Show appeals to people of all ages
Published: Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 23:09
The Celebrate America Show, a non-profit organization, will be hosting “In the Miller Mood” Wednesday through Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Taggart Student Center Ballroom. Tickets are $10 for USU students for the Wednesday night performance and $29 Thursday through Saturday for general admission tickets. Guests attending the Thursday, Friday or Saturday shows are able to purchase tickets for a dinner buffet provided by USU Catering.
The 1940s big-band style show features an 18-piece orchestra and three dance floors with live performances by the Stardust Singers and Dancers. Executive Director Brenda Anthony has been organizing the event since it began 14 years ago.
“I had no idea what I was getting into,” Anthony said. “In 2012, people were lined up outside the TSC Ballroom all the way to the University Inn. I would love to see that happen again this year.”
Some guests in attendance travel more than 1,200 miles every year to see the show. Col. Von W. Freeman, a World War II veteran and 12-year patron, passed away in June. As a tribute, this year’s performance of "In The Miller Mood" is inspired by the military life of Freeman.
"He always brought a group of twenty or more people, and those people will still be attending this year,” Anthony said. “We will be reserving spots for them with one seat left empty.”
During the show, there will be a first-person reading of letters written by Freeman about his time in the military.
“We thought about what armed forces radio would have been playing in the 1940s,” Anthony said.
Elements of the show include performances inspired by “The Wizard of Oz,” The Andrews Sisters, and American baseball.
“People come from all over the place just to see our show,” Anthony said. “It’s incomparable to anything you will find elsewhere, and students should take advantage of this opportunity.”
USU alumna Julie Benson Surjopolos will be in this year’s show for the eighth consecutive year. Prior to the Celebrate America Show, her father played the part of Glenn Miller in a similar production put on by USU.
“1940s big-band music is so fulfilling, it’s all part of my blood,” Surjopolos said. “To be on stage singing the same influential music my father did is fulfilling.”