Category Archive for: ‘Richard Connema’

A” ROCKIN” GREAT PRODUCTION of REAF’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY “HELP IS ON THE WAY”

 

 

The 20th Anniversary of “Help is on the Way”  was a sparking revue of celebrities singing and dancing to a very appreciate audience at the Palace of Fine Arts on August 24th.  The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation whose  mission is to raise funds  which are then distributed to a variety of AIDS service organizations. These included the Abzyme Research Foundation, Aguilas AIDS Legal Referral Panel and the Positive Resource Center.

 

The evening of festivities started with Ken Henderson and Joe Seiler giving credit to persons who have volunteered their services to the AIDS group.  They also gave out for the first time Barbara Richmond/ Peggy Ermet Hero Award to Donna Sachet for all the work she has done for AID services. A well deserve honor for this magnificent person.

 

The show got underway with the delightful Carole Cook being wheeled out in a hotel luggage card pulled and pushed by four husky “bellhops”.  She introduced Wesley Alfvin and Jeffrey Scott Parsons two extraordinary dancers from Los Angeles along with some very energetic chorus boys dancing to “Its Today/No Tune/Like a Showtune” from “Mame” and “Parade” and choreographed by Lee Martino.  This was quickly followed by the Paula West exquisitely singing Rodgers and Hart’s “Ten Cents a Dance”. Meg Mackay then entered the stage to vividly sing Stephen Sondheim’s “Would I Leave You”.

 

 

Craig Shoemaker a comic from Philadelphia had the audience laughing in stitches with his one liner jokes. He played tribute to Paul Lynn in his remarks and cited a famous quote from the legendary comedian “How many balls on a pool table. It depends on how many men are playing”.

 

 

Roslyn Kind belted out Kander and Ebb’s “All that Jazz” quickly followed by concert pianist Marta Liedo playing one of her own powerful numbers. Alex Newell from Fox’s “Glee” dressed in what looked like an all-white outfit powerfully singing “I am Changing” from Krieger and Eyen “Dreamgirls”.  The first act ended with Florence Henderson dressed like a circus master with whip in hand and snapping at  boys and girls dressed in black in the S & M sang “When You’re Good to Mama” from Kander and Ebb’s “Chicago”.  This brought down the house and made a fitting end to the first act.

 

During intermission there was an auction of four great events. The Puerto Vallarta Luxury Vacation went for $2200, the New York City Theatre Weekend went for $1300, Chef Dinner for 10 prepared by Chef Phillippe Routheir of Ala Romana Restaurant went for $3700 and a Weekend in Los Angeles with renowned fashion designer Andrew Christian went for $2000.

 

Sexy Valarie Pettiford got the second act off to a good start dancing and singing various snippets of songs relating to Bob Fosse.  Composer David Friedman who wrote many songs including “Help Is On the Way” for the late Nancy LaMostt  entered the stage and sat at the piano to nicely sing one of his own compositions “We Can Be Kind”.  Jason Brock with his powerful voice knocked out Michael Masser and Linda Creed’s “The Greatest Love of All”.

 

Richard Chamberlain did a nice rendition talking and singing “Soon its Gonna Rain and seguing into “Try to Remember”  John Narvaez and Andrew Cervantes who recent appearance in “America’s Got Talent” got them to the  quarter finals were hypnotic dancing the sensuous salsa.  Jake Simpson who twice won the top honors in the Adult Singer category on CBS-TV’s “Star Search” with this commanding high tenor voice and three-octave vocal cords gave a sterling rendition of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”.

 

Carole Cook returned to the stage and did a 15 minute comic monologue that included snippets of three movies that she appeared in when a young star in Hollywood. (“Incredible Mr. Lumpet 1964,  “American Gigolo” 1980 and “Sixteen Candles” in 1984 ).  She also sang Billy Barnes “Something Cool” in her distinctive voice.

 

Dancers Wesley Alfvin and Jeffrey Scott Parsons returned to the stage to dance a beautiful rendition of Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine”. What made this exciting was while dancing the song there appeared on the large screen Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell dancing the same number in a MGM musical. The legendary Maureen McGovern was sublime singing Rogers and Hammerstein’s “This Nearly Was Mine” from “South Pacific”  Cast members from “Motown: The Musical” which is now playing here entered the stage and exquisitely sang John Legend “If You’re Out There”.  The whole “Help” cast than came onto the stage to poignantly sing David Friedman’s “Help is on the Way”.  It was a grand night of singing and dancing.

 

Following the show those who had special tickets were treated to delicious deserts in the lobby of the theatre.

 

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