Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour at Merriman's Playhouse
On its first sojourn away from home the radio hour arrives at Stephen and Mary Merrimans’ Playhouse in South Bend, Indiana for a fun show filled with swinging jazz talent.
The show features three numbers from the talented Merrimans’ Playhouse Players, consisting of Stefan Hess on Piano, Maximilian Willfinger on Trumpet, Todd Neuenschwander on Tenor Saxophone, Mary Merriman on Upright Bass, and Stephen Merriman on Drums. Included in the mix is the phenomenal Patti Shaffner, who renders a remarkable rendition of Blue Skies complete with a fine demonstration of her skat singing (she studied with Bobby McFerrin).
In addition to the fine playing by the band, the Shoot the Moon game show features the fine talents of Willow Wetherall, director of Downtown South Bend, and Tony Krabill, the program director of WVPE Public Radio. Willow and Tony have the tough job of trying to guess answers featuring the esoteric biographies of members of the band. They both do a great job fielding questions concerning such topics as the names of the pets of members of the band, along with identifying quotes from the ever-edifying, Stephen Merriman. It’s all in fun, of course, and both contestants walk away with mugs and t-shirts for their fine efforts.
Along the way each band member has a chance to reveal a little of their musical past and announcer, Derrick Jensen and host, George Schricker get to engage in some fun jazz banter. As usual, music producer, John Bahler leads the theme song as it breaks into jazz swing tempo and the talented, Pam Gunterman, delivers a Note from Rosie, featuring a great quote from Nina Simone.
It's all done in fun and as Stephen, the eternal optimist says: “I trust that humans are a lot more together than people realize.” Indeed, and it’s that deep faith that keeps Merrimans’ Playhouse cooking up a lot of wonderful live jazz for the benefits of all us humans–and poodles named Monsieur Fluffypants, too!