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What's Next: Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry (that's him on the left) in full "Madea" getup.

There’s a wonderful song on Mary Chapin Carpenter’s third album, Come On Come On. It’s called “Halley Came to Jackson,” and it’s based, Carpenter has said, on the works of Pulitzer Prize–winning author Eudora Welty.

In her book One Writer’s Beginnings, Welty remembered when, as an infant, her daddy held her in his arms on their Mississippi porch and pointed out Halley’s Comet in the evening sky.

Seventy–five years later, the baby is a white–haired old woman, standing on the very same porch as the comet makes its next pass through the heavens.

Carpenter, who serves on the board of the Eudora Welty Foundation, is well–known as a literary light amongst acoustic artists (‘course, she’s also a multiple Grammy winner with a big stack of platinum albums to her credit).

Along with fellow folksingers Kate Campbell, Claire Holley and Caroline Herring, Carpenter will perform a tribute concert to Welty Feb. 6 at Trinity United Methodist Church, as part of 2010 Savannah Book Festival.

The foursome first put on this “guitar–pull” styled show last April at the Eudora Welty Centennial Celebration in Jackson, Miss.

Tickets for the concert, a fundraiser for the book festival, will go on sale shortly, although prices have not been announced.

Carpenter, incidentally, co–authored a children’s book based on “Halley Came to Jackson” in 1998.

The Savannah Book Festival takes place Feb. 5–7, mostly in Telfair Square, and it’s always free.
Among the authors announced for 2010 are Christopher Beha, Roy Blount Jr., Rick Bragg, Vince Flynn (the keynote speaker), George Dawes Green, Lauretta Hannon, Mary Alice Monroe and Janice Owens.

For all info, go to

Tyler Perry, live onstage

The one and only Tyler Perry is coming to Savannah April 13 and 14, in the cast of his own Madea’s Big Happy Family. Tickets for the Savannah Civic Center production are on sale now.

Perry, of course, has been playing Mabel “Madea” Simmons onstage and in a string of very successful films for a few years now.

This week, the author, actor and producer wrote on his Web site: “I gotta tell you, I have missed you. There is nothing like a live performance and if you’ve never seen a Madea play, then you haven’t seen Madea at all. It is an experience, just ask someone who’s seen it.

“It’s been five years since I’ve been on the road, and the timing just happened to fall right into place. I needed to get away from Hollywood for a second ... clear my head. There is no better way to do that than to come out and see your faces and be reminded of where this all started.”

Perry finishes the message with this: “I can’t wait to see you! This play is going to be amazing!”

There are 8 p.m. performances both days; tickets are $50, $60 and $75 at

All bets are on Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire, which Perry executive–produced with Oprah Winfrey, to win big at the Academy Awards in March.

This, that, the other

...Friends of the Tybee Post Theater will dedicate the vintage building’s new facade (and it looks pretty good) at a 3 p.m. ceremony Dec. 17. This, of course, is the first hopeful step toward the theater’s eventual total restoration and re–opening as a viable part of the Tybee Island community. Refreshments will be available, and if you ask real nice you might get a tour of the building, and find out all about its illustrious history.

.. The 34th annual Jekyll Island Bluegrass Festival, Dec. 31–Jan. 2, has a few notable names in the lineup, including Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Little Roy Lewis and Lizzie Long, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent, the Travelin’ McCourys and Marty Raybon’s Full Circle. Dig the dope at

... Something called Who’s Bad: The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute has been announced for Hilton Head’s Shoreline Ballroom for New Year’s Eve. We’ll have more info as it comes in, but for now, know this: Tickets are $18 advance and $23 at the door.