Don’t pretend you haven’t noticed – the winds are shifting. There are pumpkin flavored things everywhere. You’ve even been forced to unearth your sweater collection from the back of your closet. The holidays are coming, and with them so is the promise of amazing performances in the DC Area.
However, the holidays are a time of great uncertainty for families struggling with food insecurity. Organizations like Loudoun Interfaith Relief are working around the clock to assist families in the Northern Virginia area, but they can’t do it alone. Now the theater community is finding a way to step up to help.
The musical theater review show Journeys will debut This Saturday on October 4h at the Waddell Theater in Sterling, VA with proceeds going to help the efforts of Loudoun Interfaith Relief. The show will feature performers from all over the DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia area, and boasts an impressive repertoire of contemporary musical theater songs – Urinetown to Wicked to A New Brain.
Traci Medlock, a well-known photographer and journalist with a long-time passion for musical theater, started planning the show this past spring.
“The idea for the concert came from my desire to get involved in the theater scene again, and give back to the community,” said Medlock.
She at once enlisted the help of long-time friend Tara Leigh Willis, who has been singing since childhood. Willis, who performed in Bare as Ivy and Closer as Alice Aryes at Waddell, said that the theater was the first one they reached out to for hosting this first-time event.
“Waddell is a place where Traci and I have had very positive experiences with the crew, and with everyone working there, and when she inquired if we could use the venue, they were gracious enough to donate it in support of the charity,” said Willis.
The entire community pitched in to help the cause. “This project wouldn’t be possible without help from the Loudoun Honors Club and the faculty and staff of NOVA,” said Medlock. “Their assistance in securing the venue and providing crew and tech has been invaluable in the planning process.”
They decided on the “Journeys” theme to create an emotional and impacting arc throughout the performance.
“When Tara and I were mulling over the show, we wanted the theme to be accessible to every audience member,” said Medlock. “These songs reflect journeys of every kind – journeys that are unexpected, emotional and physical journeys, journeys that you on with friends and journeys where you learn to stand on your own ground.”
The concert will feature performers of different ages and backgrounds, including Scott Harrison, who is active in the theater community and is about to make his Arena Stage debut as Mendel in Fiddler on the Roof, and Megan Hubbell, a high school senior who has been singing and performing from a young age.
“I’m a little concerned about what Traci thinks of me – I get to play a jerk in several songs,” quipped Harrison, who will be singing Dancing Through Life from Wicked and Therapy from tick, tick, BOOM! among other numbers. “I love collaborating with new people, I love singing, I love being able to give back – it’s a really worthy cause.”
Hubbell, an avid volleyball player, is especially excited to participate as she is auditioning for musical theater college programs this upcoming winter. Among the songs she will perform is Disneyland from the musical Smile.
“Whenever I sing it, I think of my sister – she’s always gone now because she lives in New York, and I see Disneyland as her place, her world, where she wants to go,” said Hubbell.
The show will feature local performers Brent Stone, Heather Konovalov, Scott Harrison, Tara Leigh Willis, Russell Silber, Emma Lord, Alex Stone, and Megan Hubbell, with Traci Medlock on piano. It will be the first performance of its kind, but hopefully not the last.
“We’re hoping this is the start of an annual tradition, where we can have great nights of musical theater toward a meaningful event and charity that will benefit our community,” said Willis.
Journeys is set to perform This Saturday, October 4, 2014, at 8 PM in the Waddell Theatre at Northern Virginia Community College – 1000 Harry Flood Byrd Highway, in Sterling, VA, 20164-8699.
The suggested donation is $10, and audience members are encouraged to bring canned and non-perishable goods (for a list of suggestions, see LIR’s site here).
For more information, check out the Facebook event here.