‘Loverly Afternoon’ concert to raise money for local homeless families

Performers from some of the Strip’s biggest production shows will bring their talents together on one stage to raise money for local homeless families.

The two-act concert, "A Loverly Afternoon of Lerner and Loewe," will take place Saturday and Sunday in the Nicholas J. Horn Theatre on the campus of the College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave.

It will feature numbers from the Broadway musicals of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, including "My Fair Lady," "Brigadoon," "Camelot," "Gigi" and "Paint Your Wagon."

"Their work is well-known and well-loved," says producer Michael Piontek, who played Harry in "Mamma Mia!" during its run at Mandalay Bay. "People respond well to their music."

Half of the proceeds from the event will benefit Family Promise of Las Vegas, a nonprofit organization that assists homeless families in the valley by providing them with short-term housing in local churches and synagogues. It does not promote religion. The other half will go to the theater’s programs.

A network of about 30 churches and synagogues takes one-week shifts hosting the families. It’s a small nonprofit, says volunteer Bruce Ewing, a cast member of "Phantom — The Las Vegas Spectacular" at The Venetian. Ewing has worked with Family Promise for several years and has watched it expand from serving only four families to the current eight. Eventually, the program hopes to be able to shelter 12 families, Ewing says.

The recession has strained its resources, Ewing says, so the money raised from the concert will provide a welcome boost. The organization relies heavily on volunteers and donations.

"We’re holding on but just barely," Ewing says. "The need is so big right now, it’s pretty frightening. We don’t get much assistance from grants, but people are generous. These fundraisers have been very helpful for us. We also call it a ‘friendraiser,’ because every time we do one of these, we meet people who want to volunteer or help out."

Performers from "Phantom" and "Jubliee!" will be joined by Warren Hays, an original cast member of "Camelot."

Each cast member will have a solo, duet or moment in a piece, Piontek says. All will have to hold their music books, as there was too much material to memorize during their two-week rehearsal period. They also will be accompanied by a pianist and a stand-up bass.

"We’re going to be doing this acoustically with not much amplification," Piontek says. "We’ve got very good singers. People are used to an electronic sound, but it’s quite different when you experience something acoustically."

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@ reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564.

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