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Letter: I remember the Carol Channing concert at Freed Center

Icon viewers:
Note: The Icon asked viewers if they attended the first-ever Freed Center concert, which feature Carol Channing. Don Traxler offers this remembrance:

 My wife Myra, my son, Ty, and I attended the sold-out Carol Channing Concert at the opening of the Freed Center on April 27, 1991.  Ty was 14 years old and Myra and I basically had to force him to go with us.  

Carol came on stage and performed her first number.  Then she went to stage right and stood in an enclosed area like a box.  We could see her head and she talked with the audience while her stage crew was changing her costume.  She would then come out to center stage and perform her next number.

 This continued for one hour and 10 minutes without an intermission. Carol’s voice and dancing was fantastic and unbelievable for a 70-year-old performer.  The thing this 55-year-old man remembers about her physical appearance was how skinny her legs were.  But they were strong enough to allow her to move very fluidly all over the stage and support a powerful and unwavering voice.

When we exited the Freed Center, I said to Myra and Ty, “Oh my, we are in Ada, Ohio, as I thought we must have been in a beautiful theater in New York City to see such an outstanding performance in such a magnificent facility.”  

While the inaugural event was so memorable, the student performances for over a quarter of a century have been equally as memorable and the talented students come from so many states and even from other countries such as Australia

One can see the Holiday Spectacular every year and it seems to get better each year.  I saw  “Young Frankenstein” at an off-Broadway theater one afternoon in New York City in 2008 when I followed Jon Diebler and Costa Koufis and the Ohio State basketball Buckeyes when they won the National Invitational Tournament in Madison Square Garden.  

I can’t wait to see this same play performed by our ONU students at the Freed Center in April!

Don Traxler