Audiences at an upcoming “Salute to the USO!” show will be transported back to the World War II era when the curtain rises at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7 in the McIntyre Auditorium on the campus of Edgecombe Community College.
“We’re going to be a USO show that’s come to the South Pacific, and Bob Hope has brought us here,” said Jo Ann Josey, a show performer/ coordinator. “The audience is the soldiers that we’re going to be singing to.”
The backdrop on stage will add to the realism of the South Pacific atmosphere – a camouflage tent, piled up sandbags and palm trees. All the songs in the “variety show” will be from the early 1940’s to mid 1940’s.
“Some of these songs are timeless; they never go out of style,” said Josey, whose Hobgood Players are co-coordinating the show along with the Edgecombe County Veterans’ Military Museum. The show is a fundraiser for the museum.
Carol Banks, museum curator and show coordinator, said she believes the audience will be able to relate to the music.
“The age of the people who come remember that fun music and want to get up and dance and sing,” Banks said. “They learned how to jive and do the Jitterbug, do proper ballroom dancing.”
The show will provide the audience opportunities for interaction. Local singer Kay Hindsley will lead a sing-a-long at the show.
A musical performance by the young sister trio “Eyes of Emiline,” a dance routine to “Sing, Sing, Sing” by a couple of young sisters, and a comedy act by two actors portraying Bob Hope and Jack Benny are all in store for the audience.
Josey, Sharon Hackney, Charles Cross and Ricky Hale, all of Hobgood, will sing some old favorites, including The Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, “What a Wonderful World,” “Georgia on my Mind,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and Banks’ favorite, Vera Lynn’s “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover.”
“We did two shows at Royal Palace Theatre in Roanoke Rapids and now we’re bringing it to Tarboro,” Josey said.
This is the sixth year of the fundraiser for the veterans’ museum. The show was a success last year.
“It was a sold-out crowd last year,” Banks said. “It (the auditorium) holds 300 seats.”
Banks said most of the funds raised from the upcoming show would be used to preserve the collection at the veterans’ museum. She called the museum a “museum of stories and memories” of veterans from various time periods but primarily from World War II. Banks said the museum is also in need of more volunteers from the community.
Tickets for “Salute to the USO!” are $15 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under. They can be purchased at the following locations in Tarboro: the Edgecombe Country Veterans’ Military Museum, the Blount-Bridgers House, the Edgecombe-Tarboro Chamber of Commerce and Rusty’s Gifts. Tickets are also available in Hobgood at Whitley’s Grill and in Scotland Neck at Sylvan Heights Bird Park. For more information about the show or volunteering at the museum, contact Carol Banks at 823-7445.