Encore! For the Turnage

Published 1:33 am Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Turnage Dancers replaying their Dancing With Our Stars act at the Turnage Theater’s fundraiser tonight are (from left) Kay Currie, Emily Thigpen, Dick Hoban, Deborah Page Wright, Louise Hoar, Dave Grahek, Paul Coakley, Stan Cohen, Lois Cohen, Cindy Sutorius and Dorothy Hoban. (Contributed photo/ldi.photoreflect.com)

Enter stage left: Dorothy with her little dog, Toto. Enter stage right: Audrey, straight from another breakfast at Tiffany’s. Then comes Marilyn, in pink taffeta and the diamonds that were her best friends. “Encore!” is part vintage Hollywood revue and part local talent show, but it’s all about raising money for the Turnage.
Tonight at 8 p.m., the Turnage Dancers, the troupe of singing and dancing “celebrities” that won third place in this year’s Dancing With Our Stars, will once again tread the boards, along with other acts whose faces you may recognize, for the Turnage Theater’s fall fundraiser “Encore!”
“(The show) is primarily local performers who will be hitting the stage to aid in the financial quest to keep the Turnage alive,” said Scotty Henley, executive director of the Turnage Theaters Foundation.
Acts slated for tonight’s performance include Charles Smith, the singing president of the Turnage board; Cypress Landing comedienne Gene Eakes, also known as the “Nutty Professor”; dance maven Janet Cox, who will be accompanied by her husband, Charles; tap dancer Gail Watson’s ensemble; guitarist and folk singer, Stub Estes; tenor Stuart Aronson and others.
Jim McPherson and Bill Havanki, will make music with guitar and keyboard in their duo Never 2 Late, so called because the retired gentlemen who met last year decided it was never too late to get a band together.
“I think it’s wonderful this local talent is out there,” said Mary Jane Cook, organizer of the event. “And we can show everyone how wonderful they are.”
Local talent is thick on the ground in Beaufort County, and no one knows it better than Joey Toler, the emcee for tonight’s event. Toler views his participation in the Turnage fundraiser as part of his job description as the Beaufort County Arts Council’s executive director and ex-officio member of the Turnage board.
“Part of the arts council’s role is to help artists and arts businesses be sustainable,” Toler said. “(The Turnage) is a very important part of the arts infrastructure downtown. We all want it to succeed.”
Event organizers are counting on the local talent being a big draw.
“A lot of people in the area like to support people that they know—to see familiar faces,” said Cook. “I’m hoping we have a great turnout.”
Amateur or professional, any performance is always best when played to a full house and the cries of “Encore!.”
Tickets for Encore! are $10, General Admission and are first come, first serve at the Turnage Theater’s box office. For more information call 252-975-1191.