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Lakesider News

2022 in Review | Arts & Entertainment

By Kevin Greer 
Lakeside Communications Manager 

With shows returning to Hoover Auditorium and more art classes added to the Rhein Center this season, Lakesiders were eager to dive back into arts programming. 

No matter the venue, Lakesiders showed up all season. A combined total of 52,000 attended performances or movies at Hoover Auditorium, the Steele Memorial Bandstand and Orchestra Hall.  

Hoover Auditorium 

Lakesiders were eager to get back in the community hub for the first time since 2019. 

“People were so excited to be back in Hoover,” said Director of Arts Programming Shirley Stary. “It was our first foray back into full season programming.” 

Thirteen Hoover shows attracted more than 1,000 Lakesiders this season, with Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone drawing the largest crowd at 1,804. Other big names who took the Hoover stage included The Spinners, Tony Danza, comedian Preacher Lawson and The Grass Roots.  

Stary has been trying to bring Danza to Hoover Auditorium for some time, and she said his show, “Tony Danza: Standards & Stories,” was one of the highlights of her summer. 

“I’ve worked so long to get Tony Danza here,” Stary said. “We just couldn’t get our schedules lined up, but it finally came to happen.” 

Fleming-Gifford said there were many “magical” moments during the season, but Sons of Serendip is one show that sticks out to her. 

“They transformed the audience,” Fleming-Gifford said. “It literally brought tears to my eyes as I saw how people connected through music at Hoover Auditorium.” 

Family shows are always a big attraction and 2022 was no exception. The Jason Bishop Magic Show and Disney tribute band The Little Mermen both drew crowds of over 1,000. 

Other family favorites included Chip Richter & The Munks, juggler Mark Nizer and ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger.  

“There was a little bit of everything this year. That’s always what I try to do over the course of the season,” Stary said. 

Another big success was the return of the Lakeside Talent Show. Jon Torrence was the master of ceremonies and 848 people attended to see the 13 talented acts.  

“Our Arts & Entertainment Intern Allison Bell did an amazing job of organizing the whole process and program,” Stary said. “We’ll definitely have the Talent Show again next summer.” 

Lakeside Symphony Orchestra 

Stary said the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is always one of her favorite programs. Conductor Daniel Meyer led seven concerts over an 18-day span in Hoover with guest soloists at every performance. There was also a Family Concert with the Brass Quintet at the Steele Memorial Bandstand. In total, 5,540 people attended the eight concerts. 

“I think the symphony sounded as good as they have ever sounded,” Stary said.  

Steele Memorial Bandstand 

Lakesiders enjoyed the shows and view at the Steele Memorial Bandstand on Wednesday and Sunday nights. Many people danced to The Chozen Few and The Chardon Polka Band or sat back and relaxed with shows like Helen Welch “Both Sides Now,” CONNE with Condrea Webber and the Julie Koenig Trio. Wednesdays were a mix of music, lectures and “Living History” portrayals. The Columbus Zoo Ambassadors drew the largest crowd of the season to the park with 556. 

“A number of Lakesiders said they prefer attending shows at the Bandstand,” Stary said. “They say the lake and sunset are the perfect backdrop for programs. Plus, the kids can run and play without disturbing the audience.” 

Fall Concert at Lakeside 

Girl Named Tom, recent winners of NBC’s “The Voice,” were disappointed when COVID caught up with them, and they had reschedule their long-anticipated return to Lakeside. When things couldn’t be worked out for the sibling trio to return in-season, the difficult decision was made to have them perform in Hoover Auditorium on Sept. 10. 

The concert was a hit with just over 1,700 people in attendance. There were activities on Walnut Plaza prior to the concert, including music by Jerry Popiel and Music Trivia. Many of the concert-goers were first-time visitors to Lakeside. As it turns out, it may not be the last off-season Hoover show. 

“In that silver lining kind of way, it was the perfect act for us to try off-season programming,” Stary said. “That was a great trial run into what we might do in September weekends and future years.” 

Rhein Center 

This summer, 6,850 artists of all ages took part in classes at the C. Kirk Rhein, Jr. Center for the Living arts led more than 100 volunteerinstructors. 

A change Rhein Center Manager Jennifer Wertz implemented this summer was the addition of Saturday Open Studio. Many of the teachers and seasonal staff members are college students, so when they had to head back to school in mid-August, Wertz decided to hold open studio on Saturdays to supplement classes.   

“That’s been very successful,” Wertz said. “People have told me how much they like it. We’ll renew the drop-in studio time again next season.”

One new class that quickly became popular was scrimshaw, an indigenous art form with miniatures taught by renowned artist Kim McCleland. 

The Rhein Center offers a unique opportunity for people to experiment with art forms they could not try at home. The classes with the highest attendance were the ones that can’t be done at home, unless you have the equipment.  

“Classes that typically require a kiln or something that’s very unusual, like scrimshaw, are always very popular,” Wertz said. 

Of course, rock painting is a Lakeside tradition that kids enjoy, as well as easel art. 

“If anybody has a class idea or wants to teach, I’m happy to discuss it,” Wertz said. “We’re always welcome to new ideas at the Rhein Center.” 

Next season 

Fleming-Gifford said the Programming Team is working with the Sesquicentennial Committee to plan a memorable summer. 

“We have been envisioning and dreaming and working hard to create a season that will both honor and celebrate the past, but also really launch us into our future,” Fleming-Gifford said. “It’s going to be a very exciting season.” 

Stary said many acts that perform in Hoover request to come back. Though some will return, she also has some exciting new acts planned. 

“Because it’s our 150th I’m looking for a few new surprises,” Stary said, “so stay tuned.” 

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