Archive for April, 2009


April 21, 2009

An American, Theatrical, salute to those who served in the armed forces and their communities. And how their talents can never be diminished.

On this past April 16th, 17th, and 18th of 2009, (A.D.), the Franklin County Veterans Memorial stage welcomed back a 67 year old COMMUNITY THEATRICAL EXTRAVAGANZA for the 49th, and final time,(for it playing there.), on its stage. Vaud-Villities was and IS the collective VOICES, DANCE SHOES and INSTRUMENTS of men and women raising money for their various passions of communal charity.

It began with the 27 men of the FIRST COMMUNITY CHURCH’S ‘Men’s GLEE CLUB’, and it grew to be the “NOTATIONALLY NOTABLE” production of various glee clubs of the COLUMBUS, OHIO area. Its growth and popularity taking it from a small high school stage to a venue that even Jimi Hendrix chose to display his talent. This assembly of ‘NEIGHBORS’ never forgot those that fought and died to create, or ASSURE, their abilities to live as they have, and DO.

Each of this year’s production began with a Men’s chorus of Servicemen, (Active, Former, and a few costumed.), entering the auditorium walking down the left and right audience aisles to enter the stage from the proscenium’s steps and cross to center stage, shaking the proffered hand of the Airforce, Marine, Navy or Coast Guard representative to the tune of “HI, NEIGHBOR”. As the chorus of men then stood on risers an HONOR GUARD carried “BETSY’S BRILLIANCE” the width of the stage, the tonal salute to each branch marking its resting point, the audience clapping cadence. And, as each branch’s song ensued those that were, or ARE, of said stood in recognition. Daughters, Sons, Children, (Grand and Great. And for the World War Two veterans… Greater still.), held elbows for stabilization. These evenings were events of THANK YOU, and a confirmation to those that may still need “healing” for the wounds of their service to this NATION.

The chronological range of song and dance was covered from the “CAKEWALK” to “All That JAZZ”. The costumer’s handiwork would stand with any, from BURBANK to the BOWERY.

Wives and Mothers.

Wives and Mothers.

The THEMATIC ‘label’: AMERICAN ORIGINALS, Saluting the Greats in American Music. And it WAS “the Melting Pot’s” melange of tastes, throughout the previous years, covering the end of the 19th century’s offerings into the 1960’s. ‘Vaudville’ has yet to relenquish its time in the spotlight in Columbus, Ohio.

To give give a small porthole of the collective talent, of the myriad of TALENT, there was a 49 year VETERAN/ PARTICIPANT by the name of Bob Potts. A graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, (Major= what we, now, call MEDIA…minor= voice, a “Lyric Baritone”.), whose resume’ includes television’s historic PUBLIC ICONS W-QED, (Pittsburg, PA), and the initial studio sessions of one Fred Rogers, (And those in his “NEIGHBORHOOD”.). Bob ran track in his youth and kept some of that “Middle Distance” energy through all these years. His musical talent has been passed to his children; his youngest now with the United States Coast Guard playing her “EIGHT TO THE BAR”.

The ways of “old” are passing, and as our way of life has dramatically changed in the past few years we are “now” finding new ways to attempt to REMAIN our strong, viable selves, remembering the THEME-SONGS to events of HAPPINESS and HORROR alike… BUT, doing so as a COMMUNITY, because we ARE ” all in this TOGETHER”. ON the stage, in FRONT of the stage, or AROUND the stage… “the show MUST go on”. And WILL. Sometimes it comes to the point when you’ve just GOT to do so by yourself. Vaud-Villities Productions will open its own stage in Columbus’ “NORTHLAND” area, (I-71 to the Morse Rd. exit east toward Newark.), in the former J.C. Penney mall building. So that there WILL BE … ” ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW”.