Christine Joyce
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Christine Joyce Show at Laurel Manor
Photos by Keith Conner & Barbara Kalmin

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Saturday, October 14th, Lynnhaven Neighbors gathered at Laurel Manor to enjoy the Christine Joyce show, eat and enjoy getting together with friends and neighbors. Judy & Jim Selock were there to check us in and tell us which Table we were assigned to. We put our contribution toward dinner on the table, then headed to the back of the room to take care of business before we settled down. Ron Kalmin & Barb Hartmann were on hand to accept membership renewals; Ralph & Fran Helwig were signing up people for next month's event, Gee Whiz Trivia, KFC and salad/sides/dessert potluck; Pat Mitchell & Carole Hannigan were selling 50/50 tickets.

That out of the way, we greeted and caught up with friends and neighbors while waiting for the rest of the people at our table to arrive so we could settle in and eat. Instead of round tables, two oblong tables were pushed together and topped with table covers. Dinner and dessert plates were already on the tables, as were napkins and eating utensils. Our social butterflies worked the room (you know who you are...) and others settled in or made adjustments to their tables, depending on what everyone had decided to eat.


Tables filled up quickly and we were ready... more than ready... to eat. Dig in! Ellen Conner announced that the 50/50 table would be closing in 5 minutes. If we hadn't already gotten our tickets, we quickly made a beeline to Pat and Carole's table before they closed down so they could eat, too. As we were slowing down and clearing our tables, Ralph Helwig read some of his "Rod South memorial jokes" to get us in a happy mood, then introduced our entertainment for October, Christine Joyce. He explained that when Cindy Miller got sick with laryngitis back in January 2017, Christine filled in for her at the last minute. Everyone liked her so much, they requested that the club book her again... and they did.

The lights dimmed momentarily, the stage was empty, then we heard this big voice singing "Get Ready 'cause Here I Come". Christine burst onto the stage, full of glitter and sparkles. On the heels of that grand entrance, she sang "I Am What I Am". She energetically came down into the audience, randomly picking men to sing to or joke with momentarily before she headed back onto the stage. Between songs, Christine told us a little about how she got started in the entertainment business and told jokes humorous stories, and announced what we could expect... singing, dancing, and comedy. She sang "Delilah", then launched into an assortment of elderly-themed jokes that all too many of us could identify with. "Oh My Love" was next, followed by "Do I Love You" and the rousing "Proud Mary Rolling on the River". As we could readily surmise from her accent, Christine and her husband, Mark, were not born here. They are from England, but have been in the U.S. for over 30 years. Her mother was Irish and everyone knows the Irish are the best story tellers, then she told some cute stories and jokes, imitating her mother's Irish brogue. We all got a kick out of that. She said her husband gave her a very special treat for her birthday, he took her to Las Vegas to see one of her favorite performers, Celine Dion! That was the perfect segue into her next song, "My Heart Will Go On". She then sang another big son by another of her favorite performers, Whitney Houston, singing "I Will Always Love You".

Christine took a break, so Ellen announced that Ann Lewe was having a birthday in a few days. There was also some sad news. Elaine Beckley has passed (there was an audible gasp of shock from many in the audience). Lynnhaven Ladies is having Sue Ann Baker as its guest speaker in November, one of the first women hired by the Secret Service (some of the guys thought that would be interesting). Kathy Warner is also taking pre-orders of Sue Ann's book about Sue Ann's life as an S.S. agent.

Ellen also made an appeal for a Co-President for the club in 2018. Someone said they are willing to do it, but can't do it alone... so please volunteer to help so our club can continue. Volunteers only have to make a commitment for one year, and the club takes a three month break during the summer months. Ron Kalmin is still collecting dues for 2018, but checks won't be cashed unless we get a President. Ellen also asked how we liked the table setup? Most everyone liked it better than the round tables. Ralph then went over the club's upcoming events. November will be a fun night of Gee Whiz Trivia, with the club providing KFC chicken and members bringing salads, sides, and desserts. In December, we'll have The Ambassadors dance band and Pasta Faire will be catering the event.

Intermission was over and Christine came out with a costume change, turning around. Do we like? We did. She sang "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita, another of her favorites... and ours. She and Mark had recently moved into a new home on a golf course. That led to a bunch of golfing jokes. Most of us could identify with those stories, as well. Her next selection was Il Divo's "I Will Always Love You", the Moody Blues' "Nights in White Satin", then Elvis' "Are You Lonesome Tonight". In between, loads of fun and jokes. Christine came into the audience again, flirted and got Jim Dooley up to dance.

When she returned to the stage, she said people have asked why she doesn't do operatic songs with her voice? She thought about it and searched for a song that she could sing for as long as her voice holds out and came up with "Nessum Dorma". She got a standing ovation for that. Christine and Mark have performed all over the world, spending 8 years onboard the Cunard flag ship, the Queen Elizabeth 2, and have had many tours of duty for both American and British Troops. We also heard about how she and her husband complement each other. He's cool, calm, and collected. She's excitable and all over the place, so he keeps her grounded.

She sang a a Liza Minelli song, belting out "Cabaret", and some other songs. Christine stopped to take a few moments to thank Ellen for having her back, the woman at the recreation center who was so helpful to Mark setting up, and thanked her husband... come on up.... Mark ran from the back of the room (gee, we wish we could run like that again... in our dreams), up onto the stage, exchanging some kidding comments back and forth, then he was shooed off stage again. She sang another song, was kabitzing with audience members and having a good time, before her final song.

As her show ended, she got a standing ovation again. But the evening wasn't over yet. We still had the 50/50 drawings to go. Congratulations to our lucky winners! Ed Fillman went home with an extra $40 in his pocket, and Julie McLaughlin and Stu Willa went home $36 each. For the rest of us, better luck next week (it could happen...).

With that, everyone packed up their stuff and headed for home. Ron Kalmin couldn't help himself. He had to razz Jim Dooley on the way out. Hope everyone had a great time. Please be sure to to take the survey about this event. It is completely anonymous.

A Big Thanks to Christine Joyce and her husband, Mark, her sound and lights man. Great show! Full of energy, fun, great music, and fun with the audience. And Thanks to this month's volunteers who set up the tables and place settings. I suspect they were the Helwigs, Conners, Selocks and Warners.

Remember, next month we'll be back at Churchill Street Recreation Center for a fun night of Gee Whiz Trivia, with the club providing KFC chicken and members bringing salads, sides, and desserts.

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