2008 is the 13th year of the Big Lipsynch Contest. Each year we have seen a multitude of talents don their costumes, personas, and bravery to get up in front of 400 people, and belt out their songs, metaphorically speaking.
Last night I travelled down the hill to the Capitol Theatre, the venue that hosts this phenomenon.
This event has become a yearly tradition for our small community, though we weren't thinking of it as tradition back then. Was it 13 years ago that Sarah and her friend, entertained us for weeks ahead with their interpretation of Hairspray, and then won first prize? Was it nearly a decade ago, that Aimee found her own courage to be on stage by herself, in flannel pyjamas and fluffy rabbit feet and showed us exactly how it felt to have the Menstrual Blues?
Over the years, some things have not changed:
- The audience is packed with fans. Fans that shout and yell and cheer for their sons, daughters, friends, and schoolmates. The audience knows exactly how to do a drum roll with their feet in anticipation of the announcing of the winners. The audience is LOUD.
- The house is packed. Parents are great fans.
- There is always a smattering of performances to music from artists like Avril Lavigne, who are not as nearly interesting as what my friend says, "the old stuff." Where is Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley she laments. There is a collective groan when we hear the first notes, and it is "one of those."
- The performances that have us dancing in our seats and bursting with laughter, far outnumber the groaners.
- Norma, who is the producer and director, knows how to lipsynch - Inevitably she has us howling with her antics.
This is really a community event. Every person who enters the contest wins a prize, and the winners (top 3 in 3 categories) get gift certificates, and products from many businesses in town. And each of those winners gets money too! The top one in each category gets $150. That has certainly unfolded over the years; the event's publicists are good at what they do.
There are always performances where you can see budding talent. One of them last night was a 6-year-old who the emcee said had taken a lot of "cute pills." An adult performed to If I Were a Rich Man; the audience exploded in applause when he was done, and many gave him a standing ovation. The Eco-Society lipsynched a song called Garbage.
Lipsynch entertainment takes many forms. One tradition is a man adopting a woman's persona. Last night we got to see Cher. Men who dress up as women, have amazing LEGS! Everything about them is engaging such as the ability to walk in stilettos with limited experience, and also looking gorgeous in a that-must-have-taken-a-long-time kinda way.
Well, the Lipsynch is done for another year. There was a smattering of "we should do that next year," conversations as we left the building. I wonder how many talents have budded on this stage, and bloomed out there in the world. As for me, after 13 years, I am one of those FANS!