Annual Macon Civic Club performance features Allman Brothers’ ‘Soulshine’

January 24, 2014 

civic_club

Matthew Jerles, center, swings into a beautifully choreographed number directed by Sylvia Haney as the Macon Civic Club rehearses for its annual mid-winter show last week at the Idle Hour Country Club.

BEAU CABELL/THE TELEGRAPH — bcabell@macon.com Buy Photo

They sing, dance and crack jokes all in the name of charity.

The Macon Civic Club brings its annual musical revue back to the Grand Opera House this week with the presentation of “Soulshine.”

“We wanted to do a show that is basically about how music and great friends make your soul shine,” said James Berg, who is this year’s show chairman. “That is kind of the premise behind it. We also love the Allman Brothers and they have a song titled ‘Soulshine’ that will be performed in this year’s show. We love their music and like that it is local.”

The show, which opens Wednesday, donates its net proceeds to charities across Middle Georgia.

“Last year, we were able to benefit 45 different charitable organizations from the show,” Berg said. “That’s really one of the things we enjoy most -- contributing to the local community through the charities we benefit.”

This year marks the 53rd year of the production. Each year’s show is crafted from scratch.

“We’ve had local talent write, direct, perform and orchestrate the show,” Berg said. “The combination of using local amateur talent in combination with professional direction it ensures an authentic but imperfect quality that kind of defines each of our shows.”

Though this year’s show takes the name of an Allman Brothers Band song, the show’s music is diverse.

“It’s going to include rock ’n’ roll, some country, some Broadway numbers,” Berg said. “It’s going to be a wide variety. We’ve got some songs from artists such as the Black Crowes, Chicago ... Gladys Knight. It’s a wide variety of music genres spanning over several decades. We feel like there will be something for everybody.”

Each show will include two acts with an intermission. The Jan. 31 show will include a pre-show cocktail party in front of the Grand.

“We get that little section of Mulberry (Street) closed for the evening,” Berg said.

Each night’s performance also has featured charities, though the proceeds are distributed to many more groups. The Wednesday show will benefit Theatre Macon and the Museum of Arts and Sciences; the Thursday show will benefit Heart of Georgia Developmental Disabilities Ministries and Big Brothers/Big Sisters; the Jan. 31 show benefits The Children’s Hospital and the Georgia chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; and the Feb. 1 show benefits Jay’s Hope and the Andy Anderson Institute.

“Those are just ones we want to highlight and give a mention to ... as they are all near and dear to our heart. It is certainly not meant to exclude any that aren’t named,” Berg said.

The Macon Civic Club has about 150 members and is made up of local businessmen. Many of them and their spouses will be performing in “Soulshine.”

“It’s a large undertaking,” said Berg, who is a financial adviser at Raymond James. “We’re excited and it’s going to be a great show and we hope to see everyone there.”

“Soulshine”

When: Show begins at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29-30 and Feb. 1; 6:15 p.m. gala and 7:30 p.m. show Jan. 31

Where: Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry St.

Cost: $18 for Jan. 29; $20 for Jan. 30 and Feb. 1; $40 for Jan. 31, includes cocktail party

Information: 478-301-5470; www.thegrandmacon.com; www.maconcivicclub.com

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