Once again, the Macon Civic Club is set to play the music and light the lights as their anticipated extravaganza returns to take over the Grand Opera House in Downtown Macon!
This marks the 59th year that some of Central Georgia’s most talented women and men will come together to sing, dance, and hopefully make audiences laugh in the name of charity. Certainly, it’s a special night for the performers– but with the excitement comes satisfaction in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars raised for local organizations.
It’s that community-minded sense of drive that keeps 2020 Civic Club show chairman Reeves Minton and others coming back again and again.
“Over the last four or five years, we gave approximately $200,000 plus to approximately 60 charities in our area,” says Reeves. He notes the success of his predecessor and fellow Civic Club member David Wilson. “He had a good run, and we hope to be able to replicate that. The more people we have attend and buy tickets, the more successful it is, the more money we’re able to give away. It’s a great, GREAT show, great organization, and we just hope to keep on giving to people right here in our community.”
The latest Civic Club production is entitled Light My Fire and that theme will feature throughout the revue’s musical selections. Baxter James will perform the Doors classic with Reeves calling it the “highlighted song.”
“There are 19 songs total in the show,” he confirms. “There are probably four or five to have a fire theme. ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’, Billy Joel was one… ‘Fire on the Mountain’, Marshall Tucker… There is ‘Fire and Rain’, James Taylor…”
But the true highlight of Light My Fire, Reeves claims, is the return of Nan Solomon who will be marking her 57th appearance for the Civic Club.
“She is performing the song ‘I’m Still Here’. It is a number from the Follies, the Carol Burnett version of the Follies. So it’s kind of a Broadway number,” says Reeves proudly. “I’ve seen her practice. She is a true talent! She goes in there and makes one take of it and moves on to somebody else. We are super excited that she decided to do it again.”
Of course, comedy also plays a major role in the Civic Club’s shows and this year will be no different. According to Reeves, there will be a special SNL-styled Jeopardy skit featuring a Macon theme.
“Alan King is head of the comedy guys,” says Reeves. “They kind of do their own thing, but it’s going to be great!”
Though this will be Reeves Minton’s first outing as chairman, it will be his tenth as part of the Civic Club show. He reflects on some of the changes and improvements during that time and acknowledges that any limit to the production has long been surpassed. He credits a past performance of the Allman Brothers Band’s “Jessica” as a particular memory of his time with the show.
“They kind of at some point said, ‘You know, we maybe can’t do some songs.’ And I think now you can with the talent, with Baxter [James] and Ryan Mims and John Lewis and Rachel Lewis,” Reeves remembers. “ ‘Jessica’ was a big number and they pulled it off– better than they even thought they could! It was a very good moment.”
In 2019, the Macon Civic Club added Bragg Jam and Rooms From the Heart to their growing list of supported charities. This year, Macon Outreach and Historic Macon will join those and others including the Museum of Arts & Sciences, Boys & Girls Club of Central Georgia, Crescent House at Navicent Health, Heart of Georgia DDM, and many, many more. The Civic Club’s Light My Fire is a fun and entertaining way to give back to the community! But if you want a ticket, you’d better hurry!
“These are some very talented people. This is not their profession, and they do this to benefit our community,” Reeves says. “Real talented people that have given up a month plus of their evenings through this winter so far. Every night, they’re practicing or meeting with the band– or you’ve got people that build the set– and these people have given up 30 days of their evenings to put on a show and that will hopefully give away just as much money as we did the year before. Come out for a great cause and have fun– ’cause we’re all having fun, and it’s a great environment!”
And will we see Reeves Minton himself on stage?
“I cannot sing one note or play a guitar or really dance. But I’ll get out there and humiliate myself,” he laughs. “A lot of the participants are just dancers and Sylvia Haynie probably has the toughest job of teaching us all how to dance!”