By Jade Ortego

Killeen Daily Herald

To enjoy local talent and benefit a good cause, visit the Salado Silver Spur Theater for "Salado's Got Talent" this Fourth of July weekend.

A variety show featuring local musicians, actors and comedians will be at 7:30 p.m. July 3 and 4. A portion of the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.

The idea to do the show as a benefit arose because one of the headliners, Joe Berg, artist, former professional baseball player, and retired advertising specialties consultant, is an 11-year melanoma cancer survivor. Berg, 64, will perform songs at the variety show from his first album "It's Never Too Late," set for release on June 22.

"I don't think that there's a family that hasn't been touched with cancer," said Rita Oden, owner/Realtor of Salado Realty and a performer for more than 16 years. Oden, who will emcee the event, lost her mother to cancer three years ago.

The two-hour show will consist of music and dance acts, comedy and vaudeville-style skits. There will be duet, solo and trio musical performances of jazz, pop, rock and country music. It will feature local performers Richard Paul Thomas, Tony Blackman, Mary Bentley, Karen Stalcup, Rita Oden, Berg and a "Mystery Guest." Oden wouldn't give a hint as to the identity of the mystery guest. "You have to come to the show to see who it is," she said.

As emcee, Oden has some surprises planned for the audience in between performances, but said that she would be singing some Janis Joplin songs. "I'm not a good singer, but I love Janis Joplin, and pretty much anyone can sing Joplin," she said. She also said there would be vaudeville-style skits- "think 'Dick van Dyke'"- while the artists switch out.

Oden said that people who have had cancer or know a loved one dealing with it should come out. She said, though, that anyone struggling with any sort of issue in his or her lives could benefit seeing the variety show. "My theory is that laughter and music is the best medicine. Everyone has issues they're dealing with. We have to laugh," Oden said.

According to a press release sent out by Salado Silver Spur Theater Public Relations, Thomas has been singing and playing guitar since 1957. He has opened concerts for Anne Murray, Loggins & Messina and Michael Martin Murphy, among others. In the late 70's, he worked as a director for Capt. Jacques Yves Cousteau's "Involvement Days," a series of festivals exposing the challenges facing the marine environment. There are samples of his music at

"I'm doing Salado's official song," Thomas said, of "Salado," the song he wrote for his musical "Captured Rainbow."

The night will also incorporate a silent auction. Items up for sale include tickets to September's Chocolate and Art Festival, donated by Salado's Chamber of Commerce, and living room performances by Thomas, Blackman and Bentley.

"I think people are guaranteed to feel better when they leave this show," Oden said.

Tickets for "Salado's Got Talent" will be $15 general admission, $12 for those over 65, military personnel and students with identification. They can be purchased in advance at Salado Realty, First Community Title Salado and First Salado Horizon Bank. Group rates are available.

Call (254) 718-7956 for reservations. Any remaining tickets will be sold at the door, at Salado Sliver Spur Theater on 108 Royal Street in Salado.

Contact Jade Ortego at or (254) 501-7553.

Rail Item:

What: "Salado's Got Talent," Variety Show

Benefits the American Cancer Society

Where: Salado Silver Spur Theater

108 Royal Street in Salado

When: 7:30 p.m. July 3-4

Cost: $15 General Admission, $12 seniors, students and military

Reservations: (254) 718-7956

For more information: Rita Oden, 254-718-7956

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.