Monday, February 8, 2010

It's Heart-A-Rama Time

Nothing calms the winter doldrums better than a little dose of Heart-A-Rama...and we kicked things off nicely on Sunday with our first round of auditions. We had many familiar faces in the small group of auditionees, and a few new ones. I can already tell that making decisions will be a challenge.

Check out the 1972 photo from the HAR archives. Aren't they lovely? If you missed the early years (remember, we turn 40 this year) you missed out of the demurely clad waitstaff, and dapper bartenders. From left to right...Lois Hord, Barb Bouffard-Jenkins, Ray Sturzel, (one of the founders) Dolly Stokes, Pat Chermak (founder and general co-chair for 40 years; nice going Patsy!) and Sally Kalscheaur.

I am awed, and inspired by the group that founded HAR, and grateful that they keep me around. Sometimes, I think it is for the entertainment value...if anyone is going to have a minority opinion, it's me. If anyone is going to see things from a frighteningly different point of view, it's me. If anyone is willing to add a little twist of obtuse humor, a radical spin, or chancy lyric in a skit, it's me, although Brad is climbing aboard that wagon with no hesitation. He is wonderful company.

So, I am hearing there are some bunches of people who don't care for us now that we have moved to Two Rivers. that's too bad; not much has changed, really, except the location. But, I have been thinking, (which is seldom good, and often dangerous), and have come up with a small list of advantages for audiences attending HAR in Trivers.

1. Ample parking...remember how close we all had to park to make sure there was enough space for the crowd attending the show? People could hardly get their car doors open enough to squeeze out. Every year we had to rescue more than one person wedged in, unable to escape without professional help.

2. More bathrooms...if you're new to HAR, you missed the painfully long lines at the one available, women's bathroom. The solution? Have someone stand guard while women used the men's room. No kidding. It wasn't fun, but it was necessary.

3. No more being squished in, shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, knee to butt, with your friends, and strangers.

4. Because we're in the heart of downtown TR, the merchants support us by decorating windows, and offering specials during the run.

5. Our very own Fred Schnell has taken over preparing pre-show burgers and brats. Those profits come to us, and so we have extra money for the American Heart Association. Fred looks real cute in his chef gear, and he has assemble a hard working group of grillers and servers to help out.

This is just the beginning of the advantages. Some people are distressed that hard liquor is not allowed at the Community House, but we still sell beer and wine, and that works for most.

Yup, I know it's not Jacks, but people, Jack's is gone. We miss Jacks, too, and, as nice as everyone is over at Shoreline Credit Union, they draw the line at letting us set up our circus in their lobby. We searched for just the right place to move for you, and you know what, we found it. Trust me, it will grow on you. Don't' give up on us. But, if you have chosen to ditch the show, I hope you are still contributing to the Heart Association, or another charity of your choice.
********Here's a link to Ludmilla Bollow's publisher's blog. Ludmilla is the playwright friend I wrote about a few weeks back. There's a review of her novel on the blog. she has a new novel coming out with a strong Manitowoc connection. I won't spill the beans until she says it's OK to do so.

What am I reading? Still working on Push, the book that inspired the movie "Precious." I can only take five or so pages at a time, it is so frightening, and sad. Just started Game Change.
I tend to stay away from gossipy, expose type books, but this is one of those titles that has everyone talking so......

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