Photo Flash: LBC Talent's 'Hunterdon's Brightest, Home For The Holidays' Charity Cabaret Brings Tears & Cheers!
Broadway vets, Danette Holden, who was last seen in Sacramento as Kitty in The Drowsy Chaperone and in New York City in the acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Cagney, the Musical and Kevin Csolak, currently in Ivo Van Hove's new West Side Story as Arab hitting the Broadway stage December 10th in previews and who just completed filming Steven Spielberg's reboot of West Side Story as Diesel hosted the 2019 Stangl Stage Cabaret, Hunterdon's Brightest, Home for the Holidays charity event this past Saturday, November 30th at the historic Stangl Stage.
Produced by LBC Talent, the event featured multigenerational homegrown Hunterdon County talent home for the holiday and making their mark on the world stage; Opera, Broadway, in the music industry, in film, on television and more. The charity event raised funds for young performing artist scholarships.
The honoree was internationally acclaimed Tenor, James Valenti who brought many to tears and the packed, sold-out house to its feet with his magnificent performance of Andrea Bocelli's Con Te Partino accompanied by one of the UK's foremost young pianists, Cameron Richardson-Eames. Mr. Valenti has built a global reputation for his elegant musicianship, commanding stage presence, ardent style and voice of warm Italianate luster. His credits include Teatro dell' Opera di Roma as Rodolfo in the Franco Zeffirelli production of La Bohême. Teatro alla Scala Milan, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Royal Opera House London, Opéra National de Paris Bastille, Sydney Opera House, Münich Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Salzburg Festival and Opernhaus Zürich. A graduate of New Jersey's North Hunterdon Regional High School, he inspired the young artists and brought tears to adults in attendance.
Broadway veteran and multiple award-winning actor, Cameron Clifford was an honoree as well. Clifford's career began at the young age of 8 in Broadway's Waiting For Godot alongside Nathan Lane, Bill Irwin, John Goodman, and John Glover. A dancer, actor, and singer, Cameron grew up training for and performing in commercials, on TV, on stage, and in film. He went on to star on Broadway in Billy Elliot, the Musical in the principle role of Billy's best friend, Michael and was stellar in the story's show-stopping number, Expressing Yourself. Clifford was a nominee for Independent Reviewers of New England's Best Promising Performer and won Broadway World's Austin, Texas and Los Angeles's Best Featured Actor in a Musical Touring Production. Clifford went on to play principal roles in First Wives Club in Chicago and On Golden Pond in Pennsylvania.
Sharing their musical prowess performing Holiday Classics, Pop Hits, and Original Music was; Deborah Heagen, Off-Off-Broadway; Happy Hour at the 45th Street Theater, A Tribute to Jeanine Tesori - 54 Below, Tim Realbuto's Because I Can Parts 2 & 3 -Triad Theater; Lindsay Gloriana Bohon, Carnival Cruise Lines, Broadway Session The Cher Show, Winterfest at Carowinds, The Palace Theatre at Cedar Point; Lauren Maria Medina, Iowa's Showboat Theatre; A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (Phoebe), Shout, The Mod Musical (orange girl), Blithe Spirit (Edith), The Who's Tommy and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Nikki Miller performed a memorable rendition of Sing But Don't Tell from Island Song, the musical. Miller's resume includes 42nd Street, Hairspray, Grease, Peter Pan, Peter, and the Starcatcher, and Paw Patrol Live! Miller will be starring in the regional premiere of the new musical Tonya & Nancy as Tonya Harding at Theatre Zone in Naples, Florida. Completing the adult lineup was Samantha Brynildsen studying Musical Theatre at Boston Conservatory.
With music provided by Shawn Cavanaugh (bass), Stephen Collins (guitar), Cameron Richardson- Eames (piano), Brian Gallacher (keys/piano), Barry Bee (Saxaphone) and Keith Csolak (drums), the line up also included; Hailey DeStefano, 13, 54 Below, The Triad, Greenroom 42, The Duplex, co-starring in the short film, There Was a Beginning, starring as Annie in the independent thriller, Demon Board and on Amazon Prime in the new series Hunters coming in 2020; rock prodigy and Broadway Records recording artist, 12-year old, Kjersti Long, The Stone Pony, The Apollo Theatre, The House of Blues-San Diego, The Bitter End and more featuring music from her recent release, Stronger Than You Think I Am; pop singer, 11-year-old, Lila Grace Pfefferle, International Peace Day for the UN in Times Square, Come Together Music Festival, 54 Below, The Bitter End, SNL; Echo Deva Picone, 12, Annie the Musical, at the Axelrod with Andrea McArdle (Annie), The Bedwetter a new musical workshop with Sarah Silverman (Abby), PBS Kid's Pinkalicious and Peterrific (Kendra), Curious World, Recycled Superheroes, 54 Below, Greenroom 42, The Triad, The Beechman, The Duplex. Picone was accompanied by pianist, Owen Case, 14, Greenroom 42, The Triad, The Beechman, The Duplex, The Apollo Theatre; Megan Simonelli, 12, Feinstein's 54 Below, The Green Room 42 and Triad Theatre. Jessica Schuchardt, 15 and winner of the 2019 101.5 Big Joe Henry Talent Competition. Newcomer, singer-songwriter, 15-year-old, Matt Woodward who just finished filming for American Idol was featured as was last year's Stangl Stage standout, 17-year-old, Bella DePaola.
A highlight of the evening was returning soloist, seven-year-old, Brynn Simonelli, performing Santa For A Day from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, the Musical. And sharing Holiday classics was Hunterdon's Pro Kids On Tour Holiday Vocal Troupe featuring; Toby Chernesky, Delaney Dean, Bella DePaola, Briana Tobin, Kjersti Long, Jessica Schuchardt, and Matt Woodward with Elle Basile, Eve Basile, Abby Bisson, Rowen Borchin, Scarlett Borchin, Victoria Brynildsen, Masen Chen, Samantha Chen, Emily Denis, Hailey DeStefano, Nathan Gilvey, Tayten Kieffer, Amy Killian, Audrey Kreitner, Amberleigh Long, Cassandra Mitros, Jaime Myers, Lila Pfefferle, Nicole Rosales, Emily Schnieder, Brynn Simonelli, Megan Simonelli, Autumn Spanner, and Brooke Tiemeyer.
As one guest stated, 'the talent in this county is beyond expectation, and he continued, 'what an amazing evening of professional performance... something I thought I could only see in the city. Tonight I was witness to real stars both present and future, how thrilling!'
Thank you to musical direction and teachers; Diana DiMarzio, Jonathan Shew, Cameron Richardson-Eames, Deborah Heagen, Ross Brown, and Dar Calkin, The Stangl Stage with food service by Blue Fish Grill and Old York Vineyards, Lights by Matt Laughlin, Sound by Jordan Pappas and Photography and Videography by Steven Ruggiero Photography, And special thanks to executive production assistant, Megan Gecik. For information or to add to the 2020 cabaret lineup, contact producer, Leesa Csolak through LBC Talent NYC.
Leesa Csolak and Megan Gecik
Cameron Richardson-Eames and Kevin Csolak
Barry Bee and Kevin Csolak
Lindsay Gloriana Bohon
Toby Chernesky, Kevin Csolak
Kevin Csolak and Bella DePaola
Kjersti Long, Megan Gecik
Owen Case and Echo Deva Picone
Kevin Csolak and Owen Case
Echo Deva Picone, Hailey DeStefano, Lila Grace Pfefferle and Owen Case
Jaime Myers and Brooke Tiemeyer
Tayten Kieffer, Masen Chen, Scarlett Borchin, Samantha Chen, Rowen Borchin
Megan Simonelli, Brynn Simonelli, Elle Basile, Eve Basile
Megan Simonelli, Leesa Csolak, Brynn Simonelli
Lila Grace Pfefferle and Danette Holden
Megan Gecik and Kevin Csolak
Kevin Csolak and Leesa Csolak
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