Old Fort Players bring 50s flare with song and laughs

Judy Milks "Donna" belts out a smoky version of "All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth", Sunday at the Old Fort Players performance of "A Taffeta Christmas". MIlks, right, is performing in her first OFP production, seated behind are Dawn Marie Eid, at left, and Laura Archibald, center. Kelly Shields is seated behind Milks.


FORT MADISON – You can watch football anytime, but there’s something special about a cozy theater and some holiday music to break up a Sunday afternoon.

The Old Fort Players delivered this past weekend with holiday favorite melodies and a 50s sense of humor…all sponsored by “Galaxy Beauty Products” and the Dumont Television’s “Hometown Holiday Hoedown, as part of the OFP’s “A Taffeta Christmas”.

Locals Kelly Shields, Laura Archibald, Dawn Marie Eid and Judy Milks entertained Friday, Saturday and a rainy, cool Sunday as the Taffetas, a Muncie, Indiana female singing group on a small label playing local circuits and starring in the “occasional” movie.

OFP Board member Bob Britton said attendance has been good over the weekend and Sunday’s crowd numbered in the 20s.

“We had a really good Friday, Britton said. “We were a bit slower on Saturday but we’ve had good numbers.

Musical accompaniment was provided by Virginia Watson on keyboards, Michael Haas on guitar and Dennis Dowell on a bass.

The gals sang songs of the holidays such as “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “White Christmas”, and did individual holiday medleys as well like “All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”. However 50s garb and a “ginchie” lineup of other generational tunes like “Shrimp Boats” and Sugartime highlighted the afternoon. The “I Saw Mommy” tune was reinvented with a little pig latin to keep the audience leaning forward to track the tune.

They even pulled in an “old cousin” from the group’s original days to help with one of the performances and found “their parents” seated in the Moose Hall that hosted the event. Another catchie part of the show addressed some questions posed from the “audience” and a ‘creepy’ guy in the back. But you’ll have to attend to hear anymore about that.

Sunday’s performance wrapped up the first weekend, but next weekend will offer another opportunity for residents to get out and see the show. The remaining shows all begin at 7:30 p.m. at the theater located at 725 Avenue G this Thursday through Saturday.

The production was produced and directed by Dennis Dowell who’s led two other OFP productions including “Have a Nice Day” and “A Thousand Clowns”. Lee County Bank was co-producer.

Auditions are also being conducted for the groups next play “If the Good Lord’s Willing, and the Creek Don’t Rise” set for February. Interested parties may contact the OFP office at 319-372-9559.

“Peggy”, Laura Archibald, gives a pitch for Galaxy’s newest beauty treatment, Sunset. Just a couple of tablets at night and only the moon will be up.


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