Massillon Lions Club will bring laughter and song to the stage of the Lincoln Theater

MASSILLON – The annual Massillon Lions Club variety show returns to the Lincoln Theater next weekend.

The show, which features club members as well as local singers, musicians and dancers, did not take place last year due to COVID-19 and 2020 performances were halted after a weekend when the State locked down as the pandemic gripped the nation.

This year’s show, titled “Under Construction,” is the 79th installment of the annual fundraiser and can be seen March 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13 at the Lincoln Theater, 156 Lincoln Way E.

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“There’s nothing like when you look at it.”

Bryan Stuck, club member and chairman of the annual show, said the members were thrilled to get back on stage and put on the show.

The variety show has become a tradition, attracting generations of families.

“I remember going there with my parents when I was in elementary school,” Stuck said. “I actually enjoyed watching it.”

Sometimes he wishes he could sit in the audience again and enjoy the laughs and performances.

“There’s a lot more pressure on the show and it’s fun, but there’s nothing quite like watching it,” he said.

This year’s show is the brainchild of director Eric Myers.

Rick Dalsky, left to right, Jim Barkan and Rudy Turkal tell jokes during practice for the upcoming Massillon Lions Club show "Under construction." The variety show features skits, musical numbers and dancers.  Proceeds from the annual spectacle help support Lions Club projects, including providing vision testing to schools across the city.

Myers, a retired Massillon City Schools teacher who led high school theater performances for years, said the overall show was a collaboration of many people coming together.

“It really is a team effort,” Myers said. “I find the bulk of the material but the guys bring in pieces that they want to be on the show. It’s not about me or anyone else, it’s about all of us working together to this common cause.”

Members Cindy Giltz and Joe Carbone helped plan the music, while others handled the skits and dances.

“It’s like a puzzle and it’s my job to put it all together in one picture,” Myers said.

The two-hour show with intermission is sure to have something for everyone, Stuck said.

The show begins with construction workers on a construction site getting ready for the day’s work.

“It doesn’t specify what work they do. They might be building a house or rehabilitating a building,” Myers said. “They’re just doing their job and having fun while they’re on the job.”

Short skits, musical ensembles and dancers from Chris T’s Dance Emporium will entertain throughout the show.

Guests will hear favorites like “Nine to Five”, “Take this Job and Shove It”, “Forty-Hour Week”, “Taking Care of Business” and “Hard Days Night”.

Longtime director Rudy Turkal is teaming up with Carbone for “Piano Man,” while Councilman Jim Thieret will perform “King of the Road.”

Turkal will be giving away prizes in its quizzes before the curtain goes up.

The End Men – a group of six men – will liven up the show with their banter and jokes between skits.

“It’s just a variety of things,” Stuck said. “If you don’t like one thing, you might like the others.”

Myers pointed out that the show was family-friendly and an inexpensive family night out at $10 a ticket.

“Everything we put on the show, we wouldn’t be afraid of our family hearing,” he said. “And for the price of a ticket, it’s a lot cheaper than a babysitter. Bring the kids, buy them some popcorn, and have a great night.

“It’s a nice wide variety of things for young and old.”

Chorus members Mike Miller, left, and Mark Derus rehearse a song for the upcoming Massillon Lions Club show

Support Lion Club vision and hearing programs and community service

The variety show is the Lion Club’s primary fundraiser.

Money raised is used for special club projects as well as sight and hearing programs.

Last year, the club conducted more than 2,000 eye tests at city schools and area daycares.

The club recently purchased a new camera to detect different eye conditions.

With the 2020 show discontinued and no show last year, the club felt the financial pinch to continue serving the community.

He had to look for new ways to fundraise during the pandemic, Stuck said.

Members held a quarterly auction and raffles.

Bryan Jones performs a solo while Joe Carbone plays keyboard during a rehearsal for the upcoming Massillon Lions Club show "Under construction." The show is on view at 7 p.m. on March 4, 5, 11 and 12;  and 2 p.m. on March 6 and 13 at the Lincoln Theater.

They support various community organizations including Make-A-Way and Whispering Hills.

The Lions Club also buys eyeglasses for people without insurance and helps with the purchase of hearing aids and eye and ear surgeries.

This year, the Lions Club sought sponsors for the show. Beaver Contractors is the presenting sponsor. Tailored to the theme of the show, Beaver will display construction equipment in front of the theater on show nights and will also supply the helmets and protective vests worn by the performers in the show.

“It’s going to be great to get back out there,” Stuck said. “It’s our main fundraiser so we can support different things in the community. I hope everyone comes to see it.”

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More details

The Massillon Lions Club will perform its 78th annual “Under Construction” show at the Lions Lincoln Theater, 156 Lincoln Way E. Performances will be at 7 p.m. March 4, 5, 11, and 12; and 2 p.m. on March 6 and 13.

All tickets are general admission. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Sweeper Mart, Buehler’s (Mayflower location), Emmert’s Market, Friends and Family Credit Union (downtown Massillon), Massillon Senior Center, and from Lions Club members. They can also be purchased in advance by calling 330-481-9105 or online at up to five hours before showtime or at the box office one hour before showtime.