September is always a glorious month for entertainment. With the arrival of Labor Day weekend, summer vacations are at an end, and the area colleges are back in session. Good times lie ahead.
This weekend will see the final performances of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” at Macon Little Theatre. This mystery is a classic by anybody’s yardstick. Director Sylvia Haynie has put together a powerful cast, and if the reaction of my 16-year-old is an indication, the production is a roaring success.
The following weekend, Theatre Macon will present “Rumors,” one of the more recent works by that master of comedy, Neil Simon. Later in the month, the Perry Players will bring us another classic, “Of Mice and Men,” based on the John Steinbeck novel (which in turn gets its title from poet Robert Burns). In Forsyth, the Backlot Players will bring us yet another mystery, “Reserve Two for Murder.”
This line up of shows is nothing short of wonderful, but let’s not overlook the top-quality musical offerings ahead. The holiday weekend will kick things off with Monday’s Labor Day Festival for Strings and Closing Concert, presented by the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. This event will feature not just McDuffie, but Amy Schwartz Moretti, Ward Stare and the center’s student ensemble. Be prepared to see the future.
One of the biggest upcoming music events will take place on the silver screen rather than the stage. The Macon Film Guild will present the documentary “Robert Shaw – Man of Many Voices” at the Douglass Theatre on Sept. 15. The screening will be preceded by a performance by the Wesleyannes and Nadine Cheek; the latter will discuss her own vocal relationship with the great man. If you doubt that one person can change the world, you’ll want to see the story of Robert Shaw.
Also that weekend comes the Ocmulgee Indian Celebration, running Sept 16-17 at the Ocmulgee National Monument. There are many splendid things to see and do in Macon, but probably none can touch the Ocmulgee National Monument, especially when its role in human history is so showcased.
Hooray for John Jones!
I don’t know if the parents of educator, performer and theater administrator John Jones had the great naval hero in mind when they named him, but their choice proved prophetic. In contrast to the current plight of the Macon Symphony Orchestra, when Macon Little Theatre faced dire circumstances not long ago, Jones sounded the alarm and, realizing the theater belonged to the community, called together all those who wished to preserve the 84-year-old institution. As the current production testifies, the call was answered. While Jones retired from his role at Macon Little Theatre without fanfare at the end of last season, he has earned the eternal gratitude of all who care about the quality of life in Macon.
Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.