Kiwanis Kapers - Nov. 4 & 5, 2016
Click on image for larger photo

The 2016 Kiwanis Kapers, a delightful variety show produced each year by the Kiwanis Club of Meriden was performed on Fri. Nov. 4 and Sat. Nov. 5, 2016 at Lincoln Middle School in Meriden. Dedicated to James Gamble, Robert MacDuff, Raymond Parmentier and Sanford Shorr, this 65th production titled “65 - The Final Curtain Call; We saved the best for last", chaired by Lauren Rizzuto and Florence Thibodeau, not only provided entertainment to the audience and Kiwanis members alike, but also raised funds for the array of charities supported by the Meriden Kiwanians. But this was the final Kiwanis Kapers in a series spanning over a half century, soon to be replaced by fundraising activities in exciting fresh directions.

Directed and choreographed by the energetic Carolyn Daniels, dozens of Kiwanians sporting an assortment of colorful outfits appeared on stage in this year’s entertaining production, performing skits (some serious, some comical) for the most part based on popular acts from previous Kapers shows. They were supported by other club members who handled tickets, posters, publicity, program book, stage crew, props, make up, costumes, sponsors, box office and raffle sales, rehearsal refreshments and phone solicitations. A great team from Lincoln provided the lighting and sound support. And again this year, the Kapers were energized by the gifted and lively kids of the Meriden YMCA Dance Academy performing “Dance With Me Tonight” and the Kiwanis SLP (Service Leadership Programs) performing “Stop in The Name Of Good”.

After renowned soprano Nancy Stewart performed a stylish rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, the opening showpiece number “We Saved the Best for Last”, performed by the entire cast (and briefly interrupted by an obnoxious noisy clown), set the tone for this year’s show. Then followed a series of serious songs, comedy songs, comedy skits, magic acts and dance routines, many drawn from previous decades of Kapers productions. And there was more: two cantankerous characters who kept ridiculing the acts from their balcony box, the memorable Punsters who kept the groans going between acts, and a snappy but seriously underdressed drill team executing to the best of its limited ability!

New acts included three Kiwanian members of the Humble Bees splitting the audience down the middle for a raucous sing-a-long, with opposing sides singing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot” and “When the Saints”, cheered on by their “Honeys”. Other skits included an adorable human-sized rabbit magically hopping out of an empty box, a clever synchronized swim team routine, “Giacche Enne Binnestocche” (a bedtime story narration of Jack and the Beanstalk), Captain and Tennille, the whistling Top Hat dancers, and an out-of-control collection of dancing nuns (including one imposter with hairy legs). Kiwanians also performed in numerous solo acts with singing, comedy, reminiscing and an original song “We’re Nuts”. And a show stopper: The Three Tenors featuring the irrepressible nonagenarian George Hamrah, performing in his 64th consecutive Kapers show!

The show concluded each evening with the entire cast performing “Kiwanis Builds a Better World”, written by long-time Kapers director Carl Wheaton. What a wonderful way to close out the 65 year run! Our thanks to our sponsors, our program advertisers, to all Meriden Kiwanians and to all who attended.


Annoying clown

Group number

Most of the Three Tenors

Beach Chair Drill

Whistling Hats

Giacche Enne Binnestocche

Magical Bunny

Humble Bees with a “Honey”

Synchronized Swimming


 
Kapers TV - Then & Now
Cast of Characters - Nov. 6 & 7, 2015
Click here for Record-Journal article
Click here for full-sized photo
Click here for a 2-minute video from the 2015 Kapers
 
 

Kiwanis Kapers 2014 - view video

Kiwanis Kapers cast - Nov. 14 & 15, 2014 (click for larger image)

Kiwanis Kapers entire cast - Nov. 14 & 15, 2014 (click for larger image)
 
Four $250 cash prizes for Community Talent
Click here for Community Talent information and application form
Click here to view and print Kiwanis Kapers poster

Kiwanis Kapers 2013 Cast

to our 2013 Kiwanis Kapers Community Talent winners!
 
Best Child Performer - Friday
Demry Gdovin
Song
Best Teen Performer - Friday
Ben Papsun
Composer/Piano
Best Child Performer - Saturday
Peyton Thiel
Piano
Best Adult Performer - Saturday
Joseph Kruy
Song
 


Program from 1956 Kiwanis Kapers - Click here to view entire program


Kiwanis Kapers 2012 Cast

to our 2012 Kiwanis Kapers Community Talent winners!
 
Child Category - Friday Night
Miguel & Celine Cardona
Adult Category - Friday Night
Barry Spencer
Child Category - Saturday Night
Jack Lebeau
Adult Category - Saturday Night
Shawn Hard
 
Kiwanis Kapers
Nov. 2 & 3, 2012
Lincoln Middle School, Meriden CT
Photos courtesy of Rick Harrington Photography
96 photos

The 2012 Kiwanis Kapers, a delightfully entertaining variety show produced annually by the Kiwanis Club of Meriden, was performed on Fri. Nov. 2 & Sat. Nov. 3 at Lincoln Middle School in Meriden. Dedicated to Jane Harrison and Tom Loin, this 61st production titled “Kiwanis Kapers Gone Wild!" not only provided entertainment for the audience and Kiwanis members alike, but also raised funds for the many charities supported by the Meriden Kiwanians.

Directed by Frank Jackson, choreographed by Cheryl O’Connor and backed by piano, percussion, bass and saxophone, dozens of Kiwanians dressed in zany outfits appeared on stage with the support of other club members who handled tickets, posters, publicity, program book, stage crew, props, make up, costumes, rehearsal refreshments and phone solicitations. A great team from Lincoln provided the lighting and sound support.

As an innovative addition to this year’s show, each evening showcased three youth and three adult talent finalists drawn from the community, selected during three auditions held over the past 10 months. Each winner, chosen by the audience who voted during intermission, received a $250 cash prize and a trophy. Friday winners were Miguel & Celine Cardona (youth, performing “L-O-V-E”) and Barry Spencer (adult, performing “Danny Boy” on a saw); Saturday winners were Jack Lebeau (youth, performing “Make It Shine”) and Shawn Hard (adult, performing on harmonica with vocals).

After the Maloney High School Show Choir performed a gorgeous rendition of the National Anthem, the opening showpiece number, performed by the entire cast, showcased the “Gone Wild” theme. Then followed a series of serious songs, comedy songs, comedy skits, magic acts, dance routines and an original Kapers song (“The Winter Two Thousand One One”) composed and performed by Kiwanian Bruce Burchsted. Returning from last year was the Line Dance Drill (presented by snappy but underdressed recruits).

New acts included “Down at the Twist and Shout” performed with vocals and ukuleles by three Kiwanian members of the Humble Bees (a local musical group) and Roger Vandal, along with eight “hot” dancing girls including a sometimes reluctant George Hamrah. Later followed those tough Backstreet Boys vs. the ever charming Spice Girls, performing “Desire” and “Wannabee”. And who could forget the Punsters, including a toothless termite who goes into a bar and asks, “Is the bar tender here?” 

The show concluded each evening with distribution of prizes (done at intermission) and a 50/50 prize, award presentations to the Community Talent winners, a tribute to Priscilla Lippitt (who has performed in all 61 productions) and George Hamrah (who has performed in the last 60, missing only the first year), and the entire cast performing “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.  Attendance this year was 940 (436 Friday, 504 Saturday), a significant increase from the 832 who attended the 2011 show. What a great performance! Our thanks to all Kiwanians and to all who attended.