Saturday, January 15, 2011

Local Talent Belts It Out

June 1967
  The Ed Sullivan Show it ain’t.
  But on TV you can’t find your neighbor doing the Can-Can, your friend being socked by a sack of flour or your choir director belting out songs ala Moulin Rouge.
  The curtain came down Saturday night on the fourth Red Stocking Revue sponsored by the Junior Woman’s Club. It was unquestionably a financial success and the proposed Teen Club will be the chief benefactor this time. In previous years the money went to the new Crittenton Hospital.
  THE REVUE IS always a major undertaking, even for the big and energetic Junior Woman’s Club. Because a director from New York is hired to direct the show, work doesn’t even start until he arrives two weeks before curtain time. Putting together a show in two weeks with mostly an amateur cast is no easy task. Most of those appearing hadn’t been on a stage since the last Revue— if ever.
  So one doesn’t go to the Revue with hope of seeing a polished professional production. The goofs are evident. But usually they result in another laugh. Director Lou Kief said he never had to throw together a show in such a hurry.
  With a cast of around 100 people, there’s not enough space to give everyone credit. Without the benefit of an applause meter, it seemed that the biggest audience response went to Mrs. Lloyd Lake in the comedy routine as Bubbles LaRue, Barbara Rosalik, who sang the “Housekeeper’s Lament” and a gang of 30 teens who really belted out a number, “We’re Hungry” and later danced and sang to a “Girl Watching” routine. Then there was Joyce Contrucci who sang “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
  Always bringing down the house are the routines where men take on ballerina roles. Dancing to “Flower Garden Ballet” were Ed Howe, Walt Kowalczyk, Lloyd Lake, Marty McMurray, Roger Knapp, Bob Jackson, Tad Kubiak and Tom Trenary, with Conrad Patrick as Little Lord Fauntleroy.
  BUT SOME REAL eye-filling dancing was performed several times by the Rockettes composed of Leah Haugh, Geri Waderlow, Lou Bandemere, Fran Rhoton, Nancy Cavan, Marilyn Toohey, Betty Trenary, Carole Chekaluk, Marcia Meyer, Norma Knapp, Charlotte Buller and Gail Bothwell.
  In the singing department, Marguerite Marshall and Frank Irish, both choral directors in their own right, were audience pleasers. Two physicians also starred. One was Dr. Peter Duhamel who appeared in a slow-motion act with Peggy Trieloff and Tad Kubiak and Dr. Loren Siffring, who both danced and was one of the Kops.
  The two Revue nights probably represented the largest force of Rochester people ever appearing in Utica at one time. It was staged at Utica High School because an adequate theatre was not available here. By the end of this year, however, the Rochester High School auditorium should be completed, hopefully ending the problem of finding an auditorium for local events.
  EVEN DURING the short two-night stand of the Red Stocking Revue, at least two members of the cast had to learn the hard way the old maxim how “the show must go on.” Two people who sat in the audience Friday night, Mrs. Dorothy Hull and Thomas Hutchinson, were killed in an auto accident an hour after the play. One of Mrs. Hull’s closest friends was Mrs. Lake who with her husband, Lloyd, had to perform again Saturday night. “It was terrible, simply terrible,” Mrs. Lake said as she had to repeat her skit of the night before.