WORTHINGTON - “They say there’s always magic in the air on Broadway,” crooned the Drifters in their 1962 hit penned by songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
And a magical evening is exactly what organizers of the 2018 local variety and fundraiser for Friends of the Auditorium (FOTA) are banking on with “Corn off the Cob Goes Broadway.” Performances are scheduled for 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
“This year’s show includes the popular tunes from musicals so many people enjoy listening to,” said Tammy Makram, managing director of the Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center.
The event is in capable hands, with Vonna Leckband, FOTA’s vice president, producing the current edition of Corn off the Cob.
“Vonna has been wonderful to work with,” endorsed Kay Williams Prunty, owner of Worthington’s The Dance Academy.
“She, Tammy [Makram] and technical director Mark Brodin work so hard to put everything together, and their efforts combine with the talents of the performers to create a delightful production.”
Numbers from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Annie, Get Your Gun,” “White Christmas” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” are on the program, with a variety of area entertainers on tap.
Vocalists Sean Benz, Phil Voigt, and Kaia Nowatzki are set to sing, auto harpist Candace Joens and pianist Kurt Haag will demonstrate their instrumental skills and a trio of young dancers from The Dance Academy are among those on the list of performers preparing to show their stuff.
“We have a lot of talented people in this area,” said Joens, a past FOTA president and 10-year FOTA board member.
“It’s so important to give local entertainers a chance to perform on the big stage, and also as lobby entertainment for other shows during the course of the Memorial Auditorium season,” Joens continued.
“The proceeds from Corn off the Cob help defray the costs of other shows the Auditorium schedules seasonally, so attending this - and enjoying what our local talent has to offer - is a great way to offer support for the arts and the Auditorium.”
Haag, an expert pianist who doubles as a Worthington High School math teacher from September through May, will provide piano accompaniment for several performers - and will also play a few solos, likely from the musicals “Hair,” “Into the Woods” and “Girl Crazy.”
Three fifth- and sixth-grade students of Prunty’s studio will dance to a medley of tunes from “Aladdin.”
“Alli Fellows, Bennett Oberloh and Cassie Schulz have had success with this routine as part of our competition team,” explained Prunty. “It’s a fun routine, with a mix of styles including jazz, ballet and acrobatics.”
Prunty has had dancers performing in Corn off the Cob productions since the fundraiser began more than two decades ago.
“It’s such a fun atmosphere, and the young dancers enjoy gathering backstage with local artists,” said Prunty, crediting dance parents Josh and Brenda Oberloh for the stunning prop/set pieces that enhance the “Aladdin” medley.
“This gives kids a great opportunity to perform for a broader audience base than they typically see at recitals, and Memorial Auditorium is near and dear to my heart,” she added. “I always try to do what I can to help promote and maintain this wonderful performing arts facility we’re so lucky to have in Worthington.”
Makram is grateful not only for the city’s ongoing support of MAPAC but also for the performers, backstage assistants and FOTA volunteers who make this annual variety show possible.
“It’s a terrific way to support the Friends of the Auditorium,” said Makram of Corn off the Cob. “All of these performers donate their time to put on this show, and the money raised from it goes back into helping us bring more professional shows and programs to the auditorium.”
“Corn off the Cob Goes Broadway,” an annual fundraiser for the Friends of the Auditorium, takes place at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27, at Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, 714 13th St., Worthington. There is a slight discount for tickets purchased in advance of show times. Visit the box office from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays, call 376-9711 or go to friendsoftheauditorium.com.