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The Edge of Everyday Benefit Performance


The Edge of Every Day
This benefit performance will enable Ripple Effect Artists to remount SHE HAS A NAME, which addresses the pandemic of human trafficking.


The Edge of Everyday, A Benefit Performance for theatre company Ripple Effect Artists in its pursuit to remount SHE HAS A NAME — a play with talk-backs about the pandemic of sex trafficking — is Tuesday, May 30th from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at The Elektra Theatre, 300 West 43rd Street, NYC. Tickets are $45 for general admission; $60 for VIP with cocktail hour. For tickets click here: TICKETS.

WHAT:    The Edge of Every Day: benefit performance for Ripple Effect Artists

WHEN:    Tuesday, May 30th from 7:00pm to 10:00pm

WHERE:  The Elektra Theatre, 300 West 43rd Street, 3rd FL, NYC


A special benefit performance featuring cabaret singer/vocalist Sandra Bargman (Broadway World award-nominee) in The Edge of Every Day with several opening acts and a special performance by renowned dancer, Katherine Crockett (Queen of the Night; former Principal Dancer, Martha Graham Dance Company, Guest soloist with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project).

The Edge of Everyday is a modern mash-up of cabaret, ritual, and performance art. Recorded live at The Metropolitan Room, Sandra explores the seeming paradoxes of life, our fear of change and ultimately, our acceptance of these dichotomies. “The Edge” is where our resistance, our reluctance to embrace the diversity of life, collides with the inevitability of change in all the corners of our lives. Sandra considers the tension between these seeming paradoxes with poignancy and comedy, and with music ranging from David Bowie and Eric Clapton to Georgia Stitt and David Cantor, the show is a rowdy ride! Sandra received a Broadway World nomination for this show in 2015.

Renowned Dancer Katherine Crocket’s many credits include: star of Queen of the Night; former Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Guest soloist with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project in a solo she choreographed called The Angel.

Sandra Bargman has appeared in Madison Square Garden’s Broadway National tour of CINDERELLA, starring Eartha Kitt. She has appeared Off-Broadway, most recently at The Lucille Lortel in Camille, a reading directed by Everett Quinton and starring George Busch, She has played leading roles in regional theaters, including Adelaide in Guys and Dolls at Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Eva in Evita at The Byham Theater in Pittsburgh. Sandra has sung in many of the cabaret rooms of NYC. She holds a BFA from Carnegie-Mello University. Her distinct voice can be heard in many radio and television commercials.


distinct voice can be heard in numerous radio and television commercials.

Proceeds benefit Ripple Effect Artists Inc–A 501 (c) 3 Theater Company dedicated to moving Audiences from APATHY to ACTION.


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Social Drama A Day for Grace to Kick-Off National Tour in August with Doug Vincent and Sam Llanas

A Day for Grace to kick-off multi-city national tour in August

Social drama A Day for Grace to kick-off multi-city national tour in August, starring playwright Doug Vincent and rock icon Sam Llanas (formerly of BoDeans). The heartwarming story of hope and triumph over adversity, the play recounts the emotional roller-coaster true journey of a father-to-be as he chases parental shadows from his tumultuous youth in small town Virginia to find the light for his unborn child.

Sam Llanas & Doug Vincent star in A Day for Grace
Sam Llanas & Doug Vincent star in A Day for Grace

Boulder StoryHealers has confirmed that A Day for Grace (ADFG), the social drama written and performed by Doug Vincent with music by rock icon Sam Llanas (formerly of BoDeans) will kick-off its National Tour in August 2013 with stops in Berryville, VA, August 18; Denver, CO, August 29; Milwaukee, WI, September 5-8, and Chicago, IL, September 11-13, before its return to New York City’s Stage Left Studio, September 19-22. Tickets can be purchased through each venue’s website or at

Infused with humor, A Day for Grace is a heartwarming story of hope and triumph over adversity. The play recounts the emotional roller-coaster true journey of playwright Doug Vincent — a father-to-be — as he chases parental shadows from his tumultuous youth in small town Virginia to find the light for his unborn child.

Llanas shares the stage with Vincent, performing his soulful music that underscores the 10 different characters Vincent portrays and serves as the drama’s emotional touchstones and enthralling Greek Chorus. “It’s almost impossible to watch the play without marveling at the obvious synchronicity inherent in this collaboration,” says director Gary Tanin. “The unique mechanism of interplay between the songs and monologue is mesmerizing.”

The synergistic collaboration between Vincent and Llanas came about when Vincent, who had already written the play, sought out Llanas to discuss writing music for the work. Serendipitously, the two discovered that nearly every song from Llanas’ 1998 solo album ‘A Good Day to Die’ perfectly mirrored each scene in the play. The haunting music was exactly what was needed for an intricately woven tale that shifts back and forth between present day events and ghosts of the past.

The play unfolds when unforeseen complications during his daughter’s birth propel Vincent’s emotions to pour out of him as he confronts the demons of his youth: from little league angst and campfire stories to the dysfunctional family dynamic and the relationship with his alcoholic and suicidal father.

Ten years in the making, Vincent was able to complete the play only after the birth of his daughter, Grace. The play served as a way for Vincent to find healing after his own father’s suicide. Llanas wrote the songs to ‘A Good Day to Die’ 14 years earlier after the suicide of his brother. Coincidentally, every person involved with the production has lost a family member to suicide.

Bravely and compassionately, A Day for Grace touches on many contemporary social issues –- bullying, alcoholism, addiction, dysfunctional families and mental illness — all proven risk factors that can lead to suicide.

“It is the hope that A Day for Grace and its message of hope, healing and triumph over adversity can continue to be shared with the widest audience possible,” Vincent says.

A Day for Grace had its initial limited engagement run in 2012, where it played to sold-out audiences in Boulder, Denver, Chicago and New York City with rave reviews.

This fall, with multiple performance weeks scheduled in Milwaukee, Chicago and New York plus a producers showcase, a re-tooled A Day for Grace is primed to take Vincent and Llanas’ message of hope to the national stage.

National Tour 2013

Berryville, VA – August 18th at The Barns of Rose Hill
Denver, CO – August 29th at Avenue Theatre
Milwaukee, WI – September 5-8th at Next Act Theatre
Chicago, IL – September 11-13th at Stage 773
New York City, NY – September 19-22 at Stage Left Studio


Produced by Boulder StoryHealers, a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center, a nonprofit charity under Section 501(c)3, ‘A Day for Grace’ was developed at Stage Left Studio in New York City. Boulder StoryHealers conducts monologue workshops for people affected by trauma, illness, and adversity, and helps them write, perform and share their stories with live audiences.

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Giordano Dance Chicago’s Popular Dancing With The Giordano Stars Returns to Park West September 27!

CHICAGO — Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) hosts their 7th Annual “Dancing with the Giordano Stars” competition benefit, patterned after the hit ABC series “Dancing with the Stars,” at the Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Thursday, Sept 27 from 6-10 p.m.

GDC Executive Director Michael McStraw will emcee this popular fundraiser which partners men and women from Chicago’s business and social scene with professional GDC dancers in an entertaining, no-holds-barred dance competition to benefit GDC and its outreach programs.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with spirits and light fare, followed by the competition from 7 – 8 p.m. During the competition, there will be a special guest performance by 2007 “Dancing with the Giordano Stars” winner Gorman Cook with GDC’s Katie Rafferty before the awards are presented to the Best Male and Best Female contestant.

Open dancing for all completes the evening. Tickets are $100-$200, plus a special rate of $50 for young professionals (age 21-30). To order tickets or for more information visit or call the Giordano Dance Chicago office at 312-922-1332.

“The contestants see this event as a fun and unique way to help support GDC and our programs, but it requires an impressive commitment of time and effort to train and prepare,” says Nan Giordano, GDC Artistic Director. “Each contestant must dare to step out of their comfort zone, but the feeling of personal achievement they take away makes the whole experience hugely rewarding for them and their GDC Star partners.”

Stars competing this year include Chicago’s Randall Dunn, Head of School, Latin School of Chicago; Chicago’s Cassandra J. Francis, Principal, Kariatid, LLC; Chicago’s Clint Francis, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law; the South Loop’s own Lakeisha Holmes, Sr. Marketing & Sales Manager, AMB Parking Services; Oak Park’s Jimmy Korshak, Personal Shopper; Glenview’s Lynn Orlebeke, Director of New Business Development, Gerson Lehrman Group; Palos Park’s Joe
Neverauskas, Senior VP, BPG Properties; Highland Park’s Abbe Sparks, President
and Founder, Abbe Sparks Media Relations, LLC; Naperville’s Rick Tucker, VP Sales & Marketing, Doculabs; and Chicago’s Sally L. Venverloh, Senior Vice President and Wealth Strategist, U.S Trust.

The Stars were selected earlier this summer and have been training for the past several months with dance professionals Devin Buchanan, Joshua Blake Carter, Lindsey Leduc, Zachary Heller, Lindsey LaFountain, Maeghan McHale, Ashley Rockwood, Sean Rozanski, Meredith Schultz and Martin Ortiz Tapia.

As part of the competition, each couple will compete in a compulsory Foxtrot dance and then perform a dance of their choice such as Cha Cha, Disco, Jive, Rumba, Salsa, or Tango. A panel of judges will critique dancers on style, execution and audience engagement and select the top male and female winners.

The 7th Annual “Dancing with the Giordano Stars” competition benefit is a precursor to GDC’s Fall Engagement at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Dr., Chicago, Oct. 26 & 27 at 8 p.m. The program will feature world premieres by choreographer Christopher Huggins, creator of GDC’s popular “Pyrokinesis” and by GDC Artistic Associate Autumn Eckman, plus selections from the company’s exciting repertoire. For tickets call 312-334-7777 or visit

Giordano Dance Chicago celebrates its 50th Anniversary during its 2012-2013 season. Currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Nan Giordano and Executive Director Michael McStraw, GDC is a world-class dance company and a driving force in Chicago’s thriving performing arts community. The company’s new works continually expand the boundaries of jazz and contemporary dance. The company also has an active outreach and education program in three Chicago Public Schools, teaching more than 300 classes a year. For more information call 312-922-1332 or visit

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For tickets, to sponsor a contestant or more information:


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For Arts Institutions, Thinking Big Can Be Suicidal

Keeping up with the Joneses.

It happens in many settings, from the classroom to the country club, and, perhaps not surprisingly, among cultural organizations, according to a new study that finds that many institutions recently expanded their buildings in part because everyone else had.

Other reasons that organizations will build too much are overambitious trustees, self-interested architects and unrealistic financial projections, according to the study by the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago that is to be released Thursday.

The study, “Set in Stone,” examined the cultural building boom between 1994 and 2008, when museums, performing arts centers and theaters in the United States got swept up in new construction or major renovations.

More than $16 billion was spent by cultural organizations on building projects during that period, some inspired by the hope that construction initiatives could do what a Frank Gehry-designed museum building did for Bilbao, Spain: transform a small city into a major cultural destination.

“This issue between confusing a want with a need is enormous in the sector,” said Carroll Joynes, a founder and senior fellow at the policy center. “There are clear ways to avoid this. You can learn from what other people went through.”

A number of the lessons, the study suggests, could be drawn from its case studies of expansions like that of the Art Institute of Chicago over the past decade.

At first glance the project seemed daunting: a $300 million venture that would boost yearly operating costs by an estimated $4 million and would necessitate another $87 million in fund-raising to expand the endowment.

But with the Italian architect Renzo Piano engaged and several key trustees and the museum’s director gung ho, the expansion gained a kind of inexorable momentum.

Attendance did spike initially when the new wing opened in March 2009, but then it dropped back to normal levels. A precipitous decline in endowment income led to pay cuts, furloughs, a salary freeze and two rounds of layoffs.

“Instead of expanding its budget as expected, the Art Institute was forced to contract instead,” the study said.

The study examines not only what arts organizations got wrong but also what they got right and offers guidance for arts executives, civic leaders, donors and government officials about how to avoid pitfalls and how to grow intelligently and responsibly — or maybe not at all.

“It’s lessons from the front lines,” said Adrian Ellis, an arts consultant who helped conceptualize the study. “The stories aren’t told that often.”

The study was based on interviews with people in more than 500 arts organizations and drew data from more than 700 construction projects that ranged in cost from $4 million to $335 million. The New York region led the country in cultural building ($1.6 billion) after Los Angeles ($950 million) and the Chicago area ($870 million).

…The study found that the most successful projects were driven by a clear artistic mission and demonstrable need; had authoritative and consistent leadership throughout the process; controlled expenses during construction; and generated income after completion…

“The Modern Wing was not an impulsive project,” Douglas Druick, the director of the Art Institute of Chicago, said. “It was 10 years in the making, and it puts the Art Institute on a solid footing for the future. We expect it to be here for decades, just as we still open the doors of our original 1893 building every morning.”

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Gala 2012: A Mod Musical Evening Benefits The Music Theatre Company

Last Chance to have fun for a great cause– the performing arts!!!!  Gala 2012: A Mod Musical Evening Benefits The Music Theatre Company  Call for more information or come to the door tonight.

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Gala 2012: A Mod Musical Evening

Join The Music Theatre Company for performances of your favorite songs by Chicago’s finest music theatre artists. Enjoy the upbeat stylings of Dr. Mark and the Sutures while browsing through their wide array of silent auction items, including Chicago Bears and Blackhawks memorabilia, private golf outings, and a priceless excursion to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Entice your taste buds with delicious cuisine provided by Whole Foods Market of Deerfield while sampling a selection of fine wines from Cooper’s Hawk Winery.

Sunday, May 20th, 2012
5:30pm until 8:30pm

Highland Park Community House
1991 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035-2540

Gala Tickets $75:

Enter the TMTC 2012 Cash Raffle!. Drawing will be held at the Gala on May 20th.

Win cash prizes!
Grand prize $2500
First prize $1000!
Second prize $500!
Ten third prizes of $100!

Raffle Tickets $10:; Winners need not be present!

*Kindly Consider Mod Cocktail Attire*

Only 1000 tickets will be sold.
Prize amounts will be reduced proportionally if all tickets are not sold.