Local talent shines in fun chuck wagon show

Master Chorale singers end season raising the barn at Pioneer Museum in Imperial. (L to R) Bill Gay, Denny Lang, Naomi Klockmann, Susie Hawk, Mike Cox, Ben Brock, and Lonnie Dyck.

IMPERIAL - The Imperial Valley Master Chorale put on a spirited, playful performance in conjunction with Imperial Valley College Saturday in the western vignette, “Annie’s Black Hills Chuck Wagon Dinner Show.” With lively tunes and costumes, the cast delighted the audience at the Pioneers Museum, which was a fitting location for the western era show.  

The show led audience members to laugh, dance, and sing along, and provided an inclusive, cheeky, and endearing night out for people of all ages.

The play was written and staged by longtime Master Chorale member, Deborah Thornburg. The show included a western style dinner and a performance featuring local standouts, Luke Hamby, Susie Hawk, Mike Cox, Ben Brock, Lonnie Dyck, and Naomi Klockmann.

Audience participation was encouraged as cast members roamed about the room, making use of the entire room as their stage. The western performance included numbers such as “Anything You Can Do,” “Got the Sun in the Morning,” “No Business Like Show Business,” and “Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” from the well-known broadway play, Annie Get Your Gun.   

The evening featured a breakout performance by local talent, Naomi Klockmann, who is a graduate student at San Diego Christian College. Klockmann has performed in plays from the North County Coalition for the Arts, most recently having performed in 2016’s The Music Man. However, this performance showcased Klockmann’s acting and singing skills as a main character and solo performer.

Susie Hawk, a seasoned member of the Master Chorale, shined in the lead role of “Calamity Annie,” and performed well with local favorites Mike Cox and Luke Hamby, who recently played the role of the Beast in NoCCA’s Beauty and the Beast.

The evening also included a silent auction and heartfelt performances from more local talent including Ron Griffin, Trina Hamby, Marilyn Pyle, Bill Gay, and Manuel Collado. The performances were accompanied by longtime Master Chorale accompanist, Donna Marlin.

The Imperial Valley Master Chorale is directed by Denny Lang, a decorated bass soloist and director of the Imperial Valley Choral Society, and the First Presbyterian Church of Brawley.

The Imperial Valley Chorale Society will be presenting Handel’s Messiah in the fall, for the second time under the direction of Lang. The performance will include an expanded choir, the chamber orchestra, and will feature Brawley’s Esther Rayo as the guest soprano soloist.

All singers Valley-wide are invited to join the choir for this special event. Those interested in receiving information regarding the concert or performing can contact Lindsay at 760-554-6103.

Handel’s Messiah performance is scheduled for November 30, 2017, at Christ Community Church in El Centro.