Lion’s Club Minstrel Show!
From The Colon Express, November 7, 1940:
”We repeat the old Kempton Komedy Kompany slogan –
‘You laugh, you scream you roar; More for your money than ever before,’
as it really applies to the splendid minstrel show presented by the Colon Lions Club at the opera house Tuesday evening.
It was a grand show and an outstanding crowd – responsive with applause – and why shouldn’t it be when we have such headliners a Skippy LaMore and Monk Watson in the leads? Probably 450 people enjoyed every minute of it, and many of the younger people realized for the first time what an ideal place we have in Colon for stage shows, and many of the older people, who years ago were regular patrons at opera house shows in Colon, enjoyed going into Hill’s Opera House again for a real performance.
Needless to go into detail regarding the grand opening, with Jean LaMore as interlocutor, the premier end men, Skippy and Monk, and their black-face assistants. Bob VanDeventer and Raymond Ward, and the circle, Virg Farrand, Chas. Williams, Mel Flowers, Don Bubb, Carleton West, Lawrence West, Edwin Loudenslager, Earl Brown, Ralph McMurry and George Conklin, and Jupie Stevens, the peppy piano player.
Along with the continuing “funny staff” by the black-face comedians, ably assisted by Jean, the special numbers by Mel. Flowers, Chas. Williams, George Conklin, Skippy and Monk, were features in the first part.
The second part was a great show with the Elsie Janis production, “Back Stage” presented by Monk, Skippy, Jean and George; the “Arkansas Traveler”, “Cart” and “Dutch” West, in musical numbers, Carleton playing the guitar and mouth-harp and Lawrence the violin, the boys displaying plenty of musical talent; and the grand finale, “The Crazy House”, featuring Skippy, which surely was a crazy act, by apparently crazy people, numerous members of the group being in a “crazy” mood, and doing a good job assisting to make it a real “crazy house.”
As a feature musical attraction, Mary Joan Ward of Bronson gave several selections on the marimba and a drum solo. This talented young lady was called back again and again, and with a pleasing personality and ease and perfect manipulation of the “sticks” it is not hard to believe Miss Ward is a prizewinner with these instruments.
Wilson Murch, blind musician from Bronson, favored with several accordion selections for the enjoyment of all.”