The Union Recorder

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February 4, 2014

CURTAIN CALL: 'Music of Shakespeare' Wednesday

MILLEDGEVILLE — “If you’re blue and you don’t know, where to go to, Why don’t you go, where fashion sits, Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

It’s getting near time for all of you to start “puttin’ on the Ritz” by walking down that red carpet and having your picture taken with the rich and famous as the Milledgeville Players present “The Final Cut,” a murder mystery dinner (MMD).

This year’s MMD is taking place right in the middle of “awards season.” In fact, the Academy Awards will take place just a couple of weeks later. So what better way to get yourself ready for a night of Oscars than attending a night of Millies — those coveted awards recognizing the biggest stars in a certain central Georgia town?

Director Eddie Cheek is looking for backers for his new cinema extravaganza, and he figures the perfect way to do that is to host a gala evening of eating, schmoozing and awards!

Of course, there are a lot of people who will be attending that hold various grudges against each other. And in a MMD, grudges often lead to murder.

It will be up to everyone in attendance to try to figure out who the ultimate killer is - or perhaps “killers.” Awards are given to the best detective as well as to the most bumbling detective. You can often find these awards proudly displayed in places of honor, such as covering holes in bathroom walls, forming the backing of a mouse pad or holding down the important documents located in the left lower drawer of the desk in the back of your house that nobody ever uses.

There are also awards given for best costume and there will probably be several variations of that award this year since the setting is a big old Hollywood party.  It’s the perfect excuse to dress to the nines, put on the Ritz, get dolled up, put on your silk stockings, and of course, dress to kill.

Let’s face it, we all dream of walking down that red carpet with the paparazzi going mad for us.  And we plan on having a photographer on site to take that special picture of special you - assuming you are in costume, of course.

In fact, we’ll try to make that photo available to you for a “nominal” donation to Eddie Cheek’s coffers.  

It’s all taking place Friday and Saturday evenings, Feb. 21-22 at the new LaFete located at 2675 North Columbia St. You can start your grand entrance at 6:30 p.m. The murderous proceedings will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $25 each and must be reserved in advance. Remember, this includes dinner, dessert, awards presentations, glitter and sparkle, catfights, back stabbing, and the chance of having a major celebrity die right in the middle of your baked chicken!

Reserving your spot for this night of Tinseltown fun is as easy as finding eggs on Justin Bieber. Just go to www.milledgevilleplayers.org. You can reserve your tickets and leave any specific instructions regarding seating arrangements.  

You can also call the Eddie Cheek Productions hotline at 478-314-4054. One of Eddie’s former starlets will return your call, take your reservations, and advise you on which casting couches to avoid.

Get a big old group of people together and make it a night on the town! You’ll have fun, fun, fun ‘til Rock Stud takes the Milly away.

Now last week, I gave a little heads up regarding a concert coming up this Wednesday, Feb. 5. So let me give a little tails down this week.

The Georgia College Music Department presents the Ensemble Chaconne starting at 7:30 p.m. in Max Noah Recital Hall. Their program is titled “Measure for Measure: the Music of Shakespeare’s Plays.”

This internationally acclaimed group features such instrumentation as Renaissance flutes, lutes, and the viola da gamba (sounds like a character from the Sopranos). It even includes a guest singer, Pamela Dellal, who encompasses that obscure period crooner known as a “mezzo-soprano.”  The concert offers a rare view of the music Shakespeare’s audiences would have heard, including anonymous tunes of the period and music by the leading composers of his day.

Now among those leading composers listed in the press release was one Robert Johnson. Somehow, I’m betting it’s not the Robert Johnson I normally think of when I hear that name. But who knows? Maybe I’ll get a little bit of “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” as a tune from Julius Caesar.    

The program will include "The Willow Song" sung by Desdemona before her murder in Othello; "It Was a Lover and His Lasse" (As You Like It); "O Mistress Mine" (Twelfth Night); "Hark, Hark! The Lark" (Cymbeline); "Take O Take Those Lips Away" (Measure for Measure); "Full Fathom Five" (The Tempest), "Go from My Window" from Ophelia’s mad scene in Hamlet; and "Greensleeves," the famous ballad tune (quoted in The Merry Wives of Windsor).

Nope, must be a different Robert Johnson — didn’t see “Crossroads” or “From Four Till Late” listed anywhere in the press release material.

No matter. This is sure to be a great concert and a very rare chance for Milledgeville audiences to hear Renaissance style tunes performed not only in the proper style, but with the proper instruments as well.

The Ensemble Chaconne is now celebrating its 28th season and performs all over the world. “Measure for Measure” was featured in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s residency at Davidson College and the 40th national meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America.

Miss Dellal has also toured pretty much all over the world. She has to cover a pretty wide range of emotions when doing songs from Shakespeare, considering there will be love songs, comic songs, and songs of madness.

Sounds like the final Beatles album.

Tickets for this concert are $10 for general admission and $7 for seniors and Georgia College faculty and staff. I definitely say check it out.  

“Puttin’ on the Ritz” was written by Irving Berlin in 1929 and introduced one year later by Harry Richman in the movie musical of the same name. Fred Astaire had a hit recording of the song in that same year and performed it in the movie “Blue Skies” in 1946.

Dutch singer Taco (yes, he was Dutch) released a synthesizer version of the song in the early 1980’s and it was an international hit all over again.

But for many people, they automatically associate the song with the Mel Brooks’ film “Young Frankenstein” as Gene Wilder (Dr. Frankenstein) tries to guide Peter Boyle (the Monster) through the lyrics and some Fred Astaire-like dance steps before a major medical society meeting.  

They weren’t impressed.

“You’ll declare it’s simply topping, to be there, And hear them swapping, smart tidbits, Puttin’ on the Ritz”.

Catch you on the flip side.

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