April 3, 2008

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Singing for a cause
Locals take stage to help area youth
By Heidi Masek hmasek@hippopress.com

Twice a year, the members of Miracle Providers Northeast throw a stage extravaganza with the purpose of helping children and families affected by HIV. Service agencies weren’t getting full support in that area when the group was founded about ten years ago, said treasurer Rick Hall, of Manchester. “It’s just grown from there,” he said of the organization.

Their spring cabaret show, “Broadway to Hollywood Divas, The Encore,” runs Friday, April 11, and Saturday, April 12, at 8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 462 Broadway in Methuen, Mass.

The performances showcase singers, dancers and female impersonators. They carry over their theme from their November show so that they can reuse their stage. They also reuse a few numbers, but also add new ones. Hall’s favorite is the big finale closer, “Can’t Stop the Beat,” from Hairspray. Their director, Dennis Grundlock, has been a national entertainment director for a cruise ship company and has worked with theme park entertainment.

Miracle Providers hopes to raise about $6,000 from these shows. Funds help send 20 and 25 children to summer camp. The group’s fall show, along with other fundraisers, helps fill holiday wish lists for about 300 children whose families are affected by HIV. Miracle Providers Northeast works with seven agencies that collect the wish lists. Miracle Providers uses a “Black Friday” shopping squadron of members to stretch funds for the project; they finish with a gift-wrapping party. Area agencies they serve include Merrimack Valley AIDS Project, Greater Manchester AIDS Project and Southern New Hampshire AIDS Task Force.

Tickets to “Broadway to Hollywood Divas, The Encore” cost $20 in advance, $25 at the door. They can seat about 200, have sold out shows and hope to sell out both nights. Drinks are available at the hall’s cash bar. Call (978) 458-9838 or see www.miracleprovidersne.org.

***

This year, Jayme’s Fund for Social Justice will have given out about $50,000 since 2003. Jayme’s Fund board member Jaime Feinberg met Jayme Anne Lipkin-Moore in seventh grade when they attended Derryfield. Jayme transferred to Pinkerton Academy in 10th grade, but they remained friends. Lipkin-Moore died in 2002 at age 17.

“She was always talking about what was going on in the world, she knew an incredible amount [about] current events,” Feinberg said. She tried to get young people involved and caring about politics in high school, and interned for the Derry News. She started an underground newspaper at Pinkerton, and started an Amnesty International chapter there — which took a few years, due to various challenges. It’s still active, Feinberg said. She attended leadership conferences and wrote letters to her senators and congressional representatives. Her first major public project was making 40 teddy bears to give to terminally ill children in a local hospital as part of her Bat Mitzvah. “Basically everything you can imagine a young person can do to help people out she was involved in doing. She was pretty fantastic,” Feinberg said.

Jayme’s Fund’s big annual fundraiser features jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli at the Stockbridge Theatre April 11. But the group is warming up with a show produced and directed by Feinberg on Friday, April 4, and Saturday, April 5, at 8 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church, 3 Peabody Row, Londonderry; tickets cost $10.

Feinberg, a music director and instructor, doesn’t usually put together whole shows herself, but she’s recruited people she knows in the New Hampshire theater scene to put on a revue called “Heart and Music: The Best Theater Songs You Haven’t Heard.”

It includes a great local actor, Dylan Gamblin, and some folks who are often the ones doing the organizing, such as Tajoura Davis, who has produced for Yellow Taxi, and John Sefel, Ghostlight founder and Acting Loft director. Also participating are Tom Holmes, Marc Pelletier, Robbie Feinberg and sound experts Anja Parish and Nat Ward.

The singers are also the orchestra — participants take turns playing instruments or singing.

“I’ve always been interested in more obscure musical theater that people don’t necessarily know about, especially stuff that doesn’t make its way to New Hampshire,” Feinberg said. She made a list of favorite musical theater songs she’d like to put in a revue, and realized what direction it was heading in. Rather than mix in the more well-known songs, she figured obscurity could be a “selling point.”

They will pull from Cannibal the Musical and Evil Dead, the Musical and other unconventional titles, she said. Most of the actors didn’t know Jayme, but they are donating their time to perform, as are the technicians. Equipment is donated, and the church is letting them rehearse and perform there free of charge. That means all the proceeds from the $10 tickets go to Jayme’s Fund. Feinberg is hoping to raise at least $2,000, but if they sell out the space they can raise $5,000 or $6,000, she said. At intermission, the audience can vote by donation for their favorite actors to perform a duet in Act 2. Whichever actors receive the most money will perform the duet. Feinberg also plans to involve the audience through a few sing-a-longs and a “Time Warp” dance-a-long.

Jayme’s Fund provides grants to support or provide scholarships for Summerbridge Manchester and Breakthrough Collaborative, Southern New Hampshire HIV/AIDS Task Force and Child Health Services among others. While mainly focused on helping local youth, Jayme’s Fund also supports one or two international organizations each year. This year, it is supporting an organization that benefits children orphaned because of the tsunami in Sri Lanka who are also affected by civil war.

Because Jayme had so much momentum that ended at 17, people who knew her felt they needed to keep going, Feinberg said. She admired her friend but didn’t see herself as a social activist until Jayme’s death. Feinberg “felt obligated,” she said.

One of the Jayme’s Fund projects is hosting the Speak Truth to Power exhibit at Stockbridge through May 5. The photographs and text from this book by Kerry Kennedy and Eddie Adams (Crown, 2000) tell the story of 51 people fighting for human rights from 40 countries.

For more information, see jaymesfund.org or myspace.com/heartandmusic2008 or e-mail heartandmusic2008@gmail.com. “Heart and Music” is not recommended for children under 13.


3/27/2008 These aren't recitals folks

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3/13/2008 Murder and rhinos
3/6/2008 Murder and rhinos
2/28/2008 The art of theater criticism
2/21/2008 Breaking the cycle
2/14/2008 Curtain Calls
2/7/2008 NH Theatre awards sixth year
1/31/2008 Elvis fans and ghost stories
1/24/2008 Building an audience
1/17/2008 Curtain Calls
1/10/2008 Fate of Annicchiarico
1/3/2008 A little confidence
12/27/2007 Stage notables in 2007
12/20/2007 If all they want for Christmas is two good seats ...
12/13/2007 Summer stock vs. southern NH
12/06/2007 Curtain Calls
11/29/2007 Curtain Calls
11/22/2007 Broadway composer and actress hit Granite State
11/15/2007 One-man play turns audience into students
11/8/2007 Curtain calls
11/1/2007 First times
10/25/2007 Curtain Calls
10/18/2007 Curtain Calls
10/11/2007 American History
10/04/2007 Active in the community
9/27/2007 Stringing single
9/20/2007 Curtain Calls
9/13/2007 Free range
9/6/2007 Curtain Calls
8/30/2007 Curtain Calls
8/23/2007 Curtain Calls
8/16/2007 Curtain Calls
8/9/2007 Curtain Calls
8/2/2007 That deaf, dumb and blind kid
7/26/2007 Potty humor
7/19/2007 Ease on down the road
7/12/2007 Jekyll vs. Hyde
7/5/2007 If it's free, it's for me
6/28/2007 Transformations
6/21/2007 Curtain calls
6/14/2007 No really, you'll get it
6/7/2007 Curtain calls
5/31/2007 Curtain calls
5/24/2007 Putting the camp in camp
5/17/2007 Curtain Calls
5/10/2007 Curtain Calls
5/3/2007 Curtain Calls
4/26/2007 Still going strong
4/19/2007 Vietnam the the Palace
4/12/2007 Confluence
4/5/2007 First look
3/29/2007 Reluctant star
3/15/2007 In a town far away
3/8/2007 Curtain calls
3/1/2007 Into the future
2/22/2007 But will it play in New Hampshire
2/15/2007 Curtain calls
2/8/2007 Family affair
2/1/2007 Curtain calls
1/25/2007 Curtain calls
1/18/2007 Curtain calls
1/11/2007 Curtain calls
1/4/2007 Fork in the road
12/28/2006 Standout performances of '06
12/21/2006 Curtain Calls
12/14/2006 Players remember Peter Bridges
12/07/2006 Young talent
11/30/2006 Lighthearted farce for the holidays
11/23/2006 Curtain Calls
11/16/2006 Good theater
11/9/2006 Preview roundup
11/2/2006 Access to the ancients
10/26/2006 Aida on a Nashua stage
10/19/2006 Children of a Lesser God brilliantly played
10/12/2006 A true love triangle
10/05/2006 Curtain Calls
09/28/2006 Bringing people back to life
09/21/2006 Getting judged
09/14/2006 Long strange journey
09/07/2006 Curtain Calls
08/31/2006 Curtain Calls
08/24/2006 Putting kids in charge
08/17/2006 Curtain Calls
08/10/2006 All theater, all summer
08/03/2006 A Jesus musical, reworked
07/27/2006 A match made in Maine
07/20/2006 Variations on a theme
07/13/2006 I Hate Hamlet
07/06/2006 Serious theater
06/29/2006 L.A. in Peterborough
06/22/2006 Da Vinci to Rube Goldberg
06/15/2006 Peter Bridges remembered
06/08/2006 From Hairspray to monkeys
06/01/2006 Special Theatrics
05/25/2006 Live Brit-com
05/18/2006 Evil stepsisters earn the yuks
05/11/2006 A message to mom
05/04/2006 Meet the cast
04/27/2006 'I hope i get it'
04/20/2006 Find yourself in Yonkers
04/13/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
04/06/2006 Nashua rocks The Wiz
03/30/2006 Cabaret is Mnchester bound
03/23/2006 A 42nd Street detour
03/16/2006 Actor-director wants your ideas
02/23/2006 Yellow Taxi's Theater Festival opens March 1
02/16/2006 Herding CATS
02/09/2006 An actors' studio
02/02/2006 A thing about love
01/26/2006 Spring theater season warming up
01/19/2006 Gearing up for the big night
01/12/2006 This Phantom is not a menace
01/05/2006 Jim Kelly, sci-fi writer and alternate historian
10th anniversary at Capitol Center
10 Ways To Survive The Audition
A Chorus Line
A Figaro Worth Cheering
A 'Living Newspaper' on stage
A tale of two wives
A Tribute To Music
Actorsingers Deliver On Superstar
Beauty and the Beast
Bedford Off-Broadway Gets Spooky
Being The Beatles, 1964 The Tribute
Bringing NYC to Wilton
Creating the venue from antiques
Crimes Of The Heart
Curtain to rise on Dana Center
Dana Center Takes Center Stage
Ensemble elevates Palace’s Godspell
From stage to the silver screen
Great play, too bad it’s over
Greater Tuna
Humble Boy
It’s cabaret, hear it sing, joke, tease
It's Child's Play
Jesus Christ Superstar
Kids Tackle Edgar Allan Poe
Local boy hits the big time, doesn’t lose his head
Lowell theater opens with a winner of a satire
Madco welcomes Boston actor-director
Meet John Sefel, Director
Meet Suzanne Delle, Yellow Taxi’s driver
Music Man to run three weekends
New Thalian Players
Palace announces 2005-06 season
Peterborough Players’ Solidarity is solid gold
Plaid
Plaid (II)
Playing with man’s best friend
Proud of the Peacock
Racy, crazy blast at the Palace
Reviving His Passion
Robert Dionne, The man behind the Majestic
Rosemary Dann
Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know
Short-Attention Span Theater
Side Show
Sideshow slips sideways
Spending The Summer On Stage
Stages of learning
Steel Magnolias
Suessical: The Musical
Theater Of The Imagination
Theater Kids Without A School
Theater in the park draws big
The Drawer Boy
The Festival
The Five best shows of 2005
The Prisoner Of Second Avenue
The Russian/American Kids Circus
The Senator Wore Pantyhose
The Tony Awards, they're grrrrreat
The Warmth Of The Cold
Three nights, three shows at the Palace
Tosca

Under the Caribbean with the little mermaid

Wake up to ‘night Mother