Rendered Speechless by Mary Poppins in Elgin, Oregon

On Day 3 of this year’s Classic, we spent the evening in the community of Elgin. The town’s centerpiece is a stately 106 year-old Opera House/City Hall building where riders were welcomed for tours, a history lesson, and a taste of the show the cast has been working on for months. One of our Cycle Oregon volunteers, Wally Shriner, was so taken with the whole experience that he was moved to put pen to paper and write a little something to share with us. Take it away Wally:

Wally Shriner, Cycle Oregon Volunteer
September 15, 2018

Community theatre — kids, adults, 

grand-parents.  Two weeks before 

show time. A little preview for a few 

cyclists supporting the arts. Expecting 

fun, but not Ashland.  Homemade 

cupcakes and popcorn for sale 

before the show.

A few chimney sweeps were mingling

with the visiting patrons – poised and

charming – kids confident of their place

in the world. At home in a 200-year old 

opera house and riding range in 

God’s country.

Some words from a modest director

starts the show. Ambition here too,

like those who conceived that an opera

house could tame the wild west.

“We’ll do a few shows to bring art 

to a sleepy town” were as far 

as his plans went.

Fast forward forty shows later, tonight 

thirty locals, mostly school-aged, dazzle 

the crowd with song and dance, 

arabesques and shuffle taps. Solos 

and sophistication as good as any

seen with city lights and wealth.

Proof of what’s possible with hard 

work, six days each week and 

dedication for art and for each other 

and for a crowd of strangers 

shouting and clapping. 

Smiles uniting all. Sharing joy

at a job well done and the pleasure

pure from a performance unexpected.

Nothing podunk about this cast. Actors, 

dancers, singers.  Worth every decibel 

of the standing ovation 

in Elgin, Oregon.

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  1. …And the Cycle Oregon guests only saw a few scenes of songs and dance routines. But what a good and gracious audience they were.

    But I gotta say, ” Ya shoulda seen the whole show!”