Fennelly: Local summer theater season begins this weekend

July 11, 2014 

The summer theater season hits full stride tonight with the opening of Theatre Macon’s “Les Miserables” on the stage of the Grand Opera House. If this production is anything like the magnificent one produced by the Youth Actors Company several years ago, it will be destined for the annals of local theater history. Note that ticket purchases will be handled through the Grand’s box office and website.

On Sunday, also downtown, July’s Second Sunday Concert is slated for Washington Park from 6-8 p.m. If you haven’t yet attended one of these events, I urge you to have a look. The music is just a part of the charm. Dogs, kids and a beautiful setting play a big role, too.

At Warner Robins Little Theatre, “Hotbed Hotel” also opens tonight, promising lots of laughs. And next weekend, Macon Little Theatre will open its 2014-15 season (yes, already!) with “The Wedding Singer.”

Human rights

The long-anticipated Center for Civil and Human Rights opened in Atlanta last week and, while it is not as large as I had anticipated, the exhibitions are impressive, with one floor devoted to the American civil rights movement and another floor dedicated to global human rights issues. Is it well done? Well, let me just say that boxes of tissues are situated at some of the viewing stations.

If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced day trip destination, this is it. The center is situated across from Centennial Olympic Park, next to the Georgia Aquarium, and the tickets are priced slightly lower than those at the nearby World of Coke. If your spirits have been drooping as a result of recent national and world events, this tribute to the power of the human spirit will renew your faith in the promise of humanity.

Opera news

There’s little to console opera lovers during a midstate summer, but here’s an announcement that should bring some smiles. Martha Malone, the head of Mercer University Opera, has announced the group’s coming season: Handel’s “Alcina” and a young audiences version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” (also to be taken into area schools).

Reaching out to youth audiences and demonstrating the enormous power of music has become a tradition for Mercer’s opera program -- a noble gesture indeed.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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