As problems go, it’s not a bad one to have. But that doesn’t make it any less annoying.
Regular readers of this space have heard my past observations on the cycles of our cultural calendar and how things tend to bunch together in a couple of months. I’m not special in this observation, as any arts-active, longtime Mobilian can attest.
Come April, suddenly those who longed for more choices are left bedraggled for lack of available time to get to everything piquing their interest. October is the same.
Just look at the date of this Lagniappe issue, Oct. 17. On that one day, there’s the opening of “Night Watch” at Theatre 98 in Fairhope. As highlighted in last issue’s Art Gallery section, this thrilling play is a perfect accompaniment to Halloween season.
There’s a good chance theatre supporters have youngsters on whom that love rubbed off and they’re likely to be involved in another premiere. Sunny Side Theater is opening “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” the same evening. Directed by Azalea City Center for the Performing Arts Director Chris Paragone, the show boasts 39 actors on a cast that will tread the boards at the Moorer Center for the Performing Arts at St. Luke’s High School (1400 University Blvd.). The production only runs three nights.
Meanwhile, the Historic Mobile Preservation Society has its monthly educational program that same evening at the Oakleigh estate. Refreshments are served at 5:45 p.m. and at 6 p.m. Linda Derry, director of the Old Cahawba Historic Park – reputedly one of the most haunted sites in the state – will talk about efforts to assemble descendants of the former state capital. Admission is free for HMPS members and $10 for guests.
Over at the Gulf Coast Exploreum, they will be kicking off their Pigskin Palooza at 6 p.m. An event for those 21 and up that raises money for the Discover Science Program, it features music by Forbes Simon, admission to the museum galleries, screening of the IMAX film “To The Arctic,” fresh BBQ, beer and wine and a drawdown entry for a cash prize of $2,500. Tickets are $50.
And that’s not to mention the Mobile Arts Council’s big fundraiser, ART Works: The Throwdown 2 that was featured in last issue’s Artifice. That runs from 6 – 9 p.m.
Think that day’s logjam is an aberration? Just thumb forward two days to Oct. 19.
Right down Marine Street from Oakleigh’s favorite haunt – Callaghan’s Irish Social Club – a former LoDa arts hotspot unveils its latest incarnation. Robertson Gallery will open the doors of its new venue at 312 Marine (corner of Marine and Savannah) from 6 – 9 p.m. Proprietor and award-winning artist Brad Robertson lives a stone’s throw away and has been eagerly awaiting the relocation in an effort to cut overhead by no longer being a lessee. His new digs boast a courtyard in addition to the gallery hung with works from the owner and other established and emerging talent.
Not far from Oakleigh, the Mobile Symphony gets into the holiday spirit with Fright Night at the Saenger Theatre (6 S. Joachim St.), a Halloween Pops concert with guest conductor Robert Franz. The 8 p.m. show promises apropos accompaniment for chills and fun like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” music from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “The Addams Family,” “Vertigo,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Psycho,” “The Twilight Zone,” Berlioz, Bach and more. Attendees are asked to come in costume and the maestro assures all he will do likewise. There’s also a matinee on Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m.
Out in Langan Park, another theatrical institution geared toward youth pulls the curtain on a seasonal treat when the Playhouse in the Park (4851 Museum Drive) stages local playwright Thomas Lakeman’s “Dracula” at 7:30 p.m. The story based on the Bram Stoker classic is only $15 for entrance, but the timing puts a squeeze on supporters of local youth theater as it coincides with the aforementioned “Sleepy Hollow” production from Sunny Side.
And all of this in addition to the abundance of spooky parties that dot our personal calendars with greater frequency each year. Hey, Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday in the nation for a reason.
So is your head spinning like a child possessed yet? It shouldn’t slow down as the calendar continues this more frantic pace into what passes for autumn in these parts.
Artifice isn’t complaining, really. After several sultry months of cultural torpor, it’s nice to have a cornucopia at our disposal. I just wish the timing were better, where we could indulge in everything that sounds fun instead of the feast or famine pattern we’ve come to know.
But hope abounds. There’s got to be a trick to catching all the treats; I just haven’t scared it up yet.