March 12, 2010

Variety show schedules its auditions

DEBORAH SAYER

— By

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Staff Writer

The Chocolate Church Arts Center is seeking samples for a few tasteful acts it plans to feature as part of its fifth Hot Chocolate Jubilee event March 26-29.

The three-decades-old midcoast performance venue will hold auditions Jan. 17 to select up to 26 potential acts to be performed at the show.

Planned by director Martha Mayo as ''a throwback to variety shows of yesteryear,'' the event hopes to include a fun mix of comedy sketches and song and dance numbers, each allotted a five-minute set. Pianist Frank Vigneau or the show's pit orchestra can accompany those who provide their own sheet music.

Mayo previously directed similar shows at Morse High School and for Bath Iron Works employees.

''I'm not necessarily the director so much as the catalyst for the show,'' said Mayo. ''I surround myself with people who are very skilled at what they do. Lucy Ingraham directs the music for the chorus and the arrangements are done by Mike Knudsen in three-part arrangements for sopranos, altos and one part for the men. We offer a full-fledged show with an opening number, set design and auditions to select performers who will be part of the show (that is) set in two acts. This is our fifth show. Our theme this year is 'Around the World in 80 Ways.'''

Mayo said the theme can be interpreted in many ways, including through international dance and song or a celebration of modes of transportation.

One guaranteed performance is by the show's Jubilee Chorus, a 35- to 50-member, non-auditioned choral group who will sing two songs and do a choreographed number as directed by Joanne Marco. Another is by the Tambo Line, a group of up to 16 local dignitaries who will perform a rhythmic tambourine routine while seated.

''It's pretty spectacular,'' said Mayo, who choreographs the routine. ''It's sort of our signature piece for adult shows that I've done and a staple of this show.''

Directing the flow for the evening is Tom Anglim, a dentist who has served as master of ceremonies for the event since its inception in 1997. The show is held sporadically and its timing based on the availability of committed overseers. Other shows were held in 1999, 2005 and 2007.''We began meeting in April. Every person carries the weight of the show. It's a lot of effort but so much fun.''

Mayo said she is looking for a variety of ages, styles of entertainment and talent from as many communities as possible to be involved. ''We really want variety.''

Staff Writer Deborah Sayer can be contacted at 791-6308 or at:

dsayer@pressherald.com

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