RAINBOWS & RIBBONS at Don't Tell Mama to Benefit BC/EFA
"Rainbows & Ribbons" a new show by Ross Hewitt will be presented at Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46th Street, NYC on Saturday, March 25th at 5:00 pm. It is a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and ALL proceeds will go the the organization. Musical director for the production is Phil Hall. The show will feature numerous songs from musical theatre and films. The cover is only $20.00 and there is a 2 drink minimum. Information and reservations can be made by calling (212) 757-0788.
Dr. Ross G. Hewitt has been involved with the AIDS epidemic since its beginning, caring for some of the country's first patients as a medical student at Bellevue Hospital in 1981. He completed training in Internal medicine and Infectious Diseases and became the first Medical Director of the AIDS Designated Center Program at Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo, a position he held for 18 years. While there, he was an active clinical researcher, conducting trials that helped usher in the first 15 antiretroviral medications. He moved back to NYC, his hometown, in 2004 and since has worked in Harlem with the HIV programs at Heritage Health Care, North General Hospital and currently, the Institute for Family Health - Family Health Center of Harlem. He became the Associate Medical Director for HIV services at MetroPlus Health Plan in June, 2015, where he oversees the quality of care delivered to over 8,000 HIV+ members.
For Dr. Ross Hewitt performing has always been his true love. From a start in a Bronx church basement musical theater club, to his discovery of Barbra Streisand in the movies, to his singing in his high school gospel choir, he loved to sing. A bright young man, he began medical school. At that same time, an unknown epidemic of the disease now known as AIDS was brewing. As one of the early out-of-the-closet medical students at NYU, he was drawn to care for the some of the first AIDS patients in NYC, and he found his calling. Theater and music became his refuge during the early years of the epidemic. While caring for people with AIDS in Buffalo, he became part of that city's theater community, performing in 2 or 3 shows a year. He performed in professional theaters, community operas and sang in Buffalo's Gay Men's Chorus. He also wrote "When October Goes", a full length family drama that was produced by the Ujima Theater Company, an interracial artists collective. He later returned to NYC to study acting and vocal performance. He became a founding member of the American Bard Theater Company, and performed in several Shakespeare productions, all the while caring for people with HIV. He also became a member of the Village Playwrights, writing, producing and directing several short plays that featured LGBT themes. He performed in "The Lady Was a Disc Jockey" in 2008 and reprised in 2015.
"Rainbows & Ribbons" is his own cabaret show debut. It features the songs that helped him cope with those tough times and taught him about love along the way. The show also features guest artist Mary Riley, another founding member of the American Bard Theater Company. "Love is more than just a feeling -- it's an action," he says. "Rainbows & Ribbons", as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, is his gift of love back to the community.
Phil Hall, throughout his career, has created significant achievements in just about every aspect of the musical theater industry. On Broadway, he was the conductor for Play Me A Country Song and was the associate conductor for the revival of Mame, which starred Angela Lansbury. Phil was also the musical director and conductor for dozens of productions including Phantom, the national tour of Cats, Side By Side By Sondheim, The Merry Widow, 42nd Street, The Desert Song and The Wizard of Oz. Throughout the United States his work was featured at such renown venues as the Kennedy Center, the Paper Mill Playhouse, Atlanta's Theater of the Stars, Houston's Theatre Under The Stars, Seattle's Fifth Avenue Theatre and the Michigan Opera Theatre. Onstage, Phil played the role of Jake in Paper Mill's production of Show Boat, which aired on PBS' Great Performances series. On film, Phil played a vocal coach and pianist in the Mira Sorvino-produced, Griffin Dunne-directed film, "Lisa Picard Is Famous." Phil's vocal arrangements, featured in the musical revue, SophisticatEd Ellington were presented at Carnegie Hall, conducted by the Erich Kunzel with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.