The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 8, 2012

Better with age: New theater group holding first production



“He has a feel for creativity in figuring out how parts work and where music can flow together better, while I write and read the music from there,” Carol said.

Merry Finseth, of North Mankato, will be making her third on-stage appearance after having performed previously in two shows with Merely Players.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Finseth said. “Sue Lagow, who performed in a number of shows for Merely Players, was an inspiration for me.”

The performance was characterized as “a nostalgic revue with beloved songs and delightful comedy that keeps audiences rolling with laughter when they are not humming along to the pop hits of the 1950s.”

Also making appearances will be Lucile Ball and Elvis Presley, along with many other personalities, television shows and songs from the 50s.

Benefits from the group’s inaugural performance will go to VINE’s Capital Campaign project, in which VINE hopes to turn the old Nichols Building into an adult community center that serves as a “one-stop shop” for aging adults to improve physical health, socialize with peers, volunteer to help others, and access needed services.

In order to repurpose the 60,000 square foot building, VINE will need to reach a final goal of $4 million. The week following their premier in Mankato, XYZ Live! will perform at the New Ulm Community Theatre and give all profits to organizations in the New Ulm area.

Mike Schmitz, who has participated in 12 shows with Merely Players, says he loves the theatre because of the people.

“I really enjoy those who are in the theatre group and the format of our shows because they’re always different,” he said.

Etzell said she enjoys working with the actors who audition and encouraged anyone interested to join XYZ for future productions.

“We will show you how to do it. There’s no need to be afraid.” 

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