ALPENA - The Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center are teaming up to host the popular USO-style show on Sept. 29 at the CRTC. The party, which features dinner, cocktails and local people providing entertainment by outfitting themselves as celebrities and performing numbers by them.
Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackie Krawczak said originally the party was a hospital function and went into a brief hiatus. She said after it became apparent the local community wished to keep the event active, the chamber took over the planning and hosts it every three years. Krawczak said a portion of the proceeds from the event will be used for other chamber sponsored events.
"It is a fundraiser for the chamber with a portion of the proceeds going toward the military support committee," Krawczak said. "The units who train out here we host receptions for them. We have sponsors for some of the cost, but we do have to pay for the receptions. Those are what some of the funds go toward."
The master of ceremony will be John Stender, who will be hosting the show in the fashion of the late Jackie Gleason, so more than a few laughs can be expected. Krawczak said the party is a good time and the entertainment is the highlight of the evening.
"It is just a really good time. There is a dinner, then a social time and then the show starts," Krazczak. "They are local performers, dressed up as whoever's song they are singing. They can actually sing it or they can lip sync to the music and it is a lot of laughs. There is some really good talent and some really fun talent."
Among the "celebrities" scheduled to perform are Elvis, Michael Jackson, Sir Mix-A-Lot, a skit of American Idol and the Dixie Chicks doing Goodbye Earl. Michelle McEwen will perform the Star Spangled Banner as Adele. Krawczak said there are still a few slots open for people who would like to perform in the show and the entertainment is worth the $30 it costs to attend the event.
"The show is really good and the fun part about all of this is they are people that you know," Krawczak said. "When you see the judges for the skit of American Idol and you see who they are you are going to laugh because it is just so funny. The entertainment is worth the cost of the ticket."
Tickets for the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Variety Show must be purchased before the show and will not be available at the door. Krawczak said because the event is held in a hangar at the base, for security reasons tickets must be sold in advance.
"You have to get them ahead of time because of the base security and actually we shut off ticket sales about a week before the event," Krawczak said. "People who are attending the event will have to go through base security, so you will want to have a picture ID and all have to follow all of their guidelines, such as wearing a helmet if on a motorcycle. In Michigan you may not have to, but on the military base you will have to. No weapons are allowed and no food or drink - the obvious things. I think it will be a good time and it is for a good cause for our troops."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.