We may not always think of them in this way, but the arts — especially theater, film and music — play a large role in the community’s historic preservation efforts.
Currently, for example, the restoration of the Capricorn Recording Studio downtown is in the news, but as I look at what’s happening, it’s clear that examples are everywhere. The Douglass Theatre — a symbol of the days of segregation now known for hosting the Macon Film Guild, the CollegeTown Film Festival, the Metropolitan Opera HD telecasts and the National Theatre Live telecasts — was just a few hours away from the wrecking ball back in the 1970s.
Ditto for the Grand Opera House. What about the Ritz Theatre, now home to Theatre Macon? And the Cox Capital Theatre, once relegated to being divided into classrooms, is today one of our prime venues.
I could go on, but there are other fish to fry.
Whether your taste runs to art, music, theater or film, this weekend is going to be an exciting one. Friday night, the Macon Pops orchestra will be presenting hit tunes from television and movies with a concert in Mercer University’s Hawkins Arena. Also Friday night, just a few hundred yards away, Mercer music faculty members Marcus Reddick and Monty Cole will team up to present original jazz compositions in Fickling Hall.
Speaking of original compositions, mark your calendar for March 28. Mercer Opera will present “Scenes from Hugh Smalling,” billed as a “sneak peek” at an original in-progress opera by composer Christopher Schmitz, based on a libretto by well-known local actress Suzanne Doonan. What an amazing talent is Doonan. One of my best memories at the theater comes from Doonan’s performance in “A Shayna Maidel” several years ago.
Speaking of theater, one of the all-time must-see productions is Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler,” and the Douglass will be broadcasting the NT Live production at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Several live productions also beckon. ‘The Crucible,” opening Friday night at the Rose Theater in Forsyth, is regarded as one of Arthur Miller’s finest works. Next weekend comes Macon Little Theatre’s revue “Blame It on the Movies,” directed by Sylvia Haynie and Laura Voss.
The Morning Music Club, celebrating fine music since 1912, has announced the co-winners of its annual Joseph Maerz Competition: Sarah Kate Sellers (student of Marie Roberts, voice) and Caleb Esmond (student of Nancy Dyes, piano).
Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.