Historian Tom McGehee has carved a respected niche for himself as director of Bellingrath Home Museum and as a historical columnist. He will also lead a pair of discussions on treasures of Mobile’s past, both present and absent.

On Thursday, Jan. 14, at noon, McGehee will tell an audience about Mobile’s famous and fabled architectural treasures now passed. The gathering at Government Street Presbyterian Church (300 Government St., at the corner of Government and Jackson) is part of a monthly lunch series.

Lunch costs $10 and is served at noon. The free forum starts at 12:30 p.m. Call 251-432-1749 for more information.

McGehee will speak on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at 10:30 a.m. at his usual haunt, Bellingrath Gardens and Home (12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road). The subject will be the furnishing of the historic home near Fowl River in south Mobile County. He will take the assembly on a special behind-the-ropes tour of the home and describe the antique appointment.

Cost is $13, $7.50 for ages 5-12, free for members and those 4-years-old and younger. For more information, call 251-973-2217.


Book reading by author Perez
Mobile author and playwright Thomas Joseph Perez has debuted his latest book, devoted to chronicling the last half of the life of his mother, Alyce Hicks Perez. The work, “Hickory Goes to Heaven,” is a follow-up to the first half of her life as documented in “Love, Hickory: A Southern Lady Prevails at 99.” The centenarian’s portrait is filled with the kind of style, faith and courage that earned a swath of 20th century Americans the “Greatest Generation” moniker, along with the outrageous humor that marks one of Mobile’s storied families.

Perez will host a reading and book signing on Saturday, Jan. 16, from 2-4 p.m. at the Moorer Branch of the Mobile Public Library (4 S. McGregor Ave.). No purchase is necessary to attend the reading.

For more information, call Perez at 251-300-7650, Nancy Anlage at 251-208-7097 or email [email protected].


Congrats to Mobile artists
Since its inception in 2013, the Lake City, South Carolina, festival ArtFields has honored artists from across the Southeast with a week-long celebration and $110,000 in cash prizes awarded based on input from visitors and a panel of acclaimed judges and educators. The top prize itself is $50,000 and three others are worth over $10,000.

More than 400 works are displayed in a variety of locally owned venues, from renovated Jazz Age warehouses to Smithsonian-qualified art galleries to upscale restaurants and start-up boutiques. Among the 383 artists accepted for display are a pair of Mobilians, Conroy Hudlow and Lauren Woods.

The event takes place April 22-30. The ArtFields 2016 Competition Artwork Gallery will be available online in March.

To learn more about ArtFields 2016, visit artfieldssc.org or find the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


JJP auditions for comedic horror musical
The Joe Jefferson Players will hold auditions for the play “Little Shop of Horrors” next week. The musical comedy about a nebbishy and lovelorn florist who raises a man-eating plant will run April 1-17 for nine performances.

Tryouts are Monday, Jan. 18, and Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. at Joe Jefferson Playhouse (11 S. Carlen St.). Call-backs if needed will be Thursday, Jan. 21, also at 6 p.m.

Auditioners are asked to bring piano music and be prepared to sing 16 to 32 bars of a song. A pianist will be present, so no a capella or recorded music will be needed. The leads called for are a male tenor (low Bb to top A), a female low (A to belted D), a female trio (low alto to high belt), a baritone (low Ab to top F), a baritone (low A to top F) and a booming bass/baritone. Other roles will be available as well.

A more thorough description of roles along with an audition form can be found at joejeffersonplayers.com/on-stage/auditions/. You can also visit JJP’s Facebook page.