In these shoes?

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Nancy 3. Hoffman  – In these shoes?

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio to a musically inclined family, taking piano lessons at an early age. She started at Brown University in 1968 then moved to the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

After graduating from college in 1975 with a degree in architecture and a keen interest in historic preservation, Nancy quickly moved to Key West after discovering the burgeoning interest in historic preservation. There was a nation-wide interest in preservation in the 70s. The government funded and encouraged efforts for every community to survey historical assets.

It was a special time in Key West. The Navy had closed the Submarine base (now Truman Annex) causing a very serious recession. The cruise and tourism industry had yet materialized in any significant form. Various groups of hippies, counter culture types had found cheap rent and burgeoning pot smoking culture. It was during this 70s era that Nancy found steady work with the new historic preservation survey team.

Nancy was young and after two years moved on to Miami continuing in preservation work. After a couple of more years she moved to the Boston area and began singing in the Belmont Community Theater. Nancy soon discovered a waning interest in architecture and an increased desire to perform and play music.

She kept getting further away moving to Maine in 1983 and buying a house on Peaks Island which she still owns after 41 years. In 1985 she became the Music Director of a Klezmer band called the Casco Bay Tummlers then formed an accordion band called The Maine Squeeze Accordion Ensemble. Nancy’s music focus continued.

To avoid the cold winter in Maine, Nancy and friend Ted Haykal drove from Maine to Key West. She quickly discovered work as a Music Director of the “Music Man” in 1986 followed by “Chorus Line.” Returning every winter for longer and longer until today she spends half a year in each location.

Nancy premiered a one-woman version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado Operetta in 1988 at the Red Barn Theater. It’s a convoluted humorous satirical plot regarding the son of the Emperor of Japan.

Key West has obviously changed dramatically since 1975 but several of her original friends are still here and there is nowhere else she would rather perform and produce music. Nancy has worked with Keys Chorale, Key West Pops, Keys Kids high school musical productions, and is working props for the Red Barn Theater. Nancy teaches a theater workshop for students ages 7-14 at the Studios of Key West.

Nancy performed in Larry Smith’s Sunday Showcase at the Pier House Wine Galley periodically from 2010 to 2014. She recently performed in a sold out reunion of twelve Sunday Showcase performers at the Key West Theater titled Lady Vocalists of Key West. It was a fast moving tumultuous event with hurried stage changes, all 12 cast members sitting at tables on stage resembling the Pier House venue. There was at least one mike at every table. They all sang backup for each other. Nancy played her accordion and Channing Lynn played her clarinet while Larry Smith was featured on a grand piano. There were several medleys of hits to highlight and squeeze in over 35 songs.

It was an amazing cast and performance of talented ladies that allowed Nancy to showcase one of her fun songs in her now famous red platform high heels titled “In These Shoes?” A friend Joe Bachman recommended this song because of the way Nancy delivers humor. Google the lyrics and you’ll understand. Nancy found the shoes in a local second hand store and they’re a perfect fit – pun intended.

Larry Smith commented “Nancy is the only one of her kind – unlike anyone or anything else.  She is the only one who makes art the way she does. She is truly as unique as her middle name, ‘3.’.”

Long ago Nancy decided to change her middle name to a number after a typo someone made on a mailing list adding a number instead of a letter to another’s middle initial – she liked it. She chose the number three so it wouldn’t be confused with a five which can resemble an “S”.

Another unique facet in this gem that is Nancy 3. is the world’s only Umbrella Cover Museum at her Peaks Island home she started in 1996. The small quirky museum’s stated mission is to celebrate the mundane and everyone leaves with a smile on their face. Don’t miss a chance to hear Nancy 3. perform at the Little Room Jazz Club for what else – happy hour of course.


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