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'Playing for the Troops' in Brookridge to help send care packages overseas

Lucy Basta, 67, and Jack Waldron, 73, sing and play instruments in Playing for the Troops, a fundraiser to help send care packages.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Lucy Basta, 67, and Jack Waldron, 73, sing and play instruments in Playing for the Troops, a fundraiser to help send care packages.

BROOKRIDGE — They met six years ago, performing in local musical productions. Then, a year or two later, Lucy Basta and Jack Waldron decided to join forces, combining Basta's strong vocals and Waldron's expertise on the guitar.

A new team was born.

Basta, 67, sings and plays the Q-chord and dulcimer. Waldron, 73, sings and plays guitar.

The two have performed locally at Stage West Community Playhouse, in the Brookridge community and at a number of area events. In 2009, the duo was selected as a finalist in the 2009 Bright House Networks Bright Stars Senior Idol show at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

Shortly after that, the two began collaborating on their newest venture, Playing for the Troops, a benefit show that will be performed Saturday and Sunday at the Brookridge clubhouse.

It's not the first show Basta has put together at Brookridge. She also organized a Playing for the Troops benefit two years ago.

"This show is much more involved than the one two years ago. And this time I played upon his sympathy to join me," Basta said of her friend and musical partner, Waldron.

Waldron, on the other hand, said he was allowed to help Basta only after she saw the job he did heading up last year's Memorial Day service at Brookridge.

The show is a fundraiser to send care packages to troops serving overseas. While admission is free, donations are appreciated. Funds will be given to Brookridge residents Ed and Maxine Kolbe, who have been sending care packages to troops since 2005. To date, the couple have sent more than 1,500 packages.

The show, which boasts a cast and crew of more than 30, will be done in two parts. The first is a comedy show, written by Basta and Waldron.

"The writing was a collaborative effort," Basta said.

With the stage transformed to look like the deck of an aircraft carrier, the story begins as the ship docks in Italy and two unwanted guests come aboard — an Italian delegate who is there to inspect the ship and a Stars and Stripes reporter. The ship's worried captain, Terrence P. Maldemer (which is French for "seasick"), hopes nothing goes wrong.

"But the captain will experience everything he would never want to happen," Waldron said.

"It's very slapstick, physical comedy," Basta added.

The second half of the show will be a USO-style performance, featuring 10 song and dance acts, including Alice Yost performing "Shades of Tina Turner," Ed Kolbe singing Tex Williams' hit Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette), and Sally McDonough performing as Carmen Miranda.

Following the acts, the ship returns to port, and the captain debriefs the crew and audience.

Other highlights of the evening will be a Bob Hope look-alike contest and prizes.

As part of the USO-style acts, Basta and Waldron will perform Bing Crosby's Now is the Hour, which will include some of the comedic banter for which the two are known.

"We have compatible interests in music," Waldron said, "and our personalities seem to mesh okay. … If she says, 'Jump,' I say, 'How high?' "

If you go

'Playing for the Troops'

When: 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Brookridge clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St.

Admission: Free, but donations are appreciated, which will be used to send care packages to troops overseas.

Information: Call (352) 596-5532 or (352) 597-1113.

'Playing for the Troops' in Brookridge to help send care packages overseas 01/28/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 28, 2010 6:22pm]
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