Curtain Call

Curtain Call with Tom Toney.

“I was working in my lab late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight, for my monster from his slab began to rise, and suddenly to my surprise...”

In order to find out what happens next, stay tuned for the end of this column!

It is Tuesday, April 23. And, it is time for the final jazz jam at Amici for this spring semester.

These have become among the most anticipated monthly events in beautiful downtown Milledgeville. And since the spring semester is winding down for students and faculty, this will most likely be the last one until the fall.

Georgia College faculty member Chris Enghauser will be “in charge” of the evening as well as contributing his considerable talents on bass.

Other GC music faculty members Don Parker and Nat Gworek will round out the “house band” by swinging away on vibraphone and drums, respectively.

Several of the top GC music students will perform, and the GC music improvisation classes will also wail away. All of that promises a full night of entertainment in itself.

But, fear not. There is always room for more at the inn. So if you would like to sit in for a tune, strum a guitar, toot a trumpet, coo on a clarinet, or sing, sing, sing, you will be most welcome.

Just let Chris know you’re there and would like to take an active part in the evening’s proceedings.

But audience members who are just there to listen also take an active part and are always appreciated. So just come by and hang out, have some fine food and/or beverages, and listen to the music.

That’s Amici Café this very evening. The joint should start jumpin’ by 7 p.m.

Now, this week actually is a week that puts little old Milledgeville into the national film spotlight. That’s because it’s the week of the Milledgeville Film Festival.

Literally, it is now the ME Film Festival as some showings take place in Eatonton as well. That’s because this has rapidly grown into one of the major showcases for independent films in the southeastern United States. I kid you not!

Now in its sixth year, one of the festival highlights tends to be the showcase of short horror films that takes place on the grounds of Central State. 

Even though Central State is growing and developing in multiple directions, it is still known as the one-time home of the nation’s largest mental asylum. So it certainly seems appropriate as a location for the horror block of short films.

The screening takes place outdoors and is scheduled to start at 10 PM on Thursday, April 25.  It will be followed by a reception indoors.

And that is one of the reasons I wanted to mention the film festival and this particular night in my cumbersome column this week.

Our local community theatre group, the Milledgeville Players, have been a bit out of the picture for a while now. One of the reasons is that we have been working on occupying and developing a space in the lower level of the Chapel of All Faiths on the Central State campus as a facility for producing plays, murder mystery shows, and other events.

Well, that is going to happen. And the first “official” act the Players are planning for these new digs is the reception for the horror night of the ME Film Festival taking place at Central State.

So come on out for a night of short film horror followed by a delightful reception hosted by the MVP.  

All of the films (there are a total of eight) come in at around 14 minutes, by the way. So if you don’t like one, don’t worry. A new one will pop up on the big outdoor screen in just a few minutes.  

For more information about the film festival in general, head to https://milledgevillefilmfest.com.

OK, I mentioned that the last jazz jam for this semester is taking place at Amici this very evening. But that does not mean the end of grooving jazz sounds right away.

On Saturday, May 4, the GC Department of Music and Allied Arts present the 30th annual Jazzfest on the GC front campus from 4 to 8:30 p.m. 

The evening features live performances from local middle and high school bands, as well as the Georgia College Jazz Band featuring renowned bassist Rodney Jordan. Rodney is an educator and member of the Marcus Roberts Trio and is known as one of the most versatile jazz bassists in the world.

Jazz lovers and community members can enjoy this relaxing evening filled with local and professional entertainment. Bring a blanket, a lawn chair, a bean bag chair, a Murphy bed, a wading pool, whatever floats your boat.  

You can even bring along your own pic-i-nic basket if you’re smarter than the average ranger! But there will also be food and drinks available courtesy of some student organizations.

I decided to use the lyrics from “Monster Mash” to open this week’s broadside since we do have a night of horror short films coming up on the entertainment docket.

The song itself was a No. 1 hit for Bobby “Boris” Pickett back in 1962, peaking the week before Halloween.

The song is well known for its use of “Foley art” — the reproduction of everyday sound effects. For example, the sound of a coffin opening was imitated by a rusty nail being pulled out of a board. The sound of a cauldron bubbling was actually water being bubbled through a straw.

The song was re-released many times over the decades and recorded by several other artists. It was a staple in the early live concerts of the Beach Boys. 

One of my favorite bands of all time, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, recorded a great version on their 1969 album “Tadpoles.”     

And a version was even recorded by the late, great Vincent Price in 1977!

“...He did the mash, he did the monster mash; the monster mash, it was a graveyard smash; he did the mash, it caught on in a flash; he did the mash, he did the monster mash.”

Catch you on the flip side. 

Email Tom Toney at ttoney@unionrecorder.com.

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