RTC Children's Chorus Entertains At AFHC
Each year, the Addabbo Family Health Center provides a special holiday treat for its youngest patients and their parents, by throwing an annual holiday bash at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Rockaway. Guests are treated to a wonderful holiday meal and a special visit from Santa, but many of the youngsters seem to look forward to the show most of all. For the past few years, members of the Rockaway Theatre Company have delighted guests with traditional Christmas music and a special performance by youngsters of the RTC Children's Theatre Workshop.
On Thursday evening, December 13, a troupe of entertainers from The Rockaway Theatre Company braved the icy conditions to put holiday smiles on the faces of the children, many of whom, due to chronic illness, do not smile as often as they should. At this year's event, RTC Artistic Director John Gilleece acted as Emcee. Members of the RTC Children's Chorus appeared as toy soldiers, elves, and reindeer. The wonderful Christmas costumes were designed and constructed by RTC's amazing costumier, Peggy Vivino. Of course, no RTC Christmas performance is ever complete without an appearance by Frosty the Snowman himself, who danced and merrily interacted with audience members throughout the show.
The performance began with a special two-part rendition of "Jingle Bells" by members of the Children's Chorus ,led by Choral Director, Jodee Timpone, who then performed a beautiful rendition of "I'll Be Home for Christmas". Another highlight of the show was the performance of lively holiday favorites, "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Jingle Bell Rock" by two wonderful veteran RTC vocalists, Cathy Murfitt and Nicole Mangano. RTC Children's chorus members, Tara and Hannah Cummins, Cara, Nina and Mia Melchior, Nicolas and Taylor Tsatsis, Peter Ebert, Kimberly Omezi, Siobhan Brandman, Kate Calciano, Catherine Muldoon, Jessica Caiazzo, and Mackenzie Thompson took the stage for a great sing-along medley consisting of "Frosty the Snowman", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Feliz Navidad" after which Timpone, Murfitt and Magnano displayed their considerable vocal talent in a beautifully harmonic rendition of "Winter Wonderland" For the big finale, the Emcee divided the audience into twelve parts. The performers also broke up into teams and went out to lead and cheer on each group, so that each of the twelve days would be clearer and more spirited than the one before. It was obvious from the reaction of both children and adults that this number,"The Twelve Days of Christmas", an RTC holiday show tradition, has certainly become a big favorite with audiences at the Addabbo Family Health Center Holiday parties.
The Health Center staff is extremely grateful to the Rockaway Theatre Company for bringing their Christmas magic each year and making the holiday party so special for the children. Peggy Vivino, along with her husband, Sam, (aka Frosty), has been the main organizer of this event from the start, and says that no thanks are necessary. "It's what we do... We provide entertainment to members of the Rockaway community who do not often have an opportunity to experience live theatre. Our youngsters get as much pleasure out of it as the audience does." Vivano would like to thank all the parents who brought their children out on a cold, icy night so that they could perform. Speaking on behalf of everyone at the Rockaway Theatre Company, John Gilleece extended sincerest wishes for a happy, healthy holiday.