Oahu, Hawaii Dancing on The Home Front

As their husbands battle in the gulf, wives and dependents at a Marine air base find solace in a Vegas-quality charity show

Stephanie Bates leans into the dressing-room mirror and delicately re- adjusts a false eyelash that perspiration has set askew. The women behind her scramble for their costumes, throwing off tap shoes, pulling on tights. The mood is frantic, but full dress rehearsals are like that. No one is quite comfortable with the routine yet.

The finale is next. Bates, calmer than most, slips into her show-girl outfit, a jeweled network of baubles and beads cascading down her lithe body. A feather from her sequined cape floats past her painted red lips, and she blows it away matter-of-factly. Ten pounds of rhinestones,...

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