“Ars Gratia Artis” – The Latin slogan beneath the MGM lion, misquoted as “art for art’s sake.”
For one glorious but far too short week, I sat alone in a darkened theatre watching in amazement while five spectacular ladies — Heather Anderson, Brianna Hertzberg, Troy Jackson, Jenae Thompson and Kendall Anne Thompson — put together, polished and perfected splendid performances of the songs I grew up on. I took notes in the dark, my only light source the reflection from the silver shimmer curtain that backs the stage, afterwards coaxing the actresses to decode from my scribbling what pseudo-brilliant advice I could shower on what was already a phenomenon of ’60s music.
The artists who generously gave of their talent, time and artistry to further this endeavor, the Roxy, each donated to this past weekend’s Gala fundraiser a work of their particular discipline, each one, of course, unique and each a gift, a doffing of the hat toward the further enrichment of the arts in Montgomery County. My head is still reeling from the Gala and the artistry of Sharla Adams, Piper Bell, Guy Bozard, Olen Bryant, Susan Bryant, John Butler, LuAnnette Butler, Tony Centonze, Chef Corey, Curtis Davis, Mike Fink, Leah Foote, Nada Fuqua, Bob Gandy, Gerald Gilman, Alan Goldstein, Lynne Griffey, Audrey Griggs, Jim Hancock, Peg Harvill, Mary Hoffpauir, Richard Hogan, Heidi Hopkins, Bruce Jobe, Sue Klaus, Judy Lewis, Cindy Marsh, Larry Martin, Gail Meyer, MaryBeth Newman, Beverly Parker, Rich Pugh, Billy Renkl, Kimberly Santiago, David Smith, Steven Walker, Holly Weidman, Dennis West, Cliff Whittaker and Greg Williamson. They all share in the celebration and are a part of the continuation and growth of the Roxy, while adding to the greater possibility of a new center for arts and education.
It is a bargain sale — a grand one at that — but still a bargain sale, as these artists garner large amounts for their work out of town. I’m reminded “… a prophet in his own land …” and it is true for artists as well. Everyone gives without concern, only that they are, with their art, helping performing artists. Because we are all in this together.
Master chef Lewis Graham and his more than efficient staff of the Bound’ry more than out-did themselves. They do that indefinable extra — which wants the word “perfect” — in bringing elegance and class to under-tent dining with impeccable service, along with fine wines proffered by Horace Heggie of Pal’s Package Store and brew donated by Charles Hand and Budweiser of Clarksville.
Partygoers bestowed many compliments on the maturity of the School of the Arts hosts and how elegantly clad they were. I am also proud and pleased by the professionalism of Della Coleman, Courtney Collins, Truman Jepson, Erin Keas, Jamie McNair, Brooke Schauer and Amy Wyer.
Beehive: The ’60s Musical Sensation continues through October 15, playing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee this Saturday, September 24.
See you at the theatre!