'Taste of Broadway' to raise funds for auditorium lighting system

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J-DAPA, a.ka. Johnston Dancing and Performing Arts, will present a one-night cabaret tomorrow night you should not – or cannot afford – to miss!

The story lines are many for “A Taste of Broadway” that will be held inside the Johnston High School Auditorium with the curtain going up at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person for what promises to be “an awesome show” as J-DAPA Founder/Executive Director Donna Tellier called the production.

Proceeds from “A Taste of Broadway” will help raise the additional $1,500 needed to purchase a new lighting system for the JHS Auditorium that for years has been in dire need of an upgrade.

J-DAPA recently received a $2,500 State Legislative Grant from Johnston State Rep. Steven Ucci toward the lighting system that will benefit every group that uses the auditorium that was built in 1968.

However, the system will cost approximately $4,000 and perhaps more and that’s the reason – or benefiting cause – for the show that the cast has been rehearsing for on many hot and humid nights that made conditions inside the JHS auditorium nearly unbearable this summer.

As the story unfolds further, Matthew Eisemann, who graduated in June and was the Class of 2018’s Salutatorian, has long been a J-DAPA performer and, after learning of Ucci’s grant, went to Tellier with the idea of “A Taste of Broadway.”

“Matthew said it would be a great way to raise additional funds,” Tellier said. “So, we went to work over the summer and we are just a few hours from the curtain going up.”

The case in tomorrow night’s “A Taste of Broadway” is made up of former JHS elementary and middle school students as well as adults and even guest appearances from professional performers such as Arielle Roger and Orlando Montalvo who recently appeared in the Broadway hit Ragtime.

Moreover, Eric van Dervort, J-DAPA’s music director, has donated his time in assisting with many of the singers in tomorrow night’s cast.

Then there are Brieanna and Aubrey Tellier, the director’s daughters who are not only performing in the show but have also given of their time and talents to uphold J-DAPA’S reputation for putting on high-quality, lively amateur award-winning-like productions.

Brieanna Tellier, in fact, choreographed many of the dances and as her mother Donna said the other night: “One of my favorites is an energetic number You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray.”

Likewise, Aubrey Tellier is responsible for much of the music editing and technical side of producing tomorrow night’s super show.

There’s yet another important aspect concerning tomorrow night’s show, that being that Johnny Cagno – who owns Fantasy Costumes – outfitted the entire cast for no charge to help J-DAPA make its dream of having a sorely-needed new lighting system come true.

Justina Mabray, one of J-DAPA’s newest instructors, is responsible for the choreography of what Donna Tellier calls “a wonderful number from La Cage aux Folles, We are what we are.”

So, the dress rehearsals will be complete tonight. Tomorrow, it’s curtain time and as Donna Tellier said earlier this week: “Please don’t miss this awesome show. You’ll be enjoying yourself with amazing entertainment as well as helping a great cause.”

A cause that will benefit a number of talented people, including a host of students who make up “The Pride of Cherry Hill”, a.k.a. JHS’s national award-winning band, chorus and the talented students who make up one of the top-rated music department’s in all of New England.

For more information or ticket reservations please call Donna Tellier at 944-4866. Cutline for submitted pix …

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