Entertainment: French Feminism to the history of doo-wop

The City Repertory Theatre gives a nod of sorts to National Women’s History Month with a French twist as its presents, “The Revolutionists” for its March production.
It is a recently written play by American playwright Lauren Gunderson having its debut in 2017. Gunderson is the author of 20-plus plays and musicals and in 2017 and 2019 she was the most produced playwright in the United States.
This two-act play with a running time of 100 minutes follows the lives of four women living in France during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror in 1793 and 1794. Olympe wants her life to be revolutionary, but she isn’t interested in the actual revolution. She’s an armchair revolutionist who does not want to get bloody or messy. Marianne is a working mom torn between her worry for the safety of her husband and children and her attempts to help bring justice to France. When her husband dies, she relies on his love and her belief in feminism to stay strong and keep the fight against slavery in France going. Marie (yes, the infamous Marie Antoinette who said, “let them eat cake,” when told that the poor of the nation had no bread) is seen differently in this play than as most history books present her. She still acts as if politics does not impact her, but audiences will also see her womanhood as she grieves with Marianne as a fellow widow. She demonstrates a full-scale mama bear persona as her children are attacked. Charlotte is a young woman unfettered by children or family as she pursues her work in social reform. She rages at injustice and knows death is coming for her. She faces her death as a true martyr.
The play explores feminism in France during the Reign of Terror and how flawed, imperfect women struggled to effect changes in their society. Some reviewers have labelled the play’s characters as, “funny as hell,” also noting, “that is one of the things that is most brave and badass: humor.”
Yes, scaffolding — hanging as was done in the Reign of Terror — is involved in this play. Might not be the best choice for young viewers.
But for adults, this play also alludes to the status of nations today: Wars, excessive debt, citizens who are overtaxed and overworked, low approval and trust of government, corruption in leadership and the increased presence of racism, sexism, poverty, violence and extremism. It leaves audiences to answer this question for themselves: How much are today alike to those who lived before us?
The Revolutionists is presented Friday through Sunday on March 11-13 and March 18-20. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday begins at 3 p.m. Performances are presented at CRT in City Marketplace at 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite B207 in Palm Coast.
Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for adults. Call the CRT at (386) 585-9415 or via the CRT website at www.crtpalmcoast.com. Look for the BUY TICKETS button.

Flagler Auditorium

Married to Broadway (subtitled Sharpe Family Singers) takes the stage on March 10. This musical play features the children of Ron and Barbra Sharpe, who are longtime Broadway professionals, as they continue their parent’s legacy as performers.
Ron and Barbra met onstage playing the romantic roles of Marius and Cosette in Les Miserables. They fell in love offstage after being married thousands of times onstage. Their four children — Samantha, Logan and identical twins Aidan and Connor — formed The Sharpe Family Singers now presenting a series of familiar Broadway songs while telling the story of their family. Samantha has performed on American Idol and she and her siblings have more than 7.3 million views on TikTok for their group performance.
The Doo Wop Project brings the history and evolution of this classic sound to the stage on March 18. The musical chronicles how doo wop started with five guys singing tight harmonies on a street corner to becoming the biggest hits of American pop and rock on radio.
Well-known doo wop groups such as the Belmonts, Crests and Flamingos as well the sounds of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and The Four Seasons are featured in this performance as well as music from Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Maroon 5 presented with a doo wop twist.
The Texas Tenors perform classic selections from several musical genres on March 25. With more than a half million followers on social media and more than 20 million views on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, The Texas Tenors — a group comprised of three friends who say their goal as performers is to “free the mind and warm the hearts of their audiences” — demonstrates that the American dream of having a lasting impact as a performing group is alive and well. Together since 2009, The Texas Tenors were in The Champions performance of America’s Got Talent and have won three Emmy awards.
All performances at the Flagler Auditorium begin at 7 PM. Tickets prices range from $29 to $49 and are available at the auditorium’s website: www.flaglerauditorium.org

Road Trip

The play, August: Osage County, began Feb. 25 and runs through March 20 on the Matuza Mainstage of the Limelight Theatre in St. Augustine. This is the story of how family secrets haunting the three daughters of a father gone missing and pill-popping mother are exposed in an emotional whirlwind as their large family gathers at the Oklahoma homestead. This play is described as “unflinching” in exposing the dark side of a midwestern American family. March 1 is the theatre’s “Terrific Tuesday” presentation for which tickets are discounted to $17. Tickets prices for all other performances range from $27 to $22 as well as $10 tickets for students which can be purchased 30 minutes prior to curtain call based on availability for each curtain call. The Limelight Theatre is located at 11 Old Mission Avenue in uptown St. Augustine. Box office is closed on Mondays and open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and one hour prior to curtain time on Sundays. Call 904-825-1164 or visit the theatre’s website at www.limelight-theatre.org/box-office. Performances are at 7:30 PM Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 PM on Sundays.