P.O. Box 901082
Homestead, FL 33090
(305) 235-8818


Download our Brochure!


Seats adjacent to wheelchair cutouts will be reserved for
family members.

Arts Calendar of Events

Season Reviews

2007-2008 Reviews: Prudence Johnson | Beachfront Property | Solid Brass Review | Linda Davis
2008-2009 Reviews: Guy Lombardo's | 3 Swingin’ Tenors | Puttin' on the Hitz | Audubon Quartet
2009-2010 Reviews: Christmas With Sovereign Brass |
 #1 Hits of the 60's |  From Galway to Broadway |  War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of WWII

War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of WWII

On Sunday afternoon, March 28, 2010 at the new South Dade Senior High School, the Homestead Community Concert closed its 2009-2010 season with a musical journey through a war that redefined the world: War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of WWII.

This presentation was a multimedia living history cabaret of interspersed photos, posters, letters from the front, headline news of the time, and songs. The program had humor, warm sentiments, and harrowing reminders of a time when the whole world seemed upside down. There were scenes, songs, and references to the difficulties of minorities and women who often gave the full measure but were too often not given the respect or credit for their service and sacrifices. You history buffs know that these issues were finally addressed by President Reagan with posthumous medals, honors, recognitions, and in many cases financial reparation. There were references to Nazi concentration camps, the invasion of Poland, D-Day, Pearl Harbor, rationing of sugar and butter and meat, bond drives, black-outs, gas shortages, women’s professional baseball, Mc Arthur, and “the bomb”. This unforgettable hour and a half performance weaved together the poignant and funny, the entertaining, the historical, and several times the difficult to deal with emotionally charged images and information. A movie screen continuously showed photos and posters reflecting the letters being read and/or the scene and song being dramatically and musically presented.

When asked, David Brunnen (narrator and actor) told this reporter that the inspiration for the show grew out of a series of videoed interviews he did with his father Chester where dad poured out memories of his WWII experiences. Musically expressing these memories was perfect for singer actor Serena Ebhardt. Her Cabaret background expressed itself as a sweet soprano voice that melted a few male hearts around me during the performance. At one point in the show, she came into the audience and kissed an older gentleman sitting in front of me. He was a WWII veteran and those of us around him felt his pain.

The pre-concert interview was warm, friendly, down-to-earth, and most enjoyable. Our audience would have enjoyed listening to these two talking about the evolution and experiences leading up to the show.

War Bonds is only 6 years old but is already being booked into the 2012 season. David grinned and enjoyed telling me that some audience women have questioned how their spouses felt about the kissing scenes. The advanced advertising poster shows the two in major “lip-lock”! David and Serena were married in 1988 but like many professionals keep the name associated with their careers. The little guy that joined them onstage for the final bow was their 8-year-old most articulate and intelligent son Carlton.

A comment about the letters: Historical letters and quotes (including those of Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Franklin D. Roosevelt) were collected from the historical records of the times. Many of the personal letters are from Rutgers University Oral History Collection. If you have an interest in the unedited letters, video/audio from the show, go to: www.unctv.org/warbonds/letters or www.unctv.org/warbonds/songs. One of the difficult moments in the show for me and many others was a short scene where a wife, who has written to her hospitalized husband encouraging him to get well and come home to her and their daughter, gets this letter returned with the notice that her husband had died. The accompanying song “White Cliffs of Dover” heightened the sadness of this all-to-typical war-time tragedy.

Some of the 20+ songs presented included: “I’ll Get By”, “I’ll Be Seeing You”, “Last Time I Saw Paris”, “This Is the Army Mr. Jones”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” (the pianist and musical director Julie A. Florin had some fun with this accompaniment), “I Don’t Want To Walk Without You”, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree”, “Rosie The Riveter”, “Sentimental Journey”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, and “As Time Goes By”. Boy, are there memories (good and bad) connected to so many of these songs! One of the lighter moments was the song “Lilli Marlene” where Serena (remember she is a soprano) imitates the low husky tones of Marlene Dietrich as she entertained the troops. Serena’s deliberately over-husky growling low notes with attitude (while staying completely in character) was one of the audience favorite moments.

This concert was not the rah-rah! type evoking standing ovations. War Bonds was more intimate in its approach and might be better suited to a physically smaller venue. It did, however, reach us “where we live” and will be remembered long after the theatre lights are shut off and the equipment, props, and costumes are packed to travel.

The 2010-2011 season contracts are already signed. Next season’s performance schedule will include: 3 Inspirational Tenors singing both sacred and message-oriented secular music, Golden Dragon Acrobats presenting a Chinese tradition that is more than twenty centuries old, Coyote Run with songs and stories of Joan of Arc, Sir Francis Drake, and ancient Celtic holidays and legends, and Red Hot Jubilee Jam! taking us on a journey from New York’s Tin Pan Alley to Cajun country and Nashville. For more information on these shows, call (305) 235-8818, or (305)253-6620.
 

2007-2008 Reviews: Prudence Johnson | Beachfront Property | Solid Brass Review | Linda Davis
2008-2009 Reviews: Guy Lombardo's | 3 Swingin’ Tenors | Puttin' on the Hitz | Audubon Quartet
2009-2010 Reviews: Christmas With Sovereign Brass |
 #1 Hits of the 60's |  From Galway to Broadway |  War Bonds: The Songs and Letters of WWII