Originally created 07/27/06

Soldiers take the stage



A group of about 25 soldiers will sing and dance in the annual U.S. Army Soldier Show this weekend.

"This is the chance of a lifetime for soldiers," said Steve Walpert, Fort Gordon's entertainment director who is coordinating their Fort Gordon visit. "Many of these soldiers go on to professional careers in theater."

With a theme of Reveille: Answering the Call, the Soldier Show is a nonstop 90-minute production featuring about 40 songs, including Broadway, gospel, country, patriotic, rock, and rhythm and blues. The show features professional lighting and set design to complete the aura of a Broadway- quality production, Mr. Walpert said.

Each year, a new show is developed.

"Six months ago, these soldiers could have been in Iraq or Afghanistan working in a hospital, a motor pool or an office," Mr. Walpert said. "Now they have the opportunity to share their talent not just with other soldiers, but military and civilian audiences. I'm always proud to look up on the stage and see the soldiers showing the community just what talented men and women are in the service today."

The Soldier Show started its six-month tour in May at Fort Belvoir, Va. For the past several years, the show has stopped at Fort Gordon in October, but a change in the tour route has brought it to the post earlier.

Mr. Walpert said he's looking forward to this year's show and has heard good things about it.

"It's a very talented group of soldiers," he said.

Mr. Walpert recommends patrons get to the theater at least an hour before the start of the show because a capacity crowd is expected.

Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.

IF YOU GO


WHAT: The U.S. Army Soldier Show


WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday


WHERE: Alexander Hall, Building 29805, Chamberlain Ave.


COST: Free


TELEPHONE: (706) 793-8552