By MIKE CHAIKEN
Hometown talent will take the stage this weekend as the annual OM show reminds audiences there’s “No Place Like Home.”
The Older Members Association of the Bristol Boys and Girls Club Family Center each year stages a variety show, which is now the oldest continually presented variety show in the country. The show, which is a fundraiser for the club is known for pulling in the best of the best Bristol performers of all ages.
Donald Coombs, chair of the show, said the title “No Place Like Home” was chosen for this year’s event because, “This year’s show is family oriented, utilizing the children more and incorporating parents and their children in numbers. ‘No Place Like Home’ is promoting that Bristol is our home and in the middle of home is OM.”
Director Michael Morgan said leading up to the 75th show, which was last year, “The shows were centered around the decades that the OMs have been putting on shows… This year, the artistic team of myself, Jenna Doolitte, Wayne Morgan, Misty Masotti-Diakon , Lisa Maghini- Santiago, and Sally Kish — took the theme ‘No Place Like Home’ and came up with a variety of numbers that reflect those you see in an OM show and concentrate on family and their connections. We have several generations performing together this, and they will be showcased in a number.”
Building upon the past and keeping an eye on the future, Coombs said, “There is more involvement from all ages. Building the cast members for the future is important. Providing more involvement from all ages throughout the show creates excitement; not only for the audience but for the performers as well.”
“This year we have added several numbers that include the children more so than I think has been done in the past,” said Morgan.
The veteran performers of the OM show, the ones who return year after year, are one of the highlights of the event event.
“There will be some of the usual faces on stage and they bring their talents and joy of performing for audiences of Bristol,” said Morgan. “The veterans will not disappoint, and the ‘newbies’ will also have you smiling, laughing and tapping your feet.”
“The veterans provide their nostalgia and traditions while teaching the newbies the ropes,” said Coombs.
In terms of the younger cast members, Coombs said, “The little ones always bring smiles and laughter and this year will not let you down.”
“This year, the teen chorus will blow you away with their harmonies and moves,” said Morgan. “The first time I saw them perform their number with the choreography, it brought chills. Since there is a large number of girls this year… there is a girls specialty number at the end of Act I that will have people eagerly awaiting for Act II to start.”
The OM show is known as one of the oldest variety type live performances in the country. Coombs is confident that this year will continue its legacy of great entertainment.
“Michael Morgan has an extensive back ground in theater,” said Coombs. “He has involvement with young children, high school productions and community theater. He knows what will entice the audience to want more. The Older Members are proud of our 76 year tradition and helping the youth of Bristol grow in a positive way at the Bristol Boys and Girls Club of Bristol and Family Center.”
Watching the show as a member of audience, Coombs said he is impressed by the fact ”that these are regular people from the Bristol community having fun and sharing their talents.”
“I am amazed at the amount of talent from one town,” said Morgan. “The shows have great themes and the music and dancing is very entertaining. This year’s, I hope, will follow in that tradition. I have seen everything from Broadway to community theater, children’s productions to high school theater. This show has the same appeal and enjoyment as all those I’ve listed.”
Coombs urged audiences to check out the annual event at St. Paul Catholic High School. “This year’s show provides a unique mix of all ages on stage throughout the show. We are showcasing new members and veterans. Not to mention you never know what the OM’s will produce for their two skits.”
“The cast and crew have worked hard to put together this great show, which will have you leaving with a smile on your face and a song in your heart,” said Morgan.
“No Place Like Home” is presented by the Older Members Association of the Bristol Boys & Girls Club Family Center at St. Paul Catholic High School, 1001 Stafford Ave., Bristol on Friday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 22 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the evening performances and $15 for adults and $10 children for the matinee.