About this project
"JOHNNY MERCER & ME" is a drama with music, which will be performed in Savannah, Georgia in November 2012.
"JOHNNY MERCER & ME!" is a tour de force on the often-tormented life of popular American songwriter and singer John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer. Through the eyes of Mercer's longtime colorful younger friend and confidante - the fiercely independent Maxine - we learn about Johnny's relationships, his private life, his love of Savannah, his consuming alcoholism, his learned race and class prejudices and the anguish he and Maxine shared. The shroud of death engulfs them. Mercer deals with his impending death of a brain tumor as Maxine deals with the death of a young son to a brain tumor, and the lingering memories of the deaths of her mother and father with whom she had a love/hate relationship. Mercer suffers the imprisoning clutches of fame and takes it out on his Jewish wife. Maxine kicks off the isolating taint of poverty, boldly takes a longtime older rich lover who was "like family" in the midst of an unsatisfying marriage, and has a running discourse with God. Pivotal to the play is how both overcame their Southern roots and family dysfunctions in an era of racism, sexism and classism to live vibrant lives. The play - a searing look at fame, the limitations of love and the struggle of women in a male dominated world - climaxes in Mercer's death and Maxine's celebration of his life. Written by Miriam K. Center, this play explores selective memory and delves into the soul of the South, interlaced with some of Mercer's most popular songs such as Come Rain or Come Shine, Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River, That Old Black Magic, Accentuate The Positive and Skylark. The story is told through live flashbacks, slides, video, headlines and news articles. A wonderful celebration of Johnny Mercer's life and music.
The production dates are November 8th, 9th, and 10th and November 16th, 17th, and 18th. The production will be performed at The Muse Theatre, a perfect local theatre for this play. Other dates and venues will be announced upon booking.
"JOHNNY MERCER & ME" will be directed by Tom Coleman lll, who has celebrated over 35 years in theatre. He has served as director of Athens Creative Theatre (1987-2007) Stageside Desserts (1982-1985) The Savannah Young People's Theatre (1979-1982) and The Little Theatre Young People's Theatre (1975-1979). His favorite productions include Blood Brothers, Man of LaManhcha, 1776, See How They Run, and Last of The Red Hot Lovers.
Musical Director Chris Chandler will be playing Mercer tunes on piano as he interacts with Maxine recalling Mercer's life. Chandler has performed throughout the United States and Europe with his swing band and alone.
WRITER/PRODUCER Miriam K Center has written for Savannah Morning News, Connect Newspaper, and is the author of the novel "Scarlett O'Hara Can Go To Hell." She has owned and operated her own real estate company in Savannah and headed a charitable group "Daughters Of Destiny," which she founded and funded for over twenty years.
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