Talent on display in #8216;Puttin#039; on the Ritz#039;

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2007

The enthusiastic shouts of &#8220bravo” at a theatrical or musical performance translate quickly into words of deep appreciation for an achievement of excellence and or accomplishment well done.

It is a cheer that should be ringing in the ears of those talented men and women who brought us last weekend's enjoyable Puttin' on The Ritz show at the storied old downtown theater.

Everything about the evening was first class.

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Whether it was strong-voiced soloists, light-footed dancers, sharply choreographed groups, spirited orchestra accompaniments, precisely detailed make-up, marvelously colorful and sometimes glitzy costumes, majestic and believable sets or doses of knee-slapping fun, two nearly sold-out audiences of 450 people each night were treated to a spectacle that made Small town, America grab its place of prominence on the big stage.

It was, pure and simple, a treat, the type of evening you hope will never end, the quality of wholesome entertainment you wish would once again become the norm and an experience so pleasant you trust it might become an annual affair.

Greenville and Butler County paid homage to an old theater that showed it still enjoys the spotlight. They breathed life in a downtown district whose charm could become a community magnet. They saluted a special citizen - Roberta &#8220Bobbie” Gamble - whose talents and skills have touched many and earned endearing, legendary status. And they said hello to a new star, director Nancy Idland, whose own love of the stage, unique talents and deep determination made what was a massive undertaking possible.

Gifted performers took deserved bows. Dozens of behind-the-scenes heroes shared their own important, meaningful abilities. And hundreds of grateful patrons laughed, clapped, hooted and howled in delight as they watched their friends and neighbors in starring, sometimes daring, roles

That it was an electric, proud night is to state the obvious. It was a community coming together to have a good time, to enjoy each other's company.

So &#8220bravo” is indeed a fitting tribute. So is &#8220thank you.”

Let's do it again.