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FOTA reveals kernels on its new season

Kayla Strayer/Daily Globe Arlen Foss (left) stands with show emcee Colin O'Donnell. Foss will be roasted during Friday and Saturday's show.

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington Friends of the Auditorium (FOTA) will kick off its 2012-2013 season with the 19th annual "Corn off the Cob" variety show at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Memorial Auditorium.

Longtime show emcee and FOTA member Arlen Foss, aka the King of Kernels, will be the center of attention this year as he gets roasted. Foss, a retired pastor who has participated in all but one show, said he's honored to take a turn in the hot seat.

While the theme is Forever Flannel, Foss said he will likely wear a tuxedo to his roast.

The show is filled with local talent, music, dancers and plenty of humor, Foss said. It's an opportunity for people to have fun, laugh and be entertained, he added.

People can expect a variety of performers and music, mixed with a heaping dose of laughs, said Margaret Hurlbut Vosburgh, FOTA manager.

"There's plenty of humor involved, especially with the roast," Vosburgh said, adding it's a show for all ages.

"Many people have friends, family and neighbors in the show," Vosburgh said. "It's the kind of show where your everyday citizen becomes the artist on stage."

She said Worthington offers an array of talented and musically gifted people, and the show affords them the opportunity to show off their skills and give back to the community.

There will be about 16 performers, ranging from singers to comedians, she said.

Foss said as the previous emcee, he's familiar with writing the jokes for the show, but will pass that cob onto Colin O'Donnell, the emcee this year.

This will be O'Donnell's second time on the Memorial Auditorium stage in the past few months, Vosburgh said. He performed in "The Music Man" production this summer, starring as Harold Hill.

"It's great to support the auditorium and I'm happy and pleased to do it," O'Donnell said.

People should come out to support the FOTA and help roast Foss, Vosburgh said.

"I think it's a great social experience and night of entertainment," she added.

"There's no hidden agenda, and we're not trying to make a political statement," Foss said. "We're simply there to enjoy ourselves and entertain the public."

Foss urged people to come because "the price is right."

"I think it's an honor and I'm curious to see how much truth there is in what they say, but I hope they have fun," Foss said about being roasted.

All proceeds from the show benefit the FOTA.

It's the first show in the Hometown Series, Vosburgh said.

"Snow on the Porch" will follow in the winter, and "Gone Country" will run in March.

"(Being roasted) is a nice gesture and I hope it comes off as being entertaining and funny," Foss said, adding he hopes the roast is "well done, not medium or rare."

Daily Globe Reporter Kayla Strayer may be reached at 376-7322.