The Union Recorder

January 21, 2014

CURTAIN CALL: Expect Hollywood drama with Player's Murder Mystery Dinner

Tom Toney
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — “You oughta be in pictures, you’re wonderful to see.  You oughta be in pictures, Oh what a hit you would be!”

If you’ve always thought you ought to be in pictures (and not just the kind on the post office walls), you’re in luck as that desire certainly fits the theme of the upcoming murder mystery dinner (MMD) being presented by the Milledgeville Players, "Final Cut".

Director Eddie Cheek is looking for backers for his new movie so he’s throwing a gala shindig/awards ceremony for interested parties.  In return for funding his movie, he’s promising them parts in the picture.

Eddie is a self absorbed, egocentric, over the top B-movie director whose movies tend to become cult classics more than mainstream films. 

Many of his actors are people who have either given him money, slept with him, or are in the process of blackmailing him.

He’s having a time getting the financial backing for his new extravaganza, “The Zombie Was an Alien”.  So what better way to do it than to throw a giant Hollywood party and have the elite of the movie business in attendance.

And what better way to make sure they attend than to feed them and promise them awards and possible roles in his picture.   Let’s face it, no matter how bad the movie is, you can always get actors, producers and people with money and limited talent to show up if you promise them possible awards and lots of flattering about how wonderful they are.

But all is not well for Eddie and members of his crew and cast, and the nights of February 21 and 22 will truly be deadly for several who make their way up the red carpet.

In fact, Eddie really has to be careful about many of the people he has already hired for this movie.  There are all sorts of “interesting” Hollywood types lurking around this MMD and upcoming columns will provide more details about them, as well as suggestions concerning how to dress for the evening.

Coming in costume is certainly not required of audience members, but it is encouraged.   It really helps to "set the mood" and seems to encourage audience participation.

Besides, think of how much fun you can have dressing up for this particular MMD.  Just think about dressing for the Academy Awards.  Go Hollywood all the way and don’t hesitate to overdo it.   Eddie may be making a B-movie, but you would certainly consider yourself A-list all the way.

Besides, if you're there in proper attire, YOU might be auditioned for a part in the movie, have your picture taken as you arrive walking up the “red carpet”...or perhaps YOU will win a major award!

It all takes place at the new LaFete located on North Columbia Street.   Doors will open at 6:30 PM both Friday and Saturday nights with the murderous proceedings kicking into full gear by 7:00 PM.

Again that’s February 21 and 22.

So come prepared for some murders, cat fighting, backstabbing and Tinsel town hanky-panky. 

Tickets are just $25 each but must be ordered in advance.  That includes dinner, dessert and schmoozing with the rich and famous.  

Just head to www.milledgevilleplayers.org to purchase tickets.  Once you enter the realm of the PayPal website, you can choose ticket numbers and also leave messages regarding any particular seating arrangements, such as "I would like to be seated with Pearly Spencer", "Could you seat my group with the Cracker Box party which ordered tickets earlier", or "Could you seat me as close to the bar as possible" (my own personal choice).

You can also give a call to 478-314-4054, the MVP hotline, and leave a message.  Mr. Cheek’s senior personal secretarial administrative assistant will return your call right after she has finished “doing lunch” with Louis B. 

Now, if you are looking for some entertainment during the interim before the MMD, have no fear.  This Friday, January 24, the Caroline Aiken Trio is scheduled to appear at Allen’s Market, courtesy of Allied Arts.

Caroline Aiken has been involved in music for several decades, has released seven CDs and received a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk CD in 2006.  

Hey, we’ve almost got a “theme” going for this column dealing with awards!

She started performing professionally in the late 1960's but really started to hone her song writing and performing skills during the 1970's.

Looking at some of the acts she opened for “back in the day” reads like a who’s who list of some of the best talent of that - or any - era.  It includes such people as Jesse Colin Young (fantastic songwriter, performer and leader of one of the most underrated bands of the 60's, the Youngbloods), John Hartford,  David Bromberg, Muddy Waters, Little Feat, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Randy Newman and the legendary Doc Watson.

In recent years, she has shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt and the Indigo Girls.

She also teaches and has taught at colleges, in music stores and one-on-one.  I love the titles of some of her courses - “Zen and the Art of Performance” and “Guerilla Guitar Works” for example. 

For any Georgia College administrators who may be reading (I’ll...let that one go - too obvious), no, I can’t guarantee her courses are SACS accredited.

I checked out her web site to get some information for this column and absolutely love the “disclaimer” that was at the bottom of the page dealing with purchasing some of her CDs- “Caroline IS the music store.  Please allow for processing time while she is on tour.”

Now that’s a personal touch from an artist.

Tickets for the Milledgeville performance are $10 and can be purchased at the Marlor House located at 201 North Wayne Street.   That’s right across the street from Allen’s Market, the concert venue.

“You Ought to Be in Pictures” was introduced in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1934 and has been recorded by many artists over the years.  During its original inception, Rudy Valle and the Boswell Sisters put out memorable versions of this great tune.

In later years, Dick Van Dyke serenaded Miss Piggy with the song in “The Muppets Go Hollywood”, a one hour TV special that CBS aired to promote “The Muppet Movie”.  That was in 1979.

But I will always think of the song in the context of the classic Warner Brothers cartoon from 1940 that used the song as its title and continual musical theme.  The film combined live action and animation as Daffy Duck manages to convince Porky Pig to leave his position in the Cartoon division so he can become the next leading man for Bette Davis.

Porky delivers the great line “What has Errol Flynn got that I haven’t”.

“You oughta shine as brightly, as Jupiter and Mars; You oughta be in pictures, My star of stars”.

Catch you on the flip side.