The mild metropolis of Menifee came alive on Sunday when the Menifee Woman’s Club hosted a star studded lineup at Webb Hall in what the old timers still consider “Sun City”. Robbie Motter and her team of volunteers orchestrated theevent that benefitted the less fortunate citizens of the community. The $6.00 donation plus one non-perishable food item for the Menifee Food Pantry earned attendees hours of entertainment and great refreshment.
Hollywood Takes Over –
The entertainment got a jump start when Robert “Hollywood” Moreno, the emcee of the event started off with a little local humor aimed towards the mostly gray-haired crowd. According to Moreno, “Older people live in Sun City, but their parents live in Hemet.” Apparently true facts make the best humor because the crowd erupted with laughter . A Menifee resident, Moreno artfully honed his skills by flirting with some of the ladies and singing some classic songs including the romantic Spanish song “Bésame Mucho.”
A Bit of Zee French –
Mignonne Profant, a native Southern Californian, delighted us next with her performance of French songs,
Broadway show tunes and music of the 1940’s. As she interacted with the audience, she quipped a joke or two creating a vision of an old cabaret act. After concluding her first number, she tried to convince the audience, using a quasi-French accent, that if you “drink a little wine, you will be fluent in no time.” (Personally, the drinking of too much wine doesn’t make me “fluent,” just “fluid.”) In addition to owning her own business, Mignonne has also worked as a vocalist and an actress. She is also the co-founder of a non-profit organization which gives scholarships to students and produces free concerts and exhibits for the community of Santa Barbara.
Motown Meets Menifee –
Virgil Gibson, the lead singer for The Platters, transported us back to another time with the sounds of Motown. You couldn’t help tapping your feet and moving to the beat of the music. Just about everyone sang along to the oldies that we all knew and loved. Gibson performed old favorites such as “Only You,” “My Girl,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” and manyothers that took all of us back to the simpler, innocent days of the ‘60’s. A very approachable gentleman, Virgil graciously gave me a few moments to share his thoughts with me. As a spiritual man, he is inspired to help others. He believes that counseling and teaching through God and music will change our world for the better. He is committed to working with charitable events that help children, elderly, the hungry and infirmed.
Gibson has just collaborated on a gospel CD called “Prayers Have Wings” where the proceeds will go to help the problems of hunger. This amazing man has been a performer since he was nine when he sang in his church in Birmingham, Alabama. This is the same church that was the first one burned during the Civil Rights marches. As a teenager he served as President of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Gibson is still just as passionate today in his campaign to help the underprivileged and enjoys using his voice in song to help benefit those in need.
From Broadway to Opera and Back –
Fleet Easton took the stage next….he took it and ran with it. What a ball of fire this actor/singer/dancer is. Energy abounds when he steps into the spotlight and bursts into song. You can definitely see his Julliard and American Ballet training as he gracefully danced across the stage and then cavorted through the audience.
Here is an entertainer that sang Broadway tunes and then came back and did a second set to one of the most admirable renditions of Pucchini’s Turandot I’ve ever heard. Many there admitted to not being an opera fan, but you couldn’t help but be amazed at the considerable talent he displayed singing this aria. When Fleet hit that last high note, everyone got to their feet and gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. During the break I was able to find out that this accomplished entertainer currently lives in Palm Springs and is acting in the lead role in a Los Angeles series called “The Tin Can,” which is about the homeless. Fleet is intensely impassioned when it comes to the homeless, which is a charity that he actively supports in Palm Springs. He enjoys performing for altruistic organizations and giving back to the community. One of his favorite sayings is “You must give back to move forward.” Fleet admits that he is a very spiritual man and listens to an inner voice that propels him forward. He heeded this voice and relocated to Palm Springs where for the last four years he goes to every social event in the community. One of his mottos is a quote from Robbie Motter: “No matter what, just show up.” He fervently participates in philanthropic ventures and is presently involved in the construction of a new Animal Shelter in his neighborhood. Fleet has enjoyed acting in various parts including the mini-series with Tom Hanks “From the Earth the Moon” and the series “The Cape.” I have a feeling that we will be seeing quite a bit more of this exuberant entertainer the future.
A Special Temecula Rose –
Leila Rose is a local from the Temecula area and she is an amazing one woman show. Singing music from the 20’s to 50’s she paused briefly in-between songs to change her clothes….while on stage. It may be hard to envision, but she takes off layers and adds accessories to give each song she sings a “new look.”
She plays the piano, and does various dance steps and sings her way through the show. What was truly amazing was how old she was! Let’s just put it this way…I wish I had her legs and she’s a couple of decades older than I am.
Set after set, entertainer after entertainer, it finally all ended with some fabulous goodies raffled off. If you missed it you’ll have to catch the next great extravaganza that the Menifee Woman’s Club puts on. Personally, I can’t wait.