Mercer and still more Mercer
Savannah continues to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of favorite son Johnny Mercer, and June is a particularly fertile month for tributes to our huckleberry friend gone by.
Have your lunch with Johnny every Wednesday and Friday this month in Wright and Johnson squares. The City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs brings in local song stylists, jazz singers, and other musical types for free “Mercer on the Squares” concerts from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Mercermania carries on with a film series at the Lucas Theatre. Each of these movies prominently features music by our boy: “Charade” (Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn) on June 18 and 20; “Old Man Rhythm” (Betty Grable, Erik Rhodes and Mercer himself, in a small role), June 19 and 20.
During July, the Lucas will screen “Laura” and “Star-Spangled Rhythm.”
Joe Nelson, the Josh Maul Blues Band, The 8-Tracks and DJ Emkay will perform at a June 12 benefit concert at the Savannah Station. “For the Benefit of Statts,” with a silent auction, raffle (including fine art, vacation packages and other cool stuff) is intended to help out Savannah musician and graphic artist Jason Statts, who remains paralyzed from the neck down after a robbery/shooting last June (his assailant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison just a few months ago).
The June 12 event (4:30 p.m. auction preview, 6 p.m. start time) includes tapas dishes from a number of Savannah restaurants and caterers and complimentary wine and beer; there will also be a cash bar.
Tickets are $25 at Arcanum, Primary Art Supply and the Jinx; they’ll be $30 at the door. To learn more, see www.stattsbenefit.com.
…The upcoming BLUE film festival, June 10-14 at the Lucas Theatre and Trustees Theater, will open with the Savannah premiere of the brand-spanking-new Disney documentary “Earth,” which opened (to incredibly positive reviews) in several cities on Earth Day. The film will be introduced by Jean-Francois Camilleri, the French co-founder of the new Disneynature subsidiary. Getting Camilleri, one of the big boys behind “March of the Penguins,” for the inaugural BLUE fest is quite a coup for organizers Debbie Kinder and Mari Carswell. See bluefilmfest.com….
… Coming July 4 to Café Loco (Tybee Island): The Pyro Independent Music Festival, produced, sponsored and generally put together by your friends and mine at Dope Sandwich. The outdoor stage will feature all varieties of electrically-made music from 3 p.m. till 2 the next morning, and there’ll be acoustic acts inside. There are still performance slots available – e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. …
… As the city breathlessly awaits the start of principal photography on “The Last Song,” the first major motion picture to be lensed here in nearly a decade, it’s interesting to note that movie starring Miley Cyrus – still the only “name” cast member announced – will be produced by Adam Shankman, who directed “Hairspray,” “The Wedding Planner” and “Bringing Down the House,” among others.