Derby, CT - The more than 100 members of Cub Pack 3, Boy Scout Troop 3 and Venture Crew 33 will present their 87th Annual Scout Gang Show on May 6 & 7 at the Derby United Methodist Church. Part old time minstrel, vaudeville, and variety show, the longest running show of its kind has been performed by the scouts since 1922. Scout Gang Shows are performed throughout the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, however the Derby Scout Gang Show, a Lower Naugatuck Valley tradition, is the only one performed in the United States. Derby’s Scout Gang Show will be featured along with the Glasgow, Scotland Scout Gang Show in an upcoming book on the history of show choirs from vaudeville to Glee.
“Hootenanny” is the theme for the 2011 production. A Hootenanny can be described as an informal performance by singers, typically with participation by the audience. The audience will have the opportunity to join in with the scouts and chorus to sing olde time songs such as “Carolina in the Morning”, “Shine on Harvest Moon” and “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts”. Novelty numbers include “Shaddup You Face”, “Yes, We have no Bananas” and “Out Behind the Barn”.
The stooges, who perform run-on skits in between the songs, are under the direction of Venture Crew 33 Committee Chairman Mr. Rodman Kneen, who has been involved with the show since performing as a Cub Scout in 1932. Venture Crew 33 Scouts serving as stooges are Michael Neuendorf, Steven Tracz, John Murray, Neeraj Madivala, Andrew Devine and Mike Tracz.
Endmen, or joke tellers for the show include Donald King, who has performed 30 years as an Endman. Joining King include Matthew Decho, Al Palumbo, Barry Howard and current Troop 3 Eagle Scouts Charles Stankye IV, Alex Oppel, Tyler Stankye and Matthew Frovarp. The Stankye brothers are third generation Eagle Scouts to perform as endmen in the show, joining their father Chuck Stankye III and grandfather Charles Stankye Jr. David Scrimenti is serving as the pianist, Scout Matthew Moran as Chorus Director and Sarah Widomski as Musical Director. Troop 3 Assistant Scoutmaster John Spinetti is in charge of lights and sound.
Many local community leaders have performed in the show in their youth including former mayors Marc Garofalo, Bill Menna and Gene Micci, Shelton Aldermanic President John Anglace and Center Stage co-owner Gary Scarpa. Stage and screen star Brian Dennehy and 1960s Green Bay Packer captain Bob Skoronski also performed in the show as scouts under pioneer scout leader and Derby Hall of Fame member Edmund D. Strang, who directed the show for a remarkable 70 years. Troop 3 Scoutmaster Randy Ritter is in his 17th year of directing the show. Ritter said “The show continues to be staged each year because it helps build self confidence for the scouts, it introduces our musical heritage to a new generation and it provides financial support for our three scout groups”.
Tickets to the May 6 & 7, 7:30PM show are available for $7 from Pack 3, Troop 3 and Crew 33 scouts, or by calling 732-0343. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds from the show benefit the scouts attending summer camp at Housatonic Council’s Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation, Cub Scout Day Camp and the upcoming Troop 3 camping trip to the Pacific Northwest.
Cub Scout Pack 3 Derby meets 7PM on Mondays at its sponsoring organization, The Derby United Methodist Church. Venture Crew 33 meets on Thursdays and is sponsored by the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club. Troop 3 Derby is sponsored by the Derby 2nd Congregational Church and meets there on Wednesdays, at 7PM. All three scout groups are part of the Housatonic Council BSA and welcome new members from throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley.