Eating Disorders of York Regionís third
annual fundraising gala takes an exciting, and entertaining,
turn this year. Wings of Hope: A Salute To Broadway,
at Markham Theatre on November 10, promises to be a high tempo
and enjoyable evening featuring your favourite songs and
melodies from the great Broadway hits.
And what is extraordinary about
this event is that the producer/director is the not quite sixteen year
old Brian Lee of Richmond Hill. Our readers will remember Brian
as the director of Markham Youth Theatreís production of Stephen
Sondheimís musical Into The Woods which played at the
Markham Theatre this past September.
Brian, who has been organizing
fundraising shows since he was in Grade 7, has drawn partly
from the cast and crew of Into The Woods to put together
this singing ensemble of seven.
The orchestral accompaniment is
under the direction of Brian Goldenberg.
I had the pleasure of attending a
rehearsal at the Lee home and meeting, or renewing acquaintance,
with this talented and enthusiastic cast.
Andrew DiRosa is a Grade 12
student from Pickering who was an audience favourite for his
role as Jackís mother in MYTís Into The
Woods. Previously, Andrew had cut his teeth, theatrically
speaking, in productions of the Randolph Young Theatre in
Toronto and now has a major role as Gaston in Unionville Theatre
Companyís upcoming production (February 2008) of Beauty And
Riley Raymer, who we
last saw as Cinderella in Into The Woods, has been involved with
Markham Youth Theatre for ten years and, like Andrew, will be on
stage with UTCís Beauty And The Beast, in which she will play
the wonderful role of Belle. Riley also has two appearances
under her belt with Markham Little Theatre, in MLTís Time Of My
Life and Ravenscroft.
Ali Lee-Goldenberg was not only
Jack in Into The Woods but also contributed her skills as set
designer and in costumes. She recently appeared as Donna Marie
in Encoreís production of Blood Brothers and played the
roles of Rose and Agnes in Scarborough Music Theatreís Oliver.
You didnít see Leonia
Thames in Into The Woods ... but that is only because she was
playing the flute in the orchestra pit. This time her singing
talents will be centre stage. A graduate of the Faculty of
Music of the University of Toronto, Leonia performed in Whoís
Tommy with Scarborough Music Theatre.
Arthur Wright, who
has performed in shows with Markham Youth Theatre since 2000 and
with Unionville Theatre Company since 1996, graduated this year
from the University of Western Ontario where he studied voice
performance and opera. Arthur is back home in Markham now and
ready to start a career. He will be in Edmonton for two months
in the new year performing in a childrenís opera that will tour
Although Olivia Jon is an English teacher by profession,
specializing in speech pathology, and works for a publishing
company, her greatest love is music and these days she is
keeping up a very busy schedule. Among other things, she is in rehearsal for
Uxbridge On Stageís production of Seussical and has a Christmas show coming up as well.
Also performing in the ensemble for A Salute To Broadway, but
unable to attend this rehearsal due to another commitment, is Tess Barao. This talented young lady hardly needs any
introduction to our readers, having played the lead female role
in UTCís The Music Man last February and the Witch in
MYTís Into The Woods, to name just two of her recent
credits. And watch for Tess as Lefou in Beauty And The
Stage manager Tal Shulman is studying in the Arts York
drama program at Unionville High School and was assistant stage
manager in MYTís Into The Woods and will be playing Cogsworth
in Beauty And The Beast next February.
Hosting A Salute To Broadway is Elaine Overholt. Elaine,
fitting billed as ďvocal coach to the starsĒ has worked with
professional performers in many shows, including the movies Hair
Spray and Chicago. Among her current students are our
own Brian Lee and Tess Barao. Elaine who, in addition to being
a gifted coach and teacher, is also an exciting performer and will
top the show and also end it with a closing number.
The evening program will also feature a dessert reception and a
silent auction, with some great items going up for sale.
GuidingStar sat down with Anita Gutterman, president of Eating
Disorders of York Region, to learn more about the work of the
Many of the people who participated in the founding of the
organization have had loved ones or close friends who were affected
by eating disorders. And many have experienced the difficulty
of getting information about these disorders and of finding someone
to turn to for help and direction.
The lack of an available support structure motivated them to try to
fill this gap. E.D.O.Y.R. has an office located in Thornhill Square,
at 300 John Street, Suite 271 with one full time employee but is
organization that counts heavily on the tireless work of volunteers.
The organization offers a drop-in support session every Thursday
night. In addition, they have now set up and are taking
registrations for three new evening programs: healing through Yoga
on Mondays and Wednesdays, and an Art Healing program on
Tuesdays. These programs are free of charge and are
provided by volunteer professional therapists.
As Anita Gutterman
explained, eating disorders can take the form of anorexia and
bulimia, in which a person either does not eat enough or eats too
much. There are also cases of people who manage, through
binging and purging, to maintain a normal weight.
An eating disorder may be a personís
way of coping with a stress or a deep seated anxiety. It is, in
many ways, like any other addiction: the longer it goes untreated
the harder it is to overcome. For this reason, early detection and
treatment are very important.
E.D.O.Y.R., as Anita cautions, cannot
heal the disorder but, in addition to offering support activities,
they are gathering a store of information that can help people
affected by an eating disorder, or their friends and loved ones, to
know where to turn for professional help. They have also created a
A fundamental principle of Eating
Disorders of York Region is that they offer their services free of
any charge. They do not want to have fees that could deter anyone
from getting the help they need.
For this reason, fundraising is part
of the work their volunteers take on.
Which brings us back to Wings of
Hope: A Salute To Broadway. Tickets are $75.00 and are a
charitable donation. By buying a ticket to this show you will
support an organization that is endeavouring to fill a very real
need. And ... youíll enjoy a toe-tapping evening of your favourite
music and songs.