News: Show brings fun to K-Bay
Story by Christine Cabalo
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii - Marines and sailors got a dose of aloha during a visit by “For the Leathernecks Comedy and Entertainment Tour” at Dewey Square, Oct. 21.
Kaneohe Bay was the fourth stop for the live tour coordinated by Headquarters Marine Corps Single Marine and Sailor Program. Comedians Alex Scott, Cory Miller and Rudy Rush appeared on this leg, as well as pop singer Kimberly Cole.
“As a vet myself, I know how important it is to get the morale up for the troops,” said Scott, a former enlisted Air Force X-ray technician. “Sometimes they’re far from home. Getting a good laugh can be a great way to ease stress.”
The $1.4 million tour was funded primarily through the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said Michael Brown, Single Marine and Sailor Program specialist, Headquarters Marine Corps. Live entertainment acts will perform in more than 15 different Marine Corps installations worldwide.
“If Marines get the message out there that they like this tour, we can do more of these things in the future,” Brown said. “We try to bring fun to them any way we can.”
The show began at K-Bay with Scott, Miller and Rush telling jokes about Hawaii’s humid weather, their long flights from the mainland and dating disasters. Even the Commander-in-Chief was lampooned, as Miller joked about imaging the president’s voice motivating him to do the simplest tasks like waking up on time.
“The MCCS staff did a great job,” said Lance Cpl. Angel Dejesus, financial technician, Headquarters Battalion. “All of the comedians made me laugh today.”
For Rush, who’s hosted “Showtime at the Apollo,” performing on the tour for Marines and sailors was a change of pace from his previous shows for civilian audiences. Although Rush said it can be a tough challenge to make them laugh when they’re responsible for so much, he’s happy to do anything to entertain.
“Their dedication to serving their country is amazing,” Rush said. “I want them to know we appreciate them.”
After the comedy trio performed, the show pumped up the volume with music from Cole. Known for her 2010 album, “Bad Girls Club,” Cole started by singing her latest single, “Arrow Through My Heart.”
During her performance, Marines and sailors had a chance to be part of the show. Cole encouraged Marines in the audience to come up to the stage and give the crowd their best ooh-rah. Cole then led her trio of dancers to perform songs from her previous album, including “Smack You” and “Pyscho.” Stirring up the crowd, Cole asked for three Marines to come to the stage.
Lance Cpl. Ross Poulton, distribution management specialist, Headquarters Battalion, was one of the three who took a seat right on stage. He had a close-up view of Cole and the dancers as they performed around him.
“I can’t begin to explain how great it was,” he said. “It was a great atmosphere with great performers.”
After the official performance ended, all of the entertainers were available after the show to meet Marines and sailors. Their new fans had a chance to talk with them, get their autographs or pose together for a photo.
“The best thing was meeting the girls after the show,” said Lance Cpl. Miguel Salinas, field artillerymen, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment. “It’s the best thing I’ve done so far since I’ve been in Hawaii.”
Cole said for her, the real honor is performing for the Marines and sailors who do so much. She said she admires everything about what they stand for.
“This tour is a reminder of why I love doing what I do,” Cole said. “I love that I can come out to support such a good cause, performing for those who volunteer to serve our country.”