Showcase Spans a Variety of Talent

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Hark Up Horns Big BandHark Up Horns Big BandAdd a bit of this and that and you come up with quite a variety.

And with the combined talents of the artists from Hark Up and Master Arts Theater (MAT), you might as well call it a "Variety Show."

And as the official title implies – the variety includes everything from "shabby to chic" and will be on display in a program Sat. May 18 (details below).

"Actually, the phrase 'variety show' kind of dates it – we're more contemporary than that," offered Hark Up executive director Chris Hansen. "It's more like the Jimmy Fallon 'Tonight Show.'"

Indeed: included are vocal and instrumental music, sketch comedy, and interview segments led by comedic emcee Chris Knobloch.


The idea for a joint program came from discussions late last year between the two faith-based arts organizations. Master Arts director Tim VanBruggen credits their longtime supporter Dale Day as a prime mover in its creation.

"He's been wanting to do something different that would highlight the amazing musicians and talent we have in West Michigan," VanBruggen said. "So this community variety show idea came out of that."

MAT is contributing one of its comedy troupes with a classic sketch from the old "Carol Burnett Show." A skit from another source has the intriguing title "God's Chisel."


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Knobloch is a shrewd choice as show emcee. An actor in several Master Arts productions (remember the popular "Smoke on the Mountain" series?) he is also a traveling puppeteer/ventriloquist. He'll be doing a comic monologue, similar to the format of a TV variety show, as well has as handling interviews. "(Knobloch) is a musician, actor, all around talented guy," Van Bruggen said.

On the musical side the Hark Up Horns Big Band will turn its big band sound on some standards from Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. But they'll also pick out a U2 song or two and some other crossover selections.

"We're trying to reach out to all ages with this one," Hansen remarked.

A relationship with Rush Creek Bible Church in Byron Center (Hark Up performed at its new building dedication last January) made it a natural for a program venue.

(Note the 3pm Saturday May 18 starting time!).


This first-time event could lead to more such programs in the future, say the non-profit directors.

"There are also other Christian performing arts groups in the area," said Van Bruggen. "There's such a wealth of talent in our community that we're hoping to spotlight it in the years to come and use this show as a vehicle to do that."


"Shabby-Chic Community Variety Show" featuring performers/artists from Hark Up and Master Arts Theater
3pm Sat. May 18
at Rush Creek Bible Church, 2334 76th St SW in Byron Center
Tickets: $14 adults, $12 seniors and student, $7 children
For more info online
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Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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