Leight Fantastics Mother’s Day show will be the last

SNOHOMISH — The curtain is coming down on a long-standing tradition.

For 33 years, Eleanor Leight, her dance troupe the Leight Fantastics and other amateurs put on the Snohomish Historical Society’s variety show every Mother’s Day. The 34th show next month will be their last.

The amount of work has grown over the years and the cost of the production has gone up. Also, dancers are getting older or pursuing other interests, said Leight, who has directed every show.

“It seems like the right time to end it,” said Leight, 90, a one-time Radio City Rockette who danced in Europe with the USO during World War II.

The group is a nonprofit and all money from the ticket sales goes to other local groups, such as the historical society and the Snohomish Senior Center, Leight said.

The group started as a place where amateur artists could perform, even though they didn’t want to pursue a career in entertainment. It has included dancing, singing and comedy, Leight said.

This year’s show, called “Memories,” is set from May 10 through May 13 at the Snohomish High School Performing Arts Center located at 1316 Fifth St., Snohomish. Tickets are $9.75 for adults and can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com.

Other performers include The Dancin’ Katz, The Valley View Hoofers and The Showtime Combo.

Earlier this month, performers showed no sadness as they rehearsed at St. Michael’s Catholic Church.

“It’s sad to see it go, but there are good memories,” said 15-year-old Jordyn Shawger, a Snohomish High sophomore and one of the 32 dancers practicing that day.

The group is not disintegrating. They will still have rehearsals and plan other shows, but Mother’s Day is their biggest show of the year.

When news spread the show was being discontinued, former members returned to perform for one last time.

“I thought it would be fun to do it again and see everybody,” Lake Stevens resident Colleen Moynahan, 57, said.

Moynahan returned after leaving the group eight years ago. She has memories that include when the fog machine broke, flooding the stage with soapy water. There was also the time the dancers were blinded by a stage light at the beginning of the show.

“After that, we had a flashlight behind us,” she said.

Snohomish resident Nathan Flath, 32, joined the dance group in 1994.

Since then, he has danced, helped backstage and dressed up as a lion, a monster and other animals. He doesn’t know what he will dress as this year, he said.

His best memory was when he asked a fellow dancer for a date four years ago.

“In one of the rehearsals, I asked her out. The next thing I know, we got married,” he said.

Ragene Kimsey, of Granite Falls, joined the Leight Fantastics in 1986 when she saw a flier offering dance classes. She had just moved from Colorado and was trying to become more involved with the community.

Kimsey, 66, says she plans to remain with the group, even though they’re ending the big Mother’s Day show.

Still, she is happy she was a part of the tradition.

“It’s been one of the highlights of my life,” she said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

“Memories”

The Snohomish Historical Society’s 34th annual variety show, “Memories,” is scheduled for 7 p.m., May 10, 11 and 12, with an additional 2 p.m. presentation set for May 12 and 13, at the Snohomish High School Performing Arts Center, 1316 Fifth St.

Tickets cost $7.25 for seniors and students, and $9.75 for adults.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 1-800-838-3006.

Tickets also can be purchased at the door.

The event features dancing from The Leight Fantastics and other group of dancers and singers.

Talk to us

More in Local News

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
No right turns on red gets a look, a bid to expand sports betting arrives

It’s a new week. Here’s what’s happening on Day 22 of the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
Woman dead, man burned in Marysville RV fire

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

Karla Wislon holds a champagne glass while celebrating the closing sale of her home in Palm Springs, Ca. on May 14, 2021. (Family photo)
Former state Rep. Karla Wilson, 88, remembered as ‘smart, energetic’

Wilson served the 39th Legislative district from 1985 to 1991. She died Dec. 31.

Federal agents seized many pounds of meth and heroin, along with thousands of suspected fentanyl pills, at a 10-acre property east of Arlington in mid-December 2020. (U.S. Attorney’s Office) 20201223
Leader of Snohomish County fentanyl, meth ring gets federal prison

A search of Cesar Valdez-Sanudo’s property in Arlington unearthed kilos of drugs and hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Logo for news use featuring Whidbey Island in Island County, Washington. 220118
Port of Coupeville to make offer on Oak Harbor airport

The Port of Coupeville continues to pursue ownership of the A.J. Eisenberg Airport near Oak Harbor.

James Lewis
COVID still ‘simmering’ in the county, while booster uptake remains low

Meanwhile, flu and RSV cases have plummeted, suggesting the “tripledemic” could — emphasis on “could” — be fading.

Photo by Karina Andrew/Whidbey News-Times
Former VA-115 member Jack Keegan speaks at a presentation on base commemorating the last crew from NAS Whidbey Island shot down during the Vietnam War.
Whidbey Island air base honors crew lost in Vietnam War

NAS Whidbey Island will host several upcoming events commemorating the end of the Vietnam War.

Construction continues on the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Paved path, plaza coming to Mountlake Terrace near light rail

The public space additions are envisioned as boosting access to the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center.

Herald publisher Rudi Alcott
A note from the publisher

The Daily Herald publisher Rudi Alcott discusses our new publishing schedule and newspaper delivery by mail.

Most Read