For the first time in some months, last night Heather Ard got to pick up performing where she left off.
The local favorite took the stage for a one-woman cabaret-style show at 7 p.m in the The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center auditorium with musical partner and accompanist Bill Doherty on piano.
A nod to her background, Ard kicked off the show with “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
She welcomed the audience back to The Sharon with a smile, adding it was nice to see people again.
“If you happen to know me, you know my entire life is a musical,” Ard said. “Everything I do (is along the lines of) singing and dancing.”
Ard’s many show business titles have included singer, actress, choreographer, director and recently, house manager at The Sharon in addition to performer.
Her career has taken her around the country performing in professional productions including lead roles in “The Sound of Music” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
She can be found performing at Villages venues including St. Timothy Catholic Church.
Ard showed her vocal prowess with many broadway favorites, sprinkled with some anecdotes about life in quarantine with her three children.
“This section of songs are the songs that went through my head while I was home, homeschooling my children, not being allowed to go out or go see anybody else but them,” Ard said. “I love them, but it was a weird time, y’all.”
That section included “I Have Confidence” from “The Sound of Music”, “As Long As He Needs Me,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning” and “What I Did for Love” from “A Chorus Line.”
While it was difficult getting through the homeschooling stuff, said Ard, it gave her family the opportunity to do some things they hadn’t been able to do before.
The next collection of songs including “Home” from Beauty and the Beast, and “I’m Not Afraid of Anything” from “Songs for a New World,” was inspired, she said, by what we have all gone through during the pandemic.
“It’s such a thrill to be here after all these months not being able to perform or do a concert, so thank you for coming out,” Bill Doherty concurred. “And it’s such a pleasure to be here with Heather. She’s amazing.”
Kaye and Bill Tymann, who had seen Ard perform several times at local venues, said they appreciate the variety of her song selection.
“She’s a lovely lady, a great performer and she loves what she does,” Kaye said.
They Village of Country Club Hills residents had also been following Bill Doherty since they moved to The Villages 23 years ago.
“Bill is phenomenal,” Bill said. “He’s the cat’s meow.”
Bob and Michele Cline said they have known Ard for a couple years and seen her perform Lobby Lounge Cabaret shows at least twice.
“She’s very personable, she relates to the people and she picks up on cues from the audience,” Michele said.
To lighten spirits, Ard added some silliness to the show, striking a pose before her theatrical rendition of “Show Off” from Drowsy Chaperone.
For an evening, audiences could forget their pandemic-related woes and enjoy some music.
The show will continue at
7 p.m. tonight at The Sharon.
Tickets can be purchased online at thevillagesentertainment.com or at any Villages Box Office location.
Staff Writer Liz Coughlin can be reached at 352-753-1119, ext. 5304, or email@example.com.
Read this story and many others in Saturday’s edition of the Daily Sun.