Curtain Call

Curtain Call with Tom Toney.

“While Cathy adores a minuet, The Ballet Russes, and crepe suzette; Our Patty loves to rock and roll, a hot dog makes her lose control - what a wild duet!”

Ah, the theme song from The Patty Duke Show.  Now there’s a blast from the past.

And how could this lovely lyric have anything to do with this week’s column of questionable knowledge?   

Very simple. The Georgia College Theatre Dept. is getting ready to premiere the musical production of “Ballet Russes”.   

Written by Richard Myers and directed by Karen Berman, this play is not exactly a history of the world-renown ballet company, though its fortunes from its creation until the First World War are the background to the plot. It concentrates on impresario Serge Diaghilev, dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and the relationship between them.

Amelia Pelton is choreographing the musical numbers and the play’s tag line is “Diaghilev and Nijinsky in a filmic battle royale”.

Performance dates and times for the production are Nov. 6 -9 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 10 and 17 at 2:00 p.m.

Location is the Campus Black Box Theatre.  The play is recommended for mature audiences.

Meanwhile, over in the world of the Georgia College Music Department, there are two great jazz events coming up, starting this very evening, Nov. 5.

The GC Faculty Jazz Quartet will present its first “official” concert at Amici Café starting at 7 p.m..

Consisting of various members of the GC music faculty, including Don Parker, Chris Enghauser, Andrew Allen and Nathaniel Gworek, this will be a great evening of jazz presented in a wonderful, intimate setting.

This is not the same as the jazz jams which feature students and community folks playing various songs.  However, most of the faculty involved with this quartet form part of the “backing band” that accompanies on those jams.

If you like small combo jazz, this should be a real treat!

But that’s not all for this most American form of music, as the GC Jazz Band concert is scheduled for this coming Thursday and Friday evenings starting at 7:30 p.m..

The Jazz Band will be celebrating its 50th year with “60/50: Sixty years of Music by a Fifty-Year-Old Band”.

 Director of Bands Cliff Towner conducts this concert, representing jazz repertoire from the past 60 years. Though contemporary in nature, the program contains a wide variety of moods from the rip-roaring “Channel One Suite” from the Buddy Rich book to the beautifully mellow “Afternoon” by Pat Metheny.  

Music Chair Dr. Don Parker joins the band as vibe soloist for Harold Arlen’s great ballad, “Happiness is a Thing called Joe.”

I absolutely love that song.  It was featured in the classic movie “Cabin in the Sky” and sung by Ethel Waters.   The song was nominated for an Academy Award in 1943 but did not bring home the little statuette.

 All jazz styles will be included in this concert including swing, Latin, rock, ballad and funk.

So, head over to Russell Auditorium for some mighty fine music.  That’s Nov. 7 and 8.  Admission is free but donations are highly encouraged to support music scholarships.

There will be still more music coming up from the GC Music Department in a slightly different setting on Monday, November 11.   Location will be Max Noah Recital Hall and this will be the spring concert featuring the chamber ensembles.

The String Quintet, Saxophone Quartet, Woodwind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble and Small Group Combos I & II will perform.   This concert features more than 25 music students coached by members of the Department of Music faculty.

 A wide variety of music will be presented such as Ludwig Maurer’s “Andante con Moto” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Quintet No.1 in E-flat major.” More modern pieces will also be played, including Steven Bryant’s 2001 “Rise” and Paquito D’Rivera’s “Wapango.”

The time all this tooting and strumming will start is 7:30 p.m.  Once again, admission is free but donations are strongly encouraged.

Then the very next night, Tuesday, November 12, one of the regular monthly jazz jams will be taking place at Amici Café in downtown Milledgeville.

Come on out and enjoy some fantastic music.   Set in for a tune or three if the muse hits you (don’t you just hate it when a muse sneaks up and hits you!) or just soak up the ambiance and dig the sounds.

No cover charge but the purchase of some delightful beverages and/or vital food items is much appreciated.   7:00 PM through about 9:00 PM is the usual bandstand time.

Meanwhile, back over in Sanders Family land, the Milledgeville Players have started into rehearsals for “Sanders Family Christmas”. 

The Players presented the Smoke on the Mountain trilogy of plays twice from 2009 to 2015.   They were very popular (and so much fun), we have decided to revive the shows, starting with the most Christmas oriented production to help get folks into that holiday mood.

 There will be some new cast members this time around, but plenty of familiar players will be there as well.

The play takes place in December, 1941, right after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Young Dennis Sanders has joined the armed forces and this Christmas Eve night at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church may represent the last time he will be with his family for some time to come.

This leads to some poignant moments in the play but there are still lots of laughs along with traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas songs.

The play will take place at the Pecan Grove Church (formerly the Chapel of All Faiths) located on Swint Avenue.   The dates will be Thursday, December 12 - Sunday, December 15.  Times will be 7:30 p.m. for the Thursday - Saturday shows, with a 2 p.m. start for the Sunday matinee.

There’s a lot more information I want to dispense regarding this second play of the “Smoke on the Mountain” trilogy, but my verbiage is getting near the breaking point, so I’ll stop for now.

So, there is lots of “stuff” coming up and a lot of it is this very week.  Come on out and enjoy some music and/or theatre.

But what about Cathy and Patty?    What more can be said except...

“Still they’re cousins, identical cousins and you’ll find, They laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike - you can lose your mind; When cousins are two of a kind.”

Catch you on the flip side.

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