The Union Recorder

March 10, 2014

CURTAIN CALL: Mansion lecture series kicks off this week

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — “Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities, Forget about your worries and your strife...”

I don’t think those lyrics need much of an introduction as you can just picture Phil Harris as Baloo the Bear singing them to Mowgli in Walt Disney’s version of “The Jungle Book.” Read on for local relevance.

I have to start my column this week relaying some rather important information that I’ve not had any “official” confirmation on.  It concerns the scheduled concert from the Georgia College Jazz Band.

You may recall I mentioned that upcoming showcase of musical might in last week’s column. Well, I have had several “unofficial” reports that the concert has been postponed. And these are from people who have some pretty good connections with the GC Music Department.

So right now, I would say don’t plan on the GC Jazz Band concert for this coming weekend as was earlier reported. I’m sure it will happen at a later date. But that is all I can say at this point and time. You may want to contact the GC Music Department for any further information.

Sorry I can’t provide more details but if ANYONE knows about how sometimes musical and/or theatrical events can suddenly and unexpectedly be postponed, it’s me!

So what is going on this week?  Well, the one thing I know for sure is a presentation over at the Old Governor’s Mansion that is part of the Mansion Lecture Series.

On Wednesday, Dr. Rachel Shelden will present a program based on her new book, “Washington Brotherhood: Politics, Social Life, and the Coming of the Civil War.” It deals with the social life of Washington’s politicians in the 1840s and 1850s and how this influenced policy decisions in the capitol.

The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. in the Mansion’s education building and is free and open to the public.

Now if you’re thinking a lecture is not exactly the same as a big band concert, you’re right. But I know Rachel. She is one of the truly dynamic young faculty members that have become part of the GC History Department in recent years and I guarantee she will be both entertaining and informative.

So if you have any interest at all in politics leading up to the Civil War, this lecture is definitely for you! I say check it out.

Now there are several events scheduled for next week, so let me give a bit of a heads up.

The 2014 Spring Tour Homecoming Concert of the Max Noah Singers is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, at First Presbyterian Church. The singers will start warbling at 7:30 p.m.

This concert will be the culmination of a whirlwind tour by the Max Noah Singers that will take them up and down the East Coast. In fact, if seems as if one location where their singing prowess will be demonstrated is at a church in my hometown of Richmond, Va.

It’s a small world, after all. God, I always hated that song!

Meanwhile, over at Blandy Hills Elementary School, students have been working on the kids’ version of Disney’s “The Jungle Book” for the last couple of months. And next week is when that production is scheduled.

The performance will take place on Thursday, March 20, at Baldwin High School. So don’t head to Blandy Hills! Head to BHS to see Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie, Kaa and all the rest bring the Disney “twist” to the Rudyard Kipling classic.

I’ll have more to say about both the Max Noah Singers concert and “The Jungle Book” next week.

Disney’s animated version of “The Jungle Book” was released in 1967. And I remember seeing it in the Willow Lawn Theatre, which at that time had the largest screen of any movie house in Richmond.

I loved it and remember sitting through three consecutive showings (that was not uncommon “back in the day”). I had to call my mom on the lobby pay phone twice to ask her to not come and pick me up yet. Hey — I was 11 years old and the Willow Lawn was way over on the “northwest side” of Richmond.

Looking back, I still love that film, though it certainly does not stack up animation-wise to Disney classics like “Fantasia,” Dumbo,” “Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs,” and, in my opinion, the greatest animated film of all time, “Pinocchio.”

But with great voices like Phil Harris, Louis Prima, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway and Sebastian Cabot, along with an infectious musical score, the film was magic for an 11-year-old boy sitting in a dark theater packed with several hundred other kids — and a few assorted parents.

“...I mean the bare necessities, That’s why a bear can rest at east, With just the bare necessities of life..

Catch you on the flip side.