Got talent? Islanders on stage tonight at rec center
The Jamestown Community Chorus will hold its 23rd talent show tonight at the recreation center. This year’s show features an array of talent including juggling, Hula-Hooping, singing, dancing and storytelling. Performers range in age from 6 to 70.
Carson Ford is a 19-year-old dancer from Cranston. He was visiting the island when he saw a flyer for the talent show auditions and decided to give it a try. Ford will dance to Michael Jackson’s hit song, “Dangerous.” He says he has many of Jackson’s classic moves down pat.
“I just dance for fun,” Ford said. “I started to dance like Michael Jackson when he died a few years ago. I just hope to do the best I can.”
Dana Larkin, 16, is a Jamestowner who attends North Kingstown High School. She has been playing the ukulele for about a year, and will accompany herself on the instrument as she sings the Sara Bareilles song, “Gravity.”
“I think it’s a very pretty song and I enjoy singing it,” she said. “People tend to really like it.”
Dana has performed in the talent show several times before, but this is her first time playing the ukulele in the show. In the past her father, guitarist Michael Larkin of the band Dead Blues Society, has accompanied her. Dana performs with her father’s band from time to time.
“I just enjoy singing for people and it’s fun,” she said. “I like to make people happy, and they like it when I sing for them.” Dana doesn’t know yet what she’ll study in college, but she is confident that music will always be a part of her life.
Casey Egan, 10, is a Jamestown juggler. He has been juggling for a year, and this is his first time in the talent show. He learned to juggle by watching YouTube videos, followed by a lot of practice.
According to Director B.J. Whitehouse, this year’s show is loaded with talent.
“Not unlike other years, there is a breadth and depth that boggles the mind,” he said. “We have a lot of younger people. We have singers and storytellers, violinists and pianists. We have a juggler. We have a ventriloquist. It’s pretty impressive.”
He said that about half of the performers are children, while the other half are adults.
Whitehouse said the final program will include 14 to 20 acts, depending on the length of each performance. “I don’t want the show to go on forever,” he said. “It’s better to leave them wanting more.”
Caroleé Ward joined the chorus a year ago after moving to Jamestown from Newport. She will be the soprano section leader of the JCC this year. For the talent show, Ward will perform “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the musical “She Loves Me.” Her props include a carton of the frozen dessert.
“I get to eat it before and after I sing,” she said.
Ward said that this year’s audience will see a splendid show by people of all ages with a lot of creativity. “It’s going to be a wonderful night,” Ward said. “It’s a show not to be missed.”
Mark Male of Wakefield is this year’s emcee. He inherited the job from his father-in-law, Frank Darigan, who not only retired from his job as a Superior Court judge in 2012, but from his hosting duties as well.
“I’m not sure if I lost a bet or what, but some way my name was floated,” Male said. “I was approached and asked to be the emcee, and I agreed to do it.”
Male said that he has experience in terms of speaking in front of people and would have no problem handling the job. He hoped that the audience would see an evening of interesting acts and leave with smiles on their faces.
Terry Horsley, originally from Melbourne, Australia, and now a Jamestown resident, has been a chorus member for seven years. This year will mark his sixth appearance in the talent show. He will sing an old Cornish air called “The Floral Dance.”
“It’s basically a story about a little town on a hot summer night, with the local band playing,” he said. “The villagers are dancing to the band. It’s a simple premise. It’s romantic and fun. I think it fits in very well with the summertime here in Jamestown.”
In addition to being the executive director of the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce, John Mc- Cauley is also the president of the community chorus. He said he will serve as “eye candy” in one of the evening’s acts, a rendition of the rock classic, “Leader of the Pack.”
“I think the audience will get a good feeling for their community and the talent,” McCauley said.
Show time is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16. Tickets are available at the door: $7 for general admission, $5 for seniors and children. All of the proceeds go to support the Jamestown Community Chorus, which in turn supports chorale singing in the community and includes scholarships and awards. The evening will also include a raffle.
Rehearsals for the chorus’ holiday concert begins on Sept. 10. This year’s program will be a celebration of carols, including Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols,” as well as a number of more familiar ones. Performances will take place on the second weekend in December at the Central Baptist Church.