Last year, the Honky Tonk Angels Musical was thoroughly enjoyed by the audiences at USCB Center for the Arts. This musical had country classics combined with a hilarious story about three good ole gals who followed their dream to Nashville. Songs included Stand By Your Man, Coal Miner’s Daughter, 9 to 5, I Will Always Love You and Harper Valley PTA.
USCB has planned the show’s sequel, The Honky Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular, be brought to the stage this Holiday Season.
The Honky Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular
This holiday sequel to the hugely popular show, The Honky Tonk Angels continues the comic escapades of three good ole country gals as they re-unite for a Christmas show like none other at “The Hillbilly Heaven Club” in Nashville. There are many surprising twists and turns in this musical comedy revue, including a gospel soul sister who also happens to be a psychic manicurist. Songs include a Motown Christmas medley, country classics like Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton and comedy hits such as Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. (Pending music clearances).
Last year’s Angels, Elaine Lake, Velma Polk and Penney Lynn Smith met while auditioning for the show. These three ladies bonded at the 2012 auditions and became great friends. Not only did they become friends, the pleasure of performing together is something they wanted to continue. Hence the birth of The Sweetgrass Angels.
The Sweetgrass Angels can be heard almost any given weekend at low country restaurant venues. Go to www.thesweetgrassangels.com for upcoming performances and information.
In the sequel, The Honkey Tonk Angels Holiday Spectacular, the ladies bring on a fourth Angel. This part has been filled by the very talented Jan Spencer. Jan is a smooth Jazz & Blues Singer and Songwriter.
Jan is playing the part of the gospel soul singer and psychic manicurist and she is a great addition to the original Angels.
After almost 2 years of helping out behind the curtain at USCB, Elaine is thrilled to be taking the stage again. The past 18 years have been spent raising two beautiful daughters with her husband Jason. Before that, performance was her focus, with lead roles in numerous plays, musicals and reviews, including Amalia in She Loves Me, Polly Browne in The Boyfriend, Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Elaine in Arsenic and Old Lace, Serpina in The Perfect Wife, and as Darlene in last year production of Honky Tonk Angels as well as a lead member of the cast of USCB’s recent production of 8-Track, The Sounds of the 70’s
Velma is a native Beaufortonian who sang professionally for over 15 years. Both of her sons, Donnie and Ben, are well known musicians, as is her brother, Doug Garvin.
Velma says she is so happy to be performing in her 3rd theatrical production and is looking forward to many more. She made her acting debut as Angela in last year’s production of Honky Tonk Angels and was a lead member of the cast of USCB’s recent production of 8-Track, The Sounds of the 70’s.
“I hope to see all of my friends at one of our performances and hope that all who come will have as much fun as I’ve had during this experience.” says Velma.
Penney Lynn Smith
Originally from the Buckeye State, Penney has spent the past 25 years in the Low Country. Credits include performances with the Savannah Theater Company in Anything Goes, Nunsense, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Chicago, numerous radio voice-over and television commercial appearances. She was the Music Director for the University of South Carolina Beaufort production of ‘Always, Patsy Cline’ and was Sue Ellen in the 2012 fall production of ‘Honky Tonk Angels.’
Penney holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a Masters’ degree in Education from Lesley University. For 28 years she taught band, general music, and string orchestra in Louisville, Kentucky, Savannah, Georgia and Beaufort County. She recently retired to focus her time, love and talents on singing, her newlywed husband, Lain, and their pets Bogey and Divot.
As well as the vocalist for the Stardust Orchestra from Sun City, Penney is also the vocalist for The Swingtime Orchestra, and sings with local professional jazz pianist Norm Gagne. She has also been a featured vocalist with the Savannah Jazz Orchestra and the Hilton Head Orchestra Big Band Bash. She has recorded several jazz/big band projects, including her solo CD As It Should Be with the legendary bassist Ben Tucker, which received a positive review by Cadence magazine.
Before coming to the South Carolina Low Country, where she now lives, Smooth Jazz & Blues Singer-Songwriter, Jan Spencer performed in numerous venues in and around her Detroit home. These dates included mainstage performances at the Montreaux Detroit Jazz Festival that features top-notch jazz artists from all over the world. She has also worked nationally and internationally on stage and television. She has shared the stage with such greats as Aretha Franklin, the late Lou Rawls, Najee, Roy Ayers, Tony Bennett, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder, to name a few.
Since her arrival in the Low Country, she has performed extensively in local and regional Jazz clubs, Jazz concerts, Jazz festivals, and television establishing a reputation a world-class jazz vocalist. She has also worked as a resident artist in Beaufort and Charleston County schools. She has developed innovative, programs that teach the origins of Blue Music and the relationship of Blues to Jazz History. These have been presented for both children and adults. Her One-Woman shows featuring her smooth jazz originals and her arrangements of Blues, R&B and Classic Jazz standards have been sponsored by the local Arts Council and The Black Chamber of Commerce.
The songs on the smooth jazz CD “Home Again” were written by Jan and arranged and produced by Darryl Home. Horne is quite simply a musical genius who, in addition to producing and arranging the music played keys, bass, rhythm and lead guitar on the project.
Jan has been in much demand as a consummate jazz artist. She has performed at numerous venues including South Carolina Public Television, Minton’s Play House, NY, the Lennox Lounge, NY, numerous conferences, festival and Churches in the region. Ms. Spencer’s music was also featured in a cultural education production she co-produced for the annual Native Islander Gullah Celebration on Hilton Head Island.
Ms. Spencer holds a BA in Education Psychology and a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with Specialty in Creative Arts in Education. She is also completing work to earn a Phd in Organizational Learning. For more information contact Jan at HomeAgain @JanSpencerSings.com