May 21, 2007

A beautiful theatre. A great show.

Yesterday I had the privilege of performing in a beautiful theatre, with a wonderful cast, for a great cause. The show was "A Gift of Grace...", presented by Grace Episcopal Church of Menomonie, Wisconsin.

First, the theatre. The show was in the restored Mabel Tainter Theatre. If you've never been there (and I hadn't until yesterday), try and get there to see it (or click on the 2 photos below). It's a very old vaudeville theatre in Menomonie, being completely restored and renovated. The interior was absolutely gorgeous. Wood scroll work, velour draperies and curtains, even elevator trapdoors built right into the stage (oh how I wish I knew the famous magicians that had passed through those trapdoors over the years).

The cast of the show included myself as the first half of the show, and Warren Petryk as the second half. Warren is from Wisconsin, and has been performing for more than 30 years on his own, and as part of the musical group, The Memories. He sang, played piano, and "dueted" with one of his voice students (whom I neglected to get her name). They did patriotic songs, Gospel songs, and songs from famous musicals. Together it was really, really nice.

The MC of the show, and also my very gracious host, was Mr Steve Russell, of In Capable Hands. Steve tried out some new, and funny material. The hit for the audience was the fact that Steve had forgotten his shirt. While making his shirt magically reappear back on himself, he succeeded in losing the rear end of his pants. Thank heavens for funny boxer shorts! It was a riot. Steve, and his wife Kobi, travel around the U.S. with their variety shows, including a recent appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. (Quick note: Steve & I first met way back in 1986 while working at Disneyland. Over the years we sort of lost touch with each other, and just recently got back in touch. AND, Steve & Kobi met each other while both were involved in Ringling Brothers' Clown College! There's a unique story for ya.)

The reason for the event was to raise money for the Interfaith Food Pantry of Dunn County. Local sponsors paid the costs of the show, so that all ticket money, and bakery sale goods, would go directly to the food pantry.

Grace Episcopal Church is a growing congregation of people filled with a spirit of service, community involvement, and love. They are preparing to move into their new, larger facility in Menomonie. Pray that their growth is continual, and that they will be able to continue offering the community events such as these. I'm thankful to have been offered a part of this fun event.

Please pray for those I mentioned in this entry, that they would continue to have a great impact on not only the Menomonie area, but around the United States and anywhere else they get the opportunity to perform and minister to.

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