Tuesday evening ladies, gentlemen and children of all ages got to see a show bringing music and comedy together by Jim “The Spoonman” Cruise at the Flora Library as part of their summer reading program.
“I am know as ‘The Spoonman,’” said Cruise, at the opening of his act. “I am a professional spoon player. What I use are two ordinary household table spoons and I use them as a musical instrument.”
Cruise said that he started playing spoons because he wanted a drum set and his parents were unable to buy him one. He took up playing the spoons, like his grandfather, instead.
Cruise paid homage to his grandfather when started things out with “One of my Grandpa’s favorite songs,” “In the Mood,” by the Glen Miller Orchestra. Cruise played an instrumental track and spooned along with it at blazing speed, his sound embellished enough to evoke tap dancing.
Cruise stayed in the Big Band era playing “Minnie the Moocher,” by Cab Calloway and got the audience involved in the “Hi-De-Hi-De-Hi-De-Ho’ing,” pitting one side of the room against the other.
A spectator seated near the middle designated as an “Unbiased Judge.” Originally cautioned against declaring a tie, Cruise later relented, to her relief, and it was decided that both sides had sung along admirably.
Along with the music and comedy that tickled the audience, Cruise also does try to bring a message, to young and old alike, that with dedication, anything is possible.
“Do you want to know my secret?” Cruise queried the audience.
“Number one: I said NO to drugs. Number two, I listened to my teachers at school,” Cruise said, drown out by a couple of audience members that either were themselves teachers or their biggest fans.
Cruise added his love of reading and completing high school and college to ‘listening to teachers’ to make number two, “Getting an education.”
“And number three, I listened to my parents,” Cruise finished, to the applause of present parents.
“If you can do those three secrets, anything is possible in life,” Cruise spooned to the audience, “Believe me, I’m married and have five children and a mortgage and I support my family playing the spoons.”