Opera Mariposa & Mariposa Theatre Wing to Stage New Broadway Revue for Neuro-Immune Disease Awareness, 5/14

This May, the acclaimed young artists of Opera Mariposa and the Mariposa Theatre Wing are staging a new Broadway revue to raise awareness for chronic neuro-immune diseases. On Saturday, May 14th, a multi-award-winning cast will present People Like Us at Marpole United Church. The performance honours the May 12th International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia (ME/CFS & FM), and a portion of every ticket sale will support the National ME/FM Action Network.

Mariposa's artistic director Jacqueline Ko has suffered from ME/CFS since age six, and several other Mariposa cast and crew members also live with a so-called "invisible illness". "ME/CFS affects more than twenty-eight million people worldwide," Ko says, "and studies report that it can be as debilitating as lupus or late-stage AIDS. This is an astonishingly widespread disease that often goes undiagnosed, and many patients struggle with not only the devastating symptoms, but a lack of medical support and community understanding."

Despite the challenges of her illness, Ko has managed to become an award-winning singer and show producer. At age 20 she teamed up with fellow performer Robin Eder-Warren to found Opera Mariposa, and in the past three years the company's annual benefit shows have raised over $30,000 for chronic neuro-immune disease treatment, education and research.

With People Like Us, Mariposa will present a charity benefit that's also a love letter to the musical theatre genre. "People Like Us weaves together hit songs to tell an all-new tale about life and love in New York City," says Eder-Warren. "This is Mariposa's biggest benefit show yet, and we're looking forward to taking audiences on a wild ride with music from Rent, Company, Follies, and even the recent Fringe Festival hit TITUS! The Light and Delightful Musical Comedy of Titus Andronicus."

People Like Us will be directed by up-and-coming writer-director Dominique Wakeland, and features Ko alongside other notable artists such as PNE Star Discovery champion and Pinoy Pop Superstar Canada champion Imelda Gaborno; Ovation nominee and two-time Smackdown! award-winner Andrew Wade; Arty Award nominee Mark Kroeker; and sixteen-year-old performer and Shaw TV host Zenia Marshall. The evening includes a reception, as well as a charity raffle contest with over $2,000 in prizes.

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