Four reasons you should see “Grave of the Fireflies” at the Hipp


At the end of the month, the Hippodrome Cinema will screen “Grave of the Fireflies.” Based on a 1967 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, this dramatic and heart-wrenching film will take you deep into the aftermath of World War II in Japan.

“Grave of the Fireflies” will lead audience members the tough reality of the war and the devastation it left behind through the story of siblings Seita and Setsuko. Seita is a young boy who has to take care of his younger sister Setsuko after their mother tragically dies during the war. The siblings fight through hardships together and stay with each other no matter what.

The film covers a very tough topic, but it is absolutely rewarding to watch. The Hipp will be playing the film three times: once on Sept. 30, on Oct. 1 and on Oct. 4.

Here are four reasons why you should come see “Grave of the Fireflies” at the Hipp:

1. It will teach you family values.

Despite all of the tragedy around them, Seita and Setsuko still share moments of happiness together. Plus, look at how adorable little Setsuko’s rosy-red cheeks are! You just can’t help but smile sometimes.

2. It will show you the true devastation and reality of World War II.

When it comes down to it, World War II was a horrific event that claimed the lives of over 60 million people. We can all learn from this history.

3. It will remind you to value the simple things in life.

From family to basic living commodities, “Grave of the Fireflies” will make you think twice about what is and isn’t important in your life. We sometimes forget how many people have suffered and still are suffering from conflicts around the world. Seita and Setsuko suffered famine and were forced to face death head-on many times.

4. It will make you bawl your eyes out.

Everyone needs a good cry once in awhile, and it’s OK to admit that. The sadness in this film is sometimes overwhelming, but it does give you a humble perspective on life.

Don’t miss out on the Hipp’s screenings of “Grave of the Fireflies.” Get your tickets now by visiting thehipp.org/cinema or calling (352)375-4477.




From GainesvilleScene: Big Brother Hits the Big Stage with the Hippodrome’s ‘1984’

This story was originally published on GainesvilleScene.


War is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. The recognizable propaganda of George Orwell’s fictional world of 1984 flash across the screens above the stage. Audience members spanning across many decades file in to the rows of the Hippodrome Theatre in Downtown Gainesville. Sitting before us, an industrial set, intimately lit with eerie hues of green— creating a chilling feeling that matches the crisp air conditioning.

The Hippodrome Theatre and the University of Florida School of Theatre and Dance came together to share of one of Orwell’s classic novels, 1984, with Gainesville. Lauren Warhol Caldwell, the Artistic Director at the Hippodrome Theatre, directed this production of Andrew White’s adaptation of the play.

1984 tells the story of a future world marked by total government control. Technology is inescapable, free-thinking is a crime and Big Brother is watching. The protagonists, Winston and Julia, dissatisfied with the lives they are forced to live, begin seeking out others with a rebellious agenda. But, deviating from the norm is a death sentence.

What captivates people about this story is that George Orwell published his ideas of the future back in 1949. Although his novel seems like an exaggerated tale of fiction, there are horrifying elements that have crept in to the modern world.

(Photo by Michael A Eaddy, Hippodrome Theatre)

Generations of students, including myself, have read 1984 for various classes. Sitting in front of me at the show, a group of women around 50 years my senior reflected on when they were first exposed to this book in high school. This just goes to show the timelessness of this piece as mankind never stops imagining what the landscape of the future will look like.

Lauren Warhol Caldwell called Orwell a visionary because we are now “living in the world that he described.” She continued in saying that “We are living in an interesting time right now and I think that’s probably one reason that the book resurged.”

The overwhelming interest in this story can be partially attributed to the time of political unrest that we are living in. Although the plot of Orwell’s novel could take a sharp political slant, the director chose to depict the work with its original authenticity. This allows for the audience to interpret the play in the way that most strongly resonates with them as an individual.

“We are living in an interesting time right now and I think that’s probably one reason that the book resurged.”

Regarding the play itself, the best word I can use to describe it is powerful. The audience is close enough to the action to feel like a participant rather than a mere spectator. There is something so gripping about seeing a fictional world that doesn’t seem possible, but then picking out an element that is present in our day-to-day lives. It’s riveting to see the dangerous possibilities of the uncertain future.

(Photo by Michael A. Eaddy, Hippodrome Theatre)

The purpose of this play is to not make you feel good inside as you are leaving the theatre. This play is supposed to make you think. You watch the protagonist completely unravel and abandon his morality. Reading about the downfall of Winston is one thing, but I have a new understanding of the plot after seeing 1984 on stage.

Audience members are kept in suspense and on edge for the duration of the show. Transitions from scene to scene were marked by metallic scraping and jolting bass, causing you to fear what will come next. To me, the most memorable part of the play was the interaction between Winston, played by Niall McGinty, and O’Brien, played by V Craig Heidenreich. The intensity in their portrayal of their characters allowed for the most extreme themes of the play to unfold before the audience’s eyes.

Caldwell said that, “If you’re looking to be riveted to the edge of your seat, that is the experience we have had with our audience.” I can personally support her claim, as I was fully captured by the performance from start to finish. I’ve been a fan of Orwell’s work for a while, but a whole new level of comprehension comes with seeing the story live.

“If you’re looking to be riveted to the edge of your seat, that is the experience we have had with our audience.”

You can catch this dark classic gracing the stage of the Hippodrome Theatre until September 24. Show times and ticket information can be found on the Hippodrome’s website.


The Hippodrome Cinema will be a part of music-film history

The Hippodrome Cinema will be a part of music-film history.

The cinema team is excited to participate in the one-night special screening of “David Gilmour: Live at Pompeii.” It is one of 2,000 theaters worldwide that will be playing this film on the same day — and only for that day.

The concert film will be screened Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m., and $15 tickets are on sale now. “David Gilmour: Live at Pompeii” captures one of the first-ever rock concerts for an audience in the legendary Roman amphitheatre.

Patrons will not want to miss this one-time opportunity to see Gilmour’s out-of-this-world performance, complete with lasers, pyrotechnics, a huge screen with incredible film elements and, of course, their favorite Pink Floyd classics. The concert’s set list includes “One of These Days,” “Wish You Were Here” and many of Gilmour’s solo tracks.

“In the film, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour performs songs from the entirety of his catalog, and this is such an audio and visual experience,'” said Jason Potak, cinema program manager. “It serves as a reminder of how influential one musician can be.”

This nostalgic film will take attendees back to their days of Walkmans and teenage angst. Tickets can be purchased by calling (352)375-4477 or visiting thehipp.org/cinema.


“The Young Girls of Rochefort” is September’s Cocktails & Classics


“The Young Girls of Rochefort” is about two women looking for love, but it’s also much more than that. Here’s why you should come see it at the Hipp:

1. They just don’t make movies like this anymore.

Real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac play a pair of twins, Delphine and Solange, living in a small, seaside town in France. They give dance and music lessons, but of course dream of love and more exciting lives in a big city. Suddenly, a carnival comes to town! They meet a couple of carnies who offer to bring them to Paris if the twins perform in their show. This film is chock-full of musical numbers, missed connections and improbable coincidences, which is precisely why we love it.

2. It’s all about girl power.

Unlike most movies of the ‘60s, the women run this movie. They’re talented educators who run their own business in an idyllic French suburb and travel to Paris. Additionally, the plot focuses on Delphine and Solange and their mom’s stories. Talk about GOALS.

3. Gene. Kelly.

“Singin’ in the Rain.” “An American in Paris.” Gene Kelly can do it ALL. He plays the charming, successful American in this one –– can you even call that acting??

4. There will be drinks

We’ll have themed cocktails ready at the bar, and appetizers will be catered by Dragonfly. Need we say more?

Come join us on Sept. 23 for Hippodrome Cinema’s next Cocktails & Classics screening – “The Young Girls of Rochefort.” Our reception starts in the Bar and Art Gallery at 6:30 p.m., and the film will follow in the Cinema at 7:30 p.m. Your $20 ticket includes one free specialty cocktail or soda as well as admission to the film. Get yours by calling (352)375-4477 or at http://thehipp.org/event/the-young-girls-of-rochefort/.


Response to Hurricane Irma: The Hippodrome will be closed Saturday through Monday

Response to Hurricane Irma: 

The Hippodrome will be closed Saturday through Monday

The Hippodrome Theatre will be closed Sunday and Monday in response to Hurricane Irma.
To keep our patrons, staff, actors and interns safe, the theatre will be rescheduling the following programming:
  • “1984”: Cancelling Saturday and Sunday’s Mainstage shows
  • Cinema shows: The cinema will be closed Saturday Sunday
  • “A Fundraiser in 3 Acts!”: Rescheduling Monday’s 6 p.m. benefit concert
  • “The Shakespeare Code”: Rescheduling Monday’s David Patrick Ford class
  • “One City, One Story: A Talkback with Alex Woloch”: Cancelled Tuesday’s talkback; regrettably cannot be rescheduled
Patrons can stay up-to-date with the Hippodrome’s adjusted hours on its Facebook page. The box office will work diligently to move affected patrons’ tickets to alternate dates, and patrons are encouraged to call (352)375-4477 with any questions.

Meet the Hippodrome’s Marketing Interns

The Hippodrome Theatre’s marketing interns are an essential part of our administrative team. During their semester here, these five university students will gain real-world arts administration experience while learning how to write compelling copy, design shareable graphics and create interesting content for social media and print publications.

Their energetic personalities and can-do attitudes light up the third floor of our building. (And you’ve definitely seen their smiling faces light up our Instagram account, too!)

Get to know the creative gals who have taken over the Hipp’s behind-the-scenes work:



Marketing Intern, Videography Focus

Hi! My name is Amanda Grohowski, and I’m a senior at the University of Florida double-majoring in telecommunication news and music performance. I have been playing the violin since I was 5 years old and have always had an affinity to performing. In college, I found another medium of performance in the field of communications that I just fell in love with. I am so passionate about creating media content for other people to enjoy involving arts and culture. I am thrilled to begin my marketing internship at the Hippodrome Theatre this fall to finally be able to merge my two passions of the arts and communications.


Marketing Intern

Hi! I’m Dani Esteves, and I am an avid consumer of coffee and musical soundtracks. I’m currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public relations at UF. With my passion for the entertainment industry and creative outlets, I hope to one day inspire social change through the performing arts. I love working at Hippodrome because I get to enhance my skills through fun and creative work!


Marketing Intern, Public Programs Focus

I’m a third-year journalism and political science student at the University of Florida, and this fall I’ll be a marketing intern for the Hippodrome Theatre. I love using my communications skills creatively – I want everyone in Gainesville to be as excited about the Hipp as I am! My passions include storytelling, iced coffee and angst-filled feminist music.


Marketing Intern

I am currently a third-year public relations major + business management minor, and I am thrilled to be interning for the Hipp in the their marketing department. I am originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, but have been moving all of my life because my father is in the military! Currently, my family lives in Naples, Italy so I travel there every Christmas and summer. After graduation, I plan to pursue a one-year masters in management, and hopefully go on to work for a company that values their company culture and invest in their customers daily. I would absolutely love to work for Southwest Airlines in one of their many communications department, and I look forward to gaining valuable skills at the Hipp to reach my aspirations!


Marketing Intern, Graphic Design Focus

Hi, I’m Tho, a fourth-year, advertising student at the University of Florida and the new Graphic Design at the Hipp! Art has been an essential part of my life since I was a kid. I began with drawing, but now I also enjoy exploring the world through my camera lens. I believe the Hipp has something to offer for everybody, and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
P.S. I enjoy petting dogs, playing games with friends and looking at the latest trends in skincare.

From the Alligator: George Orwell’s ‘1984’ coming to the Hippodrome

This story was originally published on the Alligator’s website.


Starting Sept. 1, both the audience and Big Brother can watch George Orwell’s “1984” at the Hippodrome State Theatre.

The play is meant to create discussion between audience members, said Lauren Caldwell, the Hippodrome’s artistic director. The Hippodrome is partnering with UF School of Theatre and Dance for the production.

Previews begin Aug. 30 and Aug. 31 at 7 p.m., and the play runs from Sept. 1 to Sept. 24. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35, and are on sale at the Hippodrome box office and online.

The Hippodrome will also host panels for One City, One Story, a series of events related to the play. Panels will be held periodically from Aug. 24 to Sept. 18. Events will feature an Orwellian scholar, a fake news panel and conversations with the actors, Caldwell said.

Niall McGinty, the actor who plays the male lead, said the play doesn’t promote one political viewpoint but rather forces the audience to question their beliefs.

“When one person reads it, it’s kind of like a mirror, and you can kind of see your own viewpoints in it,” he said.

Caldwell said audience members should expect the play to tell Orwell’s story without a political slant. She said her job is to tell the story and let the audience decide what to take from it themselves.

“I’m not trying to tell the story from a left-wing or a right-wing point of view,” she said. “It’s a show about a warning, and some of those warnings have come true; some haven’t.”

Read the story on the Alligator’s website.


The Hippodrome kicks off its One City, One Story initiative with a community book club


What if an entire community read the same book at the same time?  Well, we’re about to find out.

Join us for Drinks + Dystopia: A Hipp Book Club, where we will explore George Orwell’s classic novel “1984.” On Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m., the Gainesville community will gather in the Hipp Basement to ask critical and relevant questions about the importance of truth, unconformity and independence.

We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Alachua County Library to feel a common connection to our neighbors at this free event.  Come drink wine and engage with your fellow book lovers on the value of community. Appetizers will be served, and there will be a full cash bar.     

The event is part of the Hippodrome’s community-wide read and conversation initiative, One City, One Story,  and will celebrate the upcoming co-production of “1984” on the Hipp Mainstage. Get your tickets at thehipp.org/1984tickets.

Visit our Special Events page for more information on other One City, One Story events.

“We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.” ― George Orwell, “1984”


A Year with Frog and Toad


Book & Lyrics by Willie Reale / Music by Robert Reale
Based on the children’s book series by Arnold Lobel
November 24 – December 17

A whimsical musical that tells the tale of two best friends: the easy-going Frog and the curmudgeonly Toad. The story follows Frog and Toad through four colorful seasons, along with their lively, quirky friends Snail, Turtle, the Birds, and more. This holiday season, audiences of all ages will delight in this Broadway hit which was nominated for three Tony Awards – including Best Musical. “No matter what your age, you can’t help but fall in love with A Year with Frog and Toad. Like the cookies, it is a truly irresistible holiday treat for the whole family!” – DC Metro Theater Arts. “An absolutely delightful theater experience for kids of all ages.” – Nashville Parenting Magazine

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The Legend of Georgia McBride


By Matthew Lopez
October 13 – November 5; previews October 11 & 12

How does a down-on- his-luck Elvis impersonator with an empty bank account and a pregnant wife become the most popular drag queen in the Florida Panhandle? The Legend of Georgia McBride is a show-stopping, hilariously extravagant comedy about discovering your true voice with music and glitter galore. A New York Times CRITICS PICK. “Stitch-in-your-side funny…full of sass and good spirits.” —The New York Times. “A genuine crowd-pleaser.” – The Hollywood Reporter

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