Toes’ performance lives up to its name

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The opening number of the 2015 Mesquite Toes Spectacular featured nearly every member of the team. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Vicki Eckman and the Mesquite Toes surpassed the high marks they set for themselves last year as they provided a very spectacular show again this year.

One of the scenes from the finale special, an abbreviated version of Bye Bye Birdie! Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

One of the scenes from the finale special, an abbreviated version of Bye Bye Birdie! Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

One of the scenes from the finale special, an abbreviated version of Bye Bye Birdie! Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

One of the scenes from the finale special, an abbreviated version of Bye Bye Birdie! Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Jazz team brought in some different costumes and mixed them with one of today’s hits, Let It Go. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Jazz team brought in some different costumes and mixed them with one of today’s hits, Let It Go. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

These Toes, Judy Brittain, Christin Jensen, Kathy Lyne Jones and Elaine Wade (not in order) brought back some music from the 1940’s with the Heebie Jeebies. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

These Toes, Judy Brittain, Christin Jensen, Kathy Lyne Jones and Elaine Wade (not in order) brought back some music from the 1940’s with the Heebie Jeebies. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Clogging Team kicked off the second half of the show with two numbers. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Clogging Team kicked off the second half of the show with two numbers. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Clogging team led by Debbie Miller gave their Star Spangled Salute during Saturday night’s performance. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Clogging team led by Debbie Miller gave their Star Spangled Salute during Saturday night’s performance. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Toes’ Red Team, the more experienced dancers, showed off some of the new costumes purchased by the proceeds of the rummage sale in March to the classy hit All That Jazz. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Toes’ Red Team, the more experienced dancers, showed off some of the new costumes purchased by the proceeds of the rummage sale in March to the classy hit All That Jazz. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Jazz team, led by Marge Westwood performed their Halleluiah Song. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

The Jazz team, led by Marge Westwood performed their Halleluiah Song. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Inspired by their cruise to Alaska in May 2014, the 12 dancers performed their new number North to Alaska with suspenders bought from the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

Inspired by their cruise to Alaska in May 2014, the 12 dancers performed their new number North to Alaska with suspenders bought from the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau. Photo by Stephanie Frehner.

With the help of guest choreographers and lots of backstage assistants, about 30 musical numbers were performed by a varied cast, ages young to experienced.

This year’s performance was dedicated to Shirley Madsen, a former toe who gave her last performance at the 2014 Spring show. Madsen passed away earlier this year but had been with the Toes since 2006. She was known for her creativeness, as the show’s program credits her with the lobby decoration in years past.

Dubbed as Mesquite’s Goodwill Ambassadors, the Mesquite Toes perform nearly everywhere they are called, from Alaskan Cruises to Branson, Missouri and even a show in New York City back in 2010. With the path they are on, there is no telling what their limits might be.

The group has seen quite a bit of growth this year, as they have 45 performers on three tap teams with Carol Harris as Tap Tech Instructor, one clogging team led by Debbie Miller, a jazz team led by Marge Westwood and a newly-formed Musical Theatre ensemble. The group has also welcomed four men who were previously guests of the performances.

“They came last year and performed as guests, and loved it!” said Eckman. “So now they are official members of the Mesquite Toes.”

The dancers showed off their talents for over two hours to a nearly sold-out crowd Saturday night, their final show of the season. Eckman noted towards the end of the show that one performer participated although they had pneumonia and another had just finished Chemotherapy a few weeks ago.

The program included a number originally choreographed by Judi Scott, who has been absent from the group for medical reasons but came back to arrange “Dance in the Graveyards.” (To see a video of the performance, check out the MLN’s Facebook page)

Guest performers for the night included Marcia Swider and John Norwig, the Sun City Sounds team of Mike Rey, John Sadler and Mike Schultz, Sally O’Connell as the Purple People Eater and the Mesquite Toes Kids, Maddy Jo and Aiden Steyee and Brooke and Connor Helsten.

The evening wrapped up with the Musical Theatre Ensemble’s shortened version of Bye Bye Birdie featuring Gino Venezia and the entire cast dancing throughout the entire auditorium. For more video clips and photos, find this story on our website at www.mesquitelocalnews.com or on our Facebook page.

The Toes are always welcome to new members, and will begin their new season in October. Those interested can go to their website at www.mesquitetoestapteam.com for more information.

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