It’s been four years since Lil Greenwood passed away and one long-sought honor has been unrealized. That changes on Monday, April 27 at 6 p.m., when the Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (MOJO) will unveil a stone marker dedicating a tree outside Gulf City Lodge (601 State St.) in memory of Mobile’s First Lady of Jazz and Blues. Greenwood sang with the international superstar Duke Ellington from the 1950s until the bandleader’s death in 1974.
The jazz society spent the last four years seeking a location for the memorial to Greenwood, a contemporary of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan whose passing was noted in national jazz circles and in media outlets as notable as the Washington Post. Efforts to place a monument in one of Mobile’s most prominent public spaces initially earned acceptance then were thwarted. The imminent affair is a welcome relief for the group of arts boosters.
The commemoration will feature several dignitaries along with the Excelsior Band. At 6:30 p.m., the festivities move indoors where a band featuring former James Brown drummer Jabo Starks and Pensacola vocalist Erma Granat will perform Greenwood’s favorite songs. Also on tap are some remembrances of Greenwood by those who knew and performed with her in addition to an exhibit from the History Museum of Mobile.
Entrance to the inside show is $12, $10 for students and military with ID and $8 for MOJO members. A light jambalaya dinner is included in the price and a cash bar will be available.
The event is being made possible with a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. MOJO is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and member of the Mobile Arts Council.
For more information, call 251-459-2298 or go to mojojazz.org.
Dastardly deeds afoot at MTG
Lawrence Jameson is a man who knows how to get what he wants from the ladies, mainly their money. When the successful con man runs into fellow swindler Freddy Benson on the French Riviera, the two end up as rivals in a town too small for both. They make a deal: the first to bilk $50,000 out of a young heiress gets to stay in town while the other has to beat it.
“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Musical” was based on the 1988 film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. The battle of wits was set to music, planned for the stage and raked in 10 Tony Award nominations in 2005, including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score.
Now Mobile Theatre Guild at 14 N. Lafayette St. brings this comedy to the local stage. The mighty mite playhouse has a pair of weekends of fun.
The show runs April 24-26 and May 1-3. Evening shows are at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $20, $15 for seniors, students and active military.
For more info, call 251-433-7513 or go to mobiletheatreguild.org.
South Baldwin company stages O. Henry classic
In bucolic Summit, Alabama there’s one predominant drawback to the town and it comes in the form of Johnny Dorset, described as a “two-legged skyrocket of a kid” whose eternal mischief keeps residents on edge. When a pair of con men abduct Dorset to extract ransom from his mother, it’s the kidnappers who have erred.
The relieved townspeople refuse to help the sheriff search for Dorset as the criminals realize the enormity of their mistake and plight at the hands of the terror. Before long, Dorset has brought lured pals to the hideout and the con men are in need of relief.
The musical comedy “Ransom of Red Chief” is based on the O. Henry short story of the same name. Written in two acts, the South Baldwin Community Theatre presentation work will unfold at 2022 W. 2nd St., in Gulf Shores.
Shows are slated for April 24-26 and May 1-3. Friday and Saturday curtain is at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Two extra student shows have been added for April 30, at 8:30 a.m. and 12.30 p.m.
Tickets are $18, $15 for students.
This play is produced by special arrangement with Pioneer Drama Service, Inc. of Englewood, Colorado.
For more info, call 251-968-6721 or go to sbct.biz.
Congrats to Mobile student artists
Students from area schools won top honors in the Alabama State Council on the Arts 2015 Visual Arts Achievement Program and will receive awards on April 24 in Montgomery. The juried exhibition involves a pair of age clusters, Group 1 for grades 6 to 8 and Group 2 for grades 9 to 12.
This year, the Best of District 1 – Group 1 is “A Duck on the Lake,” a computer image by sixth grader Mary Mac Roach, a student of Karin Marrero at Covenant Christian School; the Best of District 1 – Group 2 is “Orchestral Emersion,” a mixed media piece by eleventh grader Anna Alford, a student of Felicia Olds at St. Paul’s Episcopal School.
District 1 had three other statewide winners:
Best of Painting – Group 1: “Melodious Mystery” by Raymond Li, an eighth-grade student of Julie Kogon at St. Paul’s Episcopal School.
Best of Printmaking – Group 1: “Fluff Stuff” by Ashton Roach, a sixth-grade student of Karin Marrero at Covenant Christian School.
Best of Printmaking – Group 2: “Zebra Stripes” by Ashley Forwood, an eleventh-grade student of Felicia Olds at St. Paul’s Episcopal School.