Annual LeRaysville Minstrel Show Opens Friday Night
By David Keeler
If last weekend’s snow had you thinking about Christmas, the upcoming variety show in LeRaysville, which is called Redneck Christmas, will likely leave you thinking that Christmas is just around the corner.
The annual show, which has been a community tradition since the 1950’s and is a fundraiser for the local fire company, features a heavy dose of down-home humor spiced with local renditions of Christmas favorites. Some of the songs, like Silver Bells and Sleigh Ride, are familiar tunes to most everyone. Others like LeRoy the Redneck Reindeer and Redneck Twelve Days of Christmas leave no doubt about how this show got its name. As is always the case with these shows, this one is the right combination that keeps capacity audiences coming back year after year.
The show debuts Friday night, Nov. 4 at the LeRaysville Community Hall and plays again the following night. Then it’s back for two more performances the following week on Nov. 11-12.
The curtain goes up each night at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids under 12 and those six and under get in free. Refreshments will be available at each performance during intermission.
As is the case every year, the show is chock-full of rousing chorus numbers. This year’s program includes favorites like Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, along with others like Thistle Hair the Christmas Bear and Nuttin’ for Christmas.
Fire chief John Keegan is the director and guitarist for this year’s show, Anne Dean is pianist and Russ Filling is bassist.
Sharon Rockefeller, who plays Suds, is back again this year to emcee the show.
As always, the antics of the endmen will be a favorite part of this year’s show. All the endmen that audiences have loved in previous shows are back again this year, including Bill Keeney, Goober; Kevin Gilpin, Clyde; Jim Eastman, Slick; John Blair, Little; Verne Alderson, Elmo; Jim Alderson, Tiny, and John Keegan, Gus.
The endmen perform solos, such as Goober singing the classic Silver Bells, Clyde’s version of Blue Christmas or Gus singing Just Passing Through. They also team up at times and join with other members of the cast.
Chorus members include: Randy Rockefeller, John Alderson, Nancy Alderson, Donna Bechtel, Lee Bechtel, Kathy Blair, Denny Carr, Linda Carr, Brenda Chilson, Rebecca Chilson, George Clearwater, McKenzie Clouse, Railyn Decker, Janean Eastman, Chris Evans, Louise Evans, Jacob Gilpin, Evan Hunsinger, Russell Hunsinger, Ryan Hunsinger and Minny Mosier.