Archive for Friday, July 18, 2003

USO show headlines dedication’s arts events

July 18, 2003


Even though talk of World War II will dominate this weekend's dedication of the Dole Institute of Politics, there will be plenty to do for those who prefer the arts to artillery.

A USO-style show, sculpture exhibit, fashion show and exhibit of Varga girl pinups are among the events scheduled during the three days.

The highlight for the arts crowd will be the USO-style show, which begins at 8 p.m. Monday at the Lied Center on Kansas University's west campus. The auditorium will be decorated to resemble the atmosphere of a World War II show, with camouflage netting, ammunition crates and lighting that resembled the Jeep headlights used during the 1940s shows.

Diana Duff, organizer of the show, said it was a way to thank members of the "Greatest Generation" for their service.

"They were alone over there, and one of the few pieces of home they had was these traveling USO shows," Duff said. "So this is another opportunity for our nation to say thank you, to say that we remember and to give another tribute."

The program includes dancers, comedians, the Sweet Adelines chorus and other music. Former Kansas City weatherman and comedian Dan Henry will be master of ceremonies.

The program also includes speeches by former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Sens. George McGovern and Nancy Kassebaum Baker.

Tickets for the show are sold out, but it will be simulcast on a large screen outside the Lied Center.

After the show, former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole and other dignitaries will exit the Lied Center for a laser light show on the front of the Dole Institute building. The show will be set to "Chester," based on an 18th-century patriotic song by William Schuman.

What: Glenn Miller OrchestraWhen: 7 p.m. SundayWhere: Lawrence HolidomeWhat: Jazzhaus Big BandWhen: 7 p.m. SundayWhere: American Legion Post No. 14, 3408 W. Sixth St.What: 1940s Fashion ShowWhen: 2 p.m. MondayWhere: Crafton-Preyer Theatre, Murphy HallWhat: Salute to Heroes: An Evening to RememberWhen: 8 p.m. MondayWhere: Lied Center

"The concave design allows us to do a lot in the front of the building," said Larry Sprang, laser lighting technician with Visual FX in Merriam. "That, along with the stained glass flag, will make for a very dramatic finale."

Another musical event is Sunday night, when the Glenn Miller Orchestra performs at the Lawrence Holidome. Tickets for the event are sold out, but American Legion Dorsey-Liberty Post No. 14 is offering an alternative dance, featuring the Jazzhaus Big Band. It starts at 7 p.m. Sunday at the post, 3408 W. Sixth St.

Ticket are $15. Call 842-3415 for more information.

For those who prefer fashions, 18 models ages 9 months to 83 years will show off clothes from the 1940s during a fashion show at 2 p.m. Monday in the Crafton-Preyer Theatre in Murphy Hall.

Polly Bales, a KU benefactor and Dole supporter, will model the gown she wore to her Nov. 29, 1941, wedding to Dane Bales.

The show is organized by the Fashion Museum in Abilene. Lynda Scheele, a museum board member, said like many areas of life, fashions of the 1940s were dictated by the war. For instance, skirts became shorter, in part, to save fabric.

"Fabrics that we have now, the 100 percent cottons, wools and silks, were all needed for military uses -- uniforms, parachutes, tents, blankets," Scheele said.

Several art displays also will be available for the dedication.

The Spencer Museum of Art will display its collection of Varga pinups, which were published in Esquire magazine during the 1940s. The collection also includes "Memphis Belle" by George Petty, which adorned the nose of the B-17 bomber known by the same name.

The pinups and other World War II-era artwork will be on exhibit in the north balcony on the fourth floor of the art museum.

Lawrence sculptor Jim Brothers, known for his depictions of soldiers for the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., also will have three models on display at the Dole Institute, in the Simons Media Center.

The models include one from the D-Day Memorial; one of Dwight D. Eisenhower, whom Brothers sculpted to represent Kansas in the U.S. Capitol; and one of Omar Bradley, who commanded U.S. involvement in the D-Day invasion.

"I think it's incredible," Brothers said of the dedication event. "There are so many people I've met over the years coming. I'm glad they're coming to my hometown."

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