Two lovely, bright and talented local women are up to great things this weekend.
JinHi Soucy Rand and Grace Diaz Tootle, two of Savannah's key figures in the performing arts, are each involved in their own fun and important events that are guaranteed to be great entertainment.
JinHi's new labor of love, the Indigo Arts Station - formerly the Old Freight Station Theatre on Louisville Road - is the site of a special benefit performance this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
Headlining the "Words and Music" acoustic benefit is Jason Bible of The Train Wrecks, who's joined by local musicians Lauren Lapointe, Jan Spillane and Bill DeYoung, the latter of whom you know well from his work in these pages.
Though only recently refitted as a multiuse community performance venue, Indigo Station is already going gangbusters - the classic case of the right someone coming along at exactly the right time to do the right thing.
"I'm finding that there's an interest and a need in our community for a space that's available and affordable to the artists and the culture that's in Savannah," says JinHi. "We have bookings through November, and almost all of April is full. It's a very diverse variety of events, from musicals to theatrical productions to visual arts to multimedia to film."
JinHi is literally the only person in town really able to pull this off, with a resume going back to the "glory days" of City Lights Theatre, continuing with the City's Cultural Arts Theatre, and on to collaborations with Savannah Actors Theatre and with the youth hip hop troupe AWOL (All Walks of Life).
"I think people are misled sometimes into thinking that the arts community goes through lulls just because it's not as exposed. It's constantly happening, we just don't always have access to it. That's what I'm trying to do - make it accessible," she says.
"I now know people in their mid-to-late 20s who have their own ‘good old days', and a lot of them are still producing and still performing," she says. "I want the artists of Savannah to have an opportunity to get to know each other and have a place where all are welcome to start this conversation."
Admission is $5, but JinHi says give what you can - and more's great too!
The matchless Grace Tootle meanwhile stars this weekend in a reprise of her solo show Shirley Valentine, directed by Tom Coleman at the Plantation Club at the Landings.
I was lucky enough to see Grace first do this show - the autobiographical chronicle of a working class London woman's sexual awakening - a few years back when Coleman directed it at his old spot on Victory Drive. It was one of the best things I'd seen in years.
We're lucky to have such talented people in our midst, and here's hoping they'll continue to find the support they deserve.
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