A Review of Our 4th Annual Benefit “Growing Up – Reaching Out”

“Happiness is singing together when day is through… And happiness is those who sing with you… Happiness is morning and evening, daytime and nighttime too… For happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you…” Singing these poetic lyrics, our wonderful cast wrapped up “Growing  Up – Reaching Out,” our fourth annual benefit performance held at the Kitchen black box theater on the night of April 29th. And Happiness is what we felt after celebrating Arts For All’s fourth successful year as a non-profit! The cast and audience shared some positive and poignant moments throughout the evening:

We began with Adam Shortsen, Alan Ostroff, and Kristie Kerwin singing “Who I’d Be,” a touching number from Shrek the Musical. (Remember Alan and Kristie‘s artist interviews from past blog entries??) Immediately following, our own Anna Roberts Ostroff brought down the house with a comedic rendition of “Happily Ever After.”Alan again entertained by singing “Giants In The Sky”- how better to capture the Growing Up and Reaching Out spirit of the evening- and Elisa Winter (who, if you’ll recall, has also been featured for an artist interview) earned some big laughs with a childlike and mischievous cover of “My Party Dress.” Kristie Kerwin again took the stage to regale the audience with “Cock-Eyed Optimist” from the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic South Pacific, followed by a sultry performance of “Sweet and Lowdown” by our friend Jenny Long. The first-class entertainment kept right on coming as Maria Brinkman performed “The Life I Never Led,” and Elisa Winter and Arts For All board member Lena Moy-Borgen dueted “How the Other Half Lives.” Lena remained on stage for a solo rendition of “The Other Side of the Tracks,” and our friend Nanci D. Miles had the audience captivated with a sweet and heartfelt cover of “Always.” We ended the first act with a fun and rare demonstration by New York state yo-yo champion Stephen Moy (who definitely has the coolest yo-yo I have ever seen)!

The second act began with the cast reading student-written “When I Grow Up” selections, and our good friend Robin Cannon performed a charming rendition of “I Won’t Grow Up” from Peter Pan. She took the stage in costume as the title character, and the part of Tinkerbell was played by her very own hot pink guitar, Pinkerton!

It was followed with a very special thirty minute set from our friends PigPen Theatre Co. This uniquely talented group of Carnegie Mellon grads uses a blend of live music, puppetry, movement, and lighting effects to tell theatrical fables that are witty, funny, heartfelt, and everything in between. Just two weeks ago, these gifted gents launched their debut album “Bremen,” and the folksy selections they shared with our audience last Sunday proved that they are- as The Boston Herald said- a phenomenon. The group recently became the first in history to win the Fringe Festival’s top honor for a play two years running, and we were honored to share the stage with them! Be sure to check out the new album if you aren’t already a fan- they’re sure to be the Next Big Thing!

We’d like to extend a HUGE Thank You to everyone who helped make our fourth annual benefit a success- we couldn’t have done it without our staff, our performers, our volunteers, our audience, and anyone else who may have contributed in the smallest or biggest way! We’re excited to see what the future holds for Arts For All, and we’re glad to have our supporters and friends standing by us as we work to provide artistic opportunities to NYC’s in-need kids. Stay tuned to the blog and facebook to see what we’ve got coming up- and please contact us if you’re interested in volunteering. We’re always looking for volunteers for regular visits to hospitals and shelters, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

– The Arts For All Team

“I grow when I get hurt.
I grow when I fight for what I care for.
I grow when I live life to the fullest.
Growing up means figuring out what’s really important.
Growing up is like a shooting star going up in the sky until it hits it’s reaching point.”
~An Arts For All student!



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  1. […] may remember that a few months ago- right here on our blog- we posted a review of our 4th annual benefit “Growing Up- Reaching Out.” […]

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