Broadway Performers Will Join Newtown-Area Students For Summer Season Promoting Healing and Strength

By Michael Gioia
14 Jul 2014

Marla Mindelle
Marla Mindelle

The 12.14 Foundation will present two shows for its summer season that incorporate 200 children from the Newtown area as a continuation of its mission to use the performing arts to promote healing and strength.

A ROCKIN' Midsummer Night's Dream, a world-premiere adaptation of the Shakespeare classic, will be performed Aug. 1 at 7 PM, Aug. 2 at 2 PM and 7 PM, Aug. 3 at 2 PM, Aug. 8 at 7 PM, Aug. 9 at 2 PM and 7 PM and Aug. 10 at 5 PM.

The musical is adapted by Michael Unger and Eric Svejcar with a score by Svejcar. Broadway stars Marla Mindelle (Cinderella, Sister Act), Clarke Thorell (Hairspray, Annie) and Saum Eskandani (Disaster!, A Year With Frog and Toad) will join the Newton students.

The Foundation also plans to produce and release a CD of the production with Broadway Records. The same production team that presented Seussical last year will return, including director Unger, music director Jeffrey Saver, associate music director Brett Boles and choreographer Jennifer Paulson Lee. Van Dean is co-producer, and Michael Baroody, MD (founder of the 12.14 Foundation) is the executive producer. Orchestrations are by Kim Scharnberg.



Approximately 20 Newtown students will be backstage apprentices to learn from the team of Broadway professionals, and the orchestra will include Newtown-area parents and students.

The regional premiere of The 101 Dalmatians Musical, featuring a story by Dodie Smith, a book by BT McNicholl and a score by Dennis DeYoung, will be offered Aug. 6 at 7 PM, Aug. 7 at 7 PM, Aug. 8 at 11 AM and Aug. 10 at noon.

The musical will be adapted specifically for Newtown by Unger and Dennis DeYoung. The production will star Kristine Zbornik (A Catered Affair, Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas) as Cruella and over 100 Newtown children (ages 4-13) as the Dalmatians. This production will be designed by Newtown High School students, under the supervision of Midsummer's team of professional designers.

Additional 12.14 Foundation events include Monday Night Movie Musicals (July 14, 21 and 28 at 7 PM), Dance Concert with local dancers and choreographers (July 30 at 7 PM) and Connecticut's Got Talent!, a talent contest open to all that will be judged by Krysta Rodriguez (Aug. 5 at 7 PM).

The 12.14 Foundation is a non-for-profit organization formed following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School to "encourage personal development through high-level performing arts programs. The Foundation provides experiences that produce a long-lasting, positive affect on the way children see themselves and the world around them."

Both productions will be performed at Newtown High School, located at 12 Berkshire Road in Newtown, CT. For more information, visit 1214Foundation.org.