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Singers, dancers to aid Alzheimer's group

Twenty acts will take to the stage at the Reaching for the Stars annual talent contest on May 6 to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Family Organization.

By BARBARA L. FREDRICKSEN

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 27, 2001


In recent years, audiences at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre have seen Spring Hill resident Brenda Grau play a troubled Maria in West Side Story, a sophisticated lady in God Bless Irving, a spunky Laurey in Oklahoma! and an unwilling bride in The King and I.

On May 6, they can hear her sing an opera aria, Tu Chai'le Penne, at the ninth annual Reaching for the Stars talent competition held by the Alzheimer's Family Organization at the Center for the Arts at River Ridge.

"This is a great show," said Kathy Montero, education and fundraising coordinator for the organization. "We always enjoy it a lot."

The show has raised more than $37,000 in the past eight years for several Alzheimer's programs, including respite care reimbursement, wanderers ID bracelets, support groups, legal help and a speakers bureau, Ms. Montero said.

At the same time, participants have won thousands of dollars in prizes.

This year, first prize in three age groups is a $200 U.S. Savings Bond. Second prizes are $100 bonds, and third-place winners get $50 bonds.

Nearly 50 performers and groups auditioned to be in the talent show this year, Ms. Montero said. Of those, only 20 acts were chosen to perform.

Among those are Samara Lynn Williams, who played the title role in Annie at the Show Palace, and Mary Anne Boone, who played Anna in The King and I and won awards for her renditions of excerpts from Phantom of the Opera at that venue.

For this show, Ms. Boone will perform I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady with her daughters Dianna and Elizabeth. Dianna played the orphan Molly in Annie at the Palace.

Also performing are the comedy/singing team Terri Haffner and Lisa Beason, the dancing group One Shy of a Six Pack, singer Timothy McGuigan and a dance ensemble from Mary-Ann's School of Dance.

Master of ceremonies will be Elaine Lucadano, a reporter for WTSP-Ch. 10. Special guests are singers Jimmy Ferraro and Dee Etta Rowe.

WHAT: Alzheimer's Family Organization's Reaching for the Stars

WHEN: 2 p.m. May 6

TICKETS: $10-$15, reserved seating. Call (727) 848-8888 or toll free 1-888-496-8004

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