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‘There’s no business like show business’ at Art in the Park

Town and Country Players closes out the season with show tunes

By Fiona Edberg - Staff Writer | Jul 6, 2021

Show tunes, angels, and a chirpy blue jay graced Gazebo Park at the final Art in the Park program of the summer on June 29, at noon.

Town and Country Players started off the hour with a stirring rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” from Annie Get Your Gun, during which the whole ensemble sang with gusto.

The program continued with a walk down memory lane, during which soloists performed songs from musicals Town and Country Players has produced in the past.

The solos kicked off with the prologue from Once Upon a Mattress, which the group performed in 2019.

The performance was followed by “Step Sisters’ Lament” from Cinderella. Town and Country Players last performed the musical in 1987, though they had hoped to put on the musical once again this summer before the pandemic struck. The delightfully mean song calls for nasty singing voices and stinging insults aimed at Cinderella.

Other throwback performances included “Adelaide’s Lament” from Guys and Dolls and “I’m An Ordinary Man” from My Fair Lady.

“Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins, which Town and Country Players performed in 2018, received a beautiful interpretation when the haunting lyrics were accompanied by acoustic guitar.

John Engesser, the group’s accompanist, rounded out the solos with his rendition of “Rosie” from Bye Bye Birdie, last performed by the group in 1990.

Town and Country Players completed their show with a final group number. They invited the audience to sing “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” from Mary Poppins along with them under a clear blue sky.

The group informed the audience they are excited to perform again on Friday, July 30, at 6:30 p.m. They will be appearing at the Faribault County Fair under the tent.

Art in the Park features local artists as well as musicians. This week’s art exhibit displayed work by Linda Wells and Ritsuko White.

Wells first presented her artwork; a series of painted angels inspired by the seven angels in the Bible’s Book of Revelation.

Though Wells referred to herself as a “harmless eccentric,” her paintings reveal thoughtful interpretations of the angels in both realistic and bold, geometric styles.

White’s artwork showed more naturalistic subjects. She described the process behind a painting of a mountain scene, revealing it was the most difficult picture she has ever painted.

“I am proud of myself for being able to do an exhibit,” she said. “It means someone thought my work is good enough to show.”

She dreams of someday having her artwork displayed in a gallery. But in the meantime, her artwork looked lovely in Gazebo Park on a sunny day.