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Annual Variety Show mixes fun, rural music and charity

WARRENSBURG - Barbara Baker of Warrensburg waved an imaginary greeting as she sang a phrase of "Company's Comin' Up the Road" with dozens of others during a rehearsal Thursday of the Warrensburg Variety Show.

"This is just so much fun with all these townfolks, I don't know what we'll do when we don't hold these practices anymore," Baker said.

This 8th annual fundraiser, produced by Florence LaPoint, will be presented Friday Nov. 13 and Saturday Nov. 14 at the Warrensburg Elementary School gym, beginning at 7 p.m.

LaPoint is hoping the audience next weekend will fully enjoy the song and dance routines reflecting old-fashioned rural life - as much as the cast has enjoyed the rehearsals.

Entitled "Remember When," the show will include dozens of songs from the good old days such as "Walking My Baby Back Home," "Bicycle Built for Two," and "It Had to be You."

The Warrensburg show traditionally has a country segment. Songs in this style include "Louisiana Hayride," "Good Old Mountain Dew," and "Your Cheatin' Heart."

Guy Swartwout of Pottersville and his wife Lyn, known for their country-tinged duets, are among the performers.

"We always have a good time getting together here with friends," Guy Swartwout said. "Florence is amazing how she can take what looks like chaos in the rehearsals and pull it together magically for a great show."

The pianist is Fay Robinson with Lane Schermerhorn on drums and Dean Schermerhorn on bass.

Picking a bass line Thursday to "Louisiana Hayride," Dean Schermerhorn said both the performers and audience not only have fun singing great songs together, but raising money for a local charities as well.

"This is real 'community' at its best," he said. "The audience loves it every year - and it's 'all good.'"

The onstage country c consists of renowned local performers Hoddy Ovitt on guitar and Jim Davis on banjo. The cast of 34 ranges in age from 21 to 86 years.

All seats are $8. Tickets are available from cast members or at the door. The show benefits Warrensburg's Operation Santa Claus and Santa's Elves. For details, call Florence LaPoint at 623-3531.

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