Fennelly: Theater to delight young audiences in January

January 10, 2014 

January may seem to start slow, but don’t be misled: Before many days pass we‘ll be knee deep in some of the premiere events of the season.

This weekend brings us the opening of the Theatre Macon Youth Actors Company musical “Once Upon a Mattress,” running through Jan. 19. Later in the month, the Broadway Series will host two performances of “Bring It On: The Musical” at the Grand Opera House.

Mercer University Opera will be presenting “The Magic Flute” beginning Thursday, but first -- striking a blow for music education -- come two special performances of “The Magic Flute, Jr.!” on Monday and Tuesday for young audiences.

Coming up at the end of the month is the Macon Civic Club’s annual show, this year titled “Soulshine.” The proceeds from this combo of music and topical humor go to benefit worthy community organizations.

While theater may be in short supply this month, the arrival of February can be relied upon to produce a theater bonanza. Starting the month off at Macon Little Theatre is Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” by any yardstick one of the greatest plays ever penned.

In the meantime, there are a couple of important shows running in Atlanta that theater enthusiasts will be interested in, including the rarely produced “Timon of Athens” at the Shakespeare Tavern. Most students of Shakespeare will go to their graves without ever seeing this disturbing play come to life on stage. It runs through Jan. 25, alternating with the more frequently produced “Taming of the Shrew.”

Music, too

The big musical event this month is coming up next weekend: the Macon Symphony’s annual January Pops at the City Auditorium. While balcony seats will very likely still be available at the door, for maximum enjoyment of this event I suggest table seating on the floor of the auditorium, and that is best achieved with advance reservations.

Liles retrospective

One of the midstate’s best-known artists will be the subject of an exhibition at Wesleyan College beginning Jan. 23. “Catherine Liles: A Retrospective Art Exhibit” will run through March 7 in the Cowles Myles Collier East Gallery, with an opening reception Jan. 23.

Liles is a magna cum laude graduate of Wesleyan. She studied in Cortona, Italy, enroute to a master’s degree from Mercer.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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