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‘Reveille Revue’ at Cultural Park this weekend

By Staff | May 15, 2015

After three years, the “Reveille Revue,” a show dedicated to our local veterans, will return to the Cultural Park Theatre at 528 Cultural Park Blvd. for four big shows this weekend.

And some of the proceeds will go to benefit one of the largest veterans groups in Southwest Florida.

The show, which was such a success the previous time, will perform this tribute Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

“Reveille Revue” is an original musical production featuring songs that were popular with the troops during the war years. Think of it as an old USO show, according to Michael Moran, writer, producer and director of the show.

“What makes the show unique is not only to celebrate the music of the country and war eras, but there are veterans we honor during the performance,” Moran said. “Actors come out and tell the stories of these heroes, and we recreate those stories onstage and recognize those veterans in the audience.”

The show will feature popular songs from World War I to the present, from the lively to the poignant, as well as tributes to each branch of service. Moran said many leave the theater with tears and smiles for being so happy, especially when everyone takes the stage for the grand finale.

Many of the 35 performers who took part in the first event loved it so much they have returned for this one. The cast has rehearsed the show for nearly two weeks which, except for a few new songs, is almost identical to the last, Moran said.

And this time, there will be a charitable element as well.

“The show three years ago went so well that the theater brought it back and teamed up with the Invest in American Veterans Foundation,” Moran said. “They have marketed the show there by selling tickets and getting some of the proceeds.”

The theater is also expected to make a contribution to the foundation, which will also bring some of their memorabilia into the theater lobby and the portable bus museum so people can tour that before and after the shows.

Ralph Santillo, the founder of Invest in America’s Veterans who performed in the first show, said Moran contacted him six months ago when the decision was made to bring back “Reveille Revue” and to make it into a fundraiser.

“He brought in some real professionals for this. It’s a very stirring and emotional event,” said Santillo, who won’t perform this time for health reasons. “We have a lot of people who bought tickets here so we expect a good crowd.”

Moran said the theater likes to rotate shows over a certain time, which is why “Reveille Revue” did not return for so long.

The theater did another revue style show “The George M. Cohen Revue” in 2013, which was patriotic, but not dedicated to veterans.

Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the box office. For more information, call 772-5862.