The ALS Association Greater San Diego Chapter
Striking A Chord - A Benefit Concert
MEGAN SPECTOR - 12-year old Megan was born to be on stage and has performed in a variety of theatre roles since she was 5 years old. Some of her favorite theatre credits include: Fiddler on the Roof and Annie (Moonlight Stage Productions), Peter Pan (San Diego Junior Theatre), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and The King and I (J*Company), Snoopy! The Musical and Annie (Pickwick Players), Evita (PaccoArts) and The Wizard of Oz (National Tour - San Diego).
Megan’s most important role is the one she is in right now, as the driving force behind the Striking A Chord Benefit Concert. Megan's love for her Aunt Marjie, who has ALS (more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), is the inspiration for the charity benefit concert with all proceeds going to the ALS Association of San Diego.
JASON CHASE (Musical Director) - Jason has worked internationally as Musical Director/Conductor for numerous productions including Phantom of the Opera, The King & I - starring Stephanie Powers; Jesus Christ Superstar - Starring Ted Neeley; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - starring Patrick Cassidy & American Idol‘s Amy Adams and Ragtime - starring Quentin Darrington & Kenita Miller.
PAT LAUNER (Mistress of Ceremonies) - Pat is an Emmy Award-winning theater critic and arts writer. For her work on TV, radio, online and in various print outlets, she has been honored with numerous writing awards, as well as a National Commendation from American Women in Radio and Television. She holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, and during her two decades teaching at San Diego State University, she was named Most Influential Faculty eight times. Pat is the creator of the Patté Awards for Theater Excellence, and Sign of the Times, The San Diego Theatre of the Deaf. The Women’s International Center has named her a “Living Legacy.”
CHARLOTTE BAILEY - Charlotte is a student at Whittier College studying history and music. She is an active participant in the theatre department at Whittier College and has received Irene Ryan Scholarship nominations for her roles as the title character in Hedda Gabler and Kate Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer. She made her professional debut last year a member of Enceladus Theatre Company. Charlotte has studied voice and dance for many years and now has the privilege of choreographing and directing children's theatre in the San Diego area. Charlotte sings in Striking A Chord for her godmother Cathleen who has always shown strength and courage in her fight against ALS.
LINDSEY GRANT - Lindsey is a senior at Canyon Crest Academy. For the past several years she has performed for The J*Company in La Jolla, where her credits include Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Eve in Children of Eden, Muzzy in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Melpomene in Xanadu, just to name a few. She is also thrilled to be performing the role of Rose in J*Company's March 2013 production of Gypsy. Lindsey lives in Encinitas with her parents Hal and Judy and her sister Rachel. She is excited to be a part of such an important Benefit Concert.
SUSAN HUNIU - Susan, a New England native, holds a Bachelor of Music Education and has been teaching her craft on both coasts for the past 10 years. She has music directed numerous Youth Theatre productions in San Diego and currently has her
TALIA ISRAEL - Talia is a 13 year old middle school student. She has been acting, singing, and dancing since the age of five. Talia has been in 15 musical productions in various children's theatre groups. She plays the guitar and studies dance; her primary love is singing. Talia is passionate about helping people in need and has helped raise money for Seacrest Village Retirement Communities and the Muscular Dystrophy Association through numerous projects. Talia is honored to take part in the Striking A Chord Benefit Concert for ALS.
PHIL JOHNSON - Phil performed on Broadway in Les Miserables, in the Canadian production of Sunset Boulevard, and toured with Les Miz and the 1st National Company of Miss Saigon.
A comedian, actor and singer, he has appeared with his original solo plays in L.A., Chicago, and in San Diego - Say Cheese (Backstage West Critic's Pick LA), True Lounge (musical Cabaret), Performance Anxiety, Act of Folly, & Needless People. Also original comedies: Nemesis (written & performed w/Mike Sears) and sketch show Travis & Phil in Shorts (w/Travis Sentell), which were both selected 'Best of the San Diego Actors Festival'.
Phil debuted on ABC/TV w/'Tales from the Underbelly'. Stage work regionally includes: Putnam County Spelling Bee, Don't Dress for Dinner, Leading Ladies, & Pageant at North Coast Rep. (San Diego); How the Grinch Stole Christmas at the Old Globe Theatre; The New Century & Reverse Psychology at Diversionary Theatre; A Christmas Carol at San Diego Rep; American Rhythm at Lamb's Players & the Lyceum; Forever Plaid at the Theatre in Old Town; True West & Lounge Stories/Say Cheese at Sledgehammer Theatre; Wind in the Willows at South Coast Rep; Importance of Being Earnest with Vantage Theatre...in Los Angeles: Possible Worlds at the Strasberg Institute, and Neo A La Carte with Theatre Neo. He directed and wrote a play entitled 'My Nights with George, Kurt and Cole' in the San Diego Actor's Festival (Best New Play Award), and also 'Under the Chuppah' for the San Diego Jewish community.
Phil performs an original sketch comedy show called 'Casa del Haha' at Tango del Rey and North Coast Rep in San Diego, and was a member in the Bravo sketch comedy company at Acme Comedy Theatre in Hollywood. With his family, Phil developed, ran, headlined at a popular Chicago nightclub/cabaret called 'Boombala', and was a Fellow at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Cabaret Symposium. He has recorded a CD entitled 'SmartAleck'.
He has done extensive comedy, stand-up, and hosting work for audiences and corporate functions, as well as coaching and lectures on comedy, speech & stage performance.
JOEY LANDWEHR - Joey is the proud Artistic Director for J*Company Youth Theatre. Winning over 40 awards for his work with young artists in San Diego; including a special creativity award for shaving his head with his lead in THE KING AND I, Yul Brynner style, gaining over $10,000.00 for Rady Children's Hospital, Cancer Unit. Earning him the title Joey "Do Anything For The Arts" Landwehr. He moved to San Diego after being a professional actor and director in New York City workin on and off Broadway, national tours, regional theatre and directing and soloing at Carnegie Hall. Joey received his MFA in acting and directing from The Ohio State University and has studied under such instructors as Betty Buckley, Marcel Marceay, Francis Sternhagen, F. Murry Abraham, Twila Tharpe and has had the great privilege of working with such greats as Phyllis Diller, Sam Harris, Harvey Fierstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Victoria Mallory, Joel Grey, Kate Ballard, Michael Feinstein, Betty Buckley, Patti LuPone and the late, great Howard Keel. Joey has worked in all medias of entertainment and is a proud member of the Actors' Equity Association (AEA), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the Director's Guild of America (DGA), the Actors Alliance of San Diego (AASD), and Americans for the Arts (AFTA). Since moving to San Diego Joey worked for the San Diego Performing Arts League as Membership and Community Development Director; in 2007 he received the "40 under 40" Award from San Diego Metropolitan Magazine for outstanding leadership in the arts. Joey was also honored as the 2011 Newsmaker in the Arts. In San Diego, Joey has worked with Scripps Ranch Theatre, Diversionary Theatre, the San Diego Shakespeare Society, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe, San Diego REP, Lipinsky Family Jewish Arts Festival, San Diego Junior Theatre, San Diego Symphony, Orchestra Nova San Diego and the Actors Alliance Festival winning five different excellence awards. At J*Company he has had the privilege of directing RUMPELSTILTSKIN IS MY NAME, OLIVER!, YOURS, ANNE, DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, THE STORY OF HANSEL AND GRETEL, DISNEY'S THE JUNGLE BOOK, ELTON JOHN AND TIM RICE'S AIDA and DISNEY'S 101 DALMATIONS, POCAHONTAS (San Diego Premiere), INTO THE WOODS, FIREFLIES: THE STORY OF THE ARTISTS OF TEREZIN - FEATURING THE ORIGINAL CHILDREN'S OPERA BRUNDIBAR (World Premiere). RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S SOUTH PACIFIC, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S THE KING AND I, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S THE SOUND OF MUSIC & RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S CINDERELLA, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, 13 - A NEW MUSICAL, CHILDREN OF EDEN, DISNEY'S MULAN, **THE WHO'S TOMMY, **THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, **XANADU, FUNNY GIRL, YENTL (World Premiere), GYPSY - A MUSICAL FABLE & HELLO, DOLLY.
GABRIELA LIPSON - Gabriela is a sophomore and a member of the vocal conservatory at Canyon Crest Academy. She has been performing in musicals since the age of nine. Her favorite roles from past performances include Lady Thiang in the King and I, Mama Noah in Children of Eden, Spirit of Mother Earth in Pocahontas (J*Company), and Drowsy in The Drowsy Chaperone (Camp Broadway JC). Gabriela has also performed on several stages such as The Old Globe Theatre, New Village Arts, Starlight Theatre, and the Balboa theatre with various performing groups including J*Company's On the Town, Leigh Scarritt Productions, and New Village Art's Junior Ensemble. Gabriela is also a musical therapy intern in Resounding Joy's Jr. Joy Givers program and a member of J*Company's charitable outreach group Artists Taking Action. Gabriela would like to thank Jason Chase, Megan, and her family for inviting her to help support such an important cause.
REBECCA PENNER - No bio available at this time
RAYME SCIARONI - Composer, Lyricist, Author, Director ~ Rayme wears several hats, often at the same time!
Composer of "The Gym" which had several prestigious workshops in New York City and was recently produced in Nashville, TN. Composer/Lyricist for "Corporate Circus" and "The Daddy Machine" made their world premieres in San Diego. He now continues to write and arrange pieces for cabaret shows and singers. Now living in San Diego, he just completed an inspirational fictional novel entitled, "Dinner for God" that includes five of his original songs that are integrated into the story. (www.dinnerforgod.com)
Other projects include 2 piano solos CD's, "A Quiet Kind of Christmas" and "Paisley Piano". (www.raymemusic.com)
JOSH SHTEIN - Josh is an 11th grader at High Tech High International. Josh has been involved in musical theatre for 10 years and recently received a National Youth Arts Award for Outstanding Male Lead Actor as William Barfee in CYC's The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other notable credits include Artful Dodger (Oliver), Mowgli (Jungle Book), Cousin Kevin (Tommy), The Pap/King (Big River), Nick Arnstein (Funny Girl), and originated the role of Marcus Jones in Patio Playhouse's In Our Home and Daniel in San Diego Repertory Theatre's, Blessings of a Broken Heart. In his free time, he enjoys playing rugby for his school, writing music, and watching tons of sports. Josh is excited to have been given the opportunity to perform and give back like this!
DEBORAH SILVER - Deborah is proud to be on stage with her favorite niece, Megan!
Her talents as vocalist and actress have graced the stages of theater, television and film. Some of her highlights include the honor of touring with the Bob Hope USO Troupe, playing the prominent role of Diana Morales in "A Chorus Line" and singing for years for the Walt Disney Company. She has performed on cruise ships, hosted "It's Showtime" for the Showtime Network, and her many television appearances include "The Young and the Restless" and "Santa Barbara".
Most recently she performed her one woman show at the Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Florida and was the headliner at the Pawleys Island Music Festival in South Carolina. She dedicates this performance to her sister, Marjie, and all of the special people in this world living with ALS.
SAMANTHA TULLIE - Samantha is a 14-year old freshman at Canyon Crest Academy. She has been singing and performing in musical theatre since the age of 10. Samantha is currently studying voice with Roy Mote, and is a member of his group The Gentry Singers. She has many favorite theatre roles, including, Hodel in J*Company's Fiddler on the Roof, Mrs. Walker in J*Company's porduction of The Who's Tommy, and Janet Van De Graaff, in Broadway Jaycee's The Drowsy Chaperone. This spring, Samantha will play the Nurse in San Diego Junior Theatre's production of Romeo and Juliet. She is proud to be part of this wonderful charity event to benefit ALS.