Storyteller to revisit USO shows of WWII at RAC

November 6, 2010 9:12:00 PM

Jan Swoope - [email protected]


In honor of Veterans Day, well-known storyteller Dolores Hydock of Birmingham, Ala., makes a return visit to the Columbus Arts Council''s Omnova Theater Friday, Nov. 12. She brings captivating tales of the traveling USO camp shows of World War II -- and a very special guest. 


Barb Sparkes performed in the shows when she was only 18 years old. She accompanies Hydock, to share firsthand her adventures as an intrepid accordionist for the five-member "Tabloid Troupe" and will perform original piano arrangements of wartime standards. 


"A few years ago, I met a feisty and talented woman with a fascinating story to tell," said Hydock. "Barb Sparkes was seated at the piano ... playing dazzling arrangements of the songs being requested by the group." 


Sparkes, who boasts of being the same age as Queen Elizabeth, plays completely by ear and with "youthful energy and musical zest," Hydock said. The entertainer has released her third CD, "I''ll Be Seeing You," featuring her arrangements of 26 standards, including "Sentimental Journey," "White Cliffs of Dover" and "Someone to Watch Over Me." 


Of Hydock, a reviewer with Magic City Moments wrote, "To say Dolores tells a story is like saying Renoir painted. Dolores Hydock sings the story; she dances the story; she becomes the characters -- and she absolutely pulls you into the action until you find yourself a part of the story." 


Tickets to the show are $10 in advance at the Rosenzweig Arts Center, 501 Main St., in downtown Columbus, and $12 at the door. The Omnova Theater is located on the second floor of the arts center. For tickets, contact the CAC at 662-328-2787. To learn more about this and other CAC events, go to Learn more about Hydock at

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.