Thrasher-Horne Food Finds – The Crafty Crab

Hungry for some local food on your way to a show? Want a cool “locals only” spot to visit after the finale for dessert and conversation? Check out these local hot spots recommended by Thrasher-Horne Center staff members, and let us introduce you to the best our area has to offer! With Thrasher-Horne Center Food Finds, we plan to bring you a monthly spotlight that will turn your simple night at the theatre into a full-fledged event that you and your guests will remember for years to come!

Just down the street from our front door is one of the coolest new restaurants in the Orange Park area – The Crafty Crab. Hailing from Melbourne, Florida, this New Orleans style seafood restaurant is known statewide for their low country boils, gumbos, and raw & steamed oysters. This is the second location for this family-friendly chain, and they’ve decided to drop it right here in our backyard.

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The Crafty Crab offers the freshest seafood and most authentic recipes in the area. When you walk into their restaurant, you’ll immediately experience Southern charm and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere to make you feel right at home. Whether you’re stopping in for a business lunch, family dinner, date night, or a night out with friends, Crafty Crab is the perfect spot (and their close proximity to our theatre make them a wonderful solution for pre-show dinner and drinks). Their ocean-loving chefs serve up delicious home-style seafood with generous portions in every meal. They’re cooking up crab, crawfish, calamari, and lobster in the kitchen… all made fresh daily. Not into shellfish? Try their Cajun rice, chicken tenders, and other flavorful menu options.

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At Crafty Crab, they know food tastes better with your hands, so don’t be shy—dig in! Their signature New Orleans Style low country boil is a feast for seafood lovers and perfect for a casual dinner. They even create their own unique seasoning mix for the ideal arrangement of flavors. For an experience that satisfies your appetite while ensuring a fun time, make sure to visit Crafty Crab before your next evening of entertainment at Thrasher-Horne Center!

As a special bonus, the owners of Crafty Crab have offered us a 10% discount on your total bill when dining with them before or after a Thrasher-Horne show! Just show your show ticket or program to a manager to receive your discount! For a full menu and other information, check out the website link below!

Crafty Crab Restaurant

The Deets:

Phone

(904) 579-3913

Location

950 Blanding Blvd #1,
Orange Park, FL 32065

Hours

Sun-Sat              12:00p – 10:00p

Thrasher-Horne Center Food Finds – Pasta Market

Hungry for some local food on your way to a show? Want a cool “locals only” spot to visit after the finale for dessert and conversation? Check out these local hot spots recommended by Thrasher-Horne Center staff members, and let us introduce you to the best our area has to offer! With Thrasher-Horne Center Food Finds, we plan to bring you a monthly spotlight that will turn your simple night at the theatre into a full-fledged event that you and your guests will remember for years to come!

If you’ve ever been to a show at the Florida Theatre downtown, then you’re probably aware of Casa Dora, the cozy, hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant a few storefronts down from the theatre. A bit of an institution, Casa Dora has been serving up no-frills, authentic Italian cuisine to hungry theatregoers in the urban core since 1976. Owner Sam Hassan and Store Manager Freddie are well known to downtown Jacksonville types, and now they’re working hard to extend that renown to Clay County. Pasta Market Italian Restaurant (FKA Sam’s Italian Kitchen) on Kingsley Avenue has brought Sam’s ethos of homemade Italian food with love and care to our Thrasher-Horne neighborhood, creating a space that is perfect for a pre-show dinner with friends.

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One thing you’ll notice when you dine at Pasta Market is the extreme attention to detail in all the dishes. The staff, and most especially the owner, are fiercely dedicated to making sure you get exactly what you expect in your dining experience. Don’t be surprised if you receive an individual visit from the chef at your table, and perhaps even a personalized off-menu entree created especially for you. This is a wonderfully endearing touch, hearkening back to the days when restaurants relied less on cookie-cutter menus and more on catering to the guests they considered to be family. And at Sam’s restaurants, you will indeed feel like family.

Every item on the extensive menu is hand crafted from scratch, from the pastas to the desserts and even the sauces and salad dressings. The kitchen at Pasta Market is also used as a prep kitchen, providing sister restaurant Casa Dora with much of it’s signature flair. Check out just a small portion of their massive menu below.

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Antipasta

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Hand Rolled Mozzarella Sticks

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Meat Lasagna

So the next time you’re traveling to the theatre for a night of entertainment, take a couple extra hours to stop in at Pasta Market. You’ll be glad you did. Trust us.

The Deets:

Phone

(904) 276-9551

Location

1930 Kingsley Avenue
Orange Park, FL 32073

Hours

Mon, Wed, Fri                      11a – 10p
Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun        3p – 10p

Thrasher-Horne Center Food Finds – Infield Pizzeria (CLOSED)

 

Hungry for some local food on your way to a show? Want a cool “locals only” spot to visit after the finale for dessert and conversation? Check out these local hot spots recommended by Thrasher-Horne Center staff members, and let us introduce you to the best our area has to offer! With Thrasher-Horne Center Food Finds, we plan to bring you a bi-weekly spotlight that will turn your simple night at the theatre into a full-fledged event that you and your guests will remember for years to come!

jiroIn the 2012 documentary Jiro Dreams Of Sushi, we are introduced to 85-year-old Jiro Ono, who runs a modest, 10 seat sushi bar tucked away in an inauspicious corner of a metropolitan Tokyo subway station. He is soft-spoken, unassuming… and considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. Patrons clamor for a reservation to dine at his restaurant, scheduling visits months in advance to partake in a dinner that is controlled solely on the whim of Mr. Ono (for there are no menus at Jiro’s small bar). Despite his humble restaurant and its humble location, Jiro has proven one thing to the global restaurant community: that sometimes the greatest of life’s achievements can manifest themselves in the most unlikely of places.

Perhaps this is an overwrought analogy for Infield Pizzeria & Sports Bar. Or perhaps not.

How else do you explain the overwhelming popularity of a tiny pizzeria situated in an aging brick strip mall beside a gas station deep within Orange Park. And yet here it stands, serving simple and informal lunch and dinner fare in an unpretentious space with the strong support of the community that surrounds it. It’s not uncommon to see Thrasher-Horne staff dining there, as well as many of our guest artists. In fact, Melissa Etheridge, Bill Engvall, and the kids from R5 have all enjoyed Infield’s cuisine while in town!

But Infield isn’t your typical corporate pizza-in-a-box business. It is unabashedly mom-and-pop. It prides itself on it’s uniqueness and character. Instead of gimmicks and marketing schemes, Infield focuses on the customer experience and, much like Jiro, on serving up the best food possible in their humble restaurant in its humble location. And in the shadows of 295 and Blanding Bouevard, this approach to dining couldn’t be more refreshing.

Be sure to include Infield as part of your next night out with the Thrasher-Horne. They are situated a stone’s throw from the front doors of our building (earning the award for Most Convenient Local Restaurant), and they’ll be sure to treat you like a regular, and feed you like a king.

Check out our photo series below to see why we have the utmost respect for our Italian, folksy, beer loving neighbors to the south…img_1086img_1096img_1084
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The Deets:

Phone

(904) 298-0890

Location

330 College Drive
Orange Park, FL 32065

Hours

Sun-Thurs      11a – 10p
Fri-Sat              11a – 12a

As a special offer to readers of our blog, Infield Pizzeria would like to offer 10% off your pre- or post-theatre meal! Just flash a Thrasher-Horne show ticket or playbill to your server to take advantage of this deal!

Parsons Dance Creates Site Specific Art On The Thrasher-Horne Mainstage

Last week, our theatre was lucky enough to be visited by David Parsons and his troupe from Parsons Dance NYC. The company spent five days in residence at the Thrasher-Horne, and during that time treated the community to two full performances and three dance intensives and masterclasses for local dancers. The Thrasher-Horne has a year history of bringing world class dance to Orange Park, and is able to make these yearly events happen through a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

On Wednesday, over forty dancers gathered on the mainstage for a two hour class administered by David Parsons himself, with help from his full company of four men and four women. Additionally, local filmmaker and Oscar winner Drew L. Brown was brought on board (along with accomplished percussionist Jonah Pierre) to create a site specific video highlighting the Parsons dance combination taught to the students that day. This video was later edited and screened prior to Parsons Friday evening performance.

Here are some behind the scenes shots of the masterclass and the making of the video:

Additionally, David Parsons ventured to Lavilla School of the Arts in downtown Jacksonville to host two masterclasses with dance students from the surrounding community. Those classes culminated in a live performance, also hosted prior to the Friday evening performance. Among those participating in this unique show was Dante Gonzalez, a twelve year old local dance protege enrolled at the Florida Ballet who has previously studied with the Royal Ballet of London and traveled the day after our performance to Toronto to audition for the National Ballet of Canada (highlighted below in the blue shirt).

Experiences of this magnitude are rare for residents of Northeast Florida, and we are proud to have a longstanding relationship with South Arts that allows us to bring world class dance to the students and audiences of the Jacksonville Metropolitan area. Parsons Dance was sublime, and we hope that everyone reading had a chance to experience one of their many offerings last week. For more information about our season and to purchase tickets for upcoming shows, please visit the Thrasher-Horne website.

THRASHER-HORNE BRINGS HAMILTON! (…documentary to WJCT)

On Tuesday evening, theatre lovers of Northeast Florida braved the first rains of Hurricane Matthew to gather at WJCT Studios downtown for an exclusive first look at the documentary film Hamilton’s America. We were proud to sponsor WJCT’s preview of the first hour of the documentary (which highlights the creation of the runaway Broadway hit Hamilton) ahead of it’s world premiere as part of PBS’s Great Performances series on October 21st. The gala event was hosted by Daniel N. Austin of PBS’s Hometown, and featured live performances by Austin and local performers Katie McCloskey and Juan Carlos Unzueta.

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The soundstage at WJCT was decked out with a large buffet and comfortable seating, and the giant cyclorama wall became our movie screen for the night. The energy of the room was one of excitement, with several attendees sporting pieces of period costuming. After an early threat of a power outage, we found our way to our seats and Daniel kicked off the evening’s events.

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Local theatre aficionados Isom Steve Philips and his wife Toni Philips were spotted amongst the crowd of Jackonville Arts movers and shakers, who showed up in full force for this sneak peek of Broadway’s hottest show.

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A preview of the PBS Fall Arts Schedule accompanied the evening’s entertainment. A full schedule was provided to each attendee.

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Daniel N. Austin, of PBS’s Hometown, our vivacious host for the evening.

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Katie McCloskey kicked off the live performances with a Broadway caliber rendition of “There’s A Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q. She also returned later in the evening to further wow us with “Don’t Wanna Be Here” from Ordinary Days.

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Juan Carlos Unzueta was up next, electrifying the room with “Corner Of The Sky” from Pippin.

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Daniel then treated us to “Moving Too Fast” from the seminal The Last Five Years.

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Lastly, Juan segued us into the documentary with a live performance of “Wait For It” from Hamilton.

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Check out some of the star-studded audience below!

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Local artist Roosevelt Watson III with his beautiful better half Shawana Brooks

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Former Thrasher-Horne House Manager Cindy Harmon with ushers from her new digs at the Times-Union Center.

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Juan Carlos Unzueta, Katie McCloskey, and Daniel N. Austin, our powerhouse talent of the evening.

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Isom Steve Philips and Toni Philips

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Amanda Marron with Elijah Southworth, Rikki Southworth, and Chip Southworth

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The Southworth Clan

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Anne White with Shelley Cain and friends

 

Thrasher-Horne Center Food Finds – SnacShack

Hungry for some local food on your way to a show? Want a cool “locals only” spot to visit after the finale for dessert and conversation? Check out these local hot spots recommended by Thrasher-Horne Center staff members, and let us introduce you to the best our area has to offer! With Thrasher-Horne Center Food Finds, we plan to bring you a bi-weekly spotlight that will turn your simple night at the theatre into a full-fledged event that you and your guests will remember for years to come!

UPDATE: As of March 2017, SnacShack has become a permanent fixture of St. Johns River State College! They have moved their retail operations to the Student Center on campus at 283 College Drive. Their hours have changed, but they are still accessible to the general public during business hours. Their previous Jefferson Crossing location is now used exclusively for offsite catering.

First up on our list is SnacShack , located in the Jefferson Crossing Center and one of College Drive’s best kept secrets. Whether you are looking for a comfortable spot to relax with friends, or a quick and delicious meal, this independently owned bakery always does the trick.

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With modular seating arrangements and deep leather club seats evoking a cozy living room feel, Snac Shack makes the perfect location for your entire party. A favorite of neighboring St. John’s River State College students, you’ll find free wifi, board games, and a plethora of books and magazines to pass your time. This modern cafe provides an excellent choice for pre-theatre coffee and snacks and is only a half mile from the Thrasher-Horne, ensuring you’ll be in your seat right on time for the curtain to rise.

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In addition to the fresh baked breads and pastries, Snac Shack offers a variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, and their wildly popular pretzel bites. There are also daily specials and a mountain of homemade desserts.

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PRO TIP: Each ticket to a Thrasher-Horne performance purchased through the Box Office has a coupon on the back for a Free Coffee and Bagel.

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Pay a visit to Snac Shack before your next show. We promise you won’t regret it!

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The Deets:

Phone

904-322-1414 or

904-682-7622 (SNAC)

 

Location

179 College Drive
at Jefferson Avenue
Orange Park, FL 32065

 

Hours

Tu–Fri            8a – 6p
Sat                 9a – 4p
Sun & Mon – Closed

Merry Christmas In July! – Lightwire Brings Good Tidings to the Thrasher-Horne Center

Brighten your holidays with Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas! Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey, and Tchaikovsky, appearing at the Thrasher-Horne for ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY, December 11th, 2016!

In this wonderful story, Santa’s helpers are putting the final touches on presents as a young bird named Max and his family head south for the winter. When Max gets blown off course during a snowstorm, he ends up alone and lost at the North Pole. As he tries to make his way home, his adventure begins when he encounters friendly caroling worms, dancing poinsettias, Nutcracker soldiers, mischievous mice and an evil Rat King. This delightful holiday production will make children wide-eyed with delight and warm even the smallest of hearts.

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The process of building Lightwire Theater’s electroluminescent characters starts with the creators and the cast. They build everything themselves from the ground up, with each sculpture taking nearly 200 hours of intensive labor. The foundation begins with a base that includes triggers and armatures. They utilize recyclable materials including aluminum rods, election signs, skate board wheels, dryer ducting, plumbing supplies, PVC pipes, fishing poles, duct tape, zip ties and back packs to help define peaks and angles. These common household items help create durable and pliable sculptures that can withstand the movement of the dancers and multiple performances. Black fabric is added to the sculpture for dimension and then lined with electroluminescent wire known as “el wire” which is soldered everywhere the wire is connected. Unlike black lights, “el wire” can be powered by batteries, requires no theatrical lighting and gives a 360-degree of glowing light. Once the character is “turned on” it can use up to 16 AA or rechargeable batteries per performance. The result…anything your inner-child can dream of including 16-ft. tall birds, dinosaurs, ducks, soldiers, swords and more!

In 2012, Lightwire Theater was featured in America’s Got Talent (season 7) which launched them into the national spotlight. Since then, Lightwire Theater has been fortunate to travel internationally, sharing their unique brand of storytelling with audiences of all ages, cultures and backgrounds. During the fall of 2014, Lightwire Theater had the opportunity to compete in truTV’s newest competition series, Fake Off. In addition, their holiday production, A Very Electric Christmas debuted on public television stations in select markets, which included behind the scenes footage and interviews with Ian and Eleanor Carney.

Now, you and your family will be able to experience the magic of Lightwire Theater and A Very Electric Christmas, Sunday, December 11th at 3:00PM! Tickets are available today to Thrasher-Horne Members, and beginning August 15th for the general public. Don’t wait! Make this holiday season one your family will remember for years to come with Lightwire and the Thrasher-Horne!

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