SAVANNAH — “Johnny Mercer and Me!,” an original play based on the life of American songwriter and singer John Mercer, will be performed Jan. 25-26 at the Averitt Center for the Arts at the Emma Kelly Theater in Statesboro.
Written by Miriam K. Center, the musical tribute to the Savannah-born songwriter will be presented by the Savannah Community Theatre. Mercer and Kelly were lifelong friends, and Mercer gave Kelly her iconic title, “The Lady of 6,000 Songs,” for her encyclopedic knowledge of popular music.
As seen through the eyes of Mercer’s longtime friend and confidante, Maxine, the production focuses on Mercer’s relationships, his private life, his love of Savannah and his consuming alcoholism. Mercer deals with his impending death of a brain tumor, while Maxine deals with the death of a young son and the lingering memories of the deaths of her mother and father.
“This musical is a wonderful celebration of the life and works of Johnny Mercer,” said Tom Coleman III, director of the Savannah Community Theatre. “This show is a labor of love written by someone who knew the four-time Academy Award winner on a deep and personal level. I’m proud to be part of it.”
Songs include Mercer hits like “Something’s Gotta Give,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “The Days Of Wine And Roses,” “Moon River,” “Blues In The Night,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Skylark,” “One More For The Road,” and eight more familiar Mercer tunes. The show also introduces “A Merry Christmas to You All” — a song written by Mercer and the show’s musical director, Chris Chandler.
Showtime is 7:30 nightly. Tickets range from $18-$25, with youth tickets available for $10. For reservations, call 912-212-2787 or go to averittcenterforthearts.org. For additional information, call the Savannah Community Theatre at 912-247-4644 or go to savannah communitytheatre.com.