Friday, May 13, 2011

Beautiful Accordions

This is my Monday post which I'm launching on Saturday so if you look for soemthing new on Monday, you're out of luck. Just pretend this is Monday and everything will be just ducky. My original plan was to write about Piccadilly Jim, by P.G.Wodehouse, and to publicly chastise myself for not discovering this author sooner. Woodhouse created the Wooster and Jeeves book series. PBS has been running episodes for a while starring Hugh Laurie of "House" fame, but I have never watched it. Piccadilly Jim has convinced me that I am missing out on a fun writer and a fun TV series.

Instead, I have to give a big thanks to the Heart-A-Rama directors who worked so dang hard this season. An accordion sextet is far more rewarding than applause, a pat on the back, a dozen roses, or a big paycheck, don't you agree? There were changes in show leadership this year, and that can cause unrest and distrust, be it deserved or not...just a natural, human reaction. Change just doesn't sit well with some, while others thrive on it. Ellen has been directing for a couple years now, but this year she took on even more responsibility. Tom and Brad both did double duty, Tom as general co-chair and director/performer, and Brad as co-producer, and director/performer. Lisa, Paula, and Jim were new to directing this year, but not new to Heart-a-Rama.

With Brad , I co-produced the show, which basically means that we coordinated the directors, and facilitated what needed to be done to get the show up on stage. Believe me, it's a small job compared to the work done by many,many others who chip in to make the the event hum.

I do not have a sufficient amount of praise for our directors. Many of them were overwhelmed with the workload-they all have personal lives and jobs! - but no one complained, or wimped out. Instead, they worked and worked and worked, pouring their hearts into their portions of the show. I realized on the night we cast the show, that we had a creative team, eager to take on challenges. It was evident that Heart-A-Rama has a wonderful talent base to escort it to it's 50th year. This will also most likely be the group that sees HAR's contribution to the American Heart Association reach 3 million dollars. Not bad!

Thanks to everyone who rolled up their sleevesfor this show. Whether you gave us one night of your time, or a full year of planning, your contribution is a necessary part of this huge organization. What began 41 years ago as a two-night gig raising a little over $100, has grown to this enormous, annual, much anticipated hullabaloo.

I am privileged to have been associated with this rambunctious group of do-gooders, who check their egos at the door each night, and wear their hearts of their sleeves for a worthy cause.

Hey, I have a suggestion for all you HAR volunteers. Since we seat more people at the Two Rivers venue, allowing us to cut back from nine nights to six, well, how about we pack our bags and take our circus on the road. Just think, a Heart-A-Rama franchise. How about it? A six accordion salute to any takers. Now, who can you resist that?

(Steve, are you still out there?)