The Mouse River Players' Music Revue "Americana" Friday and Saturday has a theme the group has been wanting to use for some time now.
"It is the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11," said co-organizer Holly Eidsness. "It's also the 50th anniversary of Roger Maris' breaking the record."
"Yep, that was 61 in '61," co-organizer David Bradley added. "It's also Arlene (Saugstad)'s 100th birthday." Although that celebration doesn't actually happen until May, the two agreed it could be honored all year.
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - From left: Sarah Thom as Jane Banks looks on while Brittany Armstong as Mary Poppins offers JonCarlo Franchi as Michael Banks a “Spoonful of Sugar” in the Mouse River Players music revue.
"We have a fairly short rehearsal time for this," Bradley said. "So besides signing up for the singing, the soloists can suggest a specialty number they'd like to do, and if it fits with the theme, and we can find the music, it's in."
The music revue is in its fifth revived year, with Virginia Dohms again as the musical director and band leader. There's a guitar, keyboard, drums, sax and bass, with only a minimal amount of recorded music.
The first half highlights people and places, with songs such as "This Land is Your Land" and "I Left My Heart (in San Francisco)."
There's quite a bit of choreography and stage movement," Eidsness said.
Kena Davidson, Jylann Hanson, Ryan Haider and Eidsness are credited with designing the dances. Haider also wrote a script with some light patter to keep things going between songs.
"The second half of the program is favorite pastimes," Eidsness said. "It begins with 'Mickey Mouse Club' and ends with 'America the Beautiful.' ... We're expecting the audience to sing along on some of these."
The timing of this event is carefully chosen, with a social hour at 6:30 p.m.
on Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving and the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m.
"You might have relatives in town," Eidsness said. "This gives you something different to do. It's always a full house, and that's good, because it is our major fundraiser for the year."
The cast is 21 strong, with some old and new faces among them. "I prefer 'newbies' and 'veterans,'" Bradley said. "But all of them have been involved with the Mouse River Players in some capacity in the past."
There will be snacks and hors d'oeuvres with regional themes "But no lutefisk!" Eidsness hastened to add. "We have some trivia questions, and some door prizes generously donated."
The Minot Area Council of the Arts is taking advantage of the opportunity to ask for help in completing brief questionnaires during the evening for the Arts and Economic Prosperity study. Minot is the only city in North Dakota participating in the nationwide survey, which helps show the financial impact the arts have in the community.
The cost for "Americana" is $15. It is not part of the season ticket. Because of limited seating at the Arlene Saugstad Theater, reservations are recommended, especially to accommodate disabled patrons, and may be made by calling (866) 667-1977.