The first of nine performances of the 32nd Annual Fabulous Fifties Show, “Road Trippin’”, will open on Thursday evening, March 15, for the first of nine performances that will be presented at 900 South Main Avenue in Fayetteville.
Evening performances will begin at 7 p.m. on March 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24, and afternoon shows, which this year include a Sunday presentation, will get underway at 1:30 p.m. on March 17, 18, and 24.
Tickets are on sale now at Bagley & Bagley Insurance, Bank of Lincoln County, Carter’s Drug Store, CB&S Bank, Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, First Commerce Bank, First National Bank, and the Lincoln County Trustee’s Office in the Courthouse. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 4-12, and free for kids ages 3 and under if held by an adult. People unable to visit one of the outlets may call Cary Sullivan at 931-433-3933 to reserve tickets.
All proceeds benefit the Multi-County Cancer Support Network, an organization that serves an eight-county area, including Lincoln County, providing assistance with expenses for cancer patients not covered by insurance.
Actors in this year’s production find themselves on their way home from New York City, where they have attended a meeting of the Woodchucks, to Fayetteville so that they can make it to the Fabulous Fifties Show, said Jane Wilcox, producer, describing the setting storyline.
A family-friendly show, the annual extravaganza is composed of singers, dancers, and an 11-piece band, as well as the actors, who perform a skit that moves the show along seamlessly.
After auditions this year, the show acquired several talents, including Vada Quick, Mary Beth Jenkins, and Ray Shields, who all sing, and Nathan Posey, who is on drums. Garrett Honea is back after a few years of college and law school.
“Ages of our cast and crew range from a little over a year to a tad over 70 years old, or so we guess — one person want reveal his/her age),” said Mrs. Wilcox, that that the production will feature songs from the 60’s and 70’s as well as the 50’s, all recognizable from current movies, advertisements and truly old classics.
“We have interlaced things from all decades in our skit so as to trigger memories for people who grew up in the 50’s through today,” she said. “As our script writer, Josh Ogle, has interjected humor into the script that will tickle your ribs. We take great poetic license with our time-frame and costumes. There’s something for everyone!”
T-shirts depicting this year’s show logo, designed by Carl Gleghorn, who has also designed the backdrop for the last several years, are available for $15 at Bagley & Bagley and the Trustee’s Office in the Courthouse.
“Carl Gleghorn designed the logo and worked with NDesigns to create when has been described as possibly the best t-shirt we’ve ever had,” Mrs. Wilcox continued. “We appreciate those who buy and wear shirts before the show to help us advertise. The shirts will also be for sale at the show, as well as many souvenirs and other items … These items are all donated, and all proceeds will benefit your neighbors in need.
“We consider our backdrop another character in our show, since it adds so much to the overall experience,” she said. “One of the highlights of the show for me is when the curtain opens and I hear the gasps from the audience when they see the backdrop and hear those initial notes of the song that is familiar to most in the auditorium.”
The producer also expressed her appreciation to everyone who assists and some way, from the businesses to the many volunteers.
“We are grateful to all of the people and businesses who contribute their time, energy and money to support our efforts,” she added. “All of our people are volunteers, which maintains that we are The Volunteer State which trickles down to our town being a Volunteer Town. Volunteers help pass out programs, help in the concession stand, sell souvenirs, sell and take up tickets, make costumes, run errands, design the backdrop and t-shirts, paint the backdrop, make banners, publish stories, broadcast interviews … the list goes on and on.”
A little history
Three figures have been an integral part of the show since its inception 32 years ago – Cary Sullivan, who helped organize the first show and remains very much involved, and Lucy Cowley and Mickie Bigham, backup singers and members of the acapella group, Simply Fabulous, which performs at different events representing the Fabulous Fifties Show.
The show, which is now one of the most anticipated annual events in Lincoln County, got its start after Mrs. Peggy Mann saw a variety show in Shelbyville.
“Mrs. Mann had a vision of starting a similar show in Fayetteville and got busy making it happen,” said Mrs. Wilcox. “She called Cary Sullivan to assemble the talent and sell tickets, and enlisted Edith McKay to write the script. Thus, the Fabulous Fifties Show was born.”
The first show was a hit with two performances and raised $7,500 for the American Cancer Society. For 20 years, the proceeds went to support the American Cancer Society. The last few years, however, have seen the funds go to the Multi-County Cancer Support Network. The MCCSN is a non-profit organization designed to provide emotional, educational and financial support to cancer patients and their families in Southeastern Tennessee.
The funds help people with purchasing wigs, gas for transportation to and from treatments, mortgage payments, and other expenses incurred while out of work with this dreaded disease. MCCSN serves an eight county area including Bedford, Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Lincoln, Marion, Moore, and Warren Counties. The 2017 Fab Fifties Show netted over $80,000 to help cancer victims.
Throughout the 32 years, there have been only five producers of the show – “These people have pulled off miracles by meeting deadlines, finding last-minute replacements for singers, actors and musicians — even on the night of a performance, arranging schedules and making sure everyone is where they need to be,” said Mrs. Wilcox. “It is a sometimes daunting, but immensely satisfying job.”