By KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
Two Broadway stars and a Broadway director are teaming up with talented individuals from the Laurel Highlands to present a concert titled “Give My Regards.”
Last February, Scott Logsdon directed and starred in “Sweeney Todd,” which was performed at the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center on the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown campus. The reception that he and the cast received encouraged him to return to the city and direct another show.
“After the huge success of ‘Sweeney Todd,’ a great number of us wanted to do another concert,” said Logsdon, an original cast member of the national Broadway tour of “Les Miserables.” “Sweeney was a love-fest among the cast, and I knew I wanted to do another show with them.”
“Give My Regards” is to be performed May 15 beginning at 4 p.m. at Ace’s, located at 316 Chestnut St. in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.
This year, Logsdon is bringing to town Broadway veterans Michael Marra and Caren Hearne, both of whom have starred in the European tour of “Guys and Dolls” (Hearne was hand-picked by Jo Sullivan Loesser, the Broadway star and the widow of the composer of “Guys and Dolls,” to play Miss Adelaide). Additionally, Marra was involved alongside Logsdon in the Broadway and international performances of “Les Miserables,” and he also starred in Johnstown’s production of “Sweeney Todd” last year.
Marra and Hearne will be joined on stage by more than 50 local performers. The cast list includes: Tony Anthony, Jean Arcurio, Kevin R. Bean, Mallory J. Bean, Sarah Rose Bell, Morgan Bennett, Ariana Bittner, Jayme Brooks, Nathan Cook, Johnna Cwik, Victoria Delich, Josh Devett, Kelly Devett, Tessa Evans, Alex Fetzko, Zach Frye, Sam Fuge, Cassandra Gallina, Amber M. Gobbel, Matt Harris, Kennedy Hess, Noah Hughes, Mia Jordan, Elizabeth Ann Kovalchik, Grace LaMoy, Jara Dorsey-Lash, Michael R. Marafino, Lyla Mauzy, Doug Meagher, Coltin Miller, Anthony Moran, Michael Nicholson, Cory Prebehalla, Shawn Roth, Rachel Saula, Tori Smith, Kiersten Szczur, Hannah Thomas, Madison Thomas, Rachel Toth, Zane Troxell, Jaydyn Vogel, Jackie Willnecker, Kelly Jo Wise, Brett Wyar and Maggie Zambanini.
Jackie Willnecker is serving as the choreographer.
“This cast is astonishing,” Logsdon said. “Juggling the schedules of a cast of 50 has not been without its challenges, but giving the audience an unforgettable performance will make all of that worthwhile.”
“Give My Regards” features performances of popular songs from Broadway shows such as “The Sound of Music,” “42nd Street,” “Once,” “Kinky Boots” and “Hamilton.”
The show will serve as a fundraiser for the Women’s Help Center of Cambria and Somerset County.
“After some discussion, we decided we wanted to raise awareness and funds for the . . . shelter and the vital, important work they do,” Logsdon said.
“The work they do for those who are rebuilding their lives after going through domestic violence is vital and of the utmost importance. We want to raise funds for them so they can continue to provide shelter and assistance to those who need it most. This will be an amazing show with a cast of 50 people (including Broadway vets) for the same money it would cost to go see a movie and buy a container of popcorn.”
Susan Shahade, executive director of the Women’s Help Center, said that she is looking forward to the performance and using the funds to continue to help women who are in need.
“The (help center) is honored to be working with such talented individuals from the Broadway and the local area,” Shahade said. “(The Women’s Help Center) offers an array of around-the-clock services, all free and confidential, to those who are abused in the one place they should feel safe: their own homes. We are thrilled at the tremendous talent and the level of commitment of the cast, who are giving so freely of their time and expertise to help us help those in need. It’s going to be a fantastic show.”
Tickets for “Give My Regards” are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.EventBrite.com or by calling 814-536-5361.
“There is something for everyone and it’s a family-friendly show that should appeal to theater lovers of all ages,” Logsdon said. “Our youngest cast member is an amazing just-turned-6-year-old, and we have performers of all ages who will get their chance to shine as we raise money for this vitally important cause.”