Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Good Thing We're Not Strippers

We're in the final countdown of rehearsals before our BIG SHOW on October 21st [I'll save you a seat]. The name of our group is The North Shore Harmonizers. Or, as I like to say, the Ladies Who Wear Sequins & Polyester & Sing. I think it's easier to remember. We have a website. And you can "LIKE" us on facebook. But there's MORE!!! This year is the 60th anniversary of the group, so it's possible that we may be the oldest women's barbershop chorus in the U.S. In more ways than one. 
           Given the age of our group and the ages of our members, the show has a certain -- how do you say -- je ne sais quoi. For a demographic that can bring down the house, literally, just by walking and chewing gum, the act of singing, while standing on risers or stairs presents even more challenges. Add choreography to the mix, on top of trying to remember the words, and the thrill factor begins to ratchet up exponentially. Two words: hip implants. Two more words: knee replacements. 747s have better moves. However, we have more spectacular landings.
          Take DO WAH DIDDY for instance. It starts out with a hitchhiker maneuver to our left, then right, followed immediately by some hand-jive action that gets out of hand before you know it. Which leads immediately into a finger snapping elbow motion that rarely gets off on the right foot, as it were. Then, before anyone can recover, we're doing the hand-jive thing once again, most of us anyway. A couple of electric slides and a rosy rock or two later and things start to wind down. But disaster is always imminent. Especially since this tune ends the first half of the show and we have to be-bop off the stage repeating DO WAH DIDDY as we make our way through the audience. Did I mention we're wearing very dark neon shades? And we can't see anything? 

Some of the many pairs of sunglasses which will appear, as if by magic, 
from beneath our sparkly outfits, when we sing Do Wah Diddy

          Believe it or not, we save the scariest [for us] moments for the la-la section of Hernando's Hideaway. Not only do we have choreography throughout the whole song, but some of us also use castanets while others are banging rhythm sticks together three times in a row at important intervals. I did not volunteer for either of these job opportunities. 
          The la-la section goes something like: la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! Only different, because the la-las are syncopated and I can't do syncopated here. Or anywhere, for that matter. 
          Anyhoo, during the la-la section of Hernando's, the first and third rows lean to the right and then to the left, while the second and fourth rows are leaning to the left and then the right. And then we reverse it. But here's the hard part -- at the end of the la-las, the rows that go right, then left, put their hands on their hips and turn left, while, simultaneously, the rows that are going left, then right, put their hands on their hips and go right. Once is discombobulating enough. We have to do the la-las four different times. Don't try this at home. 
          Unfortunately, we haven't managed to sync the la-la moves together on the first try, yet. Second try, we're good. But there are no second chances in show bidness, so we have less than two weeks to figure out how we're going to do it right the first time. 
          Our opening number may set the tone, since it not only has choreography, but there are top hats!! Fortunately, only the first row has to worry about messing up the hat moves. But there are lots of left, right, and over the top jazz hands for the rest of us to screw up on this one. Not to mention that there are a bunch more tunes to go before the Dixieland Band comes out to play their set. And we've got even MORE songs to sing when they're done. WIth a really big finish.
          Plus I haven't even shown you our sparkly wardrobe yet!!!     
Shameless promotion of just one of the lovely be-jeweled items donated by Chicago's New York Jewelry Company, which one lucky audience member could win in our raffle.

An actual ticket which you could purchase for the low, low price of $15.00


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