Jeff Leibow launched his NF Hope Concert in 2012 at Las Vegas Hilton, when he was still a cast member of “Jersey Boys.” Times have changed, to put it mildly. That hotel brand and stage show no longer exist, but the need for support to fight Neurofibromatosis remains.
So does Leibow’s will to fight the NF.
“I’m on a hamster wheel,” Leibow says. “That’s how life is.”
The next NF Hope Concert is 1 p.m. Sunday at Palazzo Theater. Set to perform are All-4-One, Human Nature, Finding Faith (the new side project of HN’s Andrew Tierney), Clint Holmes, MO5AIC, Jasmine Trias, Bronx Wanderers, the cast of “The Cocktail Cabaret,” Eva Della Pietra (from the musical “School of Rock”), Nicole Pryor (“Phantom of the Opera”) and the 55-member Las Vegas Academy Choir. (Tickets start at $49 and can be purchased at any box office at The Venetian or The Palazzo, online at nfhope.org or palazzo.com, or by calling 702-414-9000 or 866-641-7469.)
The great composer and musician Keith Thompson, with whom Leibow worked on “Jersey Boys,” is receiving the first Advocate of Hope Award for his work on previous NF Hope Concerts.
Once again, money raised goes toward the NF Hope Foundation. In short NF is a genetic disorder of the nervous system that causes tumors to form and grow on nerves anywhere in the body, at any time, without showing any pattern of development.
It is a progressive disorder that affects all races, ethnic groups and both genders equally. Emma Leibow, the 9-year-old daughter of Jeff and Melody Leibow, has fought NF since birth. The condition remains a mystery to the general public, but NF Hope Concert has achieved awareness nationwide with outpost shows in New York and Chicago.
The event has raised $625,000 just in Las Vegas.“By 2020, we hope to pass $1 million,” Leibow says.
Unique to Sunday’s event is the formal launch of a new Las Vegas act. Tierney’s Finding Faith performance is the first time Strip entertainment fans will see him in this duo with worship pastor Timothy Dunfield of Sin City Church of Las Vegas. The duo has a new self-titled album out, and a single, “There Is Love,” released in September.
Tierney has been writing songs away from Human Nature’s “Jukebox” stage show, filled with familiar Motown and rock ’n’ roll songs. He was further inspired after the Oct. 1 shootings on the Strip.
“I felt this outpouring of love, and saw that our city has a big heart like it never had before,” Tierney says. “I was looking at all this humanity, asking ‘How Can I Help?’ and it was inspiring.”
Tierney and Dunfield had hoped to debut the act at the 2017 NF Hope Concert. But it’s a great fit this weekend, or any weekend, on the Strip.