“Mint Juleps and Gershwin” Plans Underway

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on February 25, 2011

Fred Landiss mentioned some months ago how he would love it if we planned/presented a Gershwin-something. He even nominated the place. As fate would have it, Jimmy and Lena Orgain came to the theatre that very night and, when I mentioned the Gershwin idea, they in tandem said, “That sounds like Fred.” And they were right.

The beautiful and extremely talented pianist Anne Glass is adding her expertise to our “Mint Juleps and Gershwin” afternoon. Anne will begin the entertainment with a rendition of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Legendary couple and Clarksville favorites George and Sharon Mabry have offered their talents as well, singing a Gershwin tune or two … and perhaps a duet, if we’re lucky. I’ve had the great pleasure of late of working for Dr. George in rehearsal for Ben and the Virtues with APSU Opera. He gives the young people under his tutelage such positive support, pushing them ever forward toward perfection while granting and acknowledging their individual accomplishments.

We’ve already contracted The Bound’ry to cater this gathering. They have been the provider of excellent service and cuisine for our fall Gala for many years now. The Bound’ry’s last trip to Clarksville brought Phil Graham’s son back into our lives.

Years ago, Phil helped us make all the old Roxy’s 1947 plumbing functional. Phil asked nothing for his labors, only that we keep his son (who had a serious childhood illness) in our prayers, and so we did. It was easy to add his name to our prayer list: “God, please bless and keep …” etc.

I thought no more of it. Then, who should turn up as The Bound’ry’s head caterer at this year’s Gala and introduce himself but Phil Junior (that’s what I called him — his actual name is Lewis). He looked the spitting image of his mother, but with a goatee. He went out of his way to make our event just that much more special. It’s a rare gift to see your prayers answered.

Sunday’s “Afternoon with the Arts” has become another Sunday afternoon must for me. It seems I’m turning out not to be the Sunday recluse I would like to have believed myself to be. Champagne and chocolate, high above the Cumberland in F&M Bank, and a chance to see your favorite artists and their works close-up, is a rare and winning way to support artists and the Clarksville Arts & Heritage Development Council.

Nationally-respected sculptor, friend, former neighbor and dearest curmudgeon Olen Bryant said, when I made my latest request of one of his works for a friend, “Oh well … alright, when is this shindig anyway?” I replied, “Saturday, April 30, from 3pm until 5pm at High Meadow.”

Ain’t Misbehavin’ runs through March 5, playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. Jeff Ellis’ review on BroadwayWorld.com said it was “stylishly mounted and superbly performed.” We couldn’t agree more.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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