Fort McCoy News May 22, 2015

Soldiers deliver Broadway-style show to hundreds

BY AIMEE MALONE
Public Affairs Staff

A crowd of about 800 Soldiers, veterans, and civilians gathered for the 2015 U.S. Army Soldier Show at Fort McCoy May 10.

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U.S. Army Soldier Show performers sing a patriotic tune to the delight of the audience. Photos by Jobi Spolum.

The U.S. Army Soldier show is an annual Broadway-style production created, performed, and crewed by Soldiers. The production team puts on more than 60 shows throughout the United States and overseas.

The 2015 theme, "We Serve," was reiterated throughout the performance. The production combined popular tunes, such as Bastille's "Pompeii" and Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck," with original songs touching on the themes of duty, loyalty, service, and loss.

The show traveled through time, starting with a tribute to World War II civilians and Soldiers in "Rosie the Riveter." Videos sharing a Vietnam War veteran's memories played on a backdrop during set and costume changes.

The Soldier Show offered something for everyone, covering a wide variety of musical and dance genres. The singers transitioned readily from rock to hip-hop to country — sometimes within a single song. The cast's wide range of talents was displayed with acrobatic dances, rap performances, and even an operatic number paired with a ballet dance routine.

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Song medleys performed throughout the afternoon were crowd favorites.

The song medleys were crowd favorites, especially the number that combined dance routines and costumes from a number of cultural groups. It ended with the crowd cheering the tribute to the cultural melting pot that is the United States. Energetic dance numbers also were popular, including one that featured an early bird getting her fellow Soldiers out of bed and mimicked their daily routine.

Jamie Gular of the Resource Management Office said she brought her entire Family, including her mother and father, to the show. She said her Family thought the "talent was absolutely amazing, both in vocals and dancing." They really liked the ballet portion of the show, which Gular said she hadn't seen in previous shows.

"My father couldn't believe it was free," Gular said. "He kept looking for a donation box and thought there should be one."

"This was by far one of the most-entertaining shows that I've attended," said Jeff Uhlig, chief of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Community Recreation Division.

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Soldier Show performers offered something for everyone, covering a wide variety of musical and dance genres.

"I don't think that anyone would know that the average age of the cast is 23 years old, and none of them are professional performers. The show definitely sent the message of life in the Army and the connection between the Soldiers, their Families, and the communities they all live in."

For more information about the Soldier Show, visit http://www.armymwr.com/soldier-show.aspx. For more information about morale, welfare and recreation events at Fort McCoy, call 608-388-7400 or 877-864-4969.