“Rock and roll is here to stay, It will never die, It was meant to be that way, Though I don’t know why...”
Well actually, as a child of the rock and roll era, I know exactly why rock and roll is here to stay. But when Danny & the Juniors sang the song back in early 1958, there was still some question regarding the longevity of this new radical youth-oriented form of music.
There’s some rock and roll coming up this week. But first, an update about the upcoming thriller from the Milledgeville Players, “Wait until Dark.”
Folks, I honestly don’t think there has been a play like this presented in Milledgeville for a very long time. If you are familiar with the movie version, you know what a terrific suspenseful and sometimes frightening story this is.
But believe me, seeing it performed live is almost breath taking in terms of chills and thrills. I mentioned last week that Ken Garland and Leanne Branch as Harry Roat and Susy Hendrix respectively are just about perfect as the psychopathic gangster and the blind woman trying to protect herself and her missing husband.
Other cast members include MVP veteran David Wells as Mike Talman and Troy Hencely as Sgt. Carlino. They are also part of the unholy trio trying to convince Susy that her husband is in desperate trouble because of a murder he has been supposedly linked to. And a certain doll he brought into his and Susy’s apartment may provide the only evidence of his innocence.
Susy has trouble completely buying into the various stories she’s told by these three villains, however, and fights to maintain possession of the doll despite increasing emotional pressure.
Luckily, she is helped by a young girl who lives in a nearby apartment, Gloria, who is being very well played by McKayla Burgamy. Gloria has to sometimes provide the eyes for Susy as she tries to figure out just who these three men are that have suddenly disrupted her life so completely.
Rounding out the cast is Ken Hendry as Susy’s husband, Sam, and Anisio Santos and Taylor Phillips as two REAL policemen. Ken is a definite M’ville Players veteran, though he more often works backstage rather than on stage.
Though Taylor has only been active with the M’ville Players for a brief period, he is already something of a veteran, having appeared in many recent productions, including playing Joe Hardy in last year’s “Damn Yankees.” The aforementioned Troy Hencely also fits into that category of “young veteran” with the Players.
It’s great to see Anisio Santos again. Anisio was very active with the M’ville Players several years ago, starring in such shows as “Musical Comedy Murders of 1940” and “H.M.S. Pinafore.” Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of him in the near future.
OK, on to the logistics. Performances are at the Baldwin High School Little Theatre (sort of the unofficial name for the older auditorium). Dates and times are Wednesday, May 9, through Friday, May 11, starting at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 13, starting at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10 for general admission. Students with a valid ID can get in for $5 — that deal is only available at the door.
But there’s a special offer available for the Wednesday night performance only — two general admission tickets for $15. Bring a friend, bring an enemy, bring an imaginary friend, bring a slab of bacon, bring that fern that keeps finishing your sentences for you, whatever. Again, this deal is only good for Wednesday night. Oh, and individual tickets are still available for $10 along with the aforementioned “at the door” student price.
You can purchase tickets in advance by going to www.milledgevilleplayers.org or by calling (478) 314-4054.
You will not want to miss this show!
But there is entertainment out there before “Wait until Dark.” For example, this Friday, May 4, Georgia’s Old Capital Museum Society will present “Moonlight on the Capitol” with the theme of rock and roll is here to stay.
There will be a band playing “golden oldies” on the outdoor stage at the old state capitol on the GMC campus. Museum volunteers are scheduled to man a ’50s/’60s style soda fountain, serving Coke floats and other delectable concoctions. Dinner will feature such exquisite diner food as hamburgers, hot dogs, Moon pies and Chevrolets. Sorry, I think I’m digressing into a General Motors ad from the early 1970s.
Reservations are $55 per person, which includes a $25 donation to the museum.
It sounds like fun, but I can’t tell you what time it actually starts! The press release I received, as well as what info I could find on the web, neglected to mention a starting time. I assume it’s sometime in the evening (as opposed to “Sometime in the Morning,” which is a song from the Monkees).
So you may want to give a call to the Old Capital Museum folks at (478) 453-1803 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m sure someone will be able to provide proper chronological information.
Finally, the Baldwin High School Fine Arts program presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” this weekend at the “official” BHS Theatre (that’s the fancy one the Milledgeville Players can’t afford).
I can’t tell you much about this show as I haven’t received any info (hint, hint). But I do know it’s directed by the wonderful Anna Brock, the greatest Miss Adelaide ever to set foot on a stage for a community theater production of “Guys and Dolls.” The year was 2003, yours truly played “Save a Soul Mission” leader Arvide Abernathy, and it was simply one of my favorite experiences ever performing on stage.
Show times are 7 p.m. May 3 through May 5, with a matinee scheduled for Saturday starting at 2 p.m. Oh, and music direction is from Kathy Carroll, another of my favorite theatrical-type folks in the Milledgeville area.
As for our opening lyric, Danny & the Juniors had hit No. 1 in late 1957 with “At the Hop.” “Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay” was the follow-up in early 1958 but only managed to squeeze into the top 20. Many felt it was just too similar in style to the previous hit. The group would only manage one more top 30 record, when they jumped on “The Twist” craze in 1960 with the song “Twistin’ U.S.A.”
However, the group’s fortunes took a turn for the better as the decade of the 1970s began. They became among the first artists to sign on to some of the original Rock and Roll revival shows that started up at that time. And in the end, they were able to say with quite a bit of impunity....
“...I don’t care what the people say, Rock and roll is here to stay.”
Catch you on the flip side.
Tom Toney can be reached at ttoney@