“If you had a chance to hire an opening act, who would it be,” Jonathan Haglund asks Crystal Gayle, the country singer, as the pair dances in step backstage somewhere. “Of course,” Gayle answers, her arm wrapped around his, “Jonathan.” And so she did, sending Haglund out to warm up big crowds with his manic act.
“He is a brilliant clown, he juggles, he does magic, he does comedy, he’s got great credentials,” says John Sbordone, co-director–with Diane Ellertsen–of Palm Coast’s City Repertory Theatre, where Haglund started in two plays this season: “The Laramie Project” and “Art.”
Haglund is one of three acts in the Repertory Theatre’s final production of the season, “An Evening With…,” this Saturday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the theater’s home at Hollingsworth gallery (at City Market Place, behind Walmart).
Haglund will be joining the Island Duet–Caren and Paul Umbarger, an acoustic violin, guitar and vocal duo that performs gypsy, jazz, folk, rock, Irish, swing and whatever the Beatles are called these days. Caren Umbarger is the artistic director of the Flagler Youth Orchestra, whose quartet will also be performing Saturday evening (a little Mozart night music, one of Bach’s Brendenburgs, maybe some Mendelssohn). If you get a chance between numbers, ask Caren about her book: she’s a decorated novelist, too.
Somehow, the three acts, perhaps held together by what Sbordone calls Haglund’s “million bad jokes,” will combine for the evening.
One of Haglund’s jokes: “I’m from the Detroit area. I’ve been to Hong Kong, Japan, all around the world, traveled extensively across the United States and Canada. Just completed an extensive tour of Toledo.” His impression of a Detroit cop: he shoots, then yells HALT!” He banters with the audience. Involves it in his act on occasion. Does dare-devilish things. Asks pretty girls to kiss his ouchies.
“He is a brilliant comic and the nicest man in the world, so what I’ve asked him to do is improvise around the quartet and the Island Duet, see what they can handle, and have fun,” Sbordone says.
The suggested donation for “An Evening With…” is $12.
Jonathan Haglund Opens for Crystal Gayle