What do you get with an evening jam-packed with the charismatic talent of Garth Brooks, the sensuality of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis the king of rock, the hilariously comical genius of the Blues Brothers, combined with a touch of captivating croons of Bing Crosby?
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- It’s off to yet another adventure with the Single Marine Program. Destination: Myrtle Beach’s ‘Legends in concert.’
The SMP took the Marines to Broadway on the Beach, since it was such a hit the week before, and then to an all-star studded cast tribute show called ‘Legends in Concert,’ Dec. 6.
The Marines who attended were a mixture of first-timers and also veteran attendees. Some of them heard about this event through their SMP representative, but many of them heard about the trips through word of mouth from fellow Marines who have previously attended.
“I heard that other Marines have a lot of fun on these trips, so I had to check it out for myself,” said Pfc. Michael J. Payne, student, Personnel Administration school.
Surely enough, the Marines said they had a blast at Broadway alone. The mixture of different shops, restaurants, attractions such as miniature golf, Ripley’s aquarium, museum, and haunted house, and the Sony IMAX Theater were crowd pleasers.
“I’m having an awesome time,” said Pvt. Jared D. Alvarado, a student at the school. “I can sum it up in one word, Ooh-rah. The best part is that I got to meet a lot of new people. Chilling with a lot of people is better than sitting on base doing nothing. I’m having a lot of fun.”
After a shopping spree on Broadway, the Marines were off to Legends. They were in for a big surprise, because none of them knew what they were getting into.
“I have no idea what the show will be about,” said Pfc. Kayla D, Orton. “I just came because I went on the last trip and had a great time. Plus, my friends were all going, and so I came too.”
The Marines didn’t mind that they didn’t know what to expect from the evening’s show. They had a great time on the last trip and kept an open mind to whatever the evening had in store. The low cost of this trip also enticed the Marines.
“This is my second time on an SMP trip, and I have no clue what this show’s going to be about,” said Pfc. Anthony T. Mitchell, PA school. “My class leader told me there was going to be another trip and it was going to be only $20. I don’t like to spend any money, so I made my friend pay for my trip. This trip is a really good deal, but I didn’t pay for anything.”
There was an air of curiosity by the Marines as they entered the theater. The crowd was noticeably older, which made some of the Marines skeptical toward the evening’s venue.
he emcee started the announcements with humor, which broke the ice for the Marines.
Garth Brooks impeccably opened the show, and the Marines were hooked, especially when Pvt. Stacey O. Clark got baited by Brooks to come onstage. The Marines were rolling with fits of laughter while Brooks proceeded to make Clark turn beet red by the minute.
“I had fun when I went up onstage,” said Clark. “Garth was hilarious, and I couldn’t stop laughing.”
Throughout the evening the Marines were cheering shouts of ooh-rah in approval.
Among the favorites of the male Marines was the legendary pinup dream goddess Marilyn Monroe. Monroe’s innocent innuendoes throughout her performance drove the Marines wild. They were hooting and hollering, beckoning her to come to where they were.
Marilyn cornered an unsuspecting Pfc. Eric Charles on his way back to his seat from a break. Charles had a petrified look on his face as Monroe proceeded to sing softly in his ear in front of the audience, while the other Marines were going crazy.
“I had an awesome time,” said Charles. “I was motivated when I got cornered by Marilyn Monroe.”
The favorite among the female Marines was the King of Rock himself, Elvis. Elvis stole the evening with classic staples of “Jailhouse Rock,” “Blue Christmas” and “Hound Dog.” His presence on stage was undeniable as the crowd sang along with his familiar tunes.
The evening proceeded with the momentum of electrifying energy that never ended until the close of the show. The Blues Brothers had the whole audience cracking up to their fanatical antics and Bing Crosby brought nostalgia back to the hearts of the older generation.
The highlight of the evening was when Brooks sang a song to pay respect to the veterans and Marines present in the audience. He said a heartfelt speech in recognition of the Marines. The Marines responded by giving Brooks a motivated ooh-rah while the audience cheered, clapped and went wild. Fittingly, it was a moment made for the movies.
The show came to a close with the all-star cast ensemble singing Christmas carols. When Brooks came out to take his bows, he told the audience to give recognition to the Marines. He requested they stand to take a bow. That night the Marines felt like the stars.
The SMP showed the Marines another night of excitement and adventure. The Marines loaded the white bus and each fell asleep knowing what it meant to be, “The few, the proud.”
All single Marines may attend the SMP trips. For more information visit their website at www.mccslejeune.com/smp/index.html or call (910) 451-4485.