JAM FOR JOE Benefit to Honor Joe Gustern at Pangea
Though Joe performed many classical and musical theater roles in over 50 years on stage, his eight and a half year tenure in both the touring and Broadway companies of Phantom of the Opera crowned his career. He retired in 2000.
Barbara, a much loved voice teacher, has called upon her students and friends to perform in two different benefits over the next few months.
Confirmed performers for the June 27th evening at Pangea, which benefits Spring Farm CARES, an animal rescue shelter farm, include Pangea regulars Tammy-Faye Starlite, Barbara Bleier and Austin Pendleton, Suzanne Mack, Nancy Magarill, Jenny Lee Mitchell, Gay Marshall and Rachelle Garnier.
Other performers include Jan Horvath, Eric Schmalenberger, KimaLee Bryant, AJ Gustern, Hector Uberry, Pamela Winslow Kashani, Suzanne Hwang, Bess Morrison, Carol Scarimbas, Sophia Rei, Jill Cohen, Betsyann Faiella and Beth Black Robinson. Pianist Maria deSenna will accompany. The talent lineup is subject to change.
Tickets are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2960122 and are $20 in advance and $25 at the door (cash only for this cover) with a $20 food/drink minimum. Tickets are tax deductible.
Downtown's supper-club Pangea, which Stephen Holden recently called "a bohemian oasis not unlike the fabled Max's Kansas City from days gone by," plays home to some of the best in alt cabaret. It is at 178 Second Avenue, between 11th and 12th Streets in the East Village.
Joe Gustern, actor/singer, was born in New York City and grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He graduated from Brooklyn Tech High School and entered Juilliard School of Music as a vocal performance major. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Chorus serving as a singing soldier. Soon after returning to New York City he won the coveted New York Singing Teachers' Town Hall Recital Award and also won the heart of his future wife, Barbara Maier. He fortuitously substituted for the ailing bass at Barbara's regular job at the Synagogue Saturday Service, and pursued her passionately until she married him a mere seven months later.
Highlights of Joe's musical career include opera performances with the Metropolitan Opera Studio, Chicago Lyric, Baltimore, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh Operas. Favorite roles include Bartolo in the Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Don Pasquale and the title role in The Flying Dutchman.
He performed frequently in Summer Stock as the Captain in the Sound of Music with his wife as Maria, Most Happy Fella, Guys and Dolls, Irma La Douce and a host of others.
Besides music and the New York Yankees, Joe loved animals. Soon after Barbara and Joe were married, Joe brought home a stray dog, so dirty he thought it was black. Barbara wanted no part of this but Joe bathed and fed it. They spent most of their meager savings on an operation to repair her broken leg. This stray became their beloved, blonde Solly. She was their first daughter and also the first of many pets.