Photo by Matt Stensland
Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp photographer Richard Finkelstein rehearses the theremin with accompanist Brad Crane. Finkelstein will be one of the faculty members performing at Saturday's 8 p.m. faculty showcase.
If you go
What: "One Night Only," Perry-Mansfield Faculty Showcase
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Julie Harris Theatre, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, 40755 Routt County Road 36
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 11 and younger
Richard Finkelstein will be one of the faculty members performing at Saturday's 8 p.m. faculty showcase at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.
Steamboat Springs High-pitched, warbling sounds drifted out of the dining hall at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp on Wednesday afternoon.
Inside, set designer and camp photographer Richard Finkelstein moved his hands around a theremin, manipulating the electromagnetic fields around two antennas to perform "La Donna e Mobile," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and most any classic tune suggested.
Finkelstein got started with a lifelong interest in music as a marimba player but later found something a little more fitting, he said.
"When I got older, I thought I needed an instrument, but I needed it as weird as I am," he said. These days, Finkelstein can spout off facts about the history of the theremin and play most songs by ear. Some day, he hopes to develop a one-man show.
He'll be one of more than a dozen Perry-Mansfield faculty members to take the stage at Julie Harris Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday to share their talents - mainstream and off-the-wall - with the camp's students and the general public.
The faculty is almost exclusively made up of working professionals in dance, theater or music, said Henry Fonte, director of the showcase. Most of the program for "One Night Only," a variety show featuring dance and music performances, will focus on exposing the level of professional talent available at the Strawberry Park campus.
Finkelstein is an oddity in that mix, but his experience playing one of electronic music's oldest instruments didn't go unnoticed during his mid-week audition for Fonte, who also is leader of Perry-Mansfield's dramatic writing program.
In the first few days of the week, Fonte went around the camp to rehearsals, watching pieces, timing them and figuring out whether and where each work might fit into an hourlong program.
"Basically, my charge as director is to put together a faculty showcase that makes some kind of sense," Fonte said.
Some sections - including "Yellow Bird," a duet set to a traditional Jamaican song by longtime dance faculty members Jennifer Golonka and Nicholas Villeneuve - were brand new, created the night before. Others - including a New Orleans cabaret number called "Shake That Thing" - have a more storied past.
Terry Waldo, a teacher, writer and piano player who Fonte characterized as the authority on ragtime music, will emcee the show, playing piano and telling stories between each section.
Linda Kent, who is in her ninth year as director of dance at Perry-Mansfield, will perform a solo piece choreographed by Villeneuve. Music faculty member Kathy Hussey will sing an original folk song, and Philip Hernandez will sing "Stars" from "Les Miserables." He's performed the selection countless times on Broadway.
Dance instructors Rick McCullough and Yvonne Marceau - whose dance program for New York City school children was the basis of the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom" - will close the program with a ballroom dance performance.