By Megan Marie McIntyre (ASC Public Affairs)June 29, 2011
DAVENPORT, Iowa - The ringmaster gathers and engages the audience, as performers in the Army Soldier Show take the stage. Come one, come all, to the greatest show on Earth!
A packed house at Adler Theater gave the 2011 U.S. Army Soldier Show a rousing reception, June 28. This year’s show incorporates the different places that host American Soldiers around the world.
The title theme this year is “Carnival - A Traveling Thank You” which features the ideals and missions that require great sacrifice, as freedom comes at a cost to our Soldiers, their families and our country.
“This show expresses our appreciation to the citizens of host nations and to the Soldiers, families, Department of Defense civilians and retirees who support our Soldiers,” explained J. C. Abney, Installation Management Command’s deputy chief of staff, in the Soldier Show program handout.
“This production portrays never-ending gratitude for the support given by nations who share our American aspiration for freedom and with whom we serve around the world,” he wrote.
This year’s set design displayed visuals to match the song choices. The set included a multifunctional circular light structure used to mimic a carnival prop, backdrop decoration and even a time machine.
The lights beamed as Soldier Show performers came out to dance, sing and play instruments.
As usual in a variety show there was a mix of music from all genres and generations, packed into a 90-minute production. The mix of songs allowed every audience member to enjoy the production. Groups and soloist alike performed everything from R&B;to country.
The cast includes 20 Soldier-performers and five Soldier-crew members. Backing them are 13 Army Entertainment Soldiers and 16 dedicated Army Entertainment civilians, all working hard to support the Army Soldier Show from initial tryouts to the last bow.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Davis, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, offered a contemporary touch to the performance as he showed off his break dancing moves and rapping songs like "Nothin' on You" by B.O.B.
According to the Soldier Show program handout, Davis shows a true passion for the stage. “I hope to encourage other entertainers at heart to follow their dreams,” he said.
Not only do cast members perform, but they are also responsible for the show’s production and logistics, moving 70,000 pounds of technical equipment throughout the United States, Korea and Europe.
According to the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command web site, the kick-off show was at Fort Belvoir, Va. April 29. The tour is scheduled to end Dec. 10 with a special VIP performance at Fort Sam Houston.
Following the performance, Joel Himsl, garrison manager, Rock Island Arsenal, accepted a framed gift on behalf of RIA and presented one to Soldier Show personnel. These gifts allowed appreciation from both sides to be shared, demonstrating the Army Soldier Show is a great partner to our community.