“Way down in Bowling Green, prettiest girls I've ever seen, A man in Kentucky sure is lucky, To live down in Bowling Green.”
But before we swing over to the somewhat dubious relevance dealing with the city of Bowling Green, first let's mosey over to the land of the Milledgeville Players.
Rehearsals are underway for the upcoming comedy “Hay Fever” written by Noel Coward. Performance dates are Thursday, May 29 through Saturday, May 31 starting at 8 p.m., while on Sunday, the curtains at Russell Auditorium will open on the Bliss family at 2 p.m.
As you have hopefully gleaned from earlier columns, the play centers on the eccentric Bliss family, circa mid-1920s, who are entertaining guests at their English country home.
The problem is that none of the family members (mom, dad, daughter and son) are aware the others have invited guests and the guests have no idea they have all been invited at the same time as well.
Definitely makes it complicated when all four family members have “reserved” the same room in the house for each of their guests. Talk about crowded bedfellows!
But that is just the start of the problems faced by the unsuspecting visitors as they are “treated” to the self-centered and always over-the-top behavior of the Bliss family during their weekend stay.
It makes for some incredibly funny, farcical comedy.
Director Iona Holder has assembled a cast that consists primarily of newcomers to the Milledgeville Players' “eccentric family.” Many are students, but also new to our little group of thespians is Steve Elliott-Gower, a faculty member at Georgia College, who plays family patriarch David Bliss.
Clay Garland is among the aforementioned students, but Clay has performed with the MVP before and has actually helped several times with lighting and sound for plays he was not actually acting in (tricky to do lights or sound when you are also on stage). Clay plays Simon Bliss.
One returning veteran that I was so happy to see in the cast is Tina Pittman, who plays mother Judith Bliss. Tina has been in several productions with the MVP over the years, but it has been a long time since her last appearance with us. In fact, you would have to go back to 2007 when we did the much beloved “Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.”
Well, it's “much beloved” by pretty much everyone who was in it.
“Hay Fever” will be presented in beautiful Russell Auditorium, where the baby 'possums sometimes roam!
Tickets are $10 for general admission. Students with a valid ID can get in for $8 but that deal is only available at the door.
You can get the basic general admission tickets in advance by going to www.milledgevilleplayers.org. We really do encourage people to reserve their seats in advance for a number of reasons.
First, it is a big help to the Players in terms of managing money, charge cards, etc. both in terms of having some money already available from ticket sales and also of not having to deal with quite as much “money business” at the actual box office.
Second, it is a benefit to you in relation to what I just mentioned. If you purchase your tickets in advance, just print off a receipt and bring it with you to the performance of your choice. You will find your time spent waiting in the lobby cut down considerably. And even though the lobby of Russell is lovely, and of course you may enjoy interacting with the BOBs (box office babes), most people prefer being able to get into the auditorium to grab a seat.
Finally, because it is Russell, which is pretty “fair sized”, any ticket you purchase in advance will be good for any one performance. In other words, you don't have to buy specifically for Thursday night or Sunday afternoon. As long as you know you're going (and why wouldn't you?), you can order your ticket in advance and know it will be good for any one show.
So purchase your tickets soon and often for the Milledgeville Players production of “Hay Fever.”
Now, moving on to this week, there is some musical entertainment coming up this Friday evening at the First United Methodist Church on Log Cabin Road.
The Bowling Green State University Collegiate Chorale will present a concert of sacred and secular music at 7:30 p.m. This 30-voice touring choir is conducted by Timothy Cloeter.
BGSU has one of the most outstanding music programs in the country. It has more than 600 music majors (Good Grief!) and the Collegiate Chorale is the most select choir in a five-choir program within the very large College of Music.
The concert will run the gamut from a Bach motet to vocal jazz, from impassioned Brahms waltzes to love songs by living composers.
OK, I know what most of you are thinking. “What's a motet?” Well, that one caught me as well. Apparently a motet is “a highly varied choral musical composition and was one of the pre-eminent forms of Renaissance music.”
Educational, is it not?
By the way, I love the name of the “motet” on the bill - “Ich lasse dich nicht.” Now my German is pretty rusty at this point but that would loosely translate into “I will not let you go.” I don't know - it sounds better saying it in German.
The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free. This is quite an impressive group to swing by Milledgeville, so if you like mighty fine singing, you may want to check it out.
Our opening lyrics are from the song “Bowling Green” by the Everly Brothers. A wonderful song, it was one of the last hits for the duo, reaching number 40 on the American pop charts in 1967. However, it was one of their biggest hits in ... wait for it ... Canada, where it reached No. 1.
Of course, the song deals with Bowling Green, Ky. The Collegiate Chorale performing at FUMC is from Bowling Green, Ohio, which is in the northwest corner of the Buckeye state, just south of Toledo.
As regular readers know, sometimes I have to stretch the musical reference just a bit.
“Bowling Green girls treat you right; They wear dresses cut country tight, A man in Kentucky sure is lucky, If he's seen the Bowling Green light.”
Catch you on the flip side.
Contact Tom Toney at firstname.lastname@example.org