The shooting on December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT left Americans broken hearted and searching for ways to help the first responders, survivors and victims’ families heal. On Saturday, January 19, at 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday, January 20, at 5:30 p.m , at The Ridgefield Playhouse there is a special opportunity to help heal our hearts by joining together, honoring the victims, benefiting the survivors, and letting music bring us hope. At these Concerts for Hope and Healing, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a memorial park to honor the victims as well as help the survivors and first responders cope with a fund for ongoing psychological trauma assistance.
Kicking Daisies (contributed photo)
More than 20 well-known performers are contributing to this cause by singing, reading poems, and speaking during these two concerts. On Saturday, January 19th, concert goers will be inspired by the words and melodies of singer songwriter Edie Brickell, ball player and musician Bernie Williams, who will be performing with the Gil Paris Quartet and world renowned saxophonist Bill Evans, Disney channel sensations Kicking Daises, Broadway stars Andrea Frierson from Once on This Island, and from Rent, Karmine Alers, Jazz musician Russ Kassoff as well as local bands such as Carly and Eliza, Bobby Paltauf, Juicy Grapes, Destination Unknown, and the Ridgefield Chorale. On Sunday, January 20th, the different but equally exciting lineup includes Johnny Winter and his band, Southside Johnny, Paul Shaffer, Ed Kowalcyzk from the band “Live,” April Kry & Steve Gasper singing “The Reason,” Gary Portnoy, Steve Clarke Trio, Whiskey Preacher, Chris Berardo & The DesBerardos, Wagon Wheel Band, Kathy Thomspon Band, and Stamford High School Madrigals. Additionally, Dick Allen II, Poet Laureate for the state of Connecticut, will read one of his poems, “A Cautionary” on both nights.
Andrea Frierson (contributed photo)
The Hope and Healing concerts are produced in association with Mark Krantz productions, well known for many of his television productions, and are sponsored by Cultec, Inc. and Deloitte with media sponsors WPLR, The Fox, i95 The Home of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Star 99.9 and CTBoom.com.
Allison Stockel, Executive Director of The Ridgefield Playhouse, explained the use of the concert proceeds: “A portion of the money is going toward Parks and Rec of Newtown for a memorial park which will include a carousel. All of the rest of the money raised from our two concerts will be used to fund ongoing psychological trauma support for first responders as well as survivors and their families so that they can always access it should they need it. These were very young children who saw horrific images that most likely will come back to haunt them- it may not be until 10 years from now, but we want to make sure the support will be there for them whenever they need it. The same applies to first responders who may not be able to rely on any employment compensation to treat this type of trauma. These people walked into a nightmare that they weren't expecting. It’s going to take its toll. There is no better way to heal than through music and dialogue.” Westport Family Counseling has been a resource to The Ridgefield Playhouse in determining where the concert proceeds will do the greatest good. This organization is offering free trauma intervention for those affected by the Newtown School tragedy. Representatives will be on hand at each of the Playhouse concerts. They may be reached at 203-227-4555 or at www.westportfamilycounseling.org.
For tickets ($45 balcony, mezz. & orches., $75 Gold Circle), call the box office at (203) 438-5795, or order online at ridgefieldplayhouse.org. The Ridgefield Playhouse is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 80 East Ridge, parallel to Main Street, Ridgefield, CT.