Ashford’s 300th Anniversary Committee hosts variety show

By Samantha Figueroa - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Thu., Sep. 12, 2013
Sisters Arminda Kamphausen and Amy-Lyn Arel perform ‘Sisters,’ from ‘White Christmas.’ Photos by Samantha Figueroa.
Sisters Arminda Kamphausen and Amy-Lyn Arel perform ‘Sisters,’ from ‘White Christmas.’ Photos by Samantha Figueroa.

Ashford’s 300th Anniversary Committee presented a variety show called “From Broadway to Hollywood” on Sept. 7, featuring local performers of all ages - from 6-year-old dancer Emma Kent, to the senior tap group The Sparkettes. Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to off-set expenses for the 300th anniversary parade and fireworks, to be held in October 2014.

“I wanted a variety,” explained Anniversary Committee member Charlene Armitage, who organized the show. “That way there’s something for everybody to enjoy.”  In true variety fashion, “From Broadway to Hollywood” featured a mix of musical genres, from the solo guitarist Rusty Macha of Willimantic performing selections by Johnny Cash to the combined choirs of local churches singing “Amazing Grace.”

Among the talented singers were Ashford residents and E.O. Smith students Abby Kamphausen and Patrick Belanger, who where both excited to be singing and acting in the show.

“It’s a good time,” said Belanger.

“It’s a lot of fun to get with other people in Ashford and sing together,” said Kamphausen.

Dancing performances included the senior tap group The Sparkettes, a quintet of women from Mansfield Center, who performed tap routines to “Rock Around the Clock” and “All That Jazz,” and a ballet performance by Emma Kent to Charlene Armitage’s rendition of “Edeleweiss.” The show even featured physical comedy in Austin Kopp’s performance of “Make ‘Em Laugh” from the 1952 musical, “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Just before the grand finale, Master of Ceremonies Paul Belanger asked for his fellow veterans to stand and be recognized. Then the entire ensemble of choirs, singers and dancers gathered together onstage and sang “God Bless America” as a tribute to the family and friends serving in the military.

The variety show raised $1,500 for next year’s celebrations. “We certainly had fun,” said Armitage.

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