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'Single Ladies' among the hits at Clear Spring Minstrel Show

March 20, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • Gail Snyder, as Minnie Pearl, entertains the audience at Clear Spring High School Sunday afternoon. The Clear Spring Lions Club put on its 60th annual minstrel show there.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

CLEAR SPRING — The black leotards and high heels from Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” music video were nowhere in sight.

They were replaced with housecoats and tennis shoes, but the sassiness wasn’t missing Sunday as Denise Binkley, Cherry Snyder, Esther Whitley, Kathy Miles and Betty Smith put their own spin on the choreography that went viral about two years ago after Beyonce’s video was released.

The musical skit, a hit at Clear Spring’s 60th annual Minstrel Show, featured the women dressed up as older ladies with walkers, or in one’s case, a cane. They danced comically in a circle around the front of the stage as hundreds of people in the Clear Spring High School auditorium on Sunday afternoon got a healthy laugh.

Whitley, of Clear Spring, said the women did a skit last year about a drill team with lawn chairs. The skit was successful enough that the variety show’s organizers let them come up with a skit for this year’s show.

Smith, of Clear Spring, said the women got the idea from watching others, on YouTube.com, create their versions of Beyonce’s video.

The annual variety show, held Friday through Sunday, is the Clear Spring Lion’s Club’s largest annual fundraiser.

Member Bill Robertson said 296 people attended Friday night’s show and 436 people went to Saturday night’s staging, making it one of the biggest crowds in years. Hundreds of people attended Sunday’s matinee as well, though there were still a few empty seats.

The show featured music, jokes and comical skits.

Patsy DeLauney, 63, of Sharpsburg, said she knew two of the performers, Larry and Betty Smith.

Jennifer Hart, 32, of Clear Spring, said she knew almost everyone in the show, including some teachers from Clear Spring Elementary School.

“We liked Minnie Pearl,” Hart said.

Gail Snyder portrayed Pearl, who received many laughs, just as the “Single Ladies” skit did.

The skits were hysterical, said Judy Reed, 56, of Clear Spring.

The annual show is funny, cheap entertainment, and a “good time to get away from things,” Reed said.

Asked how difficult it was not to laugh during the “Single Ladies” skit, Whitley said, “You’re concentrating so hard on doing it and pulling it off. We’re serious. Afterward, we’re laughing like crazy.”

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