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SMG Announces the Ritz Theatre’s 2017-2018 Season

May 31, 2017 11:40 am



(Jacksonville, FL – May 30, 2017) SMG is proud to announce the Ritz Theatre and Museum’s 2017–2018 season lineup. The season includes a wide variety of jazz, soul, blues, theater, family shows and so much more.

This marks the facility’s forth year under the management of SMG and as a result, the venue’s increase in robust programming and attendance has begun garnering the attention of many show-goers throughout the city and surrounding areas, as well as national and international performers.

“SMG and the City of Jacksonville are proud to bring such a diverse offering of events to our city’s one-of-a-kind historical Ritz Theatre and Museum,” said SMG Jacksonville General Manager Bill McConnell. “The 2017–2018 season offers something for everyone in the neighbor of LaVilla and beyond.”

In addition, the Ritz Theatre and Museum is the home of Puttin’ on the Ritz Amateur Night and the locally curated comedy series, A-Train LIVE The Experience with comedian A-Train.

Tickets are on sale NOW for all 13 shows listed below. Tickets are available at the Tom Bush Family of Dealerships Box Offices located at the Ritz Theatre and Museum and the Veterans Memorial Arena, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. Special group discount rates are available.

For more information, call the Ritz Theatre and Museum at 904-807-2010 or visit: www.jaxevents.com to see upcoming shows. The Ritz Theatre and Museum is located in downtown Jacksonville at 829 North Davis Street.



The line-up for the 2017 – 2018 concert series includes:

September 16, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. – Raul Midon

Ever since the turn of the 21st century, singer-songwriter and guitarist Raul Midón has been one of music’s most distinctive and searching voices – “a one-man band… who is spiritually connected,” according to The New York Times, and “an eclectic adventurist,” in the words of People magazine. The New Mexico native, blind since birth, has released eight albums since 1999, including the acclaimed studio productions Don’t Hesitate (Mack Avenue/Artistry, 2014), Synthesis (Decca/Universal, 2009), A World Within a World (Manhattan/EMI, 2007) and State of Mind (Manhattan/EMI, 2005). Midón’s diverse musicality makes him, as the Huffington Post put it, “a free man beyond category.” Attesting to his enduring ambitions is Midón’s ninth studio album, Bad Ass and Blind, was released via Mack Avenue/Artistry Music on March 24, 2017.


September 22, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. – Broadway Boys

The Broadway Boys is a collection of Broadway’s finest male singers.  By adding elements of pop/funk/gospel/jazz to traditional showtunes, The Broadway Boys have redefined the musical theater genre.  The Broadway Boys represent such shows as The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Motown, Rent, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, Mary Poppins, Hair, Fun Home, Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Once, and many more. The Broadway Boys have toured the country, playing venues large and small, and have performed at many corporate events as well as many radio shows.  They have performed on Americas Got Talent and The TODAY Show. The Broadway Boys’ album, “Lullaby of Broadway,” debuted at #6 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.  Their second album “Hark!” was released November 2014.


September 24, 2017 @ 7:00 p.m. Katie Thirouix

A triple threat talent from Los Angeles, Katie Thiroux has garnered considerable attention for her bravura bass playing, assured singing and compelling compositions. Her debut album, Introducing Katie Thiroux (2015), received international critical acclaim including “Debut Record of the Year” from the Huffington Post, All About Jazz, Jazz Journalists Association and “Top 5 Debut Records of the Year” from NPR Jazz Critics Poll. Lending contemporary flair to mainstream stylings, Thiroux carries on the hard swinging tradition of such bass masters such as Ray Brown and John Clayton, while channeling the buoyant vocal finesse of iconic singers including Anita O’Day, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald. Thiroux offers in-the-moment jazz that draws upon the rich history of the music, from swing to bebop and beyond. Recent performances include Blue Note, Birdland, UCO Jazz Lab, GPAC Concert Series, Juneau Jazz and Classics, San Jose Summer Jazz Fest, WBGO “The Checkout” and NAMM. Thiroux’s upcoming sophomore release, Off Beat, will be released on Capri Records in the Fall of 2017.


October 12, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. – Davina Sowers & The Vagabonds

Davina Sowers and the Vagabonds have created a stir on the national music scene with their high-energy live shows, level A musicianship, sharp-dressed professionalism, and Sowers’ commanding stage presence. With influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits, the band is converting audiences one show at a time, from Vancouver to Miami and across Europe. In 2011, Davina released her first full length, all original album, Black Cloud. It was named one of the “10 Best Releases of the Year” by the Minneapolis Star & Tribune and awarded 4 ½ stars from Downbeat Magazine. Their 2014 release, Sunshine, hit number 13 in the Billboard Blues Chart and led them to landing a performance on the hit BBC2 show, Later with Jools Holland.


October 25, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m. – Broadway’s Next Hit Musical

The hilarious Broadway’s Next Hit Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for its favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical – complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore. BNHM has been seen recently at The Triad, Tribeca Film Festival, and at the New York Musical Theater Festival, among many others.


November 7, 2017 @ 7:30 p.m. – Nobuntu

Nobuntu, the female a cappella quintet from Zimbabwe, has drawn international acclaim for its inventive performances that range from traditional Zimbabwean songs to Afro Jazz to Gospel. The ensemble’s concerts are performed with pure voices, augmented by minimalistic percussion, traditional instruments such as the Mbira (thumb piano) and organic, authentic dance movements.


December 2, 2017 @ 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.  – This Wonderful Life

This Wonderful Life is a one-man play beautifully acted by Jeremy Kendall. Based on the iconic 1946 holiday favorite film, It’s a Wonderful Life, the production brings to life over 32 familiar people in an amazing display of physical and verbal virtuosity. Kendall portrays the Jimmy Stewart-inspired George Bailey, and the whole cast of lovable characters from Bedford Falls including Clarence the Angel, Mary, Zuzu and all the townsfolk who rely on him to save them from the greedy Mr. Potter. Like the film, the play centers around the character of George,  a man who has given up his dreams in order to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community of Bedford Falls would be had he never been born. Jeremy’s  75-minute tour-de-force is at once inspiring, funny, poignant and most of all, uplifting.


January 13, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. – A Temptations Revue featuring Bo Henderson

Bringing the unforgettable songs of Motown back to the Ritz Theatre and Museum is A Temptations Revue featuring the former lead singer of the Temptations and Grammy Award winner Barrington “Bo” Henderson (1998-2003). There have been 22 lead vocalists that have fronted the Temptations since its inception back in the early 1960’s and “Bo” has joined the ranks as one of the only ones to have received a Grammy for the album “Phoenix Rising”. This dynamic and driving show spans more than a decade of Temptations classics, every one of these songs among the most recognizable and culture-defining songs in pop music history.


January 30, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m. – Cirque Zuma Zuma

America’s Got Talent finalist Cirque Zuma Zuma is known as the “ultimate African circus,” this show is filled with non-stop action and African culture, including dance, acrobatics, tumbling, and music.  Cirque Zuma Zuma features disciplined performers who are trained in Kenya and Tanzania.  Many describe it as an African‐style Cirque du Soleil; such is the standard of the performers and the quality of the show.  The performance showcases an array of never before seen talents mixed with some of the best skills associated with African variety arts.


February 3, 2018 @ 6:30 p.m. & 9:00 p.m.  – Mary Wilson of the Supremes

 It was a vision of musical stardom as a Detroit teen that inspired Mary Wilson, along with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard, to found one of the most successful female singing groups in recording history – The Supremes. Since then, Wilson has written a best-selling autobiography, performed on stage and screen, lectured and toured the world, and continues to be looked up to as a singer who set the standard for females in the recording industry.


February 10, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. – The Langston Hughes Project

The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes’s kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite. Ask Your Mama is Hughes’s homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom, home and abroad, at the beginning of the 1960s. It is a twelve-part epic poem which Hughes scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin “cha cha” and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso, and African drumming — a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death.


February 27, 2018 @ 8:00 p.m. – The Mountaintop

On the evening of April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside room 306 of The Lorraine Motel in Memphis. What happened inside room 306 the night before the killing is a mystery. In her internationally acclaimed play, The Mountaintop, playwright Katori Hall fantasizes what may have transpired in the overnight hours between the legendary civil rights leader and a seemingly inconsequential hotel maid.

Winner of the prestigious Olivier Award for Best New Play, The Mountaintop is rife with humor and political jabs, while giving us a glimpse at the human side of Martin Luther King Jr. Hours after his famed final speech, punctuated by the immortal line, “I’ve been to the mountaintop,” the celebrated Reverend reveals his hopes, regrets, and fears, creating a masterful bridge between mortality and immortality.


March 4, 2018 @ 7:30 p.m. – Tierney Sutton Band

 A 7-time Grammy nominee, Tierney Sutton has received 6 consecutive nominations for “Best Jazz Vocal Album”- a nomination for every project she has released for the last decade. In 2013, she released After Blue, a jazz-inspired re-imagining of the legacy of Joni Mitchell. The album received wide acclaim and was Sutton’s breakout as a leader without her longtime Band and features Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws, Peter Erskine, Larry Goldings, Mark Summer, Kevin Axt, Serge Merlaud and The Turtle Island String Quartet. Sutton’s “After Blue: The Joni Mitchell Project” continues to tour the world.