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Minstrel show marks 60 years

March 11, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • The Clear Spring Lions Club's annual minstrel and variety show draws talent from across the area, according to show director Burma Miles.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

When Burma Miles performed with The Baltimore Symphony some years ago, she might not have thought one of the highlights of her music career would be participating in a small-town variety show.

But today it ranks near the top.

What could be more fun than a little singing, a little dancing and some comedic skits? she asks.

And it's all for a good cause.

For the past 17 years, Miles has directed the Clear Spring Lions Club's annual minstrel and variety show.

It's been a rewarding job,  the musician said, made easier by "a wonderful group of people who volunteer their time and work hard to raise money for their community."

And while each year is special, this year is extra special, she said. It's a red carpet event —literally.

This year, the show is marking its 60th anniversary and the club is celebrating in style.

"We're going to roll out a red carpet and have extra lighting," she said. "Plus, we'll be wearing gowns, tuxedos and suits."

In homage to the milestone, this year's theme is "Years Gone By."

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 20, in the Clear Spring High School auditorium.

A highlight of the event will be a display in the lobby of all 60 minstrel show programs, Miles said.  There also will be a power point presentation honoring past performers.

Miles said the show is the club's largest fundraiser, with proceeds going right back into the community. 

It's also a very popular event, she said, that draws people from not only Clear Spring, but across the area.

"It's become a tradition," she said. "People know it's going to be a fun evening."

Miles said the upcoming show will be the same type of entertainment people have enjoyed over the years.

"But we're bringing back some things that have been popular in the past," she said, including "The Old Folks" and Minnie Pearl.

Miles said she will be performing and has invited a student from the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts to accompany her on stage.

"It's great entertainment," Miles said of the show. "And this year, it's a part of history. The club has been doing this for 60 years and, to me, that is so remarkable."



If you go ...

What: Clear Spring Lions Club's annual minstrel and variety show

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, and Saturday, March 19; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 20

Where: Clear Spring High School auditorium, 12360 Broadfording Road, Clear Spring

Cost: Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for students. They will be available at the door but may be purchased in advance at the Clear Spring Hardware Store or from any Clear Spring Lions Club member.

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