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Morrison, Egan and Block Featured in New Holiday CD, Thankful

Tony-nominated Broadway stars Matthew Morrison (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, The Light in the Piazza, Hairspray) and Susan Egan (Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast), along with Stephanie J. Block (The Boy From Oz"and national tour of Wicked) have joined the performing group "The Kids Next Door" from The California Conservatory of the Arts in southern California to produce a new holiday CD recording. The CD is entitled "Thankful", and all proceeds will benefit The Joyful Child Foundation, in memory of Samantha Runnion.

Morrison, Egan and Block will also be joined by Broadway veteran's Kamilah Martin ("Rent" and "Hairspray"), Terron Brooks ("The Lion King", "Grease" and "Hairspray"), and pop star Tony Orlando (Barnum" and "Smokey Joe's Café").

"The Joyful Child Foundation was founded in the memory of Samantha Runnion, the little girl who was kidnapped, sexually abused and murdered in Orange County, California in 2002 and who made national news as 'America's Little Girl.' In the spring of 2005 Samantha's murderer was convicted and sentenced to the death penalty in California. The Foundation's mission is to unite and uplift our nation's communities in the protection and wonderment of all children," according to press notes.

The Kids Next Door "are Southern California's young song and dance ensemble, in residence at the California Conservatory of the Arts. The school is a non-profit educational institution which provides intensive training in the performing and visual arts to talented young people, selected by audition, with aspirations for careers in the arts. Morrison, Egan, Block, Martin and Brooks are all alumni of The Kids Next Door.

The California Conservatory of the Arts (CCA) specializes in training specific to the Musical Theatre genre and boasts a faculty of Broadway veterans including Jonelle Allen (Tony- nominated Best Actress; "Two Gentlemen of Verona") and Teri Ralston ("Company", "A Little Night Music "and "The Baker's Wife"). In addition to instruction, The Conservatory produces a musical theatre season utilizing equity guests artists and in 2003 produced a nationally recognized production of Sondheim's Follies which starred such Broadway luminaries as John Raitt (his final stage performance), Julie Wilson, Kurt Peterson, Harvey Evans, Stephanie Zimbalist, Betty Garrett (reprising her role from the Broadway revival), Ralston and Allen working alongside the talented CCA students. The CCA is a member of NAMT (National Alliance of Musical Theatre) and a home for the development and "workshopping" of new musicals."

To order Thankful, or to hear sample tracks by Morrison, Egan, Block, Martin, Brooks and Orlando, please visit the California Conservatory of the Arts website at www.ccarts.net.


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