Hang onto your hats, folks. The next six weeks or so are going to take us for quite a ride. Late January and all of February are without question a dazzling time here for top-quality entertainment. The weather may be frigid, but the entertainment sizzles.
Whether your tastes run to film, music, theater or opera, the days ahead have you covered. There are even a few art openings.
The volume of events alone would warrant headlines, were it not for the news of Theatre Macon’s recruitment of an artistic director to step into Jim Crisp’s shoes as artistic director (is that possible?) when he retires at the end of this season.
Those who don’t spend time on social media may have missed the galvanizing news that Richard Frazier — a 2011 recipient of a degree in theater education from Columbus State University — will be coming on board Aug. 1. Frazier has been teaching at Northside High School in Warner Robins and most recently choreographed the theater’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
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You can find a glowing article about the new director at VoyageATL.com or by checking Theatre Macon’s page on Facebook. This news will undoubtedly be of great comfort to the thousands of theater fans who have been anxiously gnawing their nails. It’s also reassuring to know that Crisp — a near legendary figure and the founder of Theatre Macon — will be remaining in Macon as one of the city’s greatest assets.
There’s more newcomer news: Another Columbus State product is Jaris Tobler, a 2012 distinguished fine arts graduate of Central High School, who fills the position at his alma mater created by Pat McCall’s retirement as head of the orchestra at Central last year. This is another case of huge shoes to fill.
Also at Central High School’s Fine Arts program, another newcomer is LaDarius Chester, A Southwest High School graduate who earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Savannah State University in 2016.
One stop bonanza
The Douglass Theatre is a one-stop entertainment bonanza at any time, but it is outdoing itself for the next few weeks. Check out the upcoming events for the Macon Film Guild, the Black History Month Film Series and the annual CollegeTown Film Series. This year’s theme is “Women of the Night: A Film Noir Exploration.”
The Douglass is also hosting the Metropolitan HD broadcast of Puccini’s “Tosca,” a heart breaker for some, followed in short order by Donizetti’s “L’Elisir D’Amore” and another Puccini, “La Boheme.” On top of that, the British National Theatre’s production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is due in late January.
Also ahead we have Mercer University Opera’s “Cosi Fan Tutti,” Robert McDuffie’s return to Beulahland Bible Church, productions by all of the local theater companies, a beloved musical at The Grand Opera House, a visit from the Borromeo String Quartet, the Macon Civic Club’s annual revue, and the Tubman Museum’s 22nd Annual “All That Jazz” at the Macon City Auditorium.
Yes, I know, I’ve left out a whole lot more.
Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.