BWW Blog: Abigail Shapiro - Supporting Creativity In Lake George

Hello Broadway World! Both my sister and I are returning to 54 BELOW for a performance on August 28th where we'll be promoting our upcoming CD (which will be released on September 9th)! I can't believe how quickly the date is approaching--we've been preparing, adding new songs, and so much more. Our schedule is packed, and has been packed since we've returned to NY...and we LOVE it!!!

Milly and I recently performed at a benefit concert in Lake George in conjunction with Lindsey Gates, the Producing Artistic Director of Lake George Theatre Lab, which was an incredible experience. The organization provides a lab for plays working their way toward production, as well as for house playwrights and the rest of their creative team. They also invite audiences to show the in-process productions. As I listened to Stephen DeAngelis speak as he opened up the concert, I realized how few new productions I have seen. I have seen revivals, musicals and play versions of movies, but not nearly as much new creative work. With the Lake George Theatre Lab, they're focused on promoting the creation of new work, which I found to be really cool and unique.

As an added bonus, Milly and I had never been to Lake George before-it's a 32-mile lake in the middle of Adirondack Park in upstate New York. It was so beautiful (in spite of the fact that it was a very long car ride to get to Lake George from the city). There were several traffic jams along the way, but the drive itself was fun for Milly and I, as we took pictures together in the back off the van. Once we finally reached our destination, we were in awe of the landscape. Lake George is beautiful!

We felt so lucky to stay in a fancy chalet along with Kissy Simmons (who you may know is the longest running Nala on Broadway's The Lion King), Eugene Gwozdz (the accompanist), his wife, and Casting Director Stephen DeAngelis. Kissy is actually a former Floridian like my sister and I - what a coincidence! She grew up around the same place as us. After a nice sushi dinner we explored stores and shops.

We were performing the next day at the Lake George Club which was right on the water and it was gorgeous! Erin Dilly and her husband, Stephen Buntrock, joined us for the performance, at sound check prior to the concert start. The performance line up included a Q & A session with the performers in the middle of the line up. Most Q & A's are done after a performance, and what I liked about this one was that it replaced an intermission. I always feel more comfortable after I've talked with audience members, and I found that there was less tension for the rest of the show.

After the performance, we were treated to lunch and met some of our audience while having a delicious meal. They did indeed have the best pasta bar ever, and once we finished our meals, we were taken on a boat ride around the lake. This was by far the most beautiful part of the experience. With the limited amount of residences, the preservation of nature really stood out.

This benefit was for an excellent cause, and I'm so glad I got the chance to participate. There will be more to come! Thank you so much Broadway World!

-Abigail Shapiro

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