By Jason B. CutshawSeptember 30, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Community members got on their feet as the 2010 U.S. Army Soldier Show came to Fort Drum.
Country, rock, pop, gospel and rhythm and blues music intertwine throughout the 90-minute show as Soldiers throughout the Army performed Sept. 22 at Magrath Sports Complex.
The cast and crew give some 100 performances during a six-month tour to 51 locations in the U.S. and Europe.
"It's always a great show, and I think this is the best one I've seen so far," said Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander. "It's just a great testimony to the talent we have in the Army as these Soldiers come in and entertain our service members and their Families."
More than 2,000 people in the audience welcomed the cast members to Fort Drum.
"As always, the U.S. Army Soldier Show showcases the amazing talent we have all across the Army," said Donna Orvis, Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing chief. "The show was extremely well-received, both front and back of the house. This was a very cohesive, talented group of young people.
"Fort Drum has been very fortunate to have the U.S. Army Soldier continually return year after year, and the performance continues to amaze all who attend," she added.
This year's show is named "Soldier Show v.27.0" in honor of 27 years of performing and in keeping with its social media theme.
"I brought the whole Family, and we enjoyed the show," said Spc. James Duncan, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team. "It was our first one, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend to everyone that they should absolutely come out to see one.
"Everything was great," he added. "From the music to the performers, it was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Just a great time, and I look forward to the next time."
The performers consist of 22 active and reserve component Soldiers from 14 states and vary in rank from private first class to captain.
There were two special tributes to musicians Irving Berlin and Michael Jackson.
The Berlin tribute included Soldiers dressed in World War I-era costumes, performing "Oh I hate to Get Up in the Morning" and two Soldiers dressed as Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire as well as "Dancing Cheek to Cheek," from the 1935 movie "Top Hat."
The Jackson tribute consisted of various performers singing songs from his early years with the Jackson Five through his solo career, with a Soldier performing the "Moonwalk" while singing "Billie Jean."
"This has to be a highlight of my life to be able to perform as Michael Jackson in the Soldier Show," said Sgt. Kevin Cherry, a Soldier Show cast member assigned to Fort Stewart, Ga. "I never saw him in concert or met him, but I grew up admiring him as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, entertainer of all time. It is a dream come true to be out there night after night and pay honor to his memory.
"The other reason to do this is obvious," Cherry added. "To be able to go out and perform for Soldiers and their Families and bring a little joy to their lives, especially during times when Soldiers always seem to be deployed, brings great satisfaction to me as not only a Soldier, but as a performer. There is nothing better than the feeling of making others happy, and I am proud to be a part of this."
The modern version of the U.S. Army Soldier Show originated in 1983 as an outgrowth of several shows existing in various Army commands, with Soldier talent selected from worldwide competition.