The Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District will host its second annual benefit concert, “Grab Your Seat: Icons & Idols,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Richards Center for the Arts. The musical tribute to Janis Joplin, Freddie Mercury, George Michael and Prince will be presented by Michael Childers with Frank Goldstin. Proceeds will benefit the “Grab Your Seat” capital-fundraising campaign for arts education in the district.
Tickets range from $75 to $125 and may be purchased by calling (760) 416-8455 or online at grabyourseat.net.
The concert celebrates four musical legends that influenced the worldwide music scene in a new production created by Childers with Goldstin. Event ambassadors include Doug Donenfeld, Debbie Green, Barbara Keller, Terri Ketover, Ann Sheffer and Tom Truhe.
Mary Bridget Davies, a Tony Award-nominated singer, performs as Janis Joplin. She was asked to sit in with Joplin’s original band with whom she later toured. Her travels have taken her around the world including a two-year pre-Broadway run with “A Night with Janis Joplin.” She received her Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical when the show debuted on Broadway in 2013.
Von Smith, a singer/songwriter/actor who garnered more than 20 million views on YouTube while with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, will perform as Freddie Mercury. Smith opened for Lady Gaga on her Australia tour, and he has performed on many national television show stages. Von Smith. (Photo: Submitted)
Jake Simpson, who twice won top honors on “Star Search,” will perform as George Michael. With a powerful high tenor voice and three-octave range, Simpson has recorded, written and performed with a multitude of artists including Desmond Child and “American Idol” finalists David Archuleta, Syesha Mercado and Adam Lambert.
Rogelio Douglas Jr., starring as Prince, has performed with the New York City Opera and was the lead tap dancer at the Black Orchid in Chicago.
He has opened for Tito Puente and Jennifer Holiday and has traveled throughout Western Europe and Asia as lead tap dancer in “Riverdance.” He also has performed in the musical “The Heights” on Broadway.
The “Grab Your Seat” commemorative naming initiative campaign provides members of the public with the opportunity to name a theater seat, gallery space or other building amenity in their or their loved one’s honor, designated by a commemorative plaque, nameplate and custom lettering. For more information about seat and amenity-naming, contact foundation director Ellen Goodman at (760) 416-8455 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joan Boiko is the coordinator of communications and community outreach for the Palm Springs Unified School District. She can be reached at email@example.com or (760) 416-6010.