Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Escape Radio, TV, Books, and Movies

March 4, 2015

When I was young, fiction interested me more than non-fiction.  Since my family subscribed to both the Columbus Ledger and the Columbus Enquirer, I did see the front page headlines on the way to  the  comics and movie ads, and I did  see the newsreels when I went to a movie, so I did  have an idea of what was going on in the world. But it was the feature films and the cartoons that I cared about.

Then, as I got older I became more interested in reality.  A highlight of the year was radio, and later, TV coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.  And when, as a teenager, I got into radio broadcasting, announcers did a little of  everything back then. They read commercials, newscasts, and hosted disc jockey shows. It was the disc jockey shows that I wanted to do the most. Still, reading wire service radio news copy served me well when I matured enough to specialize in news, first on radio and then on TV. I learned to interview news subjects, edit audio tape for radio, and shoot and edit film and video for TV news. 

I basically stopped reading fiction, concentrating on non-fiction.  But, I never stopped going to  the movies,  watching entertainment TV,  and listening to music, live and recorded. All of us need some escape from the real  world. And now I find myself escaping even more when I watch TV and go to the movies.  There is so much distressing news in the world.  Fortunately, there are enough quality TV programs and movies to hold my interest. A prime example of quality TV programs is Downton Abbey.  The British are especially good at producing period series and movies for TV. Downton Abbey is over for  this year, but Selfridges, another excellent period series follows it, so I won’t complain.  

  

 

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“In The Mood” put me In the Mood to Go to the RIverCenter More

February 25, 2013
CALL group touring the RiverCenter

CALL group touring the RiverCenter

In the Mood really put me in a good mood yesterday afternoon at the Bill  Heard Theater at the RiverCenter.  I enjoyed the tribute to the big band era of the 30s and 40s, not only because it was the popular music of my youth, but because of the top-notch performances of the orchestra and the singers and dancers. 

As you would imagine, the audience was made up of Columbus area seniors.  And there were a lot of them there.  I was glad to see that because some shows are the RiverCenter aren’t attracting large crowds.  This one did, and the audience loved it.

I think I enjoyed it even more because, along with my fellow members of the Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning, I had just attended the RiverCenters’ backstage tour.  It was truly interesting to see all of the stuff that goes on to present a big show.  Just standing on the orchestra pit elevator as it was lowered and raised in front of the gargantuan stage and seeing how it worked with a unique set of jacks was worth the time spent on the tour.  

It is truly a wonderful facility with its three first-rate theaters, the Studio Theater for smaller intimate productions, Legacy Hall for mid-sized concert events – Professor Joseph Golden played a fanfare he wrote on the million-dollar Jordan organ for us –  and the world-class Bill Heard Theater that rivals anything in New York.

The largest share of money to support the operation is from ticket sales.  I hope you’ll do your self a favor and enjoy some of the shows, and support the facility in the process.

The famous Gilbert and Sullivan comic operetta The Mikado plays the BH Theater on March 2nd.  It will be performed by the New York Company, a full-fledged production with a 17-piece orchestra.  The Mikado is one Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operettas.  It is touted to be a very colorful production, set in Japan, but it really satirizes Victorian Britain institutions. I plan to be there.  Hope you will join me. 

 

You Don’t Need to Go Anywhere Else to Get Great Live Entertainment, but You Might Need to in Order to Afford It

September 25, 2011

Bill Bullock, Executive Director, River Center

No, you don’t have to go to Atlanta or New York to get first-rate live entertainment anymore. With the River Center, the Springer, the Schwob School of Music and Drama Departments at Columbus State University in full swing, you can get it right here and right now.  And a lot of people are doing just that.  Those who can afford it. And a lot can’t because Columbus is a low-pay, high- unemployment and poverty-rate town.

Bill Bullock,  Executive director of the River Center told Columbus Rotarians that during its just-completed season , the  River Center attracted 99,000 patrons. “Over, 5,000 performers, technicians, ushers, and other participants attended the needs of those patrons. About 3 million dollars was spent in the process.”

Since its opening in 2002, almost a million patrons were entertained, with 50 thousand participants at a cost of over 37 million dollars.

People who  go to plays and concerts and other cultural events also spend money eating out, staying in hotels and doing other things. Bullock says a survey of the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley taken in 2009 shows that annually “local arts and culture groups generate 51 million dollars of revenue and almost 5 million dollars in taxes; spend 21 million dollars directly and leverage another 30 million dollars of expenditures in local businesses; and employ 1500 workers.”

Just look at some of the nationally successful performers and plays and musicals that have graced the stages of the River Center over the past 9 years:

Bill Cosby, Anne Murray, Loretta Lyn, Frankie Valli, Wynton Marsalis, Mannheim Steamroller, BB King, Travis Trit, Lilly Tomlin, The Smothers Brothers, Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, The Russian National Ballet, The Music Man, Camelot, Cats, 42nd Street, Annie, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Rent, Miss Saigon, Chicago, Stomp, David Copperfield, and a live NPR broadcast of A Prarie Home Companion, to  mention a few.

Then, of course, there are those great local performances by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Schwob School of Music concerts featuring the world-class Schwob School of Music Philharmonic Orchestra, Wind Ensemble,  and other groups and individual performers including faculty who have performed with some of the world’s most prestigious music groups.  And the plays and musicals at the Springer compare favorably with the best regional theaters in the country.

At one time Columbus may have been a sleepy Southern cotton mill and Army town with little to offer in the way of first-class live entertainment, but it is certainly not that any more.  It’s definitely still an Army town, one that’s proud of it, but, with one exception, is no longer a cotton mill town.  Virtually all of those jobs were shipped overseas where pay is even lower than in Columbus.

The city is on the Interstate now – kept off for decades by the politically powerful locals afraid of higher wages and retail competition in Atlanta  – and it has a growing and respected public University,  and just about all of the first-rate live entertainment that most of us can afford.  Admittedly, there is a problem in the number of people who can afford it, because the city is notorious for low pay; poverty is a critical problem, and unemployment is higher than the national average, but just below the state average.

Bottom line, yes we do have need for improvement when it comes to the city’s declining middle class and the poor, but when it comes to entertainment, we can compete with just  about any metropolitan area.

Libraries Top Sports and Movies in Attendance

July 30, 2010

A computer area at the Columbus Public Library, Columbus, GA

 

Yes, there is hope for society.  More people go to public libraries than movies or sporting events.

 

 

 

LIBRARIES –  1.4 BILLION

MOVIES – 1.3 BILLION

SPORTS – 218 MILLION

To get the full story, go to this LINK.

Thanks to Chattahoochee Valley Libraries Director Claudya Muller for sending this to me.