Y.E.S. The Arc of Cottonwood held their 33rd Annual Holiday Dinner Dance Celebration at the Sedona Hilton Resort on Saturday evening, Dec. 15.
More than 300 guests were present for the delightful dinner that was well orchestrated by The Hilton Staff (o-o-oh, that chocolate-toffee mousse dessert!).
Then the ARC Angel Choir and The Arc Performing Arts group presented their rendition of a radio show with a holiday theme. Not just any radio show, but a special adaptation of the ever-popular Prairie Home Companion, and it was very special.
The program, Home Spun Fun, was 'broadcast' over station KARC. The radio host-narrator, Ginna Buchanan-Leuenberger, introduced each segment of the show.
The opening number had the two wonderful vocalists, Chris Gosser and Jessica Ryberg 'Wishing us a Merry Christmas.' A group of The Arc Angels (Richard Fridley, Miray Corbin, Jeff Dutton, Jim Lytle, Lynn Sperry and Jessica) each sang about the b-a-a-ad things they had done, and since 'somebody snitched on me,' they got Nuttin for Christmas.' Oh, what sorrow, what remorse they displayed; let's hope next year will be better for them.
Feliz Navidad featured the charming Paula Contreras, backed by some of the cast and joined by the entire audience for the chorus.
Some of the other parodies of the real radio show included a segment about 'Eric the Mouse, P.I.' solving a sea shell mystery in Maui.
That tied into a commercial message from one of the sponsors, "Hotsy Totsy Maui Salsa." Dusty and Lucky, those hapless cowhands, rode their trusty steeds onto the Verde Santa Fe Golf Course, in search of their lost herd of cattle.
A contingent of the Verde Valley Voices delivered a lovely Christmas carol, Still, Still, Still.
Other carols were sung by The Arc Angel Choir. The finale, Silent Night, was sung by individuals, notably Brenda Smith, David Hammons and Jessica Ryberg, with the entire cast and audience joining for the closing of the night's wonderful display of spirit and love that emanates from Y.E.S. The Arc.
Penny Vigil, Executive Director of The Arc, continues to provide the leadership that brings all the vital elements into successful focus for Y.E.S. The Arc.
Melanie Young, event coordinator, did an amazing job of organizing the evening's celebration.
It is difficult to find new words to describe the wonderment of what is accomplished by the energy, the genius and the dedication of Jennifer Schauffler-Vircsik, who creates the choreography, who teaches and trains the performers, and who appears on the stage with them both as coach and performer (without detracting attention from the cast).
Ginna Buchanan-Leuenberger not only acted as narrator, but she was the principal writer of the script for this clever, inventive and thoroughly entertaining production.
Ginna also led a team of helpers in designing and creating the costumes for the show.
Beside the few names mentioned here, every one of the ARC performers were outstanding and I urge all members of the community to share the experience.
The show was video-recorded by Robert Emerson of Video Alchemy and DVDs will be available at Y.E.S. The Arc.
Call for information: 634-2049.