The Peppermint King Receives Accolades!

A glowing review from the Gainesville Sun theatre critic Ron Cunningham highlights the efforts of the production team and compliments our illustrious cast:

That said, “The Peppermint King” is certainly the most … um … interesting production the ART has attempted in a while. A theatrical curiosity if you will.

And there are some performers especially worthy of note among the “Peppermint King’s” baker’s dozen cast.

Best of all is Shamrock McShane, who pulls out all the stops in his portrayal of the megalomaniac General Madgrass. “People say it takes courage to be a warrior,” McShane growls. Especially a warrior who likes to wear a skimpy black bra beneath his combat duds.

Almost as inspired is Gainesville performance artist Tom Miller — who essentially plays Gainesville performance artist Tom Miller. Miller’s frenetic mad-hatter king, Joe Projects, could not be more fittingly cartoonish. He jerks his head. He kicks up his heels. He cackles. “I like my death funny,” the despot king giggles.

Well who doesn’t?

The Peppermint King in the Scene!

Tonight is the preview / final dress of The Peppermint King by local playwright Darren Willis! The Acrosstown is very excited to present this innovative and beautiful play, featuring repertory members new and old. Check out our coverage in the Gainesville Sun’s Scene. An excerpt:

Willis, who came from New York five years ago, said the play is deeply influenced by his time in Gainesville. He says he wrote some characters to cater to the talent of local actors he knew and sprinkled in references to other Gainesville shows and local personalities.

“It has a homegrown feel,” he says.

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One Last Weekend of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol! [REVIEW]

Check out another review of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol by Gainesvillean Bobby Jones:

The chemistry between the two leads Tom Miller and George Steven O’Brien was so enchanting and engaging, it’s clear these guys have been on stage together before. I was taken aback several times by Tom’s masterful acting in a difficult and demanding role, wherein one second he is joyous and the next he is taking us all back to very painful and heart wrenching scenes, seemingly in the blink of an eye he’s pulled us into the memories that the character is experiencing, you can feel the same pain he is feeling all at once. There were several times where I was just lost in the joy of watching George play on stage, dancing around and fully embodying the idea of a spirit guide/conscience/haunt. The depth of drama and menace in some scenes was surprising and wonderful to watch.

Review of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

From Gainesville veteran actor Shamrock McShane’s review of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol:

Marley’s Christmas Carol is pretty much a buddy pic, starring Tom Miller and George Steven O’Brien, a marriage made in Hell, both parties devilishly combustible and unpredictable. You might think that in descending to such depths of despair the tone might turn maudlin. Fear not, there are more laughs here than you can shake a stick at, if that’s your idea of a good time. You might just as well use it as a conductor’s baton in the rush of a fevered symphony. Carolyne Salt solved the problem of how to cast a drama that is musical in the deepest sense of musing on the pitiful pangs of remorse by handing the parts to a pair of singers. A pair of vaudevillians really, who can mime and mimic and stretch themselves like silly putty.

The show runs through Dec. 22: buy tickets now!

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol in the Scene

“Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” opens tonight and runs for four weekends. Tickets are only $10, and may be purchased at Sweet Dreams at Westgate Plaza, at the box office 45 minutes before curtain, or online here. You may reserve tickets by calling 352-BE-IN-ART.

Check out our coverage in the Gainesville Sun’s Scene, with this quote by director Carolyne Salt:

“[T]here’s very minimal props, minimal costumes; it’s very much story theater. It’s totally acted out, but they may have to go from one character to another character in a span of just moments.[...]There’s Scrooge’s redemption to be considered, but there’s also Marley’s redemption, and possibly even the Bogle’s redemption.”

A Supernatural Holiday Dramedy at the ART!

Tom Miller as Jacob Marley

Welcome to the real story behind Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol— Jacob Marley’s heroic behind-the-scenes efforts to save old Scrooge’s soul, and in the process, redeem his own. Marley is not alone, however; he is aided by the Bogle, an irreverent little sprite with an agenda all his own. You know how the old story ends… or do you?

Tom Miller, George Steven O’Brien, Ed Hunter, and Will Taylor bring dozens of Dickens’s characters to life and narrate the story as they go in this twist on the old tale, taking the audience on a fantastic journey sure to put everyone in the Christmas spirit. If you have any sort of heart whatsoever, you’re in for a wonderful ride!

Reports ART production manager Rachel Wayne, “So much of Christmas now is fluff and commercialism. Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol is a charming play that blends deadpan humor with emotional philosophy. Beautiful production with very engaging actors.”

Auditions for Refinery: Round Two!

The second round of auditions for a new play, written by Gainesville’s own Chuck Lipsig and directed by Jessica Arnold, will be December 8 and 9 at 7pm at the theatre. Still need a male aged 20s-30s. Show dates are February 14-23 on Fri., Sat., and Sun.

What if the faery tales our families tell themselves are true? Even in the 21st century.

Ever since F.J. O’Bannon graduated high school, his life has been mainly comprised of two things: His job as a night watchman at an oil refinery and, along with his formidable mother, taking care of his younger sister, who was paralyzed in a car crash that also killed his father. His one solace: The faery tales that his father told, many of which were about faeries who, attracted by the lights of the refinery, where F.J. now works, have established a faery court there.

He has believed that the stories were just stories – his father’s legacy that he now retells to his sister and used to tell to his friends – but no more than that. But one night in the refinery, he finds himself called upon to judge a dispute between a faery king and queen – with no less than Puck as his sometime advisor and sometime adversary. Meanwhile, the return of his best friend to town for a ten-year high school reunion, gives him an opportunity – one that would require him leaving his mother and sister. Faced with two decisions to make, maybe, just maybe, F.J. can solve his dilemmas with the same solution.

Refinery: A Modern Faery Tale shows how the stories we listen to and the stories we tell can affect us, sometimes trapping us and sometimes liberating us.

Get into the Christmas Spirit at the ART!

Welcome to the real story behind Dickens’ Christmas Carol— Jacob Marley’s heroic behind-the-scenes efforts to save old Scrooge’s soul, and in the process, redeem his own. Marley is not alone, however; he is aided by the Bogle, an irreverent little sprite with an agenda all his own. You know how the old story ends… or do you?

Four very talented actors bring dozens of Dickens’s characters to life and narrate the story as they go in this twist on the old tale, taking the audience on a fantastic journey sure to put everyone in the Christmas spirit. If you have any sort of imagination whatsoever, you’re in for a wonderful ride!

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol opens November 29 (Black Friday) and runs through December 22. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. Runtime is is approximately 90 minutes, not including a fifteen-minute intermission.

According to director Carolyne Salt, “Tom Mula’s fast-paced, funny and surprisingly revealing look into Jacob Marley’s afterlife is a refreshing treat for holiday theater-goers. It’s the perfect companion piece to Dickens’s holiday classic, and though I believe it’s a bit scarier and packs more emotional punch, should be appropriate for anyone aged ten to 105. I’ve adored this deeply moving play for over a decade, now, and am absolutely delighted to finally be able to share it with Gainesville’s audiences.”

For additional information about the show, or to arrange an interview, please contact Carolyne Salt at carolyne.salt@gmail.com or 352-275-7790.

Auditions for Refinery: A Modern Faery Tale

Auditions for a new play, written by Gainesville’s own Chuck Lipsig and directed by Jessica Arnold, will be November 17th and 18th at 8pm at the theatre. Show dates are February 14-23 on Fri., Sat., and Sun.

What if the faery tales our families tell themselves are true? Even in the 21st century.

Ever since F.J. O’Bannon graduated high school, his life has been mainly comprised of two things: His job as a night watchman at an oil refinery and, along with his formidable mother, taking care of his younger sister, who was paralyzed in a car crash that also killed his father. His one solace: The faery tales that his father told, many of which were about faeries who, attracted by the lights of the refinery, where F.J. now works, have established a faery court there.

He has believed that the stories were just stories – his father’s legacy that he now retells to his sister and used to tell to his friends – but no more than that. But one night in the refinery, he finds himself called upon to judge a dispute between a faery king and queen – with no less than Puck as his sometime advisor and sometime adversary. Meanwhile, the return of his best friend to town for a ten-year high school reunion, gives him an opportunity – one that would require him leaving his mother and sister. Faced with two decisions to make, maybe, just maybe, F.J. can solve his dilemmas with the same solution.

Refinery: A Modern Faery Tale shows how the stories we listen to and the stories we tell can affect us, sometimes trapping us and sometimes liberating us.

Needed:
Males and Females Late 20′s-30′s.
Mama: Late 40′s-60′s.

Sides from the script will be provided.

Numerous roles are double cast as the Queen, Puck (yes, that Puck), The Scholar, and the Dancer in the parallel faery universe.