Fennelly: Entertainment renaissance indeed

March 7, 2014 

When I look back at the enormous number of events on the calendar last weekend, I have to raise the cry of “hear, hear” in response to Ear to the Ground columnist Roger Riddle’s suggestion that the midstate is enjoying an entertainment renaissance. I would also add that some of that renaissance comes in the form of heightened awareness. Audiences are looking much more like a representative audience should.

This past weekend -- to name just a few events on a schedule bursting at the seams -- folks could choose between the Friends of the Library’s Old Book Sale, the Macon Film Festival, a concert featuring the Macon Pops and Jo Dee Messina, several stage comedies, a Gore Vidal classic play and the Youth Actors Company’s “Three Musketeers.” Icing the cake was Mercer University’s free staged reading of Andrew Silver’s “Combustible/Burn” at a Grand Opera House filled with playgoers from every corner of the community, eager to witness this tale of Mercer’s desegregation -- an epoch-making event in Georgia history.

Yes, while Macon has long boasted an impressive line-up of entertainment, in recent years the audiences for these events have come much closer to representing the demographics of the community -- and that may be the very best part of our renaissance, for the arts are all about enriching lives.

Yet another big weekend

The next several days may not quite match the glories of last weekend, but there’s plenty on the calendar, starting tonight with First Friday. Not only will the downtown galleries be open, but the 567 Center for Renewal will be hosting the annual Student Art Show, with the opening reception slated from 6-9 p.m. The work of Peggy Maine and Carolyn Simmons is featured in “Folktales” at the Macon Arts Alliance.

On stage, Kelly Mann directs the Youth Actors Company production of “The Three Musketeers,” closing Sunday at Theatre Macon. The community theater group Center Stage for Christ is presenting the Christian murder mystery “Black and White” at Perry Methodist Church, while in downtown Macon, the Macon Film Guild will be showing “On the Job” at the Douglass Theatre.

Coming up March 16 is “Sunday Afternoon at the Ballet” featuring “Peter and the Wolf,” a piece presented in 1997 at the Middle Georgia Youth Ballet’s first performance.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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