Leila S. Case: Time to catch your breath; take a break

Published 3:07 pm Monday, April 9, 2018

Sipping morning coffee? Recovering from the second annual Hot Glass Craft Beer festival this afternoon or perhaps sipping something cool after mowing the constantly growing grass or getting ready to watch the final round of the Master’s golf tourney tomorrow? No matter what the hour, it’s break time.
That’s exactly what Phillip and Zona Buchen took recently. They took a few days off from packing their home up here and sadly, to us who know them, moving lock, stock and barrel to Gainesville, Georgia. They were in New York City for the Broadway debut of “Rocktopia” at the Broadway Theatre, created by their son, Rob Evan Buchen, the lead singer, and directed by Randall Fleischer.
“It’s all about the music,” says Zona of “Rocktopia.” “It’s a musical /revolution where the worlds of the best 1980s rock songs and classical arias and concertos meld. We’re very proud of Rob and the show.”
“Rocktopia” is an all new musical concert event and features other than Rob a number of top vocalists, a five-piece rock band, a choir of 40 and a 20-piece orchestra from the New York Symphony.
“Rocktopia” will have a six-week run on Broadway and if you have plans to travel to the Big Apple before the end of this month we hear this is a not to be missed concert. It’s different from the norm.
Zona explains that Rob’s idea of the concert stems from his performances at various pops concerts. A business/finance graduate of the University of Georgia, he played football under Coach Vince Dooly and he was the first Georgia Hall of Fame talent winner. He performed with the Atlanta Pops and then moved to New York, where he was lead singer in “Les Miserables” and “Jekyll & Hyde.”
The inaugural performance of the show, “Rocktopia: Live in Budapest,” was recorded in 2015, at the Hungarian State Opera House and aired on PBS, enjoyed a run at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta and in Tampa.
Attending opening night with Phillip and Zona were her brother and sister-in-law, Roland and Rebecca Thomas of Wrightsville and Zona’s tennis partner and friend Sylvia Roland of Americus.
Sylvia didn’t have her feet on the ground long when she left for NYC. She and stepdaughter, Emilee Roland, spent six days in Italy, mostly in Rome, and Naples. This was Emilee’s first experience out of the country and Sylvia says she had a great time. They toured the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica; visited the ruins of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum; viewed the sculpture museum of Villa Borghese and many other historic sites. Their final day was visiting the ancient ruins of Pompeii.
Also away for nine days last month were James and Nancy Gaston and Tim and Peggie Lawson who traveled to the Holy Land, touring Jerusalem and Israel by bus with the American Family Association led by Tim Wildmon, president of the association.
Nancy says the experience was wonderful and so was the weather everywhere, including the Masada, Dead Sea and the River Jordan on the Galilee Sea. They were very impressed with the vast amount of agricultural crops grown in northern Israel but that south of Jerusalem traveling to the Dead Sea is desolate but heavily irrigated where they saw countless fields of date palm trees.
Alicia Morgan, April 28 bride-elect of Gatewood Ledbetter, was celebrated by friends at a bachelorette party in Charleston given by her sister, Ashley Morgan, and Hannah Ricketts, Tori Malerbi, Ashley Austin, Jenny Soto and Tiffany Dean. Alicia and Gatewood will be married at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
Those visiting last weekend include Bill and Anne Markette Lee of Atlanta, who were guests of her mom, Sally Markette, and sister and brother-in-law, Beth and John Fowler; Sally Headley of Birmingham visited her grandson five-month-old George Hooks and his parents Hayden and Bardin Hook; Grace Wooten spent Easter with her parents, Marshall and Carey Wooten and grandmother, Joni Woolf, who hosted her nephews and wives Malcolm and Debbie McDougall, Amanda and Joshua Oakes and son, Preston. Matt and Missy Litwhiler Urder and three children were guests of her mother, Shirley Litwhiler. Also in town were Matt’s mom, Mary Urda and sister, and Lee and Emily Hollingsworth and children, coming especially to visit her dad, Lang Sheffield. Also, here this week was Stephanie Jones of Atlanta, guest of her parents, Randy and Nancy Jones.
And celebrating a birthday besides son, Mark Barrett, are Ann Harris, Thurston Clary, Sue Hall and Nancy Reese Hayes.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.