A five-star production

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The 2007 version of "The Show" was spectacular. If I were an entertainment critic, I would give the local production five stars and two thumbs up.

This year marked The Show's 15th production. Based on Show trivia shared at the opening of this year's performance, 112 local vocalists have performed in The Show and over 375 songs have been showcased. Hometown Sound, the Red Hots and individual performers practice about eight months a year for the annual production. Based on those numbers, our muscially gifted community members have invested quite a bit of time in making sure their audiences are treated to a first class Show year after year.

From the first number to the last, I found myself thoroughly entertained. The songs chosen for this year's Show covered a variety of musical types and included music for all generations. There was a nice mix of country, blues, pop and classic rock and a few comedic numbers thrown in for added enjoyment. This year's show featured Show veterans and some nice additions to the vocal line-up, including Patty Reed, Aaron Jamieson and Timmy Thompson. There was also a wonderful Brad Paisley song performed by John Lueckenhoff on vocals, Jordan Bailey on keyboard, Bradley Lueckenhoff on drums and Jessica Lueckenhoff on percussion - a real family affair.

As usual, Jessica Jamieson, Alicia McCullough, Tracy Waters, Josh Davison, Katie Johnson, Jordan Bailey, Blake Whitley, Carrie Beck and Chemine Swanger offered powerful vocal solos. and the Red Hots, featuring Swanger, Jennifer Evans, Jamie Smith and Carrie Beck, provided pitch perfect back-up singing. Hometown Sound was incredible and the musical arrangements were impressive. The audience was even treated to a drum number performed by the incredibly talented Greg Beck, who is also the mastermind behind The Show.

Master of ceremony duties were handled by Jon Horner and Leslie Longley who did a fantastic job of making The Show flowed smoothly from one number to the other. Both Jon and Leslie showed incredible poise and timing while on stage and created perfect transitions between performances. I also particularly enjoyed Jordan Bailey's performance of "Don't Stop Believing." He took the microphone and did an fantastic job of leading the band in a very funny rap version of the song, which proved to be one of the highlights of the night. I also would be remiss if I didn't mention Cassville's own macho men - Terry Jamieson, Josh Davison, Rodney Hughes and John Lueckenhoff - who left it all on the stage while performing the classic Village People song.

Despite being held in a gymnasium, the sound was very good, and creative staging made the production seem as if it were being performed on a theatre stage. Any investments that have been made in sound equipment recently were well worth the money. I think the sound quality was the best it's ever been.

It's always amazing to me to witness the talent that exists in our small community. The old slogan "Cassville Has It All" is especially true when it comes to the performances offered at The Show each fall. Greg Beck, Hometown Sound, the Red Hots, each featured vocalist and the host of others who work behind the scenes on getting The Show ready for the stage each year deserve a standing ovation from the entire Cassville community. We'd also like to thank Amy White, chamber executive director, and other chamber volunteers who worked in support of The Show, which also occurred in conjunction with a very successful Fall Festival and Chili Cook-Off. Good work gang.