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Divas3 performing at EPAC on Friday

This story appears in the April 18, 2024 print edition of The Brillion News.

 

By David Nordby

The Brillion News


BRILLION – The sounds of Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Carole King, will resound throughout the Endries Performing Arts Center this Friday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m., when Divas3 takes the stage in Brillion.


The songs performed on Friday range from the 1960s through the 1990s, so the show has the tagline “three voices, four decades … all diva.” The show includes music from Houston, Dion, King, plus Cher, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, ABBA, Aretha Franklin and others.


“The beautiful thing about the show is it’s really showcasing female pop vocalists,” Charity Farrell, one of the three women who will perform in Brillion, said. “Oftentimes when you see a variety show, because they’re amazing, so many of the songs are male-heavy, but this particular show, it only focuses on the really famous female pop artists, which is an amazing thing to see.”


Divas3 started in Las Vegas about 10 years ago. The performance branched out from Vegas to all over the country and on cruise ships. Farrell, 33, started touring with the group in March 2022.


“It’s definitely more than I expected it to be,” Farrell said. “I didn’t anticipate so much freedom within the group because within the industry I was in before, musical theater and film, acting and things, you’re sort of told to stand on your spot, hit your mark and do the take and once they got it, they got it. That’s it. For this production, it’s much more involved with your personality and allowing yourself to sort of be free on stage and engage with the audience and make the songs your own.”


Farrell will be on stage in Brillion with Crystal Garrett and Samantha Duval. The production has other performers in the rotation, but Farrell, Garrett and Duval are three of the main performers currently, which helps the cohesion of the show, Farrell said. All three have had unique paths to get to Divas3 with backgrounds in singing and acting. Garrett appeared in an episode of “Law and Order: Organized Crime” in February. Farrell has acted in TV shows, one which led to a recommendation to be a part of Divas3.  


Farrell says part of the beauty of performing with the group is meeting people from different cultural backgrounds, which is prominent when they’re on cruise ships.


“We actually just finished up a tour on March 25, so it was like six weeks straight of just performing for a lot of the community concert associations in the Midwest. We spent quite a bit of time in Wisconsin actually, but it’s really amazing seeing all the different cultures and types of people and families, all the way up to older couples that are just out on a date night,” Farrell said. “There’s all kinds of different reactions but almost all of them are wildly positive. I’m so grateful to be in a show like that.”


The show has been a fit for Farrell, an Ohio native who started out in musical theater when she was a child then branched out some into film. After the 2020 pandemic, she turned her focus back solely to singing.


Farrell’s life is one that could be the envy of other artists. She’s lived in New York City, Los Angeles, currently has a travel trailer that keeps her on the move, and spends Christmas performing in Japan.


“I do think there are certain cultural norms, which is maybe an unpopular thing to say right now,” Farrell said. “(The Japanese audience) is very respectful. It’s almost hard to get them to clap. They love the show but as an American, it’s really hard to see them sometimes not clapping.”


Farrell says pockets of the United States are a bit more reserved, too.


“Like the Bible Belt areas and places like that tend to be a lot more reserved and then there’s places like LA or New York that are a lot more boisterous, or Nashville,” Farrell said.

The Friends of the Endries Performing Arts Center group that brings acts to Brillion each year have typically sought performers who will engage the audience. Divas3 will be the latest to fall into the high-energy category.


“Not everybody likes to engage their audience too much during the show, but we really do. We love when people get up and dance or when they sing along with us. It makes the show so much better for us,” Farrell said.


Farrell has performed with Divas3 about 500 times and says more energy from the audience enhances the production.


“It does get a little bit monotonous if you don’t engage the crowd because that’s what makes live performance unique, right? It’s the unique people that are there that night.”


Tickets are still available at endriespac.com and are priced at $35 or $45.


Editor's note: The print version of this article incorrectly stated Farrell's name as Ferrell. We apologize for the error.

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