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Thanks for the Memories

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And thanks to Jean Peck!

“Thanks for the Memories: A Tribute to Bob Hope and All U.S. Troops,” will come live to the Panida Theater in glorious downtown Sandpoint on Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 pm. Tickets cost $5 for students, $10 for seniors and $15 for adults. The show, produced by Jean Peck (Peck Productions), is a benefit for Bonner County veterans.

Jean came to Sandpoint 21 years ago. She said she always loved theater and become involved with the rescue of the Panida. Jean said the President of the board told her she was in charge of putting a variety show together.

“So of course,” Jean said, “I did it.”

In her first production she played the part of Mae West.

“I was a nervous wreck,” Jean said, laughing. “We went 3 or 4 hours. I didn’t know a thing. But people came and they enjoyed it.”

Since that time, Jean has produced over 30 variety shows at the Panida Theater, all for non-profit organizations. In fact, she has come up with quite a collection of hits over the years. Tributes to the Phantom of the Opera and Mary Poppins received standing ovations.

Jean has already done plenty to help the veterans. She has produced several shows for them in the past, and volunteered at the Stand Down last month.

“I want to help the vets,” Jean said. “They’re having a terrible time. It makes me want to cry. I helped out at the Stand Down and I saw some of the tragedies. One guy only had one arm and another one couldn’t walk.”

Jean said that David Nigren will be the stage manager for this fall’s production.

“David has always been my stage manager. He was stage manager at the first show. Neither of us knew a thing,” Jean said, smiling. “He goes all over the country now, and manages the Festival at Sandpoint. But I stay right here.”

Richard Brown, formerly an anchor for Channel 4 news, will return to Sandpoint as emcee. Jean said she has done extensive research on Bob Hope, and Richard will tell some of Bob Hope’s favorite jokes.

“Richard is wonderful,” said Jean. “I adore him. He came up from Spokane for one of our shows. Afterward, he came and asked me if he could be in the next one. He was a foreign correspondent and a teacher and he loves to laugh. He does a great job.”

The show will feature local talent including Karla Dye, Margie Myers, and Ken Rokiki on electric guitar, Bob Huick, Lee Jackson and Marsinah Runge. Ken will perform “I’ve Got Rhythm,” by Cole Porter and Gershwin, and Lee will sing “Buttons and Bows,” and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon.”

Marsinah, Jean’s daughter, has performed in several variety shows. Over the years, she has become an incredible singer/comedian. Jean said that Marsinah always surprises her with her acts. According to Jean, Marsinah said the secret is picking a serious song and making it funny. In fact, in one production, Marsinah turned “Stand By Your Man” into a comedy act in which she ended up shooting the cheating husband.

“Jean,” said Pamela Crawford, the chairperson for Bonner County Community Partnership, “is a really cool gal. She does so much with her shows.”

Jean Peck variety shows often sell out. Show your support for our troops and purchase your tickets early in Sandpoint at the Senior Citizen’s Center, Nieman’s Floral, or F.C. Weskil’s, or buy them at the Panida October 17, the evening of the performance.

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Desire Aguirre Desire Aguirre lives in Sandpoint with her daughter, DaNae, and numerous pets. An LCSC student, she plans on graduating May, 2009, with a bachelors in communication. Her favorite sport is riding her horse, Splash-of-Paint, into the wilderness with Cholo, her son's faithful dog.

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