News for the week of February 12th – Lots of news this week, plus some interesting pictures!
All rehearsals are as usual this week with two exceptions:
1) Wednesday – Lil’s – on February 15th there is bingo in the MUR from 6-7:30 – which means Lil’s will rehearse in the new gym, and Nagasaki will be in the MUR, as usual.
2) Thursday – Opening, Can Can, Finale – there is a talent show for Arundel on Thursday 2/16 from 5-9 PM. Please use the new gym for Opening, Can, Can and Finale.
Lady in Red does rehearse this week at the Collins’ house.
- Work on the sets, both our Ball sets and the skit sets, is well underway. Several skits are working at Belle’s Place” (as 887 Industrial is now affectionately referred to) and most have gotten started with the painting. Some of their secrets will be revealed as they continue their work.
- Today, Sunday, Sandy Abrahamson was giving Julie Newdoll and Kathy McMillan some time painting. Linda Townsend came by to paint, and Bob Reed and Jack Fisher both dropped in to give their advice!! Toby Pollock started her fabulous work on her skit’s flats. Then Dan Abrahamson dropped in with grandson Aden with the new baseball bat that Aden had made with his Granddad’s help. Nice job, Aden. Sandy and Dan are passing on their talents and skills.
- Connie was spending more hours in the sewing room at the warehouse pinning cancan ruffles on circle skirts. What do you mean, she ran out of pins and had to go home and sew??
- Rehearsals are going very nicely at Central’s Multi-Use Room as well as at Arundel, White Oaks schools and Clifford School. Some skits are rehearsing in secret places.
- Debbie Lyn from Debbie Lyn’s closet costume shop dropped by “Belle’s Place” Thursday and brought feathers, boas, sequins, trims, rhinestones and more. It was for those Lil’s that she came, but lots of other costumers got a few baubles. Ginger Silverman invited her and we had a ball!!
Music & Pictures
Music – Alan is working on making CDs for everyone for their entre music – most choreographers are handing those out at rehearsals. We are in the middle of posting our sheet music online and we have links to various resource materials and videos as well. Check it out under the Cast & Crew tab!
– Thank you to Karen Pratt ( a multi-generational Chickens’ Ball performer) for posting a few pictures from 1996-2008 – check them out here at our historical picture website – http://chickensball.shutterfly.com/pictures/5
A few numbers in the show this year require corsets. Most of the choreographers have already told their groups what color to get. Just be glad you won’t have to wear one of these on a daily basis – check out the pictures from the Laci’s Museum (in Berkeley) exhibit on historical under garments.
– Borrowing corsets – there are many peoples who have corsets already. If you have one that is available to borrow or want to borrow one rather than purchase it, please let Connie know the details and she can work with the groups that do need them this year. email@example.com
– Buying corsets – if you want to purchase a corset, there are many options here in the Bay Area. The usual suspect is Ultimate Elegance
650-369-6913 at 733 El Camino in Redwood City (between Broadway and Brewster). They are very helpful in there and will help you find a corset (usually under ~$100) that fits your body shape and type. If you want to have a custom corset made for you (which will cost ~$300+) there is a place called Dark Garden
in San Francisco (they usually have a booth at the Dickens’ Faire) that will measure you and custom make a corset of your choosing. A note of caution about places like Victoria’s Secret and Frederick’s of Hollywood – it is February which means the decorative lingerie is out in full force in window displays and advertising – these will not help you make it through 8 performances… do not be tempted to buy one of these decorative items in place of a real corset. We don’t want any wardrobe malfunctions in the show this year! :0
I’ll be introducing people throughout the weeks leading up to the show to illustrate 1) the community that makes up the Chickens’ Ball and 2) to help us get to know one another better. You’ll find that there are people in the Ball whom you have known for years that may be your neighbor.
Sonya Sigler, 2012 Chairman – Sonya first performed in the Chickens’ Ball in 2004, singing with the flips. She has performed and directed all her life, but mostly on trombone and in bands or orchestras. She has performed in skits and entres since 2006 and co-wrote and directed the Charter Learning Center skit in 2010. She was the Charter rep on steering and Chaired Steering in 2010. She is working on a documentary about the Chickens’ Ball, so please share your Chickens’ Ball stories, pictures and memories with her.
Can you spot Connie?
Connie Barba, 2012 Production Chairman – Connie Barba has been involved with the Chickens’ Ball since 1972 when she joined the Laureola PTA Skit. She loves to dance and make costumes. She has made enough Can Can ruffles over the years to reach the moon and back. She chaired the Ball in 1986, 1988 and again in 2002. Recently she has written and directed the Lion’s Club skits and she has been on steering in 2008 and 2010. She is the Ball Historian and was honored as the dedicatee in 2004.
Kathy McMillan, 2012 Assistant Production Chairman – Kathy was introduced to the Chickens’ Ball through the Laureola PTA In 1970. She was not in that skit of “chicken pluckers” but instead found her calling in painting sets. In the ’72 Ball she was a Chinese dancer with Laureola’s “Tale of a Que” and she also worked on “Saints and Sinners” indoor art. Over the years she worked Indoor Art and helped paint the Ad Curtain. She was part of Matronettes & Mates (M & M’S) group and was in several skits until 1996. For “A night At The Gilded Cage” in 1986, she was Connie Barba’s Assistant General Chairman. She continues to work with Indoor Art and is an amazing artist!
Sandi Piepmeier, 2012 Secretary – Sandi has done a number of things in Chickens’ Ball over the years and was Connie’s Assistant Chair in 1986. She was Vicci Meuller’s Assistant Chair in 1988. She is the school secretary at White Oaks and is currently enjoying her grandchildren who live nearby! She has done a variety of jobs behind the scenes and on stage, most notably, ticket sales, which she is graciously helping mentor this year!
This year’s choreographers are a very experienced bunch of people who have been involved in the ball for varying numbers of years, dating back to 1960! The Choreographers have different backgrounds in performing, dancing and singing. They are a very talented group!
Bob Bensi 1976
Bob Bensi – Bob has been involved with the Chicken’s Ball since 1970 and was the dedicatee in 2006. He has done skits, entres, and everything in between! He was the Production Chair in 1976, 1982, and again in 1992. He is part of the Friday Night Funnies and is a huge help in mentoring other groups as they put their skits together! Bob is a Burt’s Bees rep (and must have very soft lips, if you ask Cathy). In this Ball, he is singing Top Hat, White Tie & Tails in the opening, and he is choreographing the Shady Dame from Seville from the show/movie Victor, Victoria.
Danielle Bensi – Danielle is a second generation Chickens’ Ball performer and choreographer (see Bob Bensi above, and her mother is Cathy Bensi, a long-time Chickens’ Ball performer and Asst. General Chair in 1992). Her day job is as a parole officer. She loves to dance and put together girlie #s for the Ball. This year, she is choreographing the Be Italian #, from the movie Nine, which involves chairs and tambourines.
Lindee Berg – Lindee has been involved in the Chickens’ Ball since 1986 and works at Lawrence Livermore Labs. She sings, dances and choreographs entres. She is choreographing the Lady in Red barbershop quartet and Femininity. She is also playing Madame Mustache, who carries a whip, so watch out because she really knows how to use that thing, as evidenced by her whip-cracking entrance into rehearsal on February 2nd!
Janet Brinkop – Janet is a famous actress formerly secretly married to George Clooney. Oh, that’s her fantasy bio! Now back to reality; Janet has performed, choreographed and directed entres and skits in the Ball since 1974 and has performed and choreographed for the Kiwanis Show since 1983 including two stints as show director. She has choreographed several productions for the San Carlos Children’s Theater and written and directed seven original productions for Green Hills Country Club’s annual show. She loves to tell a story through movement and always envisions the action from the perspective of the audience. All her ideas spring from music and rhythm with a focus on energy and a self-mocking touch of humor. This year is no exception – she is choreographing a men’s # to Sophie Tucker’s tune, Some of These Days. (My favorite # that Janet choreographed is Bad Men from 2006).
Sue Court & Stacy Stauffer
Sue Court -Sue has been involved in the Chickens’ Ball since 1960. She is also a second generational performer as her father was in the ball for many years in entres and as a keystone cop. Her mom was in the ball in the Garden Club skits and she danced as well. Sue started Choreographing with the Lions club when they did the stomach dance in 1962 – see the two attached pictures below – and has been going strong ever since (you should see her Can Can kicks)! Sue has lived in San Carlos since she was 5 and attended Central, Brittan Acres, Tierra Linda and Carlmont. Sue is on Steering this year and is choreographing the Can Can and Opening, which consists of three songs: TopHat, White Tie & Tails, After Midnight, and Welcome to Burlesque.
Janet Hunter – Janet has been singing and dancing in the Chickens’ Ball since 2000. She has choreographed many entres but has made even more costumes over the years. This year she is designing costumes for 4 numbers and is choreographing “In These Shoes,” which promises to be memorable (See the note above about Lindee Berg being Madame Mustache and you’ll see why it should be memorable!)
Julie Lanesey – Julie is our newest choreographer and this year is her Chickens’ Ball Debut! She teaches dance at Community Street Jam in Redwood CIty and, more importantly, I met her pole dancing. She is doing the Walk Like an Egyptian belly dancing number.
Judy Rechsteiner – Judy has choreographed many numbers since 1998 and is most connected to our tap dance numbers. Many of those in the Chickens’ Ball have taken her tap dance classes throughout the years. Judy was the production chair in 2004 with Plumes & Bloomers under Glass. This Ball she is choreographing our Nagasaki tap dance entre and is on our Steering committee.
Sandy Rodriguez – Sandy has been a longtime dancer and has performed in the Chickens’ Ball since 2000. She loves to dance and must have been a relative of gumby because she has an amazing ability to contort herself into shapes most people can only dream of. She is choreographing a very sexy # like the stripper called, “But, I’m a Good Girl.”
Ginger Silverman – Ginger has been participating in the Chickens’ Ball since 1972, which was in a skit “that did not get anything.” So, she switched to olios (entres) until she joined the Junior Matrons some time in the 1980s. She has been been Choreographing and Directing ever since and is a Writer/Director for the Lion’s Club skit this year. Ginger is in charge of the Diamond Lil’s this year and they are singing “When You’re Good to Momma” from Chicago.
– Gayle is part of a triple generation Chickens’ Ball family. Her father played banjo in the Chickens’ Ball in 1960’s. She started in 1976 in entre acts and then went to skits and then on to choreography! Gayle is part of the Friday Night Funnies group. She has been a performer all her life and at 18 was an Ice Capades
dancer/skater. She was a flight attendant and only got involved with Chickens’ Ball after she had children. Stacy, her daughter (pictured with Sue Court above) started performing in the Ball in 1980 and is currently on Steering. Gayle is choreographing the Finale this year – a Cole Porter tune, (Dancing at) The Policeman’s Ball.
Libby Utecht – Libby is a multi-generational Chickens’ Baller. She and her husband Ron moved to San Carlos in 1968 and saw their first Ball in 1970 have been hooked/participating in the Ball every year since 1974. In 1972, she was on the writing committee for the Firebelles skit (Ron was a volunteer fireman) and it wasn’t selected, so she and Ron worked concessions selling peanuts. Ron was the music grinder and Libby was the monkey. (Not much has changed since, has it?) Libby was the Chairman in 1992, Production Chair in 1982. She is part of the Friday Night Funnies Group and has been choreographing for them since 1990. Her daughter, Kelly Bravo and son-in-law, Fernando are also Ball participants, and Fernando is on Steering this year for Brittan Acres. Libby loves to dance and direct men in funny, humorous numbers. For this Ball, she is choreographing the “Best Things in Life are Dirty.”
New to the Ball – Our Chickens’ Ball Virgins
Lisa Santoro – Lisa is new to San Carlos and hails from New Jersey where she sang with a band. She tap dances and sings up a storm! She is a parent at Central Middle School. In this year’s Chickens’ Ball, she is tap dancing in Nagasaki and is going to be Madam Tessie Wall in the Finale – Dancing at the Policeman’s Ball.
Susie Jimenez – Susie is a voice and piano teacher in San Carlos. She is opening the show with Welcome to Burlesque and is singing and dancing in But, I’m a Good Girl and Shady Dame from Seville. If you listen in on rehearsal for “Good Girl” on Monday nights, you night find out she’s better than Christina Aguilera. She most recently played Maria in the local Sound of Music production.
Nicole Bachelor – Nicole is a new parent at the San Carlos Charter Learning Center this year and loves to dance – you might have seen her on the dance floor at the Kick-Off dinner! She is excited to be in the Belly Dancing # and the Can Can.
Enjoy rehearsals this week!
Sonya Sigler & Connie Barba
Your 2012 Chickens’ Ball Chairman and Production Chair
Connie & Sonya