On Sept. 15, a group of talented musical entertainers with local roots will have the chance to support a teacher, mentor and friend who has contributed greatly to their performing arts success.
They will perform at a benefit showcase to raise funds to help music teacher and Irvine resident Marianna Giordano while she is receiving treatment at City of Hope in Los Angeles to recuperate from breast cancer surgery and a bone marrow transplant needed to fight Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a precursor to leukemia.
“Sing for Marianna!” will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School Performing Arts Center, 31641 La Novia, San Juan Capistrano.
Headlining “Sing for Marianna!” will be well-known Richard Kinsey, who starred as Inspector Javert in Les Miserables on Broadway, with over 2000 performances in this role. Richard is a colleague of Marianna’s and is on faculty at Orange County School of the Arts.
Highly-respected Rob Woyshner, the principal pianist at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, will be the pianist at the Showcase. Rob is also the Musical Director for the Orange County Opera which performs more than 200 performances annually.
Protégés of Marianna you can see performing at the Showcase Sunday:
-- Amy Bloom, a headliner with Norwegian Cruise Lines, started studying with Marianna at the age of 12, went on to attend OCHSA, and then studied theater and jazz in college. Amy grew up in Corona del Mar. “Marianna found a voice in me that I never knew I had. I owe every single note I sing to her.”
-- Daniel May who grew up in Los Alamitos and recently starred in Thoroughly Modern Millie andFlower Drum Song Revived on Broadway will be performing. “This one’s for you, Marianna!” he said.
-- Alexis Henderson is a graduate of the UC Irvine Theater Department, and was with several Broadway tours. She grew up in Irvine. She’s also starred in many roles with the local theatre companies.
-- Katie Yaru has been studying with Marianna for 11 years; she is a theatre major at USC. Katie grew up in Newport Beach and says “Marianna has been a great support to me through the years – she is like ‘family’ to me!”
-- Local Coto de Caza resident, Pamela Wheeler, will also be performing at “Sing for Marianna!” Wheeler has been studying with Giordano for several years and performs with a group called Classic Touch at venues throughout Southern California.
“Marianna is one of the best private, independent music teachers I have worked with,” said California Music Studios President Jennifer Paterson. “She is, without a doubt, the single best teacher if you measure the musical and performing successes of her students.” Nearly 20 of Giordano’s former students have gone on to Broadway and Broadway national tours, including Krysta Rodriguez, who has appeared on television and in numerous Broadway shows, including “First Date,” which is currently running.
Current and past students and their families, friends and others will be on hand to show their support. The public is invited. All tickets are reserved and can be purchased by emailing SingForMarianna@gmail.com or by calling 949-241-4007.