The Union Recorder

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April 8, 2014

CURTAIN CALL: Busy musical lineup this week

MILLEDGEVILLE — Well, gentle readers, I have a virtual gaggle of goslings to report on this week so let’s get to it.

My first announcement concerns the next play planned by the Milledgeville Players. Noel Coward’s “Hay Fever” will be presented in Russell Auditorium Thursday, May 29 through Sunday, June 1.

Now that’s a bit in the future as you may have noticed. But we need to procure a cast quite a bit before those dates. And that will take place during the first part of next week.

Auditions for “Hay Fever” will take place Monday and Tuesday evenings, April 14 and 15, at the Blackbird Coffee Shop located at 114 West Hancock St. in downtown Milledgeville.

“Hay Fever” is one of Coward’s earliest plays and one of his most timeless. It’s a broad, manic farce that takes place in the country home of an eccentric and self absorbed artistic family, properly named the Blisses.

Judith Bliss, an extravagant stage actress, and her husband David, an author who loves being in the spotlight, along with their two grown children, have planned a weekend at their country home, and each has invited a “guest” to come down as well.

As the guests arrive, they find themselves at the mercy of their assertive, non — conformist hosts. During the course of the weekend, the guests are treated to displays and situations that annoy them, confuse them, and frighten them out of their wits.

Four men and five women are needed for the cast. Ages can range from late teens on up. The play will be directed by the wonderful Iona Holder.

You don’t have to prepare anything for the auditions. Just show up and be ready to read some lines from the play itself. And you don’t have to come both nights.

That’s next Monday and Tuesday starting at 6:30 p.m. at Blackbird. More information should be available at the Players website — www.milledgevilleplayers.org — and our Facebook page by the time you’re reading this fascinating column.

If you’ve always wondered about performing in a play, particularly if comedy is your cup of tea, this is a great opportunity to give it a try. I guarantee you’ll have fun, fun, fun.

OK, on to assorted musical and theatrical events taking place THIS week.

I’m not sure exactly what’s up with Thursday, but if you are one of those people who complain “there’s nothing going on in Milledgeville,” you better not make that lament on this upcoming “Thor’s Day.”

Let’s start with one of the hardest working departments at Georgia College, the music therapy department. This Thursday starting at 6:30 p.m., music therapy students will be at Buffington’s performing original music they’ve composed. Buffington’s is also located in lovely downtown Milledgeville (in fact, just a hop and a skip from the aforementioned Blackbird Coffee).

Music therapy is used to help people deal with emotional issues, health issues, personal problems, etc. It often serves as an outlet for those who have trouble communicating through more conventional methods.

This program is free and open to the public. A compact disc collection of many of the songs being performed will be for sale as well. And the cover art for the disc was created by art therapy students.

And I have been “informed” that the music therapy faculty (which includes their creative and charming chair, Chesley Mercado) will take the stage after the students have finished in order to keep the good vibrations going for a while longer.

Definitely worth checking out.

But that’s not all that’s going on this Thursday. Over in Max Noah Recital Hall, the GC Music Department presents “From Bolivia with Love.” The concert starts at 7:30 p.m., and will feature Sergio Ruiz (chair of the GC music department) on piano and Javier Pinell on violin.

The duo will perform pieces by Johannes Brahms, Claude Debussy and Gustavo Navarre.

Now, my bet is you recognize the first two composer names given above, but may not be familiar with Navarre.  Navarre was a classically trained Bolivian composer who drew on styles from the Romantic era and incorporated them into traditional Bolivian themes. Much of his work was lost in a massive fire, but a few pieces survived.

Javier Pinell apparently knew Navarre personally as he was one of his professors at the National Conservatory in Bolivia. Navarre has been described as a “virtuoso pianist and absolute pitch artist of great sensitivity.

General admission is $10. Senior citizens and GC faculty and staff can get it for $7.

But I’m still not finished with Thursday, though this event also oozes into Friday.

On both those dates, the GC Theatre Department will present “Directing Projects.” Now I don’t have any information on this other than the theatre department calendar. But typically each evening consists of a series of “scenes” that have been directed by students who have been part of the semester’s directing class.

There are typically scenes from comedies, dramas, and musicals, with a wide range of playwrights represented.

Each night is different. And the great thing from an audience perspective is if you are watching something that you’re not that crazy about, don’t worry. It will all change in less than 10 minutes.

These usually take place at the Campus Black Box Theatre, but again, I am scanty on details. So you may want to give a call to 478-445-8290 for more information regarding location and starting time — I believe it’s 7 p.m.

And there’s still more.  On Saturday, the GC Music Department will present the spring semester choral ensembles concert at First Baptist Church on Liberty Street. It starts at 7:30 p.m.

The theme this year is “Echoes of Peace, Visions of Hope.” Led by the joyous Jennifer Flory, this concert features all the various choral groups at GC and is normally quite a show!  Some great singing — and it’s always interesting just seeing how all these students manage to get on stage, off stage, and find seating in what is typically a packed Baptist structure.

And we’re still not done (told you it was a busy week). Just a couple of days later, Monday, April 14, the GC String Orchestra Concert will take place. It’s in the Magnolia Ballroom in the GC Student Center (former downtown Methodist church — can’t give everything to the Baptists this week!).

Directed by dashing Dan Auerbach, the GC String Orchestra just keeps getting better and better.  The concert on Monday starts at 7:30 p.m. with admission prices resembling those mentioned earlier for “From Bolivia with Love.”

So lots of musical and theatrical endeavors taking place this week. And don’t forget to release the inner ham that is dying to get out by heading over to Blackbird next Monday and/or Tuesday evening to audition for “Hay Fever.”  

And what the hay? The title actually fits for an awful lot of people right around now who are suffering from their own variation of seasonal allergy.

Until next time — catch you on the flip side.

Tom Toney can be reached at ttoney@unionrecorder.com.

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