Fennelly: Get a fill of the arts at Cherry Blossom Festival

March 21, 2014 

The bigger-than-ever Cherry Blossom Festival, opening today, brings with it a vast array of quality entertainment to delight visitors and residents alike. Macon and the midstate are blessed year-round with a large volume of music, theater and arts options, and many of these will be on full display during the festival.

One of Macon’s oldest arts organizations, Macon Little Theatre, will be offering up a musical on stage during the festival. Founded in 1934, MLT will be presenting “All Night Strut” through March 30. Featuring tunes from the 1930s and ’40s, this revue opens tonight.

Later next week, the historic Grand Opera House will host “The Ten Tenors on Broadway.” The Australian vocal group will do two shows March 29.

Meanwhile, the Douglass Theatre is offering an original gospel play with the catchy title “Everybody Talkin’ Bout Heaven Sho’ Ain’t Goin.” Written and directed by Venus Glover, this comedy runs through Sunday. Also Sunday, the Cox Capital Theatre is hosting the stay play “The Money Game.”

Since Macon’s musical heritage is legendary, it should be no surprise that there’s also an abundance of music on the schedule, and much of it is free. Several events demonstrate why Macon is also famous for its churches. As part of a church music conference hosted by Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music, tonight will see a variety of groups assembled at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church.

Saturday will see famed violinist Robert McDuffie teaming up with students from the McDuffie Center for Strings in Mercer’s Fickling Hall. Come Sunday, yet another Methodist church will host a major music event. “Campus Divas” at Vineville United Methodist Church will feature the lead female vocalists from the city’s three colleges: Nadine Cheek (Wesleyan College), Rebecca Lanning (Middle Georgia State College), and Martha Malone (Mercer). Any of the three can bust some crystal.

Mercer will continue the freebies Tuesday when Georgia Southern University pianist David Murray will perform at Fickling Hall. “Dream of the Cherry Blossoms” on March 28 will be a joint effort of the Mercer Percussion Ensemble and the Central High School Percusion Ensemble.

The final weekend of the CBF will feature the annual Mulberry Street Arts Festival. If, heaven forbid, the weather doesn’t cooperate, be consoled by pianist Louise Barfield, performing at Wesleyan’s Porter Auditorium.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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