This is the time of year we get our game faces on to cover the upcoming Savannah Music Festival in earnest.
As you’ve no doubt gathered, this week’s Lead Story is Jim Reed’s insightful interview with straight-shooting Festival Director Rob Gibson. There are some tidbits in it I guarantee you won’t be reading anywhere else, so please find the time out of your busy day to digest the full interview from beginning to end.
As for the immediate future, you can see from our Week at a Glance this issue that theatrical productions are the name of the game for the time being, with several noteworthy shows going on around town.
The masterful D. J. Queenan opens Little Women at the City’s black box theatre on Henry Street (read Linda Sickler’s preview this issue). Savannah Children’s Theatre continues a youth version of Guys and Dolls that has very strong word-of-mouth.
Savannah Theatre’s Little Shop of Horrors is also getting raves. And Savannah Actors Theatre continues its run of the intriguing original play Fiction, Or Wild Stories by Sasha Travis.
I wanted to relay my own theatre experience this past weekend at the AASU Masquers’s witty and energetic staging of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, which continues this weekend. Director Pam Sears does her usual outstanding job with the engaging cast in this musical revue of the Peanuts saga, a show that’s equally hilarious for kids and adults alike.
I was lucky enough to be a guest at an alumni meeting before the show in honor of the Masquers’ 70th anniversary celebration. The collective wisdom and local history gathered in the room at the Armstrong Center — featuring Masquers stalwarts Wray and Walt Kessel, alumni services director Patty Parker, former Masquers directors Jack Porter and Leigh Goodwin, and of course my dear mom Bettye, former seamstress to the stars — was a living testament to the enduring strength of Savannah theatre.
Begun in 1937 by the great Stacy Keach — father of the famous Savannah-born actor of the same name — the troupe that would become the Masquers is one of the oldest college theatre groups in the nation, and the performers and backstage crew of Charlie Brown are the newest chapter in that history. While all live theatre in Savannah is a cut above, this year especially we shouldn’t forget the contribution the Masquers have made to the local arts scene.
We welcome back longtime Connect art critic Bertha Husband this week, with her take on the current Pinnacle Gallery show. She has another review in the hopper, so stay tuned for more insight coming soon.
One of our most popular contributors, Stacey Kronquest, is back this week with her followup on the Creative Minds symposium a couple of weeks ago.
Stacey raises many lucid critiques of city government in her piece this week. But without in any way undermining her reporting, I wanted to say how lucky we are to live in a city with a mayor who takes the time to participate in a sustainable living forum and provide genuine opinions instead of the usual politician’s lip service.
Also commenting this week on her experiences during the symposium is the delightful Cathy Rodgers.
Photo notes this week: A big thanks to Jessica Ozment for the Rob Gibson shots this week. We also welcome a new shooter to the fold, Ryan Walters, who shot the theatre photo this week.
I received a lot of interesting feedback — much of it on page 10 this week — from my recent Note about the local/non-local divide in Savannah.
I think most people understood perfectly well my point that recent arrivals to Savannah are less likely these days to let the often self-defeating attitudes of us natives stand in their way. But a couple of people misunderstood and thought my column was a blanket defense of locals.
It’s true that I’m a local myself and proud of it, but for the record I wanted to make clear that I think Savannah wouldn’t be the vibrant, progressive city it is today without the steady efforts of people who are not originally from here.
(Critics, please save the “love it or leave it” stuff. True strength comes from diversity, and there’s plenty of room for locals and non-locals alike to make their marks here. The bottom line is that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem — regardless of where you were born.)
Speaking of nativities, I mark my 42nd birthday as I write this. And no, I didn’t take the day off, even though it’s President’s Day.
This is a new thing, isn’t it — this deal where people expect you to take your birthday off? Growing up and in various jobs over the years, I never once expected to simply not come into my school or workplace on my birthday.
Yet more and more I hear people assuming that their birthday should always be a kind of personal holiday off work. I have no idea where this comes from, do you?
Another observation: Is it just me, or do even-numbered years feel younger than odd-numbered years? I’m a year older, but 42 somehow seems younger than 41.
Point to ponder. Or not. In any case, you can stay in touch at: