Curtain Call

“Tall and tan, young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking. And when she passes, each one she passes goes “a-a-a-h.”

Let’s get our preview of upcoming attractions started with a percussion extravaganza taking place this Thursday evening.

The Georgia College Music Department will present an evening featuring GC percussionist Nathaniel Gworek.

Entitled “Gworek Speaks,” this contemporary concert will merge spoken word poetry with musical performances with six world-premiere works. This concert will be a celebration of these works commissioned by Dr. Gworek for publication.

Location is Max Noah Recital Hall on the GC campus and the start time is 7:30 p.m. Like most GC music department events, admission is free but donations are strongly encouraged to help provide student scholarships.

And then, just two days later, the GC Music department will present “Valentine’s Day Rendezvous” at the Magnolia Ballroom in the GC student center located at the corner of Liberty and Hancock Streets.

Yeah, I know.  That would place the concert on Feb. 15, normally thought of as the post-Valentine’s Day.  But let’s face it. A concert entitled “The Day After Valentine’s Day Rendezvous” is just a bit cumbersome.

This more vocally oriented musical event will feature Georgia College’s Max Noah Singers and The Cat’s Meow. 

There’ll be a variety of solos, duets, a trio, a quartet and some small ensembles. The Max Noah Singers will perform “Speak Softly Love” from The Godfather, and “The Girl from Ipanema,” a major hit for Stan Getz back in 1964. 

 The Cat’s Meow, Georgia College’s treble contemporary a cappella ensemble, will perform a Dolly Parton favorite, “Jolene,” as well as “Holding Out for a Hero” from Footloose.

The singing will commence at 7:30 p.m. on the aforementioned Saturday, Feb. 15.  

And then the following week, the GC Theatre Department will present their spring musical “Heathers” in Russell Auditorium.

This musical is based on a movie from 1988 which starred Winnona Rider and Christian Slater. Dark, cynical and subversive, the movie was totally unique and portrayed high school in a way that had never been done before.

Expect to hear great songs, like “Seventeen,” “Lifeboat” and “The Me Inside of Me”—while watching three mean girls, all named Heather, drip malice. 

They invite outcast Veronica to join their exclusive, popular group, and she adopts their meanness to fit in. There are the bystanders, who watch silently; bullies, who humiliate and dehumanize; and lone wolves, who plot chaos

Hmmm. Sounds a lot like how our federal government currently operates!

The play is being directed by the always amazing Amy Pinney, who points out that there is also a gentler side to the story and a tale of possible redemption.

Seventeen student actors are in the production. About 30 other students work behind the scenes with set construction, lighting, makeup and costumes. Ray Jackson, a professional musician from Perry, is the music director and choreography is by Natalie King, lecturer of dance.

And I have been told that the set design alone is pretty darn breathtaking and worth the price of admission.

Speaking of admission, performance dates are Feb. 19-23. The Wednesday through Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m. while on Sunday, the “Heathers” will begin their bullying and shaming at 2 p.m.

Location is Russell Auditorium. There are a range of ticket prices from $7 to $16 and they can be reserved in advance by going to gcsutickets.com.

Since the play deals with some of the realities of high school, it is naturally recommended for mature audiences. You certainly don’t want kids who are 15 and 16 being exposed to what happens in high school!!

Finally, I wanted to mention a guest artist recital taking place on Monday, Feb. 24. Soprano Megan Gillis and pianist Mauro Ronca, at will perform at 7:30 p.m. in Max Noah Recital Hall. 

Megan received her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia and her master of music from the Manhattan School of Music. She has participated in many summer music festivals, including the Russian Opera Workshop, and most recently sang the role of Fiordiligi in Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” with the Portland Summer Opera Workshop. 

The recital at Georgia College will include Guiseppe Verdi’s “Tacea la notte placida” from “Il Trovetore,” selections from Richard Strauss, Ricky Ian Gordon’s “The Red Dress” and Jeff Blumenkrantz’s “Love is Not All.”

Also, as a “notable note,” Megan is a Milledgeville native and the daughter of GC professors Lee Gillis and Marianne Edwards. 

And I have heard her sing. She has one of the most incredible voices I have ever heard.

So, come on out for some theatre and several options for musical moments in the next couple of weeks.

“The Girl from Ipanema” is a Brazilian bossa nova and jazz song. The first commercial recording was in 1962.

The 1964 hit version by Stan Getz featured the debut of singer Astrud Giberto.

The song was actually inspired by Helô Pinheiro, a 17-year-old girl living on Montenegro Street in Ipanema. Daily, she would stroll past the Veloso bar-café, not just to the beach ("each day when she walks to the sea"), but in the everyday course of her life. 

In the winter of 1962, the composers saw the girl pass by the bar and she became their inspiration for what would eventually become one of the most recorded songs in modern history.

“Tall and tan and young and lovely, the girl from Ipanema goes walking. And when she passes, I smile, but she doesn’t see. She just doesn’t see.”

Catch you on the flip side. 

Tom Toney can be reached at ttoney@unionrecorder.com.

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