By Sue Moore
A rollicking good time will take place for the 61st annual Rotary Club Showboat this year as the crew members take a trip back as time travelers, al la Jules Verne. The show goes three nights at the Vicksburg Performing Arts Center with 7 p.m. curtains on February 28 and March 1. A Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m. on March 2.
A new wrinkle in 2014 is a partnership with Boy Scout Troop 251 that will offer a spaghetti dinner previous to the show in the High School cafeteria. Tickets for dinner and the show as a package will sell for $15 each, $3 off the regular prices of $10 for the show and $8 for the meal. All the dinner proceeds will go to projects the Boy Scouts sponsor each year. All the proceeds from the Showboat performances go to the many community groups the Rotary Club funds.
The Showboat will visit Iceland in the year 1014, Georgia in 1864, Chicago in 1871, Central America in 1906, and Vicksburg, MI in 1924. How the cast and crew gets back to Vicksburg in 2014 in the proverbial rowboat they have acquired, will keep the audience in its usual suspense, says Dr. Ken Franklin, the shows director and script writer.
Rehearsal for the annual production begins with chorus practice the first Sunday in January under the leadership of Chris Garrett, music director since 2000. Mike Tichvon is the general chairman and oversees the production details. Many other Rotarians are involved in staging, ticket sales, program advertising and acquiring the many props needed for the laugh lines the crew evokes.
Dr. Lloyd Appell, who each year builds the main prop utilized in the show has outdone himself once again, says Franklin. It takes a rowboat to get the main actors in the cast to the time warp they find themselves in, so of course Appell was asked to build a three man boat that sails through the audience for the trip back in time.
This show is built for children and adults alike, featuring jokes, chorus work that is as fine as one will hear from an all-male cast, and solo numbers featuring Ed Sharp, Bob Donelson, Dusty Morris, and Charlie Glaes. The high schools Simply Men chorus is featured along with the multi-talented dancing girls who grace the PAC stage lights each year, according to Director Franklin.
Tickets for Showboat and the combo dinner will go on sale at Hill’s Pharmacy Monday, February 9. If purchasing just the dinner tickets, those can be obtained from the Boy Scouts and at the door on Friday and Saturday nights of the show.