By Rick Palsgrove
Take a musical trip through time with the Groveport Madison Area Community Choir at their upcoming show, “That’s Entertainment: A Sentimental Journey.”
The show, performed live by the 64 member choir, will feature songs and dancing from the 20th and 21st centuries. It will be held Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Groveport Madison High School auditorium, 4475 S. Hamilton Road.
“The show will highlight music and events that impacted the world over the years,” said Groveport Madison Area Community Choir Director Terri Christensen. “There will also be historic photos and videos shown before and during the show, at intermission, and afterwards. We will also have some special surprises in the theatre lobby.”
This is the fourth year the group has put on large musical show.
“We try to make it a little different each year,” said Christensen. “There will be lots of colorful costumes reflecting the various eras. We also try to cram in as much music as we can. There will be singing and dancing as well as some sing alongs of songs everyone knows so we can engage with the audience.”
Musical selections will range from a Beatles medley to songs such as, “Friends From Low Places,” by Garth Brooks.
Choir member Beth Cordle said she will perform the song, “Respect,” made famous by Aretha Franklin, in the show.
“I love the song and those are big shoes to fill,” said Cordle of Franklin.
Added Christensen, “There will be a variety of songs from across the years. We could do two or three shows of ‘60s music alone because there was so much music and it was all so different. Everything was changing then.”
Christensen said a special feature of the show will be a musical tribute to Groveport Madison High School alumni, since this will be the last year the group’s annual show, as well as other theatrical performances, will be held at the school’s auditorium. The school will be demolished this summer to make way for the new high school.
“It’s our last show on the current stage,” said Christensen. “We’ll miss the place, but we’ll have our memories. Many people have performed on this stage over the years.”
Walt Williamson, a 2004 Groveport Madison graduate who participated in theatre in school and is now a current member of the community choir, is glad to have a last chance to be on the old stage.
“It will be really cool,” said Williamson. “I’ll walk back stage to see my name on the wall for the last time.” (It’s a Cruiser theatre tradition for the students to write their names on the wall back stage.)
Cordle, a 1997 Groveport Madison graduate, said of the old auditorium, “I performed there many times, but I’m sure the new school’s auditorium will be very nice.”
Cordle recalled performing on the old stage in “The Velveteen Rabbit” as a bunny and toy boat when she was a Cruiser thespian.
“It was fun,” said Cordle. “You learn a lot along the way and theatre helps shape you. Theatre teaches you good skills to use throughout your life.”
Christensen encouraged people to gather friends and family and come to the show.
“You can look around and share memories,” said Christensen. “But hopefully we’ll create new ones in the future. We’re excited to see the new school and what it has to offer.”
Christensen said the community choir brings people together who otherwise might not meet up.
“We have all this talent in the community,” said Christensen. “The group creates a connection. We’re like a family. We laugh, sing, and pray together. We care about each other.”
Williamson said being in the community choir is fun and is also a good way “to give back.”
Cordle said the show creates bonds in the community.
“My whole family is involved,” said Cordle. “It brings everyone together.”
Christensen said the rehearsals for “That’s Entertainment: A Sentimental Journey” have gone well and everybody has a good time.
“Everyone always comes through, from the performers to all the volunteers who baby sit, pick up costumes, and do whatever is asked of them to enable us to create this show,” said Christensen.
Christensen said community support has been “amazing.” She noted Paddock Pub in Groveport, the show’s premier sponsor, has been especially helpful.
“They hosted our gala fundraiser and our wrap up parties,” said Christensen. “They’re supportive in every way.”
“That’s Entertainment: A Sentimental Journey” will help raise funds for the Center for Groveport Madison Human Needs. Christensen said that, in addition, this year it will also raise funds for the Groveport Madison High School arts programs.
“Without them we cannot do this,” said Christensen of the school’s arts programs.
Tickets for the show are $1o for adults and $5 for kids age 12 and under. Tickets are available at the door as well as at Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St., Motts Military Museum, 5075 S. Hamilton Road, and from any Groveport Madison Area Community Choir member.