The Beverly Heights Variety Show is turning 50!
It started as a simple idea by a group of then young Beverly Heights community members who decided to produce a local, amateur variety show to help raise funds for community. That was forty-nine years ago and “Once Upon A Time, Stories Your Mother Never Told You” was created and performed over four nights in mid-March. It’s been running every year since, proving to be the longest running community-based variety show in the city of Edmonton!
When the show begins its run in February 2020, it will celebrate its fiftieth year! Incredibly it would never have happened without the tremendous efforts of numerous, untold volunteers. Over the years it has attracted a cast and crew from all walks of life and has attained an almost cult-like following of fans and volunteers.
According to Judy Jacobs, who along with her husband Lawrence, were original contributors, the community was full of young families who bonded together to have a few laughs. “No one went to Hawaii in the winter like kids do now”, she says, “so what else was there for us to do in the winter?”
From the start, the show proved to be a winner, attracting fans who would stand in line in the February cold before someone had the great idea of selling tickets with reserved seating. Once inside, sharing a potluck dinner with friends before the show is one feature that continues today. Don’t be surprised to see crock pots mixed in with pizza boxes!
But it’s the show, with a live band, that is the crown jewel! Known for its somewhat salty, adult based humour, the show has sustained a following over the years and has contributed tremendously to supporting the community initiatives, including the recently renovated hall.
Check out the interview with Judy Jacobs in the February issue of Alberta Prime Times.