The friendly Frankfort Rotary Club held its 10th annual Community Revue Talent Show on the Friday of Mother’s Day weekend, May 11, 2012, at the Benzie Central High School Auditorium, before a very warm and enthusiastic audience. The Revue, which has been held on the Friday of Mother’s Day weekend for ten years, is chaired by Lindy Evans, and co-chaired by Dave Jahr.
Pre-show entertainment was provided by local acoustic trio, Triple Shot, whose members include three seasoned musical professionals, Cheryl Wolfram, Sandy McLean, and Hank Cupp. The Benzie Central Chamber Choir, under the direction of Christy Case and Ashley Larimer, sang the National Anthem. They were followed by Frankfort Rotarians who sang “Smile,” a song that is sung each week during the regular Rotary meetings. Rotarian, Lindy Evans, performed “Lucky We Met,” and then introduced the night’s emcees, two locally known personalities, Mary Weishaar, and John Grogan.
Weishaar and Grogan, which sounds more like the name of a good law or accounting firm than the front names for a talent show, proved to be a superior choice this year. They had fun with the audience and performers. Their light-hearted and spirited mood was contagious as they humorously segued from the thunderous applause that followed each performance which ranged from a marimba solo, to piano, vocal, opera, guitar, cello, violin, flute, storytelling, and poetry recitation. Each year it is a last minute guess as to what will become the signal to the emcees that the next act is ready. Last year it was a green flyswatter which appeared from beneath the stage curtain. This year, the emcees had to look up and to the back of the audience to “see the light” flickering from co-chairman, Dave Jahr’s mini flashlight.
A returning crowd favorite, the Central State Bank “Chicken Fried Chicks,” kept the audience on the edge of their seats with their cliff-hanging commercials promoting the upcoming Frankfort Rotary Club’s 50th Annual Chicken Barbecue which will be held on Saturday, August 4th, at Mineral Springs Park, Frankfort. The “Chicks,” under the direction of Central State Bank’s Michele Hartley, didn’t like granny (played by Rachel Clouse, store manager of Wesco in Benzonia) sneaking around grilling their chickens without permission, so they ran her off stage and chased her through the crowd at the end of Act One. They were a little more forgiving of her shenanigans in their follow up commercial at the end of Act Two.
This year’s performers included Jaeden Blamer, Rebecca Short, Elizabeth Clutts, Quintin Grabowski, Jim Ribby, Kayla Peabody, Michele Hartley, Amanda Nyson, Megan Marshall, Paige Hansen-Donnan, Vicki Rosseels, Rachel Clouse, Benzie Central Chamber Choir, Hannah Curtis, Meghan Kubit, Aria Grabowski, Jan Stevens, and comedian story teller, Nona Nugent.
Intermission entertainment was provided by another returning crowd favorite, the Curtis Family Band, which has been on the Revue stage for the past ten years. Delicious intermission refreshments were prepared and served by Renee DeWindt and her team of students from the Frankfort Area Schools.
Club President, Alan Luedtke, opened Act Two with a special presentation and comments about current activities going on in the Frankfort Rotary Club. In keeping with this year’s theme, “A Decade of Revue,” Frankfort Rotarian, Amy Plumstead, put together a memorable five-minute video presentation with pictures from prior years’ Rotary Revue performances.
Judging the student performances this year were Mary Carroll, President of the Benzie County Chamber of Commerce; Joshua Mills, Frankfort City Superintendent; and Jennifer Christopher, CPA of Weishaar and Company, who had their hands full with so many very talented students competing for first, second, and third place cash awards. Their work was overseen by Revue Auditor, Lucie Wojack. In the end, the third place winner of $100 was opera singer, Elizabeth Clutts. The second place prize of $150 went to violinist, Aria Grabowski. First place was awarded to Rotary Revue veteran performer and guitarist/vocalist, Hannah Curtis, who took home $200. The People’s Choice Award was presented to Rebecca Short, who received a cash award of $200 for her piano/vocal solo.
Evans acknowledged that the Revue could not go on without the full support of the community, adding, “My employer, Central State Bank, has been very generous in allowing significant use of office time, resources, and personnel to put the Revue together.”
Evans concluded with a big thank you to the Revue sponsors, performers, fellow Frankfort Rotarians, Benzie Central Schools for the use of their facilities, Renee DeWindt, and to the community for ongoing support of the show. All proceeds from the Revue go to the Willoughby Rotary Foundation, a tax exempt charitable organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation funds college scholarships for our local area students.