Bill Schlitt, Maida Libkin, and their daughter Johanna return to Piccolo Spoleto with their long-beloved family classic, The Good Time Variety Hour, bringing a fresh crop of newfound talent. The skits and songs snap along for the most part with covers of Beatles and Elvis Presley tunes arranged around gentle situation comedy, instrumental pieces, and classic sing-along numbers.

Bill Schlitt’s penchant for rhyme and sentiment as well as showmanship is apparent from the very start. He likes to keep the audience involved and is prepared to offer vouchers for Schlitt’s Super-Salsa to keep the hands in the air.

Charleston’s own Laura Bell took center-stage for a good portion of the hour. Her well-honed voice rivals her considerable skill as a pianist. This is an entertainer great things can be expected from in the years ahead. A show highlight was Maida Libkin and Laura Bell’s scintillating four-handed run through Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2.

The Good Time Variety Hour is exactly what the name promises; sixty-some minutes of this and that, a talent showcase that focuses on the positive, good times.

This is definitely one show that Grandma, the kids, and even Great Aunt Gertrude can safely attend. Scrubbed squeaky-clean, there is not a line in the show that could possibly offend or shock anyone. Looking for wholesome family values entertainment at an affordable price, pure-hearted deeds, done dirt cheap? This is the ticket you want to buy.

Chips and salsa were served in the lobby after the show for the audience, a kind of warm-hearted mixer that allowed guests to mingle briefly with the cast. Just the kind of family touch you would expect from Schlitt, et al., actually.

Mind, we’re talking very good, fresh-made salsa, not the cheap stuff.

Hey, like the Olive Garden tagline goes, when you’re here, you’re family.

THE GOOD TIME VARIETY HOUR • Piccolo Spoleto’s • $15, $12 seniors/students • June 3, 4, 10 at 3 p.m. • Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St. • 554-6060

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