Tue, May 21

Triple T Dance Troupe

Photo by Helga Freund

TRIPLE T, joined by the talented musical trio, A Month of Fridays, is a winning combination of song and dance, tailor made for the holiday season.

Titled “Christmas Cheer,” it’s a benefit performance for the continued renovation of Cottonwood’s historic Civic Center and promises to be great entertainment, sure to put everyone in the holiday mood.

The Triple T, which stands for Tailor-made Talent Troupe, made its debut in 1983 at the Prescott Fine Arts Center under the direction of Janette Davis. When Janette and husband John (who is also involved as sound director, occasional actor and all-round morale booster), moved to the Verde Valley in the mid-1990s, Triple T moved with them and now features local talent - and what talent it is.

In addition to the multi-faceted Davis, troupe members are Bonnie Endicott, Marie Escott, Alice Klies and Karen Lindenberg with a repertoire that includes jazz, modern ballet, tap, ethnic and ballroom dance, and each of these gifted ladies also acts and sings. Their respective husbands also contribute to the troupe’s success, helping out as stagehands and occasionally joining the action on stage in some of the song and dance routines.

The troupe performs throughout the Verde Valley, Sedona, and greater Phoenix; in fact, they’re looking forward to an upcoming performance at the Sun Dial Auditorium in Sun City, where they’ve been invited by the Venture Out Travel Club to present “Christmas Cheer” to an audience of 500.

Janette has designed and choreographed this holiday performance to reflect the versatility of The Triple T members. Sunday’s program includes many seasonal favorites: you’ll watch with delight as Frosty the Snowman, the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers, Winter Wonderland, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, and Deck the Halls are innovatively interpreted through song and dance with dazzling costume changes for each number. The grand finale is a re-enactment of the Twelve Days of Christmas with an Arizona twist, featuring the Palo Verde tree, Cactus wrens, coyotes, javelinas and friendly rattlesnakes, sure to bring down the house.

To round out the performance, The Triple T will be joined by the talented musical trio, “A Month of Fridays.” Not limited to Friday engagements, this trio of pros comprised of Terry Christensen (who also serves as the show’s emcee), and Terry and Eric Hummel, is sure to bring happy thoughts of TGIF through their inspired renditions. Janette couldn’t be happier that the trio will be part of the entertainment, saying, “They have great voices and they’re so professional!”

The hour-long performance, which starts at 3 p.m., is guaranteed to bring smiles and chuckles and leave everyone in a spirit of good will.

In keeping with the spirit of the season, “Christmas Cheer” is free to the public. Janette views this as a gift to the community, but donations are welcome and will go toward the restoration of the 65-year-old Civic Center, a project close to Janette’s heart.

“I love old buildings; it breaks my heart to see them demolished”, she says, adding, “[The Civic Center] should remain an important gathering place for Cottonwood - that was its original intent. Why, back in the 1940s they even had big bands on stage there!”

The Davises are members of a committee of concerned citizens, formed a few years back, to tackle the renovation project. The committee has been successful in rallying the support of the business community and various charitable organizations in the process.

To date, the committee has overseen the remodeling of the stage and installed new curtains and tracks. Some work still needs to be done on the stage, but the major project is the lighting, which requires a complete rewiring of the building.

However, Davis’ involvement and enthusiasm for the project goes back even longer. In 1999, Janette and The Triple T, together with talent from Phoenix, put on a variety show to raise money for the restoration of the Old Town Palace Theater, the country’s oldest continually operating single screen movie house, destroyed by fire in December 1998. When rebuilding plans fell through, the funds were transferred to the Civic Center project.

Then, in 2000, Davis directed The Triple T, along with a number of talented community volunteers, in another benefit performance, “The Magic of Broadway & Hollywood”, a full-scale professional production at Mingus High School. The performances raised over $3,000 for Civic Center renovations.

And Janette and John took it upon themselves to redo the Center’s dressing room, painting, and installing mirrors, lights and carpet.

Treat yourself to an abundance of good cheer and laughter, mixed with nostalgia, and show your support for the Civic Center project as well as for The Triple T, a talented group that derives its satisfaction from entertaining, bringing joy and brightening the lives of others.

The fun begins at 3 p.m. Dec. 19 at the Civic Center, 805 N. Main St., Cottonwood. Admission free, donations gratefully accepted.