November 23, 2003 11:00 pm

Pilot story

and photos by

Bill Schlichting

Celebrities from Hollywood to Nashville, a king from Memphis and stars from Broadway visited Harbor Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to entertain on the Performing Arts Center stage.

Actually, it was some of the finest local performers bringing top names to life. Performances ranged from believable to exaggerated.

A few acts could only be recognized by older folks, but the show brought many memories to people who attended the Tribute to the Stars, a fundraiser for the Chetco Pelican Players.

Master of ceremonies Mike Moran introduced the first performer, Kate Smith, who was played by Cheryll Grear. She asked the audience to stand and sing along if they liked while she sang "God Bless America."

Willie the Clown, portrayed by Bryan Holm, made his first appearance while Moran was introducing the second act. The clown came on stage several times pushing his broom then performing a magic trick when reaching center stage.

Donning a short-cut black wig, Leanne McCurley came onto the stage to portray Liza Minnelli singing "Cabaret."

Many laughs were heard from the audience when Michael S. Fox and Victoria Weller reenacted George Burns and Gracie Allen performing a comedy radio show.

Country music star Patsy Cline was portrayed by Judie Hanson. "Crazy" was sung. Her act was followed by Joan Corey singing "God Bless This Child" while acting as Billie Holiday. Then Bill Nokes came on stage with guitar in hand to play Willie Nelson singing "Always on My Mind."

A song from the Broadway musical "Les Miserables" was sung by Hayley Farr. The song, "On My Own," was sung by Patti Labelle on the New York City stage.

Jerry Hurley proved that Elvis lives when he came from behind the curtain dressed as The King. During the first half of the program, Hurley sang "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" The Elvis Presley act returned during the second half for the performance of "You Gave Me A Mountain."

Few people in the audience were old enough to remember the 1920s, but were treated to the sound of a star of that era when Jennifer Trailor acted as Betty Boop singing "I Wanna Be Loved By You."

More familiar was the performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," originally performed by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz." Pam Carrier sang the song while holding a stuffed dog representing Toto.

The first half ended with the stunning Marilyn Monroe peeking out from behind the curtains. Katie Clark, who played the role, sang "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend."

Nokes, Carrier, Weller and Corey returned to the stage with new acts, respectively: Perry Como sang "My Prayer," Wynonna Judd performed "Mamma He's Crazy," Marlena Dietrich sang "Falling in Love Again" in her German accent, followed by Frank Sinatra singing "Witchcraft."

The TV show "I Dream of Jeannie" was brought back to the memory of people who lived in the 1960s. A genie act was performed by Kaitlin Lawrence and Alex Kaylan.

Moving into the next decade, Hanson portrayed Karen Carpenter singing "Superstar."

If the audience closed its eyes, they could have sworn Louis Armstrong was in the room when Fox sang "What a Wonderful World."

A couple of dummies, played by Sandy Harper and Mary Matlock, spoofed The Beatles by acting as Ringo George and John Paul. Diane Cavaness played the annoyed recording studio technician.

"Dream a Little Dream" was sung by Mary Ann Trailor acting as Mama Cass Elliot followed by the return of Grear portraying Doris Day singing "Secret Love."

A husband/wife act closed the show when Angle Holm, as Judy Collins, sang "Send in the Clowns." Willie the Clown returned to the stage, ending the program by sweeping the spotlight , reminiscent of Emmett Kelley, into a smaller beam until it was no more.