Talent across the age spectrum unites to make for a great Variety Show

The choir sings “America the Beautiful.” Pictured are Karen Sims, Patty Strawn, Savannah Tongate, Taylor Schoenberg, Suzanne Robinson and Joyce Huber. (Empire Press photo/ Karen Larsen)


By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

The Waterville Players “A Spring Fling” Variety Show was held at the NCW Fairgrounds April 27 and 28. Dinner was served to guests on April 27 and dessert was served on April 28.

The show included accompaniment as well as stand-alone pieces by the local band Proclaiming Brass, songs sung by a community choir, solo performances with both voice and piano, and a skit called “The Ever After” by Nathan Hartswick.

Audience members were seated on tables in front of the stage and on April 27 enjoyed a dinner of pasta, salad and bread catered by The Coyote Pass Café. On April 28 the audience was treated to dessert of cupcakes handmade by Ashley Prey and truffles handmade by Addie Tonseth.

The performances were varied, lively and included creative and eye-catching props. The “Ever After” was in the form of a talk show with a number of fairy tale characters as participants. It was quite humorous.

Solo performances included the song “The Blessing” sung by third-grader Dakota Grillo, a song called “Harry Potter” written and sung by third-grader Rosemary Holcomb, the song “Colors of the Wind” from the Disney movie Pocahontas performed by 11th grader Taylor Schoenberg, and “Shenandoah” and “Autumn Medley” performed on the piano by eighth-grader Manny Larsen.

Several songs performed by the choir were illustrated live on stage by members of the Waterville Players. One of these was the song “Daisy,” otherwise known as “Bicycle Built for Two.” The main characters were Cody Shiflett as the gentleman with the bicycle and Holcomb as Daisy. Other members of the group played colorful flowers in the garden.

Each evening an unsuspecting gentleman from the audience was recruited to sit at the front of the stage for the last song—“Build Me Up Buttercup.” The gentleman was serenaded in the accusing words of the song by the six ladies of the choir. Kem Hunter took the flak on April 27 and Alan Loebsack on April 28. Both Hunter and Loebsack handled the situation with good-natured humor though, and the audience had a good laugh to finish out the show.

Hunter and his wife Etta, former residents of Waterville, travelled from Index to see the performance and to support Waterville Players.

Kem Hunter said, “I really like to see all the kids get involved.”

He added that it made him feel good to see the children and adults work together in the performance.

Etta Hunter also enjoyed the performance.

“It is fun to come to community events like that because everyone can participate,” she said.

She added that the dinner chefs should be complimented for the meal they prepared.

The performances were a fundraiser for the group’s new storage shed and for a larger upcoming production.

In addition to the performance, the group also held a silent auction and raffle on April 27 and a raffle on April 28.

The choir performs the song “Daisy” with some help from Cody Shiflett and Rosemary Holcomb. Singing in the choir are Suzanne Robinson, Patty Strawn, Karen Sims, Taylor Schoenberg and Joyce Huber. (Empire Press photo/ Karen Larsen)

Patty Strawn serves salad for the Waterville Players dinner theater April 27. (Empire Press photos/Karen Larsen)