February 28-March 25, 2018
The Hippodrome Theatre presents the hilariously heartfelt Florida Premiere of “Ripcord.” A tale of two roommates who should not be in the same state, much less the same room!
Two of Gainesville’s theatre icons Nell Page and Sara Morsey take it to the limit when a simple bet escalates into a no-holds-barred epic battle. It’s the Thunderdome in the old folks home for a wild night of hilarity and hijinks at the Hipp.
Pulitzer-prize winning playwright, David Lindsay-Abaire, has created a play of high-stakes hilarity, watch for yourself as each character tries to rip the other to bits.
“‘Ripcord’ invites the audience and anyone who experiences this story to embrace the idea of being present and joyful, because life is going to end whether you like it or not,” said director VC Heidenreich. “You get to choose if you want that peach cobbler to taste like peach cobbler or taste like paste.”
The New York Times calls RIPCORD “An expertly engineered comedy!” and Deadline calls it “vastly entertaining… a show to treasure.”
“Ripcord” is as heartfelt as it is deliciously inappropriate, directed on the Hippodrome Mainstage by VC Heidenreich. A Florida Premiere!
Tickets at the Hippodrome Box Office: (352) 375-4477 or click here.
The Hippodrome Theatre proudly presents Sherrie Pettigrew’s Artwork
Opening Feb. 28 with “Ripcord” previews & featured for Art Walk Feb. 23, 7 to 10 p.m.
GAINESVILLE – Sherrie Pettigrew’s art exhibit will be featured in the Hippodrome Art Gallery for the next Artwalk Gainesville on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, from 7 – 10 p.m., opening the week before the first preview of “Ripcord” at the Hippodrome Theatre.
Pettigrew is a Florida artist who composes her drawings based on the people and objects around her in everyday life. Graphite powder and pencil are her primary materials, and she sometimes incorporates paint, pastel chalk and found objects.
“These images come to me in the shower, theater, market, and street complete with smells, sounds, and visions seldom shared until they are actualized,” Pettigrew said.
Pettigrew admires artists Chuck Close, Joan Miro and Cy Twombly, and they inspire her artistic style. She describes her collection as an evolution from hyperrealism to psychological surrealism.
“I come from honesty in my approach, making work that isn’t always pretty,” Pettigrew said. “These pieces are about emotion, often without cognitive consideration: recording reality with a twist and my own hypersensitive view.”
We hope to see you there!
– Your friends at the Hipp
Come to the Hipp to belt out your favorite songs with us — we’re bringing karaoke back to the Lower Level on Friday, March 23!
Have fun with your friends at the Hipp during this FREE event. If you’re fearless, you can head right up to belt out your favorite lyrics. For everyone else, we’ll keep our bartender pouring drinks if you need a dose of liquid courage.
It’s time to mark your calendars, Gainesville. Our doors will be open at 7:30 p.m., and you can sing Madonna and Prince all the way until midnight.
Letter to the Editor in the Gainesville Sun:
As a longtime Hippodrome patron, I am moved to share my experience at the recent production of “The Royale” by Marco Ramirez. It was one of the most powerful, profound and entertaining evenings of theater I’ve ever witnessed.
The play, inspired by Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion, is a searing, brutal, example of theater at its best. The direction by Lauren Warhol Caldwell and Ryan George is inspired. The movement direction by Rudi Goblen is magnificent as is the extraordinary ensemble cast of Bryce Michael Wood, E. Stanley Richardson, Renata Eastlick and Dylan Kammerer. The atmosphere, created by lighting designer Bob Robins, set designer Mihai Ciupe, costume designer Jessica Kreitzer and technical director Michael Eaddy is simple, beautiful and effective.
If you want a once-in-a lifetime experience that will leave you changed, inspired and uplifted by the sheer artistry of the event, “The Royale” is a knockout.
Mark Sexton, Alachua County
Check out this video for a bit of insight on one of the actors, and co-director, Ryan George, and for a sneak-peek glimpse of what "The Royale" holds, for those of you who haven't seen it yet. Showtimes for today, Saturday, January 20th are 5pm and 8:30pm!Tickets and information at 352.375.4477 and https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=1725
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday, January 20, 2018
Get to know E. Stanley Richardson, the actor who plays Wynton in our amazing mainstage production, "The Royale." Hear some insight into his character and some of his favorite things about the production and get a sneak peek of the show! Showtimes for today, Sunday, January 28th are 2pm and 7pm! Tickets and information at 352.375.4477 and https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=1725
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Sunday, January 28, 2018
Good morning Gainesville! We sat down with Bryce Michael Wood, the actor who plays Jay "The Sport" Jackson, and asked him about himself and the wonderful show him and his fellow cast have been performing on our mainstage, "The Royale." If you haven't seen it yet, you've got to come check it out! The showtime for today, Tuesday, January 30th is 7pm! Tickets and information at 352.375.4477 and https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=1725
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Stay tuned for upcoming insight from actors Renata and Dylan!
We're so excited to share this production with all of you! Performances of "THE ROYALE" start next week! Tomorrow (Sunday 1/7) is the final day for 50% off presale tickets with coupon code ROYALE50. Call now! 352-375-4477 or visit https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=0
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday, January 6, 2018
The rave reviews are in! “The Royale” delivers a knock-out punch! The Gainesville Sun reviewer Ron Cunningham writes, ‘The Royale’ plays out more like a dreamy ballet set to gritty rhythm. And the effect is sublime.” Come see for yourself what made audience members jump to their feet in a full standing ovations every single night! Make your reservations for THE ROYALE now at 352.375.4477 or online at thehipp.org
Read all about “The Royale” and the electrifying partnership of co-directors Ryan George and Lauren Warhol Caldwell through the eyes of local acclaimed writer Timothy Shamrock McShane:
“Ryan George has in-the-ring know-how to apply to The Royale, intimate experience of playing it in a hit production in Coral Gables, Warhol has Hipp know-how, expressionistic chops and a social conscience.” Discount previews start tonight! Tickets to The Royale at 352.375.4477 and thehipp.org.
“Dylan Kammerer, a UF grad who now lives in Brooklyn, said that any good ensemble piece “lives and dies by the heartbeat that is one.” Such is the case with The Royale.
“I think what Marco’s done really well is offer a piece of theater that is so exciting and so nonstop and almost filmic in a way in that you can’t take your eyes off of it, and we don’t give you the opportunity, and when we do, it just rips your heart out.”
“People who have never been to the Hippodrome before are going to love it.” UF School of Theatre + Dance
Check out today’s cover story of the Gainesville Scene! The preview article for “The Royale” is featured, by Sara Marino. Come down to the Hipp for a discount preview performance at 7 tonight to see what it’s all about.
“I think that it’s an ensemble in that it lives and dies by the heartbeat that is one with this cast,” Kammerer said. “What it’s done really well is provide a piece of theater that is so exciting and so nonstop, and it’s almost like a film in a way that you can’t take your eyes off of it.”
Nell Page and Kevin Rainsberger present a dramatic reading of Christian O’Reilly’s play CHAPATTI at the Hippodrome Theatre on Monday, January 29 at 7 p.m.
The reading is a benefit performance for Run Amuck with the Duck, andThe Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023.
With this reading, Kevin and Nell pay tribute to artist, colleague and friend Ric Rose who fought a valiant battle against lung cancer.
CHAPATTI tells the story of a man and his dog, a woman and her 19 cats and how their lives inadvertently become intertwined.
Christyann and Daniel got married early in the morning and celebrated their reception in the Hipp’s Lower Level for brunch. Christyann looked amazing in her beautiful gown and her bridesmaids wore beautiful floral dresses. Daniel and his groomsmen rocked green suits and suspenders. The newly weds came in the night before and decorated the Lower Level with greenery wrapped around each pillar and put out lace runners and overlays bringing in that vintage touch. Their florist decorated with lush greenery on the tables and vibrate flowers making the whole room come together. This Boho- Chic wedding was absolutely beautiful. We were so lucky to celebrate with them! Find out more about how you can rent the Hipp today at thehipp.org/rentals. | Sworhacz@thehipp.org | 352-373-5968 X 217
Photos by Hipp’s Marketing Associate Rachel Jones
When Bryan Mercer was a student at Vangaurd High School in Ocala, he auditioned for “Godspell” on a dare.
Since then, he’s lived in New York and Atlanta, working as an actor and musical director, composer and teacher. He prefers central Florida over those larger cities for its abundance of trees and moss.
Currently, he is channeling his Florida roots and love for the swamp as Frog in “A Year with Frog and Toad” at the Hippodrome Theatre, now on the Mainstage.
Mercer started working at the Hippodrome as a musical director in 2006, beginning with “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” His first acting role at the theatre was not until in 2015 in “Mr. Burns: A Post-electric Play.” Now, he a company member at the Hippodrome and calls it his home theatre.
“Some of my best roles, some of my best work has been down here,” he said. “This has a community, a village to support this amazing place. It’s everything I want.”
Throughout his career, Mercer has played leading love interests, drag characters and monsters. Among them all, he said Frog is the closest role to himself he has ever played. Mercer said he relates to Frog’s his joy for music and harmony and understanding of nature and stillness.
“I am very much of a frog. I must have moss and water and springs and trails.”
This is Mercer’s fifth time playing the role. This time, Frog is older, wiser, simpler and more kind, he said.
“He’s made friends with his problems, his emotions, his past and his future.”
Friendships are serious relationships, and Frog honors them in a way audiences can admire, Mercer said. In Frog’s ballad, “Alone,” he explains gently to toad that because of their friendship, he is not alone.
“That’s the most beautiful thing about the production,” he said. “Frog is a character that’s learned, no, nothing in life is exactly as we wish,” Mercer said. “No friend is perfect. If we are to have friends, if we are to have relationships, we must accept them unconditionally for what they are.”
Ultimately, Mercer said he hopes the audience finds kindness, gentleness and healing in “A Year with Frog and Toad.”
“When’s the last time you can say you went to the theatre and felt better about yourself? Or had hope for the future? Or made you want to do something nice? Or hug your parents just a little extra longer?”
For reservations, call 352-375-4477 or visit thehipp.org/holidayshows.