“An Evening of Giving and Saving Lives” will feature Joan Baez, Frank Ferrante, Liliane Montevecchi in an extraordinary benefit for Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka
Teatro ZinZanni announces “An Evening of Giving and Saving Lives”, a unique one-night-only performance especially designed by Teatro ZinZanni to raise funds for J/P Haitian Relief Organization, co-founded by actor and humanitarian Sean Penn and philanthropist Diana Jenkins. Frank Ferrante, Liliane Montevecchi, Joan Baez, singer/songwriter Jerry Hannan, the sounds of Lakay & Mystic Man, and the legendary artists of Teatro ZinZanni will all appear in support of J/P HRO. An extraordinary highlight of the evening will be a slide show of Haiti prepared and personally presented by Sean Penn.
A unique Haitian relief organization, J/P HRO arose from Penn’s experience helping to rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and his strong network of emergency management and government contacts. Because of this experience, J/P HRO could mobilize quickly to take immediate action in Haiti. Work began only hours after the earthquake and the organization was able to be on the ground less than one week after the disaster – complete with medical supplies, a team of doctors, and food. The J/P HRO (Haitian Relief Organization) gets its name from the last names of its founders Sean Penn and Diana Jenkins.
The idea for An Evening of Giving and Saving Lives came initially from comedian Frank Ferrante, described by The New York Times as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material.” Wondering if he could do something more than a personal donation, Ferrante connected Penn with Teatro ZinZanni Founder Norm Langill and the idea for a benefit became reality. Norm Langill is an Emmy award-winning writer, playwright, director, producer, and stage and screen actor. Fiercely committed to the preservation of the circus and performing arts, Norm founded Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco and Seattle. Both non-profit companies are active in supporting many causes and committed to the betterment of their communities.
Over the past four decades, Joan Baez has given voice to the songs and sentiments of writers both anonymous and celebrated. She began her career as a teenager singing anew the ancient melodies of old Europe and new America; she became an adult singing the songs of her generation. She has earned numerous gold records and continues to raise the bar on the standards of contemporary folk music and its near first-cousins: pop, country, and rock. A favorite alumna of Teatro ZinZanni, she last appeared in the show on April 23rd for the 10th Anniversary Gala.
The legendary Liliane Montevecchi, who returns to the San Francisco spiegeltent after an absence of two years, is best known for her Tony Award-winning role in Tommy Tune’s Nine and Grand Hotel. Born in Paris, she joined Roland Petit Ballets as a prima ballerina at age 18 and later spent seven years under contract to MGM, appearing in movies opposite Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando and Fred Astaire. She has taken her own highly-acclaimed show On the Boulevard around the world, and played in prestigious cabaret venues including the Algonquin, the Russian Tea Room and Rainbow and Stars.
A regular at Teatro ZinZanni since 2001, Frank Ferrante originated the title role in Groucho: A Life in Revue written by Groucho’s son Arthur in New York, London and on PBS television. He earned New York’s Theatre World Award, a NY Outer Critics Circle nomination and London’s Laurence Olivier nomination for ‘Comedy Performance of the Year.’ He has been profiled on The Today Show, Regis, CNN, Entertainment Tonight, and the BBC and was a question on TV’s Jeopardy.
FRANK FARRANTE and LILIANE MONTEVECCHI
Lakay & Mystic Man is one of the most popular bands/artists in the world-music genre throughout the Bay Area. A native of Haiti, Mystic Man has been an established world musician in the Bay Area for about a decade and is one of the most well known Haitian musical artists on the West Coast.
San Francisco based singer/songwriter Jerry Hannan’s song “Society,” recorded with Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, was featured in Sean Penn’s film “Into the Wild.” Described as “shades of Dylan, John Prine and Van Morrison…very Americana with a faint Irish lilt”, Hannan’s songs – like those of Springsteen, Steve Earle and Cat Stevens – speak of our everyday lives and the magic that we sometimes miss.
ABOUT Teatro ZinZanni:
Teatro ZinZanni, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to serving the community through preservation and promotion of circus, cabaret and musical arts, recently celebrated its tenth year of performance in its own antique spiegeltent on San Francisco’s fabled Embarcadero. Since it opened in 2000, Teatro ZinZanni has become a permanent fixture and an integral part of the lively entertainment and culinary scene in San Francisco, offering a bewitching blend of European cabaret, cirque arts, music, and comedy, combined with a 5-course gourmet dinner.
As part of its service to the community, Teatro ZinZanni debuts two weeks of summer circus camp for children in San Francisco. Modeled on a successful program in Seattle, the ZinZanni Institute for Circus Arts in San Francisco will present camps for children ranging in age from 9-16 from July 5 through 17 in the Pier 29 spiegeltent. Featuring legendary circus artists, including many from the Teatro ZinZanni show, the camp features instruction in various circus arts including Juggling, Clowning, Magic and Acrobatics with an emphasis on all aspects of performance and production. For more information on the summer camp for children, zica.zinzanni.org.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line to: “An Evening of Giving and Saving Lives”
This unique one-time-only benefit performance stars Frank Ferrante, Liliane Montevecchi, Joan Baez, singer/songwriter Jerry Hannan, the sounds of Lakay and Mystic Man, and the legendary artists of Teatro ZinZanni. Actor Sean Penn will present his own personal slide show on Haiti. A three course gourmet dinner is included.
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Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: email@example.com.