Ventriloquist provides laughs at Helena Summer Reading program

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Laughter could be heard all throughout Helena City Hall the morning of Wednesday, June 20, as three different puppets provided jokes and fun during the third week of the Helena Summer Reading program.

Will Keating of Keating Entertainment brought his ventriloquism skills and three puppets to wow the crowd with the “Wizzle’s New Beat” Puppet Show.

Keating, who lives north of Atlanta, has been a ventriloquist for five years and originally played music for kids. After writing a song for the kids at his church he thought it would be a good idea to use puppets with the song and after a successful show, he fell in love with using puppets for entertainment.

After getting laid off from a previous job, Keating decided to perform full-time as he now travels to several cities to perform.

At the Helena Summer Reading program, Keating brought out his three puppets; Reggie, Ossi and Gramps. He provided three different voices for each puppet as Reggie opened things up with a funny voice. Ossi played the part of a purple duck and Gramps capped off the show as an old grandpa. In addition to the puppets, Keating called up several volunteers from the audience to help with his show.

Keating said his favorite part of the job is seeing children’s reactions.

“I love seeing the kids’ faces,” Keating said. “It’s definitely that because when I do birthday parties and shows I’m getting to see what the parents don’t get to see. They’re seeing the back of the kids heads but I get to see them smiling and having fun. I just love that about the job.”

The Helena Summer Reading program will last several more weeks and participants will be eligible for prizes the more books they read. Some highlights of the summer reading program will include a visit with the Helena fire and police departments and the closeout celebration featuring musician Jim Aycock.

The remaining schedule for the summer reading program is as follows:

–June 27–Visit with the fire department–2:30 p.m.

–July 11–Visit with the police department–2:30 p.m.

–July 18–Summer reading closeout celebration featuring musician Jim Aycock–2:30 p.m.

In addition to the summer reading program, the Jane B. Holmes library will also host Lego fun on July 2 and July 16.

For more information on Keating and his shows, visit Keatingentertainment.com.