Out & About

FENNELLY: New school year brings plethora of performances

The start of a new academic year does for the midstate entertainment calendar roughly what an afterburner does for a jet engine: What is already an impressive performance is suddenly transformed into something altogether spectacular.

While college classes have only been in session for a week, already we’re inundated with news of good things to come, and some of these upcoming events, being intended for young audiences, are also solid investments in the future.

Wesleyan College’s theater department, for example, is presenting the premiere performance of “Witches of the Here and Now,” a play for young audiences written by Robert Fieldsteel and Jan Lewis. Also in the Wesleyan season, but definitely for adults, is Christopher Durang’s “Miss Witherspoon.

Mercer Opera announced its 2015-16 season back in May, and it too features a production for young audiences. Back by popular demand, the children’s opera “A Muskrat” will be produced in conjunction with St. Peter Claver Elementary and Vineville Academy beginning Sept. 25. In the spring semester Mercer switches to a musical, presenting “Oklahoma” in January on the stage of the Grand Opera House. The semester will close with “Scenes from the Great Operas.”

Mercer moved into the new Center for the Arts near the end of May, so the September opening of George Feydeau’s “A Flea in Her Ear” (called the greatest farce ever) will mark the beginning of the first full theater season in the handsome repurposed facility. The Feydeau comedy will be followed by “Fiction,” a mind-bender by local favorite Steven Dietz.

Coming in 2015 is Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler.” Like “A Doll’s House,” this is another powerful Ibsen classic that treats the status of women in the 19th century. Hooray for director Scot Mann.

MUSIC SEASONS OPEN

If you’ve been listening to local radio stations, you know that Macon Symphony Orchestra’s Aug. 29 season-opening concert is being widely publicized on popular music stations. Our orchestra has had little marketing of late, so this new campaign is a splendid thing. Roderick Cox (a Macon native) and “Pathos and Passion” will be at the Grand on Aug. 29.

The Mercer University music season opens Tuesday with the All-Faculty Gala Concert, followed days later by the Robert McDuffie Labor Day Festival for Strings, with close to 80 more performances ahead.

Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.

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