ACS telethon stars offer 'thanks'
Though the annual American Cancer Society Telethon is over five months away, some of the most popular performers from the local television event are set to perform two different live shows as a musical thanks to viewers and donors.
Telethon chairman Joe Krushinsky says performers will take the stage of the Tamaqua Community Arts Center on Saturday, Nov. 23 for a matinee and an evening show with different talent lineups, but a single theme.
"We want to come out at Thanksgiving time and meet the people who watch and support the telethon every year," said Krushinsky. "We are putting together two very intimate shows as a musical thanks to everyone as we get ready for our 35th Annual Telethon in 2014."
The afternoon matinee will offer more solo vocal performances and ballads, while the evening jam program will incorporate more folk and contemporary music.
Local performers familiar to telethon viewers will present performances in gratitude for the community's support throughout the year.
Both concerts are open to the public, with a suggested donation per person at the door. Everyone is encouraged to consider attending both programs.
The matinee show, "A Musical Thanks from the Stars of the Cancer Telethon," will take place at 3 p.m.
The show will bring together performers associated with the musical celebration at the end of each year's telethon. They will perform favorites from the TV show, welcome some special guests, and join together in a special seasonal finale. Performers include:
Danny Farole, a one-of-a-kind troubadour who performed on the very first telethon in 1980, and all but one year since then, when he was hospitalized. Now 81, Farole remains a favorite with his renditions of "Tony the Ice Man," "God Bless America," and "You Are My Sunshine."
Fred Douglas, has a rich deep voice and a powerful emotional vocal style that recalls the sound of Lou Rawls. The energy and charisma that has served him well on stages around the country helps motivate donations to ACS.
Angela Nardini delivers musical standards and familiar hits from some of the most popular female performers in music. The magic in Angela's performance is the signature passion in her singing that moves audiences every time.
Jay Smar is one of just a handful of performers who appeared on the first telethon and are still a regular part of the annual program. Jay is a primary performer in the evening concert, and has also agreed to make a special guest appearance in the matinee show. Jay paints musical portraits of our regional traditions and heritage.
Joe Krushinsky, host of the telethon, is occasionally known to sneak in an Elvis tune or two. Joe was a successful competitor in the 2012 "Elvis Invitationals" competition at Seattle's Experience Music Project Museum. Don't expect a jumpsuit, but count on at least a few Elvis hits in this show.
Additional performers will be scheduled for the matinee, and will gather on stage at the end of the show to deliver an early musical Christmas greeting.
The evening show will begin at 7:30 p.m. and feature "A Thank You Jam with the Stars of Cancer Telethon."
Any one of the performers scheduled for this performance could do a crowd-pleasing solo concert. Put them together in the same jam, and it truly becomes something you won't want to miss. The line-up, in addition to Smar, Nardini and Douglas, includes:
Pat and Shane McGeehan. Pat is the Summit Hill bluegrass musician who performed on the first telethon at Tamaqua High School, and has remained with the program for over three decades. A cancer survivor, which has only redoubled his commitment to the cause, his tradition of performing now extends to a new generation as son Shane joins him on the stage.
Cody Sassaman possesses a musical style related closely to a rockin' John Mayer song, a powerful blues rock, or a soft melodic ballad. Cody is a tireless performer on behalf of American Cancer Society, appearing at more events per year to benefit the telethon than any other performer.
Refreshments will be available. Volunteers will have information about how to become involved with the telethon.