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Winter Fire and Ice Gala

Food, fun and fundraising to benefit Positive Directions

By Beth Wasson

WICHITA - If you’re looking for a little fun after the holidays the Winter Fire and Ice Gala might be the event for you. Happening Jan. 19 at Abode Venue, the evening promises fun, food, and a fundraising auction for Positive Directions Inc. (PDI), a local non-profit organization committed to the prevention of HIV.
    Tickets, only available online at postivedirectionsks.org, are $80 for the main event starting at 7pm, or $100 for early entry as a VIP at 6pm. Beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres and what Executive Director Brett Hogan describes as “eye-popping ambient entertainment” are included with the admission price.
    Without revealing too much, Hogan promises a “fun, funky night” with the likes of magicians, singers, and dancers performing continuously throughout the gala. Attendees are encouraged to dress for fun whether that is formal attire or a more casual choice.
    Underwriters for the gala include Spirit AeroSystems, XY Bar, Abode Venue, Douglas Design District, and B Young Salon along with many private donations. The fun continues with an after party at XY in Old Town. One hundred percent of the ticket price goes to PDI for funding its services and community outreach.  

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Signature Theatre produces Cuckoo’s Nest

By John Dalton-White

WICHITA - Signature Theatre will begin its 2018 theatre season with Dale Wasserman’s adaptation of Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to be presented at the Wichita Scottish Rite Theatre Jan. 19-20 at 8pm and Jan. 21 at 7pm.
    A boisterous, ribald and ultimately devastating story of a mental hospital and its inhabitants, Nurse Ratched (played by Teri Mott) runs her ward with icy efficiency. With a firm hand on medication, treatment and basic necessities, her word is law and dissent is punished. Into this isolated world struts Randle P. McMurphy (played by Quinn Warren), a charming rogue who has chosen a stint in the mental institution rather than face prison. Brash and rebellious, McMurphy soon ignites a power struggle that can only end in their mutual destruction.

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ABBA MANIA returns to Orpheum in February

27-Dec-17 29WICHITA -  The ABBA tribute band ABBA MANIA returns to Wichita’s historic Orpheum Theatre at 7:30pm on Tuesday, Feb. 13.
    The band formed in 1999 and the show has been selling out theatres and concert halls internationally ever since. ABBA MANIA will be touring the U.S. again in 2018 with 30 shows over five weeks including a prestigious date in Las Vegas.
    It’s a very exciting time for all things ABBA as there is talk of an ABBA reunion concert in 2018 and a sequel to the hit movie Mamma Mia.

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Heart of America Men’s Chorus seeks new members

27-Dec-17 30By Greg Dalton-White

WICHITA - Are you a male between 18 and 80? Do you like to sing? Do you enjoy choral music? Then the Heart of America Men’s Chorus (HOAMC)  might be the place to start. HOAMC is looking for men to join the ranks of the bass, baritones, 2nd tenors and 1st tenors for their Spring concert that will feature the songs of Disney.    
    It is easy to join. Just show up for the first rehearsal on Jan. 16 at 7pm in the vocal music room located on the second floor of the DeMattias Performance Hall at 3100 W. McCormick. The chorus’ artistic director, Deanne Zogelman, will ask you to sing a bit with a small group to fit you into the right section of the chorus. That’s all it takes.
    Chorus members do pay a $40 fee (tax-deductible) to help support the financial obligations of purchasing music and accompanist fees. This concert will not require tuxes, but if you stay with the chorus a tux will be necessary. We have some scholarships available to help with this if it will cause a burden, or you can search at the various thrift shops in town to find one.

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‘Gut-level drama’ featuring gay character to be performed at Wichita Community Theatre

By Jamie Rhodes

27-Dec-17 35WICHITA - Wichita Community Theatre opens its 2018 season with Hugh Whitemore’s play Breaking the Code. Directed by Leroy Clark, the production focuses on Word War II hero Alan Turing. Two predominate things stand out with Turing: one, he was a brilliant mathematician who invented the computer and helped put an end to WWII by breaking Nazi Germany’s secret Enigma Code, and two, he was a homosexual.
    Due to Turing’s classified work during the war, most were not aware of his role in ending it until many years later. He didn’t receive any public credit for his brilliancy. What the public chose to see was his “crime” of homosexuality during a time when it was outlawed in Great Britain. After his conviction, he was punished with chemical castration undergoing a series of dangerous hormonal therapy drugs which left him impotent and incapacitated both physically and mentally. Turing died alone and forgotten after committing suicide.
    The beginning of the play takes place in 1952. Throughout the play, the audience can expect to see flashbacks of Turing’s life starting from 1929. Although the play does address Turing’s role in the war, it focuses primarily on his personal life as a gay man.

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Marcia McCoy, Ph.D.

Please help honor Beverly Fiedler

Bev-Fiedler-txtBy Vinnie Reed

What would I have done if I didn’t have a mom? Or someone to call mom? My aunt, my mother-in-law, my best friend’s mom? I was lucky to be surrounded by so much love, especially because I didn’t always understand that I was loveable.
    If you knew Bev Fiedler, you knew love. But what I didn’t know was that Bev was Mom or Grandma to a whole other group of kids - her Girl Scout troop. Bev loved these girls so much, and they loved her, that they spoke/performed at her funeral.
    Bev was so dedicated to her girls and the Scouts that she is being honored in February 2018 as one of Juliette’s Pearls - the people who loved and cared about the Girl Scouts in extraordinary ways.
    As one of the honorary recipients of the Juliette’s Pearls distinction, Bev’s family is raising money to give to the Girl Scouts. In order for her to be inducted, a $5,000 donation is required on the inductee’s behalf.
    As a community, we owe Bev at least this. If you can donate to this incredibly worthy cause on behalf of this incredibly worthy person, please send your donation to Girl Scouts of the KS Heartland, Attn: Juliette’s Pearls/Bev Fiedler, 360 Lexington Rd, Wichita, KS 67218. l

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