The Union Recorder

December 3, 2013

CURTAIN CALL: Lots of holiday treats this week

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — A virtual cornucopia of holiday treats coming at you this week so let’s start right in.

This very evening a very special night is planned at Central State Hospital. The Craig Center and Oconee Center are putting on an Xmas performance at 7 p.m. in the CSH Auditorium. Prior to that, the CSH Redevelopment Authority will host caroling and photos with Santa Claus starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Pecan Grove. There will also be refreshments starting at 6:30 p.m.

In other words, these folks are planning a full evening of holiday festivities.  

In fact, if you want to get technical about it, things really start earlier in the afternoon with the 55th Mayors Motorcade and an early performance of the aforementioned Xmas show. That is scheduled for around 1:30 p.m.

This year’s show marks a very bittersweet moment for the folks at Central State Hospital and the members of the CSH Redevelopment Authority. With the Craig Center closing, this could be the last year of this holiday performance that has been part of this community for decades.

There is nothing that would mean more to them than to have the community come out and be involved. It could even make a difference in terms of whether they may be able to continue the production into the future.

Central State supported much of the infrastructure of the city of Milledgeville for such a long time. It would be nice to see the community return some of that support.

Moving up a couple of dates, on both Thursday and Friday nights, Dec. 5-6, the Georgia College Theatre Department will present “Directing Scenes I” at the Campus Black Box Theatre.

Each evening consists of a series of “scenes” that have been directed by students who have worked with adorable Amy Pinney this semester in her - wait for it - directing class.  Some things just flow so nicely.

Nineteen different directors will direct upward of 50 actors in 19 different scenes from various plays. Some of the plays that will have scenes featured include “Legally Blonde,” “Venus in Fur,” “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds,” “Sweeney Todd” (a favorite of mine), “Romeo and Juliet,” “Chicago,” “Rumors,” and “Five Women Wearing the Same Dress.”

You’ve got scenes from comedies, dramas and musicals and playwrights represented ranging from Neil Simon to Shakespeare. It’s diversity with a capital D!

Each night is different. Currently nine scenes are scheduled for Thursday with 10 going on Friday. Amy says her students have been working on this since mid- September. 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.

Admission is free and the show starts at 8 each night.

Now there is also some holiday music taking place Friday night. In fact, it is the big holiday concert from the GC Department of Music, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Russell Auditorium.

This annual event features just about every musical aggregation that Georgia College can put together including the Wind Symphony, the Women’s Ensemble, the String Orchestra, the Max Noah Singers, the Jazz Band, University Chorus and the River City Barbershop Quartet.

Well, maybe not the last one.

Near the end of the show, you even get giant conglomerates of musicians and singers together in the form of the combined choral ensembles and combined performers.

You know you want to see just how many nooks and crannies of Russell Auditorium you can fit that many musicians into at one time!

The combined choral ensembles, under the direction of Jennifer Flory, will present a six-movement work titled “Angels and Shepherds and Wise Men All.” This will only be the second performance of this piece and the first one ever outside of New Zealand where it had its premiere in 2012.

Featured singers in this piece will include vocal instructor Wendy Mullen singing soprano and Jeremy Skidmore singing baritone. Jeremy is an alumnus of GC from 2008 and Wendy was his voice teacher when he was here. It’s almost too much serendipity.  Wait - this was probably planned. Never mind.

Speaking of former members of the Sanders Family (Jeremy played Dennis Sanders in the first “Smoke on the Mountain” back in 2009), Shelby Cloud is scheduled to conduct the University Chorus in “Silent Night” and the Max Noah Singers in “Behold the Star.” I must admit, Burl is mighty proud of his twins!  I guess I really wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Admission is $10 with seniors and GC faculty and staff getting in for $7. This concert represents one of the major sources of scholarship money for music department students.  And you’re guaranteed to hear some great singing and playing.

But there’s still more. On Monday, Dec. 9, the Milledgeville Singers Guild (MSG) will present its holiday concert at the First United Methodist Church. Titled “Joyous Voices” this fine evening of vocal warbling kicks off at 7 p.m.

Some of the promised tunes include “Christmas Day” by Gustav Holst and some obscure doo-wah-ditty-ditty called “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin.  I don’t know if they are going to perform the obscure opening verse that is rarely ever heard that actually explains the rest of the song. Guess you’ll just have to show up to find out.

As mentioned in last week’s rambling wreck, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” is also on the program. I just finished including the original 78 rpm picture sleeve cover (performed by Gayla Peevey) as part of the seasonal picture sleeves I decorate my office door with this time of year, so you know it’s a top 10 blast from the past for me.

The MSG is under the direction of Flint Dollar this year. The Christmas concert will also feature the Dixie Grits, a fine plate of breakfast eating along with being a women’s quartet carved out of the MSG.

The concert is free. Again, that starts at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church on Log Cabin Road.

So don’t say there’s nothing to do in Milledgeville this week. You could have trouble keeping up with everything.

Until next time, catch you on the flip side.

Contact Tom Toney at