Talent show wows crowd

Performing at Saturday night’s School Community Talent Show, the Uno, Dos, Tres dance troupe moves to Latin rhythms for a crowd of hundreds. - Matt Johnson
Performing at Saturday night’s School Community Talent Show, the Uno, Dos, Tres dance troupe moves to Latin rhythms for a crowd of hundreds.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

It’s not often Jim Freeman is unable to get a kid to hop on stage and do just about anything. But at Saturday’s edition of the South Whidbey School Community Talent Show, he met his match in Lacy Williams.

Out of more than 200 children and adults who signed up to perform in the two-night event at the South Whidbey High School Auditorium, Williams was perhaps the most reluctant when it came to actually walking out on stage. Scheduled to play “Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” on the piano during the first half of Saturday’s show, Williams would not come out from behind the curtain, in spite of encouragement from Freeman and applause from the audience.

So it came as a shock when, after the first act of the second half of the show had left the stage, the notes of “Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater” floated into the auditorium from somewhere back stage. With encouragement from show organizer Jean Shaw, Williams played the song perfectly — and completely out of sight.

After the song was over, Williams reached only her hand around the edge of the curtain to accept a participation ribbon from Freeman. The sideshow left the audience in stitches.

“You can’t script stuff like that,” said Shaw.

The show, which celebrated its 16th anniversary at its Friday and Saturday performances, was again a South Whidbey success, due in no small part to the charm its performers brought to the stage. Many of those who stepped out under the bright lights to sing, tell jokes, tap dance or play piano had never been in front of an audience. But clearly there were some naturals.

John Thompson, a grade-school country-western singer, walked out on stage with his boots, cowboy hat, and guitar to perform the “The Snake Song,” a tune about a snake that fell in love. His perfect playing and lyricism earned him a long ovation and laughs of wonderment.

Also featured during the evening was a piano performance of “Mr. Machine and the Cheese Scraper,” a standup comedian, and a recital of the Russian alphabet. Whidbey Island Batucada, a drum and marimba group, closed the show.

The talent show played to nearly full houses both nights of its run at the bargain price of $2 or $3 per ticket.

Shaw said the show will return next year for a 17th edition.

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