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City of Hope to sparkle Saturday with ‘Something Old, Something New'
51st annual Spectacular is Saturday
Saturday’s 51st annual City of Hope Spectacular will have a little of everything as the curtains open on “Something Old, Something New.”
In all, more than 250 children, youth and adults — some debuting for the first time, others perennial participants — will perform Saturday.
The City of Hope Spectacular showcases local talent and is the City of Hope auxiliary’s major fundraising event, benefitting City of Hope National Medical Center and its Beckman Research Institute in Duarte in Southern California, where research on treatment of catastrophic diseases is ongoing.
“In 1962, a group of residents from Porterville and the surrounding community chartered the Porterville Auxiliary of the City of Hope,” said Dick Eckhoff, chairman of Porterville Auxiliary, City of Hope, and producer of the City of Hope Spectacular. “Their purpose was to develop an awareness of the City of Hope in the area, to encourage and assist residents to obtain treatment at the city and to raise funds to support the City of Hope.”
In 1963, the late Frank “Buck” Shaffer put together a variety show as a fundraiser for the center.
“He based it on the Ed Sullivan show and used his Fabulous Studio Band as the center of the show. It was titled the City of Hope Spectacular,” Eckhoff said.
The rest is history, he said. The show has been produced every year since — 44 years through Buck Shaffer, with Eckhoff taking it over in 2007.
“Buck established the Spectacular for two reasons,” Eckhoff said. “First, to support the City of Hope by raising money and awareness of the City of Hope into the Porterville area, and second, to give local performers an opportunity to experience the big stage in front of a large audience.”
The show continues to be one of the city’s most beloved events, Eckhoff said, with performers ranging in age from 2 to 80 and acts including everything from dancers, singers and instrumentalists, to magicians, rope jumpers and giant snakes.
Saturday will be no exception, as a series of variety acts, along with quick introductions, move “fast on and fast off” the stage.
Jim Kusserow and the Fabulous Studio Band will continue as a central part of the performance. The band will open the second half of the show with ‘Take Five’ — a tribute to jazz legend Dave Brubeck, who died Dec. 5. Brubeck is known as a pioneer who opened the world of ‘cool’ jazz.
Jerry Hall and Trick Shot, who have opened for the Spectacular every year for more than 25 years, will once again appear, and Eric Ball will return as master of ceremonies.
Tickets for the spectacular are $7 and available at the auditorium box office the night of the show or in advance at Porterville Recorder, 115 E. Oak St.; KTIP Radio, 1660 Newcomb St.; Porterville Chamber of Commerce, 93 N. Main St., Suite A; Hanson Travel, 311 N. Second St., Suite A; and Jeff’s Music, 342 N. Porter Road.
Doors open at 6:15 p.m. with pre-show entertainment by Jerry Hall and Trick Shot starting at 7 p.m., and the main show at 7:30 p.m., at the Frank “Buck” Shaffer Theatre inside the Porterville Memorial Auditorium, 465 W. Olive Ave.
Performing at the City of Hope Spectacular:
Jim Kusserow and the Fabulous Studio Band
Briley and Alyssa German, vocalists
Raylene Carabay-Huber, baton solo.
Signs of Hope, signing
Porterville Twirlerettes, Buenos Aires
Rag Dolls, dance
Kathryn McMaster, vocalist
Cristian Perez, baton.
Alyssa Moreno, vocalist
Jeanette Keel, vocalist
Thayne Keele, dramatic presentation
Crack O’ Dawn Dancers
Dreams in Motion Dance Company
Alexander Edsell, vocalist
Reed Flutes, dance
Skye Matthews, dance
Elijah Colton, vocalist
Porterville Twirlerettes, Kiki
Matthew and Michael Brown, vocalists
Sensation Hip Hop Dancers, dance
Belleview Production Group, musical variety
Richard Boyd, vocalist
Rockford Jaguar Drumline, instrumentalists
Kassidy Friend, dance
Deenie’s Dance Workshop Company Dancers