The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

October 4, 2013

A fantasy cruise

Sweet Adelines board ship in new show

The Commercial-News

---- — The idea for this year’s annual production of the Sweet Adelines Danville Show Chorus was conceived by its president, Maureen Hinkle, while she was vacationing last winter on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.

Hinkle kept notes during her cruise, and when she returned to Danville she spun her ideas into an entertaining script with song and dance routines for this year’s debut of “Cruise to Go.”

Performances of “Cruise to Go” will be at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday in the Bremer Center at Danville Area Community College. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children younger than 12.

The show opens as the chorus is awarded a free cruise on an ocean liner after winning a competition to be the entertainment aboard ship.

“Anyone who has ever been on a cruise or is planning a cruise will really enjoy this performance,” Hinkle said. And because she’s been on five cruises, she has a pretty good idea of what goes on behind the scenes.

The first half of the show will be a rousing songfest, including many familiar tunes, such as “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat,” “Celebration” and “YMCA.”

As a special treat, chorus members will give their best efforts during a synchronized swimming routine. As to whether the women wear bathing suits on stage, Hinkle said, “I can’t answer that now because that will be one of our many surprises in the show.”

The second half of the production will feature the chorus as it entertains guests on the fantasy cruise ship. Musical selections include favorites such as “Jazz Me Blues” and “If They Could See Me Now,” as well as “Sunny Side Up” and “Chase the Rain Away” — two of the songs performed by the Danville chorus in the regional Sweet Adelines competition, where they took second place.

The second act also includes a church service aboard the ship, featuring a gospel medley and the well-known tune, “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

The show concludes with the song “Show Me the Way to Go Home,” followed by a surprise ending.

This is the fourth show Hinkle has written for the chorus during her 30 years with the Sweet Adelines.

“Once I got inspired with the idea, I sat down and wrote the script within a couple days,” she said, “and after that I fine-tuned it and took suggestions from other chorus members.”

Three years ago, Hinkle wrote the script for the chorus’s Halloween show called “I Love Being a Ghoul.”

Costumes include casual and dressy cruise wear, as well as a couple sets of matching T-shirts. The stage set is the deck of a cruise ship, including a piano bar and other amenities.

“This is really a fun show,” Hinkle said. “There are a lot of humorous things that will remind the audience of their own cruise experiences.”

Hinkle did some type casting when she chose roles for this particular show. “That way everybody is playing a role that fits her own personality,” she said.

“This show will appeal to all ages,” Hinkle added, “and our performances are always family-oriented. In fact, my grandson is one of our biggest fans.”

Chorus director Peggy Marruffo said, “We’re excited to have two new chorus members on stage this year, as well as all our remaining members. The show has a cute story line and includes audience participation.”

She added that the audience should expect the unexpected throughout the performance. “You never know what will happen next on a cruise,” she said.

To join Any woman who enjoys singing and is interested in joining the Sweet Adelines chorus is invited to attend one of its rehearsals at 7 p.m. Mondays at Harrison Park Clubhouse, or call Maureen Hinkle at 474- 0473.