Let's say you're a senior in high school and you have to do a senior project. Here's an idea: Why not produce and direct a one-night production of the Who's rock opera Tommy, utilizing a mix of Broadway and local talent, and then make it a benefit to raise $10,000 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA)?
Sounds more like a career than a project, but that is what Miles Sternfeld, graduating senior at Orange High School, is doing this summer. And that benefit performance is scheduled for Monday, July 29, at the Tri-C East Performing Arts Center in Highland Hills.
Miles Sternfeld is the son of former corporate CEO and freelance drummer Rob Sternfeld and nephew of local stage directing guru Fred Sternfeld. Miles has acted and performed in many youth productions here and has recently made a couple trips to New York City to cast and rehearse parts of Tommy.
Four Broadway guest artists are performing, including Nick Blaemire as Tommy. Blaemire has appeared on Broadway in Godspell and other shows, and is joined by other Broadway performers Michael Berry (Next to Normal), Jodie Langel (Les Miserables) and Adrienne Warren (Bring it On, the Musical).
Local actors in the cast include Greg Violand, who just starred in South Pacific at Porthouse Theatre, along with Gilgamesh Taggett, Todd Hancock and Patty Lohr, who has performed on national tours and was Kate Monster in Avenue Q last year at Cain Park. The strong cast will be supported by an eight-piece band.
This production is fully supported by BC/EFA, and they have donated numerous collectible items that will be raffled off before the show and at intermission. The mission of BC/EFA is to mobilize the unique abilities within the entertainment industry to mitigate the suffering of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.
If you want to support this worthy event and see a great show in the process, here's how to get involved with Miles Sternfeld's remarkable senior project:
Go to www.tommybenefit.com and order tickets for either $30 or $40. Then, if you wish, you can purchase a $25 VIP Pass that will entitle you to a private post-show reception with hors d'oeuvres, wine and the opportunity to meet and mingle with the cast.