil.
“We broke the mold and have taken this ride to a new technological level in terms of blending seamless 3-D,” said Michael Bay, director of the “TRANSFORMERS” films.

“TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is the perfect addition to Universal Orlando’s thrilling theme park experiences,” said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. “The ride has already proven to be a hit at our Hollywood and Singapore parks, and we’re excited that Universal Orlando guests will soon be able to join the Autobots in the fight to save the world.”

TRANSFORMERS films, television shows and merchandise have captivated millions of people all over the world. To date, three blockbuster films have been released – “TRANSFORMERS” (2007), “TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN” (2009) and “TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON” (2011) – grossing more than $2 billion combined worldwide at the box office. The three films were directed by Michael Bay, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and released by Paramount Pictures.

TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D is slated to open in summer 2013 at Universal Orlando. The attraction will have one of the shortest build times in Universal history – making it one of Universal’s most ambitious projects ever. For more information about TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D, visit