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Harry Barnett stays faithful to Variety Show for almost 50 years

March 31, 2011

Harry Barnett (center), here with PAHS seniors Heather Heitzenrater (left) and Ian Weaver, has been attending the Variety Show for more than 50 years. (Photo by Jennifer Barr/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

PUNXSUTAWNEY — For almost 50 years, Harry Barnett has faithfully attended the Variety Show, and this year was not one to miss.

Walking into the debut of the Class of 2011’s show Thursday night, Barnett reminisced about his own class’ Variety Show in 1962.

“Our 1962 Variety Show had the theme, ‘Going On a Sentimental Journey,’ with ‘Sentimental Journey’ being the class song,” he said.

Year after year, the Variety Show continues to take on a similar framework of talent acts. Barnett said he saw much of the same talent this year as when his class took the stage, with the various acting, singing and skits.

He also recalled trying out for the acting roles. Everyone who tried out received a part, which he said was nice.

“I was Cinderella in my Variety Show; I waved a magic wand,” he laughed.
Similar to this year’s show, Barnett also recalled his class holding hands, walking down the aisles to sing their final, traditional song: The high school’s alma mater.

“It was so nice to see the alma mater being performed this year,” he said.

The Variety Show is fun and exciting, but it also takes patience, time and effort. Barnett said.

“I remember being very nervous the first night,” he said. “We wanted to get everything just right. It was nerve-wracking.”

While the showbiz term “break a leg” is common, Barnett recalled that term taking on a different meaning for his class, as when performing a football skit, girls were dressed up as football players and had to fall down for their part. However, just as one of the girls fell, she actually broke her leg.

But in keeping with another common showbiz term — “The show must go on” — Barnett said the girl didn’t tell anyone about her leg until after the show.

He also said the Variety Show serves two good causes.

“Since it continues to benefit the Margaret C. Boles Foundation and the senior class party, I think it is for a good cause, so I will continue to come,” Barnett said.

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