Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.
Brighton Beach boy: The University of Florida’s School of Theatre and Dance is staging two runs of the play “Brighton Beach Memoirs” through July. The semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his immigrant family growing up in the Jewish enclave of Brighton Beach in New York on the brink of World War II. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. today though Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday; the production returns for a second run July 9 through July 13. Tickets for all shows are $13-$17, available through the University Box Office at 392-1653 and Ticketmaster.com.
Fresh-mouthed felt: The Tony Award-winning musical “Avenue Q” gets the Hippodrome treatment in the final production of the Gainesville theater’s 40th season. The play features actors performing with puppet characters as young people navigating early adulthood and professional frustrations in a fictionalized urban setting. Performances, which run through June 23, begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 5:30 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2 and 7 p.m. on Sundays. The production is billed as being for mature audiences. Call 375-4477 for tickets.
Party pooped: A new production of A.R. Gurney’s “The Perfect Party” is onstage at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. The madcap comedy tells the tale of a meticulous English professor, whose perfectly planned soiree draws the attention of a New York City newspaper editor. Following tonight’s preview performance at 8, the production opens runs Friday and runs through June 30. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. General admission is $12, $10 for students, seniors, military personnel seniors and educators. Admission to tonight’s preview is half-priced.
June 13-Sept, 7:
Blues bash: The Thomas Center hosts a new exhibit, “Blues Pioneers and Their Progeny,” in the center’s Mezzanine Gallery. The exhibit features portraiture of Blues musicians, historic and contemporary, local and nationally known in a folk-art style. And don’t forget your smartphone: Music by each of the artists can be heard while touring the exhibit via Grooveshark. Viewing is available during Thomas Center hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday (open to 7 p.m. Tuesday) and 1-4 p.m. Saturday, through Sept. 7.
Voodiddley: As part of the city of Gainesville’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs “Free Fridays” Concert Series and in honor of African-American Music Appreciation Month, Miami-born guitarist and singer/songwriter Wester Joseph performs his unique blend of rock, soul and Caribbean music with his band, Stereo Vudu, at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza on June 14. The performance runs from 8 to 10 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.
June 14-July 7:
Force of habit: The High Springs Community Theater performs “Nunsense” through July 7. The award-winning musical comedy follows the travails of the Little Sisters of Hoboken in their mission to raise funds for the burial of two sisters accidentally poisoned by the convent’s cook, Sister Julia (Child of God). Performances begin at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $15, $12 for seniors on Sundays only, and under $9 all seats for children 12 and younger.
Sandhill harmony: The harmony-driven Gainesville quartet Other Voices performs Saturday at the Sandhill stage at the Prairie Creek Lodge. Known for their four-part vocal arrangements and their mixture of rock, folk, blues and jazz they call “folk + roll,” the group has built a strong reputation in the area. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $15, which benefits the Alachua Conservation Trust and Conservation Burial, Inc. Seating is limited; for reservations call 317-7303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life in the “Fast Lane”: The R&B party band Fast Lane performs June 21 at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. A fixture of the Gainesville music scene, Fast Lane utilizes a horn section and two lead singers for its sets of hard-driving, upbeat covers. The performance is part of the City of Gainesville’s Department of Parks Recreation and Cultural Affairs’ “Free Fridays” summer concert series, and one of four shows in June celebrating African-American Music Appreciation Month. Admission is free and the concert is scheduled to run from 8 to 10 p.m.
R&B Benefit: Famed doo-wop and R&B vocal group The Drifters perform a special concert at Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall to benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central Florida. Since its formation in 1953 and through numerous incarnations, The Drifters have racked up 13 Top 30 hits and sold millions of records. Tickets are $35-$75, with a $10 discount for seniors to benefit the youth mentoring program. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
Florida folk Family: Florida acoustic trio The Currys perform at the Sandhill Stage at the Prairie Creek Lodge on June 22. The group, featuring brothers Tommy and Jimmy Curry with cousin Galen Curry, combines multi-instrumental sounds and kinetic melodies for an energetic performance. Admission is $20 to benefit Alachua Conservation Trust and Conservation Burial, Inc. Performance begins at 8 p.m. Seating is limited; for reservations call 317-7303 or email email@example.com.