Performer Darryl Van Leer will be giving back to his hometown of Madisonville in more ways than one this weekend. Van Leer will be performing a variety show at Rosenwald Smith Multicultural Center at 6 p.m. Saturday as part of a charity event for Madisonville's Purple Waves Presentation Society. All proceeds from the event will go toward the renovations for a new museum and community center at the site of the former J.W. Million school.
The variety show will primarily consist of Van Leer performing monologues and songs as multiple historical figures such as Nelson Mandella, Ray Charles and Dr. Martin L. King Jr. The show's purpose, according to the Rev. Glenda Wade,
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president of the Purples Waves Presentation Society, is to teach Madisonville citizens important pieces of history as well as provide an entertaining show.
"He really gets into the roles he's characterizing," Wade said. "It just shows how diverse he is."
In addition to the educational and entertainment aspects, Wade also stressed that Van Leer serves as a vital role model for the younger generation of the Madisonville community.
"We want the children to look to a positive role model and be encouraged that they can be anything they want to be," Wade said.
Van Leer has performed in television series, feature films and for more than 300 universities, but only years earlier, he was a bright-eyed, hopeful kid living in Madisonville. Though he has reached stardom in his adulthood, he hasn't forgotten where he came from.
"He loves to give back to his community," Wade said, "He's performed at the Crowded House. He's even participated in a Habitat for Humanity building day here."
While he's both performed and volunteered at Madisonville before, this is the first time he'll be able to showcase his talent for a charitable cause.
According to Wade, this event is a great opportunity for Madisonville to enjoy a great show, give back to their community and meet someone who has managed to turn his passion into a full-time career.
"It is the type of event that should bring pride to Hopkins County." she said.
Tickets for the variety show are available now, with adult tickets priced at $15 and $5 for kids. For more information, contact Theresa Qualls at 270-836-2227.