We attended the sold out performance of Katie Karel this evening at the Seward Civic Center Auditorium. Katie is a Seward Native that graduated from SHS in 2005. She went on to Stephens College in Columbia, MO and during one summer worked at the theater in Okoboji, IA. She now lives in Kansas City and has been active in theater in that area. Her performance in Seward is being called, “Karel Sings the Hits, Vol. 1” and is sponsored by the Seward Arts Council and the Seward County Visitors Bureau. We were fortunate in seeing 2 empty seats about 4 rows up in the center of the auditorium and found we were sitting next to the accompanist, Jeremy Watson's and Katie's mothers. It was an energetic show with Katie tracing her singing from grade school here in Seward to the present time. She sang songs to depict the time along the way. From the audience reaction and our personal opinion, it seemed that the Patsy Cline songs were the favorites. Maybe it was because she said they were hers.
Jeremy Watson is not the typical accompanist but actually took over a lead roll at times. The program indicates that outside of musical theater, Jeremy is the pianist/accompanist for St. Paul’s UMC of Lenexa and St. Paul’s School of Theology. He played the piano as if it were a part of him and it was all reflected in his facial images and body language. We never knew Katie while growing up here in Seward and only knew her Mother as a lady that worked at the Court House. Clark Kolterman introduced the program and reference was made of Katie having lead roles in several of Clark’s productions while she was in HS. It is interesting to have “Home Town” people come back to “tell their story” after going out into the world and becoming successful. It is probably more entertaining to have someone like Katie come back and demonstrate her talent, but I think of other young people who have come back to the community as MD’s, Lawyers, Agronomist, etc. that quietly persue their profession without any fanfair. Maybe we should listen to their story with equal interest and enjoyment.