Arts Halftime: Arts season returns with big shows

VALDOSTA — The 2018-19 arts season is halfway concluded but there’s still plenty of shows, plays, concerts and exhibits in the coming weeks and months.

Following the hiatus for the holidays, the arts season returns.


Where: 527 N. Patterson St.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; closed Sundays and Mondays. Most opening receptions, however, are 5-7 p.m. Mondays on designated dates.

Admission: Free.

There are also numerous art classes and other events in the coming weeks.

More information: Call (229) 247-2787 or visit


— Drawproject, Irene Dodd and David Boyd exhibits are scheduled to open with a public reception, 5-7 p.m., Jan. 14 then run for several week. Drawproject is an auction for art that raises money for student art scholarships. Run dates: Through mid-February.

— “Roll Over, Beethoven,” concert by internationally renowned pianist Julian Gargiulo. Run date: 7:30 p.m., Jan. 26. Part of the SCORE Concert Series.

— Youth Art Month, featuring works by students throughout the region. Opens with a free, public reception, 2-4:30 p.m., Feb. 24. Run dates: Feb. 24 through March 23.

 — Spring Into Art: The area’s largest and most inclusive art show traditionally opens early to mid April and runs for several weeks. Features hundreds of works by hundreds of artists. Opens with a reception, 6-9 p.m., April 8. Run dates: April 8 through June 5.


The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts regularly hosts three nationally touring shows that will stop in Valdosta as part of the annual Presenter Series. The shows will be performed at Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St. More information: Visit the arts center, 527 N. Patterson St., or call (229) 247-2787.


– “New Shanghai Circus.” The show features non-stop action, colorful costumes, thrilling stunts, hoop diving, plate spinning, leaping and constant movement of trained acrobats from China in a full family-friendly show. The show is back by popular demand … again. “New Shanghai Circus” was featured in a Presenter Series several years ago and proved a popular show. Run date: Jan. 31.

– “With Love from Broadway.” Another show that is back by popular demand. Two years ago, the first production of “With Love from Broadway” was created specifically for the Presenter Series. New York casting director Stephen DeAngelis has since presented similar revue-style shows featuring Broadway stars in other locations. Accompanied by pianist Eugene Gwordz, DeAngelis selects five vocalists who have performed on Broadway. They are Rona Figueroa, Wade Preston, Lana Gordon, Alton Fitzgerald White, Jon Peterson. If the stars are cast in a Broadway show, the list of scheduled performers may change. Run date: Feb. 14.


Where: Bemiss Road Baptist Church, 3307 Bemiss Road.

What: Children’s theatre organization.

Shows are performed at Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center, 3101 N. Forrest St.

More information: Call Maggie Smith, (229) 269-2871.


– “Peter Pan Jr.” is scheduled for the spring show. The “junior” designation means the script has been abridged for a younger cast and audience. Run dates: 3 p.m. & 7 p.m., June 8; 3 p.m., June 9.


Where: 1108 S. Patterson St.

What: Children’s theatre organization.

Shows are performed at Valdosta High School Performing Arts Center, 3101 N. Forrest St., and the LAT headquarters.

More information: Visit


— “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.” A live stage version based on the movie starring Dick Van Dyke as an inventor who creates an amazing car that can become a flying machine and a boat. Run dates: March 2, 3.


Where: Sawyer Theatre, Valdosta State University Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood.

When: The first show opens in early June, then the subsequent two shows open later in June, all three shows play in rotating repertory through mid-July.

PSST! is part of VSU Theatre & Dance. It is the official musical theatre of Georgia.

More information: Visit


— Mamma Mia!: The live show is the same as the 2008 movie, Guthrie said. A young girl is about to marry and wants to find her father so she invites the three men who knew her mother years earlier to the wedding. Lots of Abba songs. Like the movie, Guthrie warns some parental discretion is advised. Opens June 7.

– Little Women: The classic Louisa May Alcott book is set to music within its original setting of a family of sisters during the Civil War. Guthrie said “Little Women” is the “small show” that can be performed with only nine actors. It does follow the book so it is a story of sisterly relationships but has its share of tragedy, he said. Opens: June 21.

– Crazy for You: The songs are by the Gershwins – Ira with the lyrics; George composing the music. Playwright Ken Ludwig wrote the romantic comedy that serves as the framework for the tap-dancing musical; Theatre Guild Valdosta regularly presents Ludwig comedies such as “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Fox on the Fairway,” etc. Guthrie said “Crazy for You” is a 1990s revitalized version of the Gershwins’ 1930s musical “Girl Crazy” but uses songs from several Gershwin musicals. Opens: June 28.


Where: Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St.

More information: Visit

What: A film festival featuring contest film entries and featured films. 


Second Annual RKDS Film Festival will feature chosen films shown at various sites, red carpet event, etc. Celebrity guests expected to be announced in coming months, according to organizers. Run dates: July 11-14.


Where: Valdosta State University Student Union, 1500 N. Patterson St.

More information: Visit

What: A film festival featuring contest-entry films, etc.


The 2019 South Georgia Film Festival features several entries from nearby and faraway. Run dates: March 1-3.


Where: The Dosta Playhouse, 122 N. Ashley St.

More information: Call (229) 24-STAGE or visit

What: The local theatre organization continues presenting its traditional Main Stage season of shows and its children Gingerbread Players productions.


– “The Game’s Afoot”: Playwright Ken Ludwig has a way with funny shows set in the 1930s. Theatre Guild included Ludwig’s hilarious “Lend Me a Tenor” as part of its past season. Now it opens a new year with this Ludwig comedy centered on Sherlock Holmes … kinda. Synopsis: “It is December 1936, and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ has invited his fellow cast members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. It is then up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.” — Samuel French. Run dates: Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, 7-9.

– Valentine’s Dinner & Show: A 30th Season Celebration Show. Run dates: Feb. 14-16.

– “A Little Murder Never Hurt Anybody”: Playwright Ron Bernas pens a whodunit, comedy mystery. Synopsis: “This six-character comedy is a spoof of and love letter to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and to stage mysteries in general. It is a one-set, two-act piece featuring witty dialogue and slapstick comedy. The play opens with the rich, bored Matthew promising to kill his rich, bored wife, Julia, so he can become a jet setter like his friend who recently lost his wife. Julia, who’s always about three steps ahead of him, plays along. And so the game begins — a hilarious year-long match of wits and the witless.” — Samuel French. Why is Theatre Guild presenting two comedy mysteries? No mystery. “Death in Them Thar Hills,” presented last season, was a sold-out success for Theatre Guild. Run dates: March 21-23, 28-30.


– “Winnie the Pooh”: A stage version of A.A. Milne’s classic tales based on his son, Christopher Robin, and his toys. Run dates: May 9-11, 16-18.


Rehearsals are regularly held 7:30 p.m. Mondays in the weeks prior to concert dates, Messiah Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall, 500 Baytree Road. There are no auditions. First rehearsal, Jan. 8. Membership is open to anyone attending rehearsals.

Director: Adrienne Reissiger.

– Spring concert to be announced.


Where: Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery, VSU Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood.

Gallery hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays.

Admission: Free.

More information: Call (229) 333-5835 or visit


— Valdosta National 2019, all-media juried competition. Run dates: Jan. 22 through Feb. 8. Reception: 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.

— “Mixed Bag: An Assortment of Contemporary Craft.” Run dates: Feb. 18 through March 8. Reception: 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18.

— Student Competition. Run dates: March 25 through April 12. Reception: 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, March 25.

— Spring Senior Exhibition. Run dates: April 20 through May 6. Reception: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 20.


Where: Whitehead Auditorium, VSU Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood.

More information, tickets: Call (229) 333-2150; or visit


— “Carmen,” famed opera by Georges Bizet. VSU Opera presents the concert version. Run dates: Jan. 18-20. 


Where: Theatres in the VSU Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood.

More information: Call (229) 333-5973 or visit


— “Tortoise vs. Hare 2: This Time It’s Personal” by playwright Sean Abley. The show is the annual Theatre for Youth production. “Everyone knows that the slow-and-steady Tortoise beat the bragging Hare in the famous race — but when their great-grandkids Ro-Shell the tortoise and Jack Rabbit are talked into a rematch, anything could happen. The race will be on live TV and their friends have a lot of ideas about how Ro-Shell and Jack can beat one another, but only good sportsmanship can win the day in this zany, lighthearted retelling of the classic fable,” according to a synopsis by Playscripts. The show will travel to schools throughout South Georgia and North Florida during February. Tour dates are available, according to university officials. Public performances are scheduled for Feb. 8, 9, Sawyer Theatre.

— “Intimate Apparel” by Lynn Nottage, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. A lonely black seamstress sews intimate apparel for mostly white customers at the start of the 20th century. She saves money and dreams of opening a salon that will treat black women like the white women who are her sewing customers. She also falls in love. The play is reportedly based on the life of the playwright’s great-grandmother. It is scheduled to run Feb. 21-26, Lab Theatre.

— “The Mystery of Edwin Drood: A Musical” by Rupert Holmes. Described as a “Dickensian who-done-it,” the musical is based on Charles Dickens’ unfinished final novel. The show turns the unfinished murder mystery into a comedy that interacts with the audience. The show is scheduled to run April 4-11, Sawyer Theatre.

— Emerging Artists Series features graduating VSU Theatre & Dance seniors presenting a variety of works. Run dates: 7:30 p.m., April 25-27; 3 p.m., April 28, Sawyer Theatre.


— “Sleeping Beauty,” Mathis City Auditorium, 2300 N. Ashley St. VSU Theatre & Dance continues the tradition with the Valdosta School of Ballet. The 2019 “Princess Ballet” is “Sleeping Beauty.” “This production will be fun for everyone as this classic tale is told in dance, featuring musical excerpts by Tchaikovsky and other composers, a beautiful ballerina, a charming prince and an evil fairy,” according to VSU Theatre. Shows raise scholarship funds for VSU Theatre & Dance majors. Run dates: 7:30 p.m., Jan. 25; 3 p.m., Jan. 26.

— Dancing with the Valdosta Stars, James H. Rainwater Conference Center. The annual event pairs Valdosta celebrities with dance pros. Raises scholarship funds for VSU Theatre & Dance students and VSU music students. Run date: April 13.


Where: Whitehead Auditorium, VSU Fine Arts Building, corner of Oak and Brookwood. Exceptions noted.

More information: Call VSU College of the Arts Outreach at (229) 333-2150 or visit

Conductor: Howard Hsu.


– Feb. 16: Casual Classics, Canadian Brass.

— March 30: Brahms’ “Schicksalslied,” Op. 54, Valdosta State University Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, Valdosta Symphony Chorus, Carol Krueger, chorus master; Strauss’ “Das Rosenband, Allerseelen, Zueignung” with Tamara Hardesty, soprano; Brahms’ Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 73.

– May 4: Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A Minor.