Bill Cunningham, three-time former Mr. Universe gave up competition and returned to a childhood dream and passion and re-took the stage as a singer after 60 years; he even released two music videos directed by his son Colin. Cunningham recently performed at Fiesta “A Vaudeville Variety Show” held at the Mesquite Community Theatre on April 18. You can check Bill out on his website: Photo by Teri Nehrenz

There is no doubt that Mesquite residents enjoy entertainment, love to laugh and like to try new things. On Thursday, April 18 many residents missed the opportunity to do all three when new resident and Producer Heather Nichole brought Fiesta “A Vaudeville Variety Show” to the stage at the Mesquite Community Theatre and the audience had a roaring good time.

Nichole, who has an impressive professional entertainment career herself, pulled together local and semi-local talent; some with quite a bit of performing experience and some brand new to the craft but all gave a stellar performance to the crowd.

Ladies missed the opportunity to hear the mellow tunes performed by Bill Cunningham. Cunningham is a three-time former Mr. Universe whose personality is as charming as the Irish lilt to his voice.

At 83 years old he is the epitome of someone who is living life to its fullest.

He is a champion, beyond what many of us would fathom, having won each body building competition he’s entered in the past 60 years; sometimes not the first time around for some but by the second or third try this resilient man brought home the winning trophy.

Cunningham’s last of three Mr. Universe trophies was won just 12 years ago, his induction into the Body Building Hall of Fame came in 2013 and sometime during those 60 years, his name will forever be in record books according to Guinness.

Injuries and age ultimately closed the door to the body building world, although he still coaches and keeps his own fitness in check, another door re-opened and Cunningham was excited to step over its threshold.

Cunningham returned to a childhood dream and passion and re-took the stage as a singer; he even released two music videos directed by his son Colin who is a professional actor with a substantial career of his own.

The two are quite the dynamic duo and wherever Bill is, Colin isn’t far away shooting video or taking photos to help promote his dad’s new career. And yes ladies, Colin’s charm is every bit as appealing as his dad’s, without the Irish lilt.

Cunningham is partial to Tony Bennett’s songs and he performs them with an energy that belies his 83 years. Cunningham says that it is difficult to break into the music business in a small town so he’s booking as many appearances as he can for the exposure but also for the fun of it; he has fun performing and loves meeting people from all over.

He moved to St. George to be near his family, especially his grandchildren who he adores and when he’s not training, performing or just being Grandpa, he’s helping others realize their dreams; he’s surly living his and doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight.

In a recent interview with St. George News Cunningham stated, “It gives me that understanding of ‘Hey, that’s where I was at one time.’ I like to be able to give a helping hand wherever I can in all matters,” he said. “It all comes down to not being selfish but adding something to somebody else’s life. It’s not all about you and me.” See more about Bill Cunningham on his website:

The first half of the show ended with a group of child athletes. BeBrave Athletics’ group of competitive acrobats wowed the audience in their first ever performance that wasn’t a competition. The kids flipped across the stage without a single flop. BeBrave athletics is a progressive athletic studio in Mesquite who are on a mission to spread the brave and empower athletes to become more confident and stronger. They have athletes ranging from ages three to seventeen an all gave a wonderful first-time performance; it’s easy to see why these kids are champions.

After the intermission, the entire second half of the show was devoted to a group who call themselves ImprovDixie.

Improv Dixie started out in St. George with a simple question, “Hey St. George actors, who wants to learn how to do improv?” A handful of talented and funny people showed up. From there, some drifted away, some stayed, new faces arrived, but the love of making people laugh remained the same.

Improv Dixie has performed throughout St. George, UT and is growing to become a brand name for comedy in Southern Utah and Mesquite.

The group puts on a comedy show like “Whose Line is it Anyway” playing improv games with each other and the audience; the more audience participation, the funnier the show. They are a non-profit group and ready to entertain audiences everywhere. Are you an actor who wants to brush up some improv skills; improv classes are available through their organization.  For more information on ImprovDixie you can check out their facebook page:

Fiesta’s entertainment value was certainly present that night even if the audience wasn’t, but it didn’t discourage Nichole’s passion one bit. She plans on finding her entertainment lovers here in Mesquite and no doubt has already begun pulling something together for the future; be on the lookout for all the wonderful entertainment that the Mesquite Community Theatre and the people, like Nichole, who will be “bringing it on” the stage.

Don’t miss the Ms. Senior Mesquite Pageant this Saturday at 4 p.m.