The most popular event of the year for many is the Friends of the Library’s Annual Old Book Sale, coming March 1-4 and marking the event’s 50th anniversary.
Drawing vast crowds to Central City Park, this event is often seen to mark the unofficial end to winter. Maybe so, but the sale has been snowed out in the past. This bonanza actually begins on Feb. 28 with the annual Preview Party, an opportunity for hardcore book enthusiasts who are members of the Friends of the Library to get first look at this year’s massive book selection.
Admission to the Preview Party is the principal perk of membership. Mostly what a membership gets you is the opportunity to work hard at the sale and to help make this extraordinary event possible.
My house is awash in books, and most of them have come from Old Book Sales past. My two favorite finds are an edition of Jonathan Swift (from 1735) and a five-volume set of Winston Churchill’s “History of the English Speaking People” that he wrote while he awaited the call to save his country.
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A month of theater
Opening this week at Mercer University’s Tattnall Square Center for the Arts (on College Street at Oglethorpe) is one of those theater events for which we sometimes wait months or even years.
Mercer Theatre and director Scot Mann are presenting Eugene Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros.” With theater taught less at both the secondary and collegiate levels and the commercial stage paying scant attention to “intellectual” shows, the arrival of “Rhinoceros” is an event to be celebrated. In the genre of theater of the absurd, the work is said to be a response to the acceptance of fascism on the eve of World War II.
Less heavy fare is available, too. Theatre Macon’s “Company” continues through this weekend, and in days Warner Robins Little Theatre will open “Cowardly Brian,” a work by talented Houston County resident Michael Kinsley.
At the Douglass Theatre in the Live in HD Series from the National Theatre is an American classic, Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” The classic on Feb. 25 will be followed by one of the most iconic works of all time, William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” on March 4. Given that thousands of high school and college students have never seen this famous work, the current production (which stars Benedict Cumberbatch) will likely draw a crowd.
Also at the Douglass in HD this month is “La Boheme” from the Metropolitan Opera. This work by Puccini, often hailed as the most popular opera of all time, will be shown on Feb. 24. Theatergoers know the story as “Rent.”
Speaking of opera, the bad news is that the Mercer University Opera production scheduled for February of “Cosi fan Tutti,” has been rescheduled for April, but there’s good news, too.
On Feb. 20, Ward Stare will lead the Mercer University Orchestra in concert. It’s guaranteed to chase the winter blues away.
Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.