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MACON CIVIC CLUB’S 57th MUSICAL REVUE

The Macon Civic Club’s annual Musical Review, “Shake it Up,” will be bringing all this and more to you on Wednesday, January 31 through Saturday, February 3rd at the Grand Opera House, with all proceeds going directly to benefit a variety of local charities.

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If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing some of middle Georgia’s best, brightest community leaders taking the stage to shake what their mamas gave them and belt out tunes like “Conga” by Gloria Estefan, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band, and “I Wanna Rock” by Dee Snider, you’re in luck. The Macon Civic Club’s annual Musical Review, “Shake it Up,” will be bringing all this and more to you on Wednesday, January 31 through Saturday, February 3rd at the Grand Opera House, with all proceeds going directly to benefit a variety of local charities.

The show, which is in its 57th consecutive year, features a different theme annually – each February a new showrunner is assigned, and by October they’ve brainstormed a theme, a list of songs that suit that theme, and an idea of who should sing those songs. Chris Wilson, this year’s show chairman, describes “Shake it Up” as “a real Brunswick stew… it’s basically a 1988 mixtape.” Wilson and his wife came up with the eclectic, high-energy song list together; in addition to the songs already mentioned, you’ll be hearing The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” Dean Martin’s “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head,” Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” tributes to both Tom Petty and Gregg Allman, and more. As to who will be performing these songs, Wilson says “I like a little misdirection. I love songs that are traditionally sung by males being sung by females, unexpected stuff like that. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here, just trying to come at it from a different angle.” Intriguing, right?

“Looking at my calendar for this week, I see practices scheduled for every night,” says Wilson. “All these local folks are reorganizing their lives for a month to get this done, all these families are willing to do all these little things to make this show better, and that’s so pleasantly surprising to me, because in the end we all know it’s not about us being good for good’s sake, it’s about getting people to come fill up seats so we can raise money for these charities to make our communities better.” Several middle Georgia creative powerhouses – musical director Laura Voss, choreographer Sylvia Haynie, and artistic director Jim Crisp – have worked with the revue for years. “Laura and Sylvia spend countless hours bringing the group together and making this dream a reality, and I can’t say enough about Jim Crisp,” says Wilson. “He’s the straw that stirs the drink at the end. They’re all consummate professionals and we love them.”

The Civic Club is proud to give back to around sixty middle Georgia charities – keeping the money local so as to improve our communities is of utmost importance to them. Among many others, proceeds from this event will benefit Jay’s Hope, which improves quality of life for Georgia kids with cancer and their families; Covenant Care Adoption; Next Step Recovery, a local addiction resource; ARC of Macon, which improves the lives of citizens with developmental disabilities by offering access to jobs, activities, and places to live; and Crescent House, an advocacy center that provides services to abused children. (Cool fact: the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of DA David Cooke, will be matching every dollar donated to Crescent House.)

Talking to Wilson, it’s readily apparent how meaningful this experience is for all involved – “When February hits and this is all over and we’re back to normal, I get depressed,” he says. “I’ve been working with these dynamic people every day for so long, and when it’s over, I’m just in a funk. I miss it. I can’t say enough about the members of this organization and the effort they put into this.” There is one thing that helps lift his spirits, though – “I can’t lose sight of what we’re doing this for – the best part of the whole thing, after all the smoke has cleared, is getting to go give these checks out to these charities.”

Do your part to give back to the community while having some fun in the process  – get your tickets today! “Shake it Off” runs from Wednesday, January 31 through Saturday, February 3rd at the Grand Opera House. Ticket Prices: $18 for Wednesday, $20 for Thursday, $40 for Friday (this includes a pre-show cocktail party), and $20 for Saturday. Showtime is 7:30 pm each night, with Friday night’s cocktail party beginning at 6:15 pm in front of the Grand on Mulberry Street. For tickets, call Grand Opera House at 478-301-5470, visit their box office at 651 Mulberry Street, or purchase online at www.MaconCivicClub.com.

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