Once upon a time in a tiny, isolated mountain hamlet called Idyllwild, residents joined together at the newly constructed Town Hall for talent shows, food and fun. Entertainment was local, homespun and provided a way to get to know the hidden performing talents of one’s neighbors.
That’s why Town Hall was built with a stage in the mid-1940s — just for the camaraderie and fun of performing with and for friends. This was a time before sedentary evenings before the TV and couch-potato-passive entertainment. It was a time to make your own entertainment.
With “Idyllwild’s Got Talent,” a fundraiser for the Idyllwild Community Center, Town Hall once again will host neighbors performing for neighbors — no big city glitz, just hometown fun.
Said organizer Suzy Capparelli, “I’m always amazed at how much talent there is here. This event shows off our local talent. People just love to have fun.
“This is the kind of show Linda Wheeler-Lackey and I put together 30-some years ago. It was titled ‘A Night on the Town,’ put on by the Soroptimists and performed at the same spot – Town Hall.’ And although Becky Clark claims not to remember, she and her two young children sang and Becky played piano. Chris Thile [age 5 or so] played banjo with his father. Now he leads Nickel Creek and is replacing Garrison Keillor as host of ‘A Prairie Home Companion.’ There were other talents of varying degrees, one of the lesser ones being when Cindy Weaver and I performed a short, one-act called ‘Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn.’ ”
Capparelli said proceeds from IGT will help fund furniture and games for the planned ICC youth center.
The talent showcase begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, and again at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13. There is a reception at 6 p.m. and food during intermission. Tickets are $30 advance and $35 at the door, with a student discount of $5. Tickets are available at the Idyllwild Pharmacy or online at www.idyllwildcommunitycenter.org.
Fourteen acts are on the bill. “We want there to be surprises,” said Capparelli. Musical acts and genres include vocalists in folk, pop and show tunes, classical and pop instrumentalists and dancers. Featured performers represent the full age demographic of Idyllwild, from 12 years old to performers of a “certain” age.
And to keep the mystery, and not disclose too much, one act, “Unincorporated,” (see accompanying photo), showcases three multi-talented musical mountain men — Brad Rechfertig, Miles Thomas and Vic Sirkin.
And that is the way “Idyllwild’s Got Talent” will unfold — with audience members turning to each other and observing, “Who knew?”