The Minnewaska Mask and Wig Club
Fall 1999

Ashley Munn and Jenny Thompson rehearse with Barb Ask. They are preparing two songs from the Little House books, "We're All Here" and "There is a Happy Land" to sing at Glenwood Lutheran Church. For the record, Ashley's a Baptist and Jenny's a Catholic... we're an ecumenical kinda community.

Gigs for the fall of 1999 include "Celebration of Families" day at Central Square (Oct. 30), Festival of Nations (Nov. 20), the Glenwood Public Library open house (Nov. 27), the Eastern Star Christmas Tea at the American Legion (Dec. 5), Pioneer Public Television (Dec. 11), the KirstenBoyd concert at Central Square (Dec. 19), and the final Senior Citizens Center dinner (12/29).

Performing with the Mask and Wig Club this fall are (back, left to right) Sara Helgaas, Melissa Sutton (front, left to right) Annie Snider, Jenny Thompson, and Ashley Munn.

"Pine Cones and Hollie Berries" is a charming, little-known duet with "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" by Meredith Wilson from his other musical, "Here's Love" (the stage version of MIRACLE ON 34th STREET). Madame director discovered the song on the radio (being sung by two generations of Osmonds) during her tour of duty in Provo.

Okay, kids, a little math. We can do this song (which is performed in two rows) with 3 and 2, or 2 and 2, or 1 and 2, or 2 and 1. We can NOT perform this song with 3 in back and 1 in front! If Annie shows up and Sarah or Ashley, doesn't, someone's going to have to swing dance the front row part!

"Pulling Together" is going to be PERFECT for "Celebration of Families"... if we can just get enough kids to perform on such short notice...

Annie and Ashley knock 'em dead at "Celebration of Families," Oct. 30th, Central Square. Six run-throughs upstairs, three performances downstairs. Eagle-eyed Ashley spotted PCT photog Jim Palmer making the rounds and the duo snapped into action but alas, he only shot little kids and the sheriff. Hmph. We're not getting paid here, ya know.

"Courage take, for goodness sake..." Annie, honey, you really oughta open your eyes on a line like that.

The K-Mart vests are holding up pretty well, dontcha think? Don't anyone get them dirty... I don't think those hand-painted emblems by J. will go through the wash.

Speaking of J., formers MMWCers J., David Boll, and Beth and Rebecca Chapman finally got to fulfill a years-long dream... their contribution to Celebration of Families was a haunted house in the basement. WAAAAAAAAAAY spooky! "Someone grabbed me!" "Relax, kiddo, it's just Reverend Mother."

The next day, the dynamic duo perfected the "Dead Mule" joke. Really clever spin (hee hee) on how to portray the "run-around" from civil servants (relax, I'M one!) while changing characters.

Annie and Ashley attend a workshop with members of the Montana Reperatory Theater before attending their production of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE in Edson Auditorium, Morris, Nov. 12, 1999. Hang on to this one, kids... it was a rare opportunity and one day you may be thrilled to have been in the same room with one of these people. PHOTO BY JUDY RILEY, University of Minnesota University Relations (thanks!)

Okay, so, Jenny looks like a deer in the headlights. This was her first gig! This is Festival of Nations, which was followed by the library holiday open house. But the corker was when the quad squad performed at the VFW for the Order of the Eastern Star Christmas Tea. They brought down the house! Finally, the kind of response performers live for. Proof positive of their success: People other than ME (or family members) were taking their pictures.

The kids pose with Nashville Christian music star Boyd Ask before his Dec. 19 concert at Central Square. Ask.... Ask... Rebecca Webb! Did you trade on a friendship to get those kids on a professional bill? Yes. Yes I did. And I laid down the law, too... "Don't let those Dancing Off Broadway kids blow you out of the water!"

Yep, the kids were on Pioneer Public Television on Dec. 11, 1999, and it went swimmingly. The first twenty minutes were frantic as the kids learned how to answer the phones, fill out the forms, memorize the premiums and respond for the camera as the clocked wound down to the next pledge break. "Pine Cones" left a little to be desired because the music got all the amplification... so the Quad Squad worked up a quick a capella version of "Pulling Together" which went so well, the phones all rang at once the second they finished. They jumped right out of their shoes! The poor tired techs couldn't believe all our requests for performance lighting and miking, but we yielded the best night of pledge week, so we're happy.