The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The 2012–13 season at The Grand Opera House promises to delight with both the Butler Lexus Broadway Series and the Variety Series. According to Betsy Fitzgerald, executive director of The Grand, this year's lineup is aimed at broadening the reach of "Central Georgia's sole presenter of national and international tours of professionally-produced Broadway shows."
"We already know people are coming on a regular basis from Cordele, Dublin and up to Henry County," she explained. "We bring some of the best, professional tours to Central Georgia."
For those who are unfamiliar with this local venue, many comparisons have been made to Atlanta's Fabulous Fox Theatre, which is also a venue for touring shows. In fact, Fitzgerald points out, that many of the shows have exactly the same cast, same crew and same musicians who would perform at the Atlanta venue.
"Patrons receive a huge savings by supporting local," she reminds.
Indeed, this year The Grand was able to secure the tour of "Catch Me If You Can," straight off its Broadway run. This hit musical chronicles the incredible true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr., the legendary conman who used his boyish charm, ingenuity and a truckload of forged checks to live the high-life for quite a long time. Abagnale was able to pose as a pilot, a lawyer and even a doctor in nearby Atlanta, all while being chased by the FBI.
For those who love to laugh, The Grand's Variety Series holds plenty of chances to bust a gut this season. "The Capitol Steps" is one of the many not-to-be-missed productions of the year. When political satire meets musical comedy, expect an incredible night of laughter. The description assures, "Whether you're right, left, independent or in between — 'The Capitol Steps' will have you howling as they parody politics and bureaucracy in a fun, all-American song and dance production."
"This is the first time they have come to our theater," explained Fitzgerald. "They have performed to sold out theaters in almost every state."
"They make fun of everything," said Cindy Hill, marketing coordinator for The Grand. "No party is left unoffended, you'll have fun no matter who you will vote for in November."
While "The Capitol Steps" promises the laughs, it's not for the kids. But the Variety Series doesn't fall short in offerings for the whole family. "Cirque Mechanics" promises to be a marvel for adults and children alike. This spectacular event showcases the relationship between acrobatics and mechanics.
"It's mechanics, people becoming machines," explains Hill. "They become gears, levers, pulleys."
"Cirque Mechanics" is about performance and the use of the body as an instrument. The acrobats work in unison, creating and transforming the stage into a mechanical world, inspired as much by the circus as the Industrial Revolution. Plus, the timing couldn't be better; scheduled in conjunction with the Mercer University Homecoming, this promises to be a show that no one will want to miss.
The Grand Opera House; 651 Mulberry St., Macon; 478- 301-5470; www.thegrandmacon.com