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Photo Coverage: 'EXTRAORDINARY' in Concert at Joe's Pub

THE THERESA FOUNDATION presented a concert performance of "EXTRAORDINARY" to benefit the Theresa Academy of Performing Arts.

"EXTRAORDINARY" was performed at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street (between West 4th and Astor Place) on Monday, March 30th at 7:00pm. BroadwayWorld.com was there for the special benefit event.

"EXTRAORDINARY" has been produced at the Vital Theatre Company, Millbrook Playhouse, and The 2005 New York International Fringe Festival where it won Outstanding Music and Lyrics. After meeting his deaf cousin Hope, nine year old Lester and his imaginary friend Fred take off on an adventure through the living room couch to search for her hearing! Their journey takes them to "The Land of Quiet," where they discover that differences make you extraordinary!

"EXTRAORDINARY" was heralded by the New York Times as being a musical that "teaches the importance of accepting differences without being either saccharine or sanctimonious."
Dante Russo wrote the book and lyrics, which features original music by David F.M. Vaughn. Directed by Nell Balaban, choreography by SABRINA JACOB, music direction by JAD BERNARDO, and sign language consultation by Alexandria Wailes. Headlining the cast are Annie Golden (Xanadu, The Fully Monty) and Howie Michael Smith (Avenue Q) with Tom Deckman (Monty Python's Spamalot, Good Vibrations), Jeff Hiller ("30 Rock," Ghost Town), Carly Jibson (Hairspray, Cry Baby), Sean Samuels (Tarzan, Curtains), TAMI LEE SANTIMYER (Nobody's Perfect - Kennedy Center), Allison Spratt (Cry Baby, Curtains), Alexandria Wailes (Mother Courage and Her Children - The Public Theater), and Kirsten Wyatt (Grease, High Fidelity). Stage management is by GREG LIVOTI.

Dante Russo (Book & Lyrics) is a graduate of Emerson College with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting and Directing. Upon graduation, he conceived the new musical, "The City of Silence," which premiered at the Boston Center for the Arts. For Vital Theatre Company, Dante wrote the book and lyrics to "Extraordinary" and "Radiant Ruby." Current projects include the new musical "Broke Love" and web series "Weiner & Weiner." www.danterusso.com

DAVID F.M VAUGHN (Music) holds a B.A. in theatre from Florida State University. "Extraordinary" is David's first musical. His most recent work, "The Johnny," was seen at The 2008 New York International Fringe Festival. Upcoming project: "The Night." Currently, David can be seen in the Broadway musical "Shrek." www.davidfmvaughn.com

THE THERESA FOUNDATION was established in 1992 to honor the memory of Theresa Alessandra Russo. For more than fifteen years the Foundation has funded programs that serve children who have been identified as having special needs, such as, but not limited to: autism, down syndrome, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, blind, or deaf. The Foundation provides funding for dance, music, art, and recreation programs. www.theresafoundation.org

THE THERESA FOUNDATION is pleased to announce the formation of the THERESA ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS. This family-centered organization will give children with special needs the opportunity to explore creative movement, drama, art, and music. Students will be able to take classes in a safe, non-judgmental environment, and create and explore the arts at their own pace to the best of their abilities.

Photos by Amy Shaughnessy

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