2005-07-29 / Columnists

Notes from the High C’s

Rockaway Music and Arts Council
by Sharon Gabriel

Modern conveniences such as computers with e-mail, online and all the other bells and whistles, fax machines and cell phones have brought us into the 21st Century with great speed. However, there is much to be said for the slower pace where things could not get lost in cyberspace, which is what happened to part of my column last week. Once in cyberspace, forget it, you will never recover your material, it will be lost forever.

In speaking about one of the performers at our “Search For The Stars” concert this past Sunday, I mentioned that I would later have some comments about The Rockaway Theatre Company and those were the remarks that were lost. So here they are.

“I was at an RTC performance of “MY FAIR LADY” and what a performance it was. The old joke about the Broadway critic who had nothing nice to say after an opening night performance, said that the scenery was beautiful, but nothing about the performance. Well, the scenery at the RTC production of “MY FAIR LADY” was beautiful but it was secondary to the performances.

Every single member of the large ensemble was great. Max Roll who played Henry Higgins could have been an understudy for Rex Harrison, he was that good in the role.

A handsome young man with just the right inflections in his voice and then I found out he actually comes from England. Nancy Kelly-Sturges as Eliza is perfect with a wonderful voice and great poise as the polished Eliza and her costumes were beautiful.

In fact, I remember her white and black gown from the original Broadway play.

When I asked about it I was told it was the original. Of course, all of her outfits were gorgeous as is she. Robert Fahn from last year’s production of “The King And I” was perfect as Colonel Pickering, Henry Higgins friend and of course, the incomparable John Gilleece as Eliza’s father, stole the show.” So there you have it, the lost in cyberspace review.

The RMAC Concert this past Sunday was called “Search For The Stars” and was our rendition of American Idol. Let me tell you, you would not have seen or heard better performers if you were watching that show.

Each one of the twelve people that appeared received great rounds of applause and I only wish they could have sung more songs than they did. Our judges had a very hard time trying to pick the three finalists, they said they just couldn’t do it and would have to have more than three so that they would have more of a choice.

After great deliberations, four were chosen and they were Mary Eileen Kiernan of Breezy Point, who captivated the judges with her poise and presentation for such a young person. The second finalist was Wendy Garfield, a soprano, then came Milagros Cruz, also a soprano and Luba Rose, a soprano from the Ukraine.

Each of these four ladies were magnificent and it was very hard to choose. However, the winner was Luba Rose and she was very gracious and very appreciative of all the applause and of course her prize of one thousand dollars from the RMAC.

There had to be three to four hundred at Ft. Tilden for this concert and I know every one of them was thrilled with the show. Watch for the second edition of this show next year.

There were slight glitches here and there because our stage would not open and so we had to obtain a portable stage to use.

Hopefully by the concert next week, things will be back to normal. That will be on Sunday August 7 when the great Dean Karahalis and the Long Island Pops Orchestra will be performing. The “Pops” has the most magnificent sound and Dean Karahalis is one bundle of energy when he conducts. You must come and see him.

Invitations have been sent out for our 50 th Anniversary Gala at the Brooklyn Museum on Saturday evening, September 10. We hope you will join for the evening and help celebrate our 50 years.

If you would like to receive an invitation please contact me at 718-474-8353.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception followed by a sit-down dinner. There will be music, raffles and a special docent-led art tour. The dinner will be in the Beaux Arts Gallery, which is a spectacular room. We look forward to seeing everyone.

Keep the dates of September 17 and 18 for our RMAC Fall Festival at Riis Park.

See you at the concert.

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