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Bears to revisit the Lawrence Welk Show.

WICHITA - "And-ah one, and-ah two," foot tap ... One, two, three, four. The orchestra begins playing Bubbles in the Wine. This will probably leave the older crowd thinking, "Oh no, Lawrence Welk Show." Or the youngsters, "What the ?? Who the??" The Wichita Bears will try to answer these thoughts as they present their annual La Cage aux Bears Extremely Campy Drag Show--Lawrence Welk Show, Then and Now!" This may prove to be the zaniest of all the shows they have produced over the past five years. The show returns to Fantasy's stage on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7pm.

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Come enjoy seeing some of the time's favorite characters (The Lennon Sisters, JoAnn Castle on the honkey-tonk piano, Myron Floren on the accordion, the "Champagne Lady" and many others) being "honored" by the members of the Wichita Bears.

And yes, this is "old people music," but the Wichita Bears will take on the music and stars with their extreme campy drag, which should be a hit to all who attend. By extreme, the Bears first of all keep ALL body hair/facial hair, along with trashy outfits--but very creative--and trashy makeup and choreography.

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Since the first show, the Bears have set themes that have ranged from the Fractured Fairy Tales, Miss Trailer Park Pageant, Las Vegas Showgirls, the Grand Ole Opry and Disco. The choice of themes is part of the ritual as the Bears think of what to do for costumes, song selection and, of course, the make-up and hairdo's.

Another person, from Oregon, also has had a large challenge--designing the logo/ mascot to go with the theme. Eric Anderson from Hillsboro, located near Portland, has provided logos for each of the themes for the shows.

After meeting Wichita Bears in Oklahoma City years ago, where he and his partner were vendors with a line of t-shirts, Anderson has designed the mascot for the La Cage events. The Wichita Bears' relationship with Anderson has remained through the last five shows.

What's funny, is that at first, Anderson was uncomfortable putting clothing on Bears. He thinks Bears should all be aunatural! Despite this, he has come up with great designs.

This year's design was one of Anderson's most difficult, but also one that went far beyond expectations. Not only did he design the Bears, but he also created a TV room setting for the two scenes for the show. In his "then" scene, he has a black and white TV set with rabbitears on top of it. Mrs. Bear is shown asking Mr. Bear to dance with her during the show.

In the "now" scene, the modern bears are watching the syndicated show on their HD TV all cuddled up on the couch.

This year's event is also a fundraising activity for First Metropolitan Community Church's Food Bank Building Fund. All performers will donate their tips to the Building Fund as the church raises money to purchase a space from which they can distribute food for the needy and homeless.

In addition to the Wichita Bears performers, other Bears are coming to perform from Columbus, NE, Junction City, Tulsa and Dallas. The show will include 35-40 acts. Tickets are $5 per person and will be sold at the door, however, Wichita Bears Club members have presale tickets available also.

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For more information, visit www.wichitabears.org or e-mail wbinfo@wichitabears.org. [lambda]

The 411:

What: La Cage aux Bears Extremely Campy Drag Show "Lawrence

Welk Show, Then and Now!"

When: Saturday, Oct. 22, 7pm

Where: Our Fantasy Complex

How much: $5
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Title Annotation:The Wichita Bears
Author:Einsel, Steve
Publication:Liberty Press
Geographic Code:1U4KS
Date:Oct 1, 2011
Words:594
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