Category Archive for: ‘Richard Connema’




It was a grand night of singing at the Bay Theatre on January 21 when the Richmond/Ermet AIDS FOUNDATION presents their One Night Only with the cast of “Anything Goes” that is currently playing at the Golden Gate. The members of the cast  along with guest stars La Toya London, Lindsay Pearce , Jason Brock and Tim Hockenberry made the evening memorable with songs from Broadway shows along with pop tunes.

The Richmond Ermett AIDS Foundation is now in its 19th year and has raised over three million dollars for victims of the AIDS virus.  This production benefited Broadway Cares/Equity Fight AIDS and the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation.  The evening started on an upbeat note with the cast rousingly singing and tap dancing the audition scene from “42nd Street”.  It was quickly followed by Jeremy Benton and Mackenzie Warren tapping up a storm to “Pick Yourself Up”. Jose Solivan who is the road manager of the company sang in a powerful high falsetto  voice “I Got Love”.

“Anything Goes” crew members Vincent Rodriquez III, Gary Lindermann, Sean Watkins and Jeremy Benton beautifully sang without accompaniment “Over the Rainbow”.   Guest star Lindsay Pearce with thematic resonance sang “Gimme, Gimme” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie”  Vincent Rodriguez III who is an excellent dancer showed that he could do other things by performing feats of magic with six steel rings.   Guest star La Toya London who won an Ovation award recently for her role in “Color Me Purple” brilliantly sang “Miracle”

Chuck Wagner who plays the captain of the S.S.America along with Gary Lindermann who plays many parts in the musical was harmonic energizing singing Sondheim’s “Agony” from “Into the Woods”.  Chuck Wagner with his vibrant voice beautifully sang “If I Can’t Love Her” followed by Gary Lindermann returning to stage to nicely singing “Warm as the Summer Light”.  LaToya London and Jason Brock rocked singing “You’re the One That I  Want”.  Erich Bergen who plays Billy Crocker became very emotional talking about a “Jersey Boys” cast member dying of AIDS.  It was a heartfelt moment and it was felt by the whole audience.  He then poignantly sang “Beautiful City”. This ended the first act.

During the intermission there was a live auction of three packages. A dinner for 10 prepared just for the highest bidder by executive chef Alicia Jenish of The Grand Café.  This went for $800.  A walk on role in “Anything Goes” as a passenger of the S.S.America went for $750 and a San Francisco Entertainment Package valued at $200o went for $1000.

The second and final act opened up with a wiz bang production headed by Marcus Shane who plays Luke singing “Buddie Beware” to new lyrics and did some great camping with the “sailors” of the S.S. America. This was followed by Fred Applegate who is terrific as Moonface Martin in “Anything Goes”.  He gave a hilarious version of “If Ever I Should Leave You” as sung by a fellow artist who forgot the words in a dinner production of “Camelot”.   This was following by a touching rendition of “For My Wife” from “Fanny”.  Ed Staudenmayer who plays Lord Evangeline Harcout in the Cole Porter musical came onto the stage to tell the audience that he had played one of the “cats” in the Webber musical in Germany.  He proceeded to sing a snippet of one of the numbers in German.  He then used different lyrics to the song “I Enjoy Being a Girl” that was change to “I Enjoy Being a Cat”.  Aaron Umsted who plays various roles in the musical was in fine voice singing “Look How I’ve Grown”.  Sean Watkins a member of the crew took stage center to show the fine art of Karate.

Tim Hockenberry who was beat out by a dog act on “America Got Talent” with his smoky voice was awesome singing his own composition  “Ease Your Pain” and “Like a Rolling Stone”  Kristopher Thompson-Bolden a member of the crew and Dionna Thomas Littleton who plays Charity were sensational dancing to  Hot Honey Rag from “Chicago”.  Ryan Steer a crew member and Alex Finke who plays Hope were sublime singing “Glory of Love”. Lindsey Pearce came back onto the stage to belt out “Firework”.  The whole cast came back out to give a taste of the sensational tap dancing you would see in the Cole Porter musical to the song “Anything Goes”.   This was a grand night of singing and dancing.

The post party was held at nearby “The Hard Rock” where fans and the cast gathered for a great post party.  I discovered the Alex Finke was raised just 30 mile from where I was raised in Ohio.

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