FORT BELVOIR, Va. - The 2010 Soldier Show opened to distinguished visitors and their Families from throughout the metro Washington, D.C., area last week as part of this revue's 27-year traditional kick-off event.

Not many in the audience remained sitting when the curtain opened to the 22 active-duty Soldiers who leaped onto the stage to perform rousing renditions of heavy metal, rock and roll, Gospel, ballads and country during the 75-minute show entitled "Soldier Show 27.0."

"For this typically reserved VIP crowd to jump to their feet, clap their hands and sing along with the production numbers is an amazing tribute to the talent and amount of hard work these young Soldiers have put into their performances," Production Director Victor Hurtado said.

The show's theme gives much ado about...something that affects Soldiers in war and peace - the personal computer revolution of 1983.

"Our Army is the most technologically advanced fighting force in the world," said Maj. Gen. Reuben D. Jones, commanding general of the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.

"We're adapting new technology, like social media, to help keep Soldiers connected to their Families and friends no matter where the mission takes them."

This edition pays tribute to that change. The staging and pacing of the songs ebbed and flowed like traffic on the information highway, from the crescendo heights to quiet ballads.

"We needed to give both the performers and the audience a break with those lower key moments," said Hurtado with a smile. The audience, oblivious of any staged "breaks," rose fervently and sat quietly, their eyes never leaving the stage.

Every performer is a Soldier. Their jobs range from supply clerk, geospatial engineer and logistics supply to dental specialist, cryptologic linguist and animal care specialist during their regular Army or National Guard duties. Their stage performances require were acquired with the same intensity and hard work.

"They had to be at PT at 6:30 every morning. From 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., they worked on their dance routines and singing, six days a week, since the middle of February," Assistant Choreographer Ashlee Jones said.

The effort showed.

"I saw a rehearsal last Thursday and then the dress rehearsal this Thursday and the difference was amazing," FMWRC Sgt. Maj. Tammy Coon said.

Glenn Smith, international concert promoter and co-owner with his wife of Glenn Smith Presents, Inc., who saw the Friday night show expressed amazement at how well the cast performed in such a short amount of rehearsal time.

The show's finale featured "We're Gonna Make It," a song written by the cast and inspired by the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program's goals of increasing resilience and enhancing performance.

"It's an amazing song that gets right to the point," said Maj. George Williams, who works in the CSF program. CSF sponsors the 2010 Soldier Show, along with the Army G-1's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program.

Capt. Gabriel Granados, commander of Army Entertainment Division, summed up what the entertainers said in song:
"The courage it takes for these Soldiers to get on stage and perform a 75-minute routine is tremendous. Not only do we take them out of their comfort zone and make them do things they are not used to, we ask them to do it in six weeks. This includes the vocal training, choreography, scene/costume transitions, set build/tear down, and more.

"To successfully manage this tour, all soldiers gain strength from each other, Family members, religious beliefs, physical training, and self preservation. Once a Soldier becomes comfortable with the daily routine and confident with their performance, they shine. They shine because they put their heart and soul into something they love to do for the many men and women that play a part in protecting our way of life, be it military, civilian, Family members, or retirees.

"I applaud all the Soldiers that have taken time to give back a little something for our sanity, for our morale," Granados said.

The show's scheduled dates are:

May
8 - Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
9 - Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
12 - Fort Hamilton, N.Y.
18 - Schinnen, The Netherlands
20 - Heidelberg, Germany
21 - Baumholder, Germany
23 - Wiesbaden, Germany
24 - Kaiserslautern, Germany
26 - Stuttgart, Germany
28 - Ansbach, Germany
29 - Grafenwoehr, Germany
31 - Bamberg, Germany

June
5 - Fort Campbell, Ky.
6 - Fort Campbell, Ky.
10 - Fort Rucker, Ala.
11 - Fort Rucker, Ala.
12 - Fort Rucker, Ala.
15 - Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
16 - Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
18 - Fort McPherson, Ga.
22 - Fort Dix, N.J.
23 - Fort Dix, N.J.
26 - Fort Meade, Md.
29 - Fort Lee, Va.
30 - Fort Lee, Va.

July
4 - Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
21 - Fort Hood, Texas
22 - Fort Hood, Texas
23 - Fort Hood, Texas
25 - TBA
27 - Fort Sam Houston, Texas
30 - Fort Sill, Okla.
31 - Fort Sill, Okla.

August
1 - Fort Sill, Okla.
4 - Red River Army Depot, Texas
6 - Fort Polk, La.
7 - Fort Polk, La.
11 - White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
12 - White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
13 - Fort Bliss, Texas
14 - Fort Bliss, Texas
17 - Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
18 - Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
21 - Fort Irwin, Calif.
24 - Dugway Proving Ground, Utah
27 - Fort Carson, Colo.
31 - Fort Riley, Kan.

September
1 - Fort Riley, Kan.
4 - Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
8 - Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Ill.
10 - Fort McCoy, Wis.
11 - Fort McCoy, Wis.
14 - Rock Island, Ill.
17 - Fort Knox, Ky.
18 - Fort Knox, Ky.
22 - Fort Drum, N.Y.
25 - Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.
28 - Fort Eustis, Va.
29 - Fort Eustis, Va.

October
1 - Fort Bragg, N.C.
2 - Fort Bragg, N.C.
5 - Fort Stewart, Ga.
6 - Fort Stewart, Ga.
9 - Fort Benning, Ga.
13 - Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.
16 - Fort Jackson, S.C.
17 - Fort Jackson, S.C.
20 - Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
23 - Fort Gordon, Ga.
24 - Fort Gordon, Ga.
27 - Fort Monroe, Va.
28 - Armed Forces Retirement Home, Washington, D.C.
30 - Fort Detrick, Md.

November
2 - United States Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
4 - Fort Monmouth, N.J.
6 - Warner Theatre, Washington, D.C.

Page last updated Fri April 30th, 2010 at 11:36