Main Street Revue Celebrates 25th Anniversary

main street revue
Main Street Revue chorus line strikes a pose on the caboose at the Vicksburg Historic Village. On the steps from left to right are Dee Chriscoe, Lori Underwood, Violet Skrzypek, and Jan Springer the choreographer. Waving from the side are Lynne Melvin and Linda Brenton.

With its upcoming show, the Vicksburg Community Association is celebrating the 25th year of staging the Main Street Revue, a unique variety show with performers acting inside a comedic story line.

This year’s show, scheduled for October 10 and 11 at the Vicksburg Performing Arts Center, 501 E. Highway St., at 8 p.m., is set in the present day as the characters take a look at what all those years of working so closely in small town theatre have done to them emotionally.

It seems they have all developed some peculiar maladies that need to be addressed. So a visit with the doctor, a character with an unused psychology degree, is in order. Even though she’s decided to write a book about them to make up for never having been paid in this voluntary endeavor, she realizes the depths of their eccentricities are more than she can bear. The comedic mayhem that ensues is unimaginable.

Twenty-five years ago in 1989, the Main Street Revue started on the stage of the original Vicksburg High School gymnasium and five years later moved to the Performing Arts Center.

Originally, it was an emceed variety show with an Ed Sullivan style format, but eventually evolved into its current format.

“Our community and neighboring areas as well, offered so much talent, but there just seemed to be an element missing,” said Jo Miller, creator of the show. “It needed comedy.” And comedy it got.

Occurring in settings including the wild west, Sam n’ Ella’s (50’s) Diner, a turn of the century Victorian village, a down on the farm reunion, aboard the Starship USS Boobieprize, a grocery store, beauty salon, haunted opera house, Vicksburg’s own Sun Theatre, an old folks home, day care center, red neck trailer park, and a medieval castle, the show’s plots have passed through many time periods and found humor and mayhem in every place and time. There was even a hilarious, completely “black and white” murder mystery set in the 1940s.

“The humor is everywhere you look,” said Miller. “Usually the simpler it is, the funnier it is. Everyone likes to be entertained and we all certainly need to laugh. In the Main Street Revue’s two hour respite from the real world, the audiences can enjoy both of these elements.”

Choreographer Jan Springer has also been with the show for the entire 25 years.

“Her chorus lines are a constant in all our productions,” said Miller. “They are truly the one part of the show I never have to be concerned about. They always come off smoothly and Jan can choreograph anything from any era and has proven it time after time.”

Two other performers, Sheri Munn and Lynne Melvin, have also sung and danced their way through each and every production over the 25 years.

For this year’s performance, reserved seat tickets are $10 and are available at the VPAC Box Office by calling 269-321-1193.

Proceeds from the Main Street Review remain local and assist in all the VCA’s community activities and include the Old Car Festival, the Veterans Day celebration, Christmas in the Village and the Christmas Parade, and an annual scholarship for a graduating Vicksburg High School senior. The group has also made donations to the Vicksburg High School, South County Community Services, and the Vicksburg Depot Museum.

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