MOUNTAIN TRAVELER: Puttin' on the Ritz

  • The Ritz Theatre's marquee lights up Doyle Street in downtown Toccoa
    The Ritz Theatre's marquee lights up Doyle Street in downtown Toccoa
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Season 3 of the Night at the Ritz series will continue through May 2020, at Toccoa’s restored and historic Ritz Theatre.

Described by theater general manager Tami Mayhugh as “Toccoa’s hottest event,” Night at the Ritz features a diverse selection of musical acts and performing arts designed to promote the arts in the northeast Georgia area.

Night at the Ritz is funded, in part, through a generous grant received from the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and Main Street Toccoa.

“Main Street Toccoa is eternally thankful for GCA’s and the NEA’s support of the arts in Stephens County,” said Main Street Director Christian Hamilton. “These shows would not be possible without dedicated grant funding from these organizations.

The Ritz Theatre venue plays a starring role in the series, too.

Originally constructed as a movie theater in 1939, the City of Toccoa obtained the building in 2014, and undertook extensive renovations, including the addition of a 1940s-era marquee in 2016.

The renovated building opened with great fanfare in 2016, and this year had its balcony area updated, restored and renovated.

Country music star Linda Davis kicked off Season 3 of Night at The Ritz with a concert in August. Other acts scheduled for the 2019-2020 season include:

• Trumpeter Joe Grandsen and his Big Band-era sound, Oct. 3. The concert is titled A Tribute to the Great American Songbook featuring Robin Latimore.

• The stage production of WVL Radio Theater: The Headless Hessian of Sleepy Hollow, Oct. 24.

• A free concert by the Truett-McConnell University Ensemble, Nov. 14.

• Bennie Wheels & Walkin’ the Line, a tribute to the late Johnny Cash, Nov. 16.

• The Country Christmas of Wilson Fairchild, Dec. 7.

• Mario the Magician, Jan. 31, 2020.

• Renowned jazz musician and Toccoa native Milkshake Mayfield, Feb. 13, 2020.

• The Toccoa Falls College Jazz Ensemble, March 6, 2020.

• Fleetwood Max, a tribute to Fleetwood Mac, April 18, 2020.

• Bluegrass musician and Eastanollee resident Edgar Loudermilk, May 7, 2020.

For more information about the theater or Night at the Ritz, contact Mayhugh via email to tmayhugh@cityoftoccoa.com or call 706-244-0039.