By Margie Doyle
Orcas “grows” phenomenal talent, and 13 performers gave the audience a real treat before winning Golden Tickets to the final competition of “Orcas Has Talent” on Saturday, February 9 at Orcas Center.
The Golden Ticket winners were announced as:
- Yuko Horikawa, for her poignant delivery of a Japanese song of heartbreak during apple blossom season, with a catch in her throat reminiscent of Patsy Cline;
- Jake Perrine, for his beyond-exuberant cover of Springsteen’s “Born to Run” that included an impersonation of the great horn player, Clarence Clemons;
- Conrad Wrobel, for his stand-up routine of ” the years of bad car luck” and “Cookie Monster goes healthy” with uncanny impersonations of Kermit the Frog, Count Dracula and Cookie himself;
- Cali Bagby, for her exquisitely beautiful and poised rendition of the Puccini aria, “O mio babbino caro;”
- Kellen Comrie, for his “unprepared” improvisation on the keyboard, the arpeggios grabbed out of the energy of the Grange;
- Greg Books, for his “subtle, rhythmical and courageous” interpretation of “Taxman” on his super-20 baritone sax;
- Matthew Laslo White, for his unflappable-in-the-face-of glitches, magical prediction trick;
- Allmost Canadian, made up of Julia and Christian Bailey, Emmy and Lisa Carter, Kellen Comrie, and Brynna Gregg, for their rambunctious delivery of “Some Nights” by Fun.
“Mentor-Judges” Gene Nery, Susan Osborn and Bob Shipstad commented on each act following audience response to all acts, including contestants:
- Marlene Dickey, whose version of Joni Mitchell’s “All I Want” was polished, personal and heartwarming;
- Kelsey Whitaker, who tackled the tricky spoken-song “I Won’t Give Up” in a “graceful and beautiful way” as Gene Nery described it;
- KT Laslo, 2009 Orcas Idol winner, who sang “Dock of the Bay” with a courage and confidence and a cry of the seagull in her voice;
- Mike Speece, who introduced “Cat’s in the Cradle” with the story of how its appeal takes on new significance with every generation of his life.
Last night’s show was emceed by John Clancy, and organized for Orcas Island Prevention Partnership (OIPP) under the direction of Donna Laslo. The annual competition is now in its 8th year, and Julie Pinardi, OIPP board member and Point Blank High School Club advisor, took to the stage last night to thank the community for its support of “Orcas Has Talent’ in sustaining OIPP’s work year-round in youth leadership and risk prevention.
In her remarks, Donna Laslo thanked those behind the scenes: Marcia Gillingham, Stage Manger, Ray Doss on lighting, Freddie Hinckle on sound, Wendy Shinstine on concessions, Jeanne Beck and Julie Pinardi backstage, Rita Bailey, Technical Manager, and Cheryl Kummer on tickets. “We’re maxing out the Grange,” she said, in support of OIPP and the community “for modeling leadership through creativity”
Tickets to the always sold-out, overflow event go on sale at Darvill’s Bookstore on Monday afternoon, Jan. 21. Note: Unlike most Orcas Center shows, Orcas Has Talent begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org