Music in different styles and tempos by different choruses will stir our spirit this week, while the Berman Museum’s Vintage Bazaar gives one-of-a-kind items a chance for a second life. All three events are at different times, so it’s possible to attend them all.
The third Wednesday concert at Anniston’s First United Methodist Church will feature The Lord’s Lefties Piano Quartet. The Lefties began about eight years ago as an ensemble with Tom Smith, the late Jim Roberts, Sandra Pullen and Kathy Murphy.
“We began with just two pianos, our Steinway concert grand and our Steinway upright,” said Murphy, the director. “Over the years our collection grew to include a Steinway baby grand and a Yamaha baby grand, so this is just right for four.”
The Lefties’ current quartet is comprised of Pullen, Murphy, Christopher Henley (also the FUMC organist) and Bill Wall.
Selections at the Wednesday concert will include “Spirituals for Eight Hands” and “Eight Hands in Praise,” both arranged by Joel Raney, and “The Ukrainian Bell Carol” arranged by Mark Hayes.
There will also be a few duets, including the 1925 song from the musical “No, No, Nanette” and the Ferrante and Teicher arrangement of “Exodus.”
“‘Exodus’ should be very familiar and entertaining for the over-50 crowd,” Murphy said. Duo pianists Ferrante and Teicher were brought to Anniston for a concert by the Knox Concert Series in 1968, again in 1970 and once more in 1976. “Exodus” is one of the duo-pianists’ biggest hits.
Some of the selections will include props and costumes. Also, guest musician Rodney Powers will present a piano solo of the beloved hymn “In the Garden.”
Everyone is invited to come to the church sanctuary from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday. Bring your lunch or snack to this casual event, and fill your lunch hour with meaningful music.
‘Dreamcoat’ truly amazing at Ritz Theatre
Joseph’s coat of many colors, made of satin and sequined fabric, is a visual marvel, say cast members of the musical “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat,” presented by Theatre of Gadsden starting Friday. And so is the theme, the music and the delivery of vocal entertainment by the cast, from all reports. Eighteen people from Calhoun County have roles and/or places in the chorus.
This is Jacksonville State University student David Wooten’s first leading role in a musical. That’s what he will likely first remember about this experience, but it will be memorable for another reason.
“It’s different because of the diversity of cultures that span the story,” he said. “Of course, this is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s take on this story. There’s a French style song, a calypso number, then a song with a Jamaican feel. If you don’t like one song, you’ll probably like the next one.”
Wooten talks about the person of Joseph and the story, which follows the Biblical account in the book of Genesis and Psalm 105. “Joseph is probably around age 14 or 15 and born to be a leader. He and his father Jacob both realize this. He is the only brother who can read and write, and he is his father’s favorite son. One reason for this is because he reminds his father of his favorite wife, Rachel. But the plot also emphasizes bad parenting.”
Jacob is portrayed by Forrest Hinton. “Jacob is a complex person,” the actor said. “He is blinded by admiration of his son, and by giving him the coat, he suffers a double dose of trouble. He sees in Joseph everything he as Jacob ever wanted to be — but uses poor judgment.”
Regardless of Jacob’s lack of foresight and the 12 brothers’ jealousy, the musical is about faith and forgiveness. It is a story for the ages, according to Hinton. “It’s relevant today,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the Biblical stories.”
Other cast members from Calhoun County or with Calhoun County connections are Megan Day, Elizabeth Neese, Dallas Bedford, Brian Jones, Kim Patton, Matt Palmer and Darrell Farmer. Additional cast members who are graduates of JSU are Susan Davidson, April Hollingsworth, Rhonda Ledbetter, Mike Lasseter, Susan Silvey, Shannon Waits, Kristi Nichols, Dee Downey Pruett, Rick Gwin and Doris Day.
The musical is directed by Mike Beecham.
The Ritz Theatre is at 310 Wall St. in Gadsden. Tickets are $17 for general admission and $15 for students, seniors and military. For reservations, call 256-547-7469.
Berman’s Vintage Bazaar begins Saturday
China, tools, sterling silver flatware, framed photographs by David Cummings, jewelry and a large area rug, are some of the treasures to be seen in the Berman Museum’s vintage collection of upper-scale items. The sale will be July 22-29 during regular museum hours. If you wish to consign items to the sale, register them with David Ford at the Berman during the next few days.
Model City Diner recalls 1950s
On Alabama Highway 202 sits a new dining place with a 1950s theme in both décor and food.
Model City Diner has been in business just two weeks now, with its light blue walls and pink booths and a jukebox.
“We just like the ’50s,” said owner Shane Denney, “and wanted to offer a place that looks back to those happy times.”
The menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner and — best of all — root beer floats (remember?) and chocolate cake.
Model City Diner is at 301 N. Hunter St. in Anniston, across from New Covenant Church of God.
Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.