Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Scottish Rite Auditorium’

The Cambridge Lions Club Variety Show’s 40th Anniversary “Blast From the Past”

Lions Club Chorus PracticeIt’s time to celebrate and have a good time as the Cambridge Lions Club prepares for their 40th Annual Variety Show.  Back in 1974, that first show was simply called, A Minstrel Show. Many familiar local personalities participated in that first show at the State Theater for a two night run.

Dave Wilson and Ron GuthrieTwo of those performers, Ron Guthrie and Dave Wilson, actually happen to still be around today, and will be participating in this year’s show, Blast From the Past. These guys never seem to tire of the antics of the Lions Club Show. Both fun loving fellows remember that first year when members persuaded young Dave Wilson to surprise Ron Guthrie with a pie in the face before intermission.  Little did they realize that the cream on top had soured after being left at room temperature for several hours.  When Ron got his pie-in-the-face, he also got quite sick for most of the second half of the show.

By the way, Ron did get even for the pie-in-the-face, as he had promised Dave that first night.  Several years later, five to be exact, it was arranged for Dave Wilson to get arrested during one of the skits. Handcuffs seemed the appropriate method to get his hands behind his back. And you guessed it, Ron surprised him with a pie-in-the- face.  Dave said recently he was rather relieved at that time, because he had been waiting for it to happen for all five years.

Bob JonardHow did this all get started? Back in 1973 the Lions Club had agreed to help finance a wing for Guernsey Memorial Hospital and they were looking for a way to raise some extra dollars. As luck would have it, Bob Jonard moved to the Cambridge area with his musical family.  Bob had recently been involved with minstrel shows in both Adena and Wooster, so he encouraged the local Lions to give it a try.

Of course, many felt it wouldn’t work.  However, Bob Jonard found a great listening ear and enthusiasm in Ron Guthrie. Soon John Mehaffey and his wife, Frances, became supporters. This team put together that first show around their kitchen tables, and it was a great success.

Many of the performers have been around since their youth, have gone away to college or jobs, and then returned to their home town to again join in the fun of the show. For many of the participants, this is one of the highlights of their year.

Lions Show BandWhile funny skits and jokes filled the State Theater years ago, music was the main part of the program and still is today. The chorus, groups, and solos would be at a loss without the accompaniment of the Lions Show Band.  In the early years, the chorus only had a mimeographed copy of the basic music with no harmony parts included. They each sang their own special harmony to create a beautiful sound. Some of the songs from that first show included: A Bird in the Gilded Cage, Daddy Sang Bass, Sweet Gypsy Rose, and Mammy.  

The Flappers danced their way into people’s hearts with a bit of the Charleston to the then popular, Ballin’ the Jack. Since then, the can-can, black light dance specials, and even line dancing have entertained the crowds. You never really know what is going to happen at a Lions Club Show.

Bob Jonard, Howard Cherry, Dave Wilson and Bob Bistor during a 1977 showThe End Men and Interruptions create most of the laughter during the evening. The Lions Club members enjoy their own brand of humor as they tell jokes and often dress in outrageous costumes. They have great fun themselves while entertaining the crowd. Every year and even every night their antics are a little different.

Focus for the Cambridge Lions Club is on helping the blind and visually impaired. These Knights for Sight use all proceeds from the show to help those in need pay for eyeglasses and eye-related treatments. Your ticket purchase helps a great cause!

Lions_Show_2013Even though The Lion Sleeps Tonight in Cambridge, Ohio, you can be certain to Hear Those Lions Roar on March 21, 22, and 23. They will be roaring their “Blast from the Past” at the Scottish Rite Auditorium with a 7:30 showtime each evening.  They want to entertain you and will tell you in song, It’s true we make a better day, just you and me. They have over the years discovered that singing helps one harmonize with the universe. Come on and Celebrate!

Coming to the show from out of town? From I-70 take Exit 178 at SR 209. Proceed west on 209/Southgate Road until you arrive downtown at the Courthouse. Make a right hand turn and two traffic lights later you are in front of the Scottish Rite Auditorium at the corner of Wheeling Avenue and 10th Street.  It is across from the Cambridge Post Office. Coming from I-77, take Exit 180B, which is US 40 West. After approximately one mile, you will arrive in downtown Cambridge. At the corner of Wheeling Avenue and 10th Street, you will find the Scottish Rite Auditorium. Hope to see you there!

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Cambridge Lions Go Hollywood

“Don’t You Hear Those Lions Roar?” as you pass the First Baptist Church in Cambridge, Ohio on a Sunday afternoon January through March. The parking lot is not filled with people attending a church event, but those practicing for the 39th Annual Cambridge Lions Club Music & Comedy  Show.

This year’s theme of “Cambridge Lions Go Hollywood” offers a wide selection of favorite songs ranging from the slow and mellow to those with vim and vigor.  While the songs are familiar, the arrangements may not be, as they were specially designed for this show by local well known musician and director of the show, Paul Hudson.

Paul has recently retired as Band Director from John Glenn High School and is active down many musical avenues including being percussionist in the Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra.  “You Can’t Stop the Beat” when Paul is able to get everyone on the same musical wave. Frequently he tells the chorus members things like : “You have to know the words,” or “Listen to Tom play the melody.” Know he is hoping that after ten weeks of practice, the words will all be memorized and the rhythms will be somewhat correct.

Once the chorus has practiced for a few weeks, Lion Troy Simmons arrives to record the practice session using microphones over each vocal area to pick up the parts clearly. Then he makes a CD for each member so they can practice along with it during the week. So if you see someone singing while driving down the road and tapping out rhythms on their steering wheel, it very likely could be a Lions Club chorus member trying to learn all the words and parts correctly.

A big part of the success of the show also goes to accompanist Tom Apel, who appears in the local area at the piano wherever and whenever needed . Tom attends every practice and patiently plays the parts over and over again. Sometimes it seems he could use four hands! As it gets closer to show time, Tom will be joined by some other local musicians, who are part of the Lions’ Music & Comedy Show Band.

Being associated with the Lions Club, you can be certain that after practice, chorus members will say, “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.”  Lions Club members seem to have an extra dose of humor in everything they do.  Of course, this show is more than fun as the main purpose of these Knights for Sight is to raise money to help those in the area who need some assistance in paying for eyeglasses and eye care.

Make plans to attend “Cambridge Lions Go Hollywood” on March 29, 30, or 31 at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in downtown Cambridge, Ohio for an evening of fun entertainment as well as contributing to a great cause. Tickets may be purchased online at www.cambridgelions.com or at Country Bits & Pieces. Tickets are $8 on Thursday evening or $10 on Friday or Saturday. All shows begin at 7:30.

Members will definitely tell you “There’s No Business Like Show Business” as they prepare for the 2012 “Cambridge Lions Go Hollywood.”  Let’s go on with the show!

Coming to the show from out of town? From I-70 take Exit 178 at SR 209. Proceed west on 209 /Southgate Road until you arrive downtown at the Courthouse. Make a right hand turn and two traffic lights later you are in front of the Scottish Rite Auditorium at the corner of Wheeling Avenue and 10th Street.  It is across from the Cambridge Post Office. Coming from I-77, take Exit 180B, which is US 40 West. After approximately one mile, you will arrive in downtown Cambridge. At the corner of Wheeling Avenue and 10th Street, you will find the Scottish Rite Auditorium. Hope to see you there!

Small Town with a Big Heart

The Spirit of Christmas was alive and musical in downtown Cambridge, OH.  The occasion was The Cambridge City Band 2010 Holiday Concert at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.  This is an annual event in conjunction with the Christmas parade and the arrival of Santa Claus.

The band was in full force this Sunday afternoon dressed for the season.  Santa hats were plentiful as well as elves, lighted costumes, shirts and ties, as well as a beautiful holiday gown. Band director, Dr Berk Jones, always enjoys the chance to wear a costume or festive hat to help brighten the performance.

The backdrop caused comments  throughout the day and even later in the week.  It was a beautiful scene of a Victorian style village covered in snow and made the perfect setting for the Christmas music that was performed by the band. The question was: Who did that backdrop? or Where did they get it?

This small town still has old fashioned values and makes a person feel good at this season of the year.  The courthouse has a manger scene, which is easily accepted by all.  No complaints!  Well, last year some youngsters took Baby Jesus and moved his figure to a nearby place, but it was not done in a mean manner, and was recovered without damage.

Today’s concert was in memory of Melanie Jones  Bolyard,  longtime band member and music enthusiast in the community. She left this world during the late summer after a long illness, and a video tribute was shown on the walls of the theater at intermission.  Many tears were shed as family and friends watched the touching life of Mellie relived before their eyes.

All the band concerts are opened with a prayer and followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Yes, ‘under God’ is still included in the pledge.  During the day the audience also participated in singing some popular old Christmas songs and finished with singing old familiar Christmas carols, closing with “Silent Night”. The sing-a-long was led by Mellie’s Friends and Family.  Makes a heart feel good to know that this small town has kept traditions alive with no negative community feedback.

During the second half of the show an appearance was made by Maynard, the Loveable Lush pushed in a wheelchair by Santa Claus.  His bottle was quickly removed by the audio team as there is no drinking allowed in the theater!  Santa had a present, which he wanted a band member to open.  He called down one of the girls, who was dressed like an elf.  She was a bit leery of opening the present and approached cautiously.  These guys are always pulling jokes on each other. Well, this time it wasn’t a joke.

Maynard got down on one knee and with mike in hand, proposed to the young lady in the band.  That is a proposal she will long remember and she proudly showed her new ring to fellow band members.  She did have a difficult time playing her flute for the next song, as it truly did take her breath away.

The band played an outstanding selection of Christmas music with several specials.  “Santa Claus Comes to Dixieland” added some special liveliness to the afternoon.  There were special instrumental and vocal solos to give it lots of variety.

The show was excellent and closed with the traditional theme song of the band, “Thanks for the Memory”.  The Cambridge City Band has provided musical entertainment to the area for 169 years.   Cambridge should be proud of the fantastic musical ability that abounds in this area and gives so much enjoyment all year long.

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