Friday, August 05, 2005

Moonies (doing good) Out in the World

Nothing better than performing for a good cause, and that's what went on Monday night when the 11th Annual "Help is on the Way" fundraiser for the Richmond-Ermet AIDS Foundation was held at the Palace of the Fine Arts. It was a 100th birthday celebration for both Jule Styne and Harold Arlen.

Let's first acknowledge our Moonie-behind-the-scenes, Annette, who has volunteered for a couple of years now to be on the Transportation Committee for the fundraiser, shuttling guest artists to and from the airport and rehearsals. Let's see, private drive-time with Broadway legends and free access to the performance...pretty cool volunteer work.

Here were Annette's favorite moments this year:

1. Betty Garrett in her rendition of "A Woman's Prerogative" (Styne/Mercer) from ST. LOUIS WOMAN. She starts the number dressed up a la Little Bo Peep and does a "quick change" into a leather dominatrix outfit-not bad for an octogenarian!!

***You may just know Garrett from Laverne & Shirley, but she is a Broadway regular since the 1940s.

2. Ray Garcia (who'll be in the film version of RENT), Mark W. Smith ("Port Charles" - soap opera) & Kevin Spirtas (last seen the Bay Area in A CHORUS LINE at AMTSJ.) in an all-male version of "Gotta Have a Gimmick" (Styne/Sondheim) from GYPSY!

***I have not seen this song done this way. And according to Annette I should be very, very sorry about that...eye candy galore!

3. Local favorite Paula West's version of "Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe" (Arlen/Harburg) from CABIN IN THE SKY!! She was fabulous!

4. Broadway leading lady Christine Andreas in her Act I finale of "Don't Rain on My Parade!" (Styne/Merrill) from FUNNY GIRL.

5. Susan Anton going to town with "Blues in the Night" (Arlen/Mercer) from the show of the same name.

5. Lorna Luft singing one of her mother Judy Garland's career standards... "The Man That Got Away" (Arlen/Gershwin) from A STAR IS BORN.

The show also starred Jane Russell (yes, THE Jane Russell), Debby Boone, local faves Meg Mackay, Tim Hockenberry, and Sony Holland, Dorian Harewood, and more!!

Exec. Producer/REAF Executive Director Ken Henderson talked briefly about how the face of AIDS has changed over the years... how it used to be "helping people with the disease live out their lives with dignity, but now that people are surviving and living with HIV, it's about sustaining their lives." Local agencies benefitting from Monday night's gala include: The
Center for AIDS Services, Meals of Marin, Positive Resource Center, Shanti, and the UCSF AIDS Health Project.

***Wow, what a line-up...I'm sort of not getting over the Jane Russell/Debby Boone combo. I am clearly not on the right mailing lists because I didn't hear about this one.

Anyway, thanks to Annette for providing the report, and for lending her time and energy to a good cause.

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