Story and photos by Tim Hipps
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs
Lights! Camera! Action! is the theme of the 2009 U.S. Army Soldier Show scheduled for the Pikes Peak Center Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.
Free tickets are available from the Fort Carson Information, Tickets and Registration Office at the Outdoor Recreation Complex on Specker Avenue; the Colorado Springs World Arena box office; or the Pikes Peak Center. While there is no admission charge, tickets are required.
“The audience is going to have the rare experience of feeling and being in a live television studio, including commercial breaks,” said Soldier Show production director Victor Hurtado, who spent much of the past year working on TV productions “Nashville
Star,” “America’s Got Talent,” “Clash of the Choirs,” and country artist Michael Peterson’s “My Real Life – Strong For America Tour,” presented by the U.S. Army.
“Some of that comes from some of the experiences I’ve had this last year with network television, and just realizing what a great experience these audiences have and how the set changes are part of what makes it kind of cool before you go back on the air,” Hurtado explained. “At the end of the day, an artistic director is just a vessel responsible for experiencing as much as he can and putting it into a product.”
The show opens with Kirk Franklin’s upbeat “Declaration (This is It!),” co-written by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, which addresses survival of the everyday trials and tribulations through a positive declaration of one’s purpose in life.
“It makes use of the tune of Kenny Loggins’ ‘This is It,'” Hurtado said. “But it has been completely redone in a very inspirational way.”
A lot of dance, rap, English rhythm and blues, visuals, patriotic tunes, movement, love of country – even a roller skater – graces the stage during the 90-minute production. Soldier-performers wear traditional attire from India during “Jai Ho,” a song from the Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire.”
The show, which is “for Soldiers, by Soldiers,” includes as a cast member Chief Warrant Officer 2 Elaine Hudson, a property book officer with the Colorado National Guard Headquarters, 168th Centennial Training Site on Fort Carson. Hudson, who is from San Diego, Calif., began singing at the age of 5. Hudson said she originally joined the Army in 1989 as “four and no more,” but her military career has become a 19-year journey. After her six-and-a-half month tour, she will return to Colorado. Each year, Soldiers audition to be either in the cast or crew of the show, then return to their respective units.
The 2009 U.S. Army Soldier
Show is made possible through the generous support of its main sponsor, I. A.M. STRONG, the Army’s Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Program, and supporting sponsor, AT&T Inc.
(Editor’s note: some information for this article was provided by the Fort Carson Public Affairs Office.)