Leila Case: Americus dances to a happy tune
Americus has two new taglines: Find it on Forsyth and Love it on Lamar. Both uptown streets are rockin’ with activities, generating interest I haven’t seen in a while. Our Shining City on a Hill is putting on a happy face and we’re dancing to the tune.
Broadway came to Lamar, more specifically the historic Rylander Theatre, when “The Broadway Boys” brought their gig to town for a fabulous musical theater presentation last week. They shook the walls of the 95-year-old theater alive with the sound of music, song and dance that had the audience applauding for more.
The six tenors — Mike Baches, Jesse Johnson, Travis Morin, Brad Greer, Gabe Violett and Tim Young — came straight from the Great White Way where they performed in such hit shows as “Wicked,” “The Jersey Boys,” “The Lion King” and more to capture the hearts of the Rylander audience with their well-choreographed, energetic show from the moment they hit the stage singing and dancing a true lullaby of Broadway with the backing of a four-piece band. But no one was more surprised than theater-goer Norma Wall Pilcher who was serenaded on stage by “The Broadway Boys.” Fun.
We encountered these personable guys at The Station, their table being opposite ours. Bruce and Caroline, my dinner partners, scattered like the wind when I told them I intended to speak to them before leaving — I think I am somewhat of an embarrassment. Oh well, I applied fresh lipstick, put on my best smile and I strode right over to their table to wish them well: My opening line, “break a leg, boys,” a timeless theater term meaning “good luck” in your performance. The guys broke into laughter and told me how much they liked the Rylander and couldn’t wait to explore the Windsor Hotel, where they were overnight guests and the downtown area the next morning. In return, they asked me all kinds of questions, which fortunately I could answer.
After the show, the Broadway actors greeted their fans in George’s, signed copies of their latest CD and smiled for photos. It goes without saying I jumped at the chance for a photo op. So did Caroline.
The Friends of the Rylander brought back-to-back winning shows to town this season all due to a winner of a theater director Heather Stanley who knows talent and books the best. You can still join the Friends. Don’t miss the next two hits Heather has booked for this season.
While dance is on my mind, Tracy Hall, director of the Americus Chapter of the National League of Junior Cotillion, hosted a reception at the Lee Council House last Sunday to familiarize the large group of parents of young ladies and gentlemen attending this year all about the Junior Cotillion program. This is a wonderful opportunity for young people in fifth through eighth grades to learn more about proper etiquette and ballroom dance, skills they will have for a lifetime, and to treat others with honor, dignity and respect for better relationships with family, friends and associates. I highly recommend it. My grandchildren, Beau Barrett, John Barrett, Casey Shivers, Aaron Shivers and Lauren Shivers Vann, all former participants, enjoyed the program. In fact, John assisted through high school and is now a much sought-after dance partner by college girls and his mom.
The five Junior Cotillion classes, an hour and a half each, are Sunday afternoons and there are two Saturday evening balls. Deadline to register is Nov. 1. For more information or to register contact Tracy at 404-550-4939.
Out and About: I met a good looking man, Scott Ruerup, who was visiting The Kinnebrew Co. the other day, and who looks like a model for GQ magazine. I told him so. Turns out he once was a model but he is now president of Peter Millar, a fashionable line of menswear. While in town he stayed overnight with Hulme and Janet Kinnebrew in their guest house (three former grain bins joined together)! Other recent visitors were Ben and Tommye Easterlin of Atlanta, Henry and Ann Hart of Albany, Sally Griffith of Atlanta, Frank Hines of North Augusta, Neil Kinnebrew of Atlanta, and Jocelyn Rogers of Jacksonville; former President Jimmy Carter was honored on his 91st birthday Oct. 1 at a dinner party at the Carnegie hosted by Leon Holloway, Everett Byrd, Mark Minick, Kitty and Wallace Mayes, Ruth Jones, Debbie Graves and Linda Peters. I hear Carter loved the dessert, pumpkin-sweet potato tart topped with caramel, praline ice cream. Charlene McGowan says she had a “wonderful” reunion with five high school friends in Jasper, Alabama, last week; Aaron Shivers and his wife Brook are expecting their first child next month, and were honored at a fun baby shower at the home of his parents, Andy and Lori Shivers. Nick Owen and Rene Smith celebrated their birthday with about 30 friends at a supper party at the home of James Edgemon; Reese Fennessy celebrated turning six at a clever “camp out;” other with birthdays this week are Dale Undercofler and Sally Markette. Congratulations to Rotary Club of Americus inductees William Hand, Karen Holloway and Brandon Vann, and don’t forget the always fun Halloween Party hosted by Sumter Historic Trust at 8 o’clock tonight at the Lee Council House. Tickets are available at the door. Wear your best costume. Prizes await. See you there — incognito.
Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.