Army Entertainment’s 2010 Army Soldier Show will perform in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart May 26 at 7 p.m. in the Patch Fitness Center, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
This show, in its 27th year, features “entertainment by the Soldier, for the Soldier.”
Active duty, National Guard and reserve Soldiers in the community can audition to join next year’s all-Soldier, song-and-dance production before the performance.
Auditions must be scheduled in advance by calling Alan Buxkemper at 421-2693/civ. 0711-729-2693, or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year’s show is themed “Soldier Show 27.0,” and revolves around the current social media phenomena.
“It’s the 27th year and it’s a new version, just like a new version of a computer program, but it’s built on the foundations of all the past versions,” said Soldier Show Production Director Victor Hurtado. “Basically, it’s like a computer screen. When you walk in, you’ll see the desktop, and all of the transitions are like Facebook or Google.”
The 2010 Soldier Show schedule features 101 performances at 53 venues, including eight stops in Germany.
The show is sponsored by the U.S. Army G-1’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program and the U.S. Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program.
SHARP and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation are co-sponsoring a sweepstakes, which includes a grand prize of a $5,000 trip to the Shades of Green Walt Disney World Resort. Everyone who attends the show has a chance to win, since each program booklet includes a special access code, which participants can input online at www.PreventSexualAssault.army.mil.
Someone from each garrison will also win a $200 prepaid gift card.
While the sweepstakes is new this year, the Soldier Show is also bringing back some familiar acts from the 2004 Soldier Show.
In addition, the 2004 and 2010 themes also somewhat resemble each other. The previous show revolved around how deployed Soldiers kept in touch with loved ones via cellular telephones and e-mail.
The performance quality also remains high. Hurtado was quickly impressed by this year’s Soldier Show performers.
“When I hear them sing together, it’s like the most glorious choir,” he said. “People are going to be just shocked by how good they are.”
Soldier Show founder Irving Berlin would not have wanted it any other way. The performers, in turn, will honor the founding father of Army Entertainment.
“There’s some great historical content with Irving Berlin,” Hurtado explained. “We have much better video technology this year with moving projectors. We’re going to be able to use that during the show for a lot longer length of time, so we have voice-overs with Irving Berlin and some of his work.”
The show will open with Disturbed’s heavy metal anthem, “Indestructible,” which was written to inspire Soldiers headed for battle.
“It’s meant to be something that would make them feel invincible, take away their fear, make them strong,” Disturbed lead vocalist David Draiman said.
As always, the troops will deliver several genres of music and dance, complete with musicians on guitar, bass, keyboard and drums.
“We have an incredibly trained male ballet dancer,” Hurtado said. “Pfc. Andrew Enriquez brings an incredibly masculine [Mikhail] Baryshnikov style. He’s really good, and we’re using him throughout the show.”
And, of course, there’s a tribute to the late Michael Jackson.
“With the Michael Jackson segment, we’re just making use of what he left behind,” said Hurtado, who revealed that the medley will include “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There,” and “Jam.”
“I don’t want to give too much away, but the very last piece is something that you’ll definitely recognize,” Hurtado added.
He then touched briefly on the finale. “The most important thing about the show this year [is that] the finale is being written by the cast,” Hurtado said. “As a group, they are writing an original song, and it’s really coming together beautifully. It’s going to have to do with resilience and the inspiration of bouncing back.”
After 26 years, the Soldier Show itself has shown that it can be resilient and adopt to the changing times: just like the Soldiers it was made to entertain.