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Professional Children's School Spring Gala
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Professional Children's School Spring Gala

- Arts and Education

By Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

Professional Children's School (PCS)
www.pcs-nyc.org
Head of School, Dr. James Dawson
John Tucker, Coordinator of Public Relations
Carol Kleban, Principal

May 5, 2003

Annual Spring Benefit
Sheila Gleicher & Dani Ticktin Koplik
Spring Benefit Co-Chairs
At
The Supper Club
(www.thesupperclub.com)
240 West 47th Street
NY, NY

Presentation of the Richard Rodgers Award
To the World-Renowned Pianist and Grammy Winner
Yefim Bronfman
And
Gala Performance by PCS Students

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All photos courtesy of Professional Children's School

The Supper Club is even nicer than I remember it to be, from my last visit many years ago. It's a large and sumptuous venue, with a raised balcony for the hors d'oeuvres and drinks, networking, black tie and lovely dresses, PCS students milling about, practicing for their end-year performance in dance, song, or on a musical instrument. Proud parents were comparing summer plans and student coaching in ballet, modern, theater, and violin. Robert Abrams (www.ExploreDance.com) was also in attendance, and we were grateful for this most generous invitation from John Tucker, PCS Public Relations. The food was fantastic, and so was the service and, of course, the table conversation. Dessert came in the form of a solid chocolate piano with raspberries and more. It was an homage to Yefim Bronfman (Bio), distinguished pianist, whose nephew attends PCS.

James Dawson, Head of School, was the first distinguished speaker. He has a sophisticated humor that was perfectly appropriate to the occasion. He presented Yefim Bronfman with the Richard Rodgers Award for Distinguished Service to the Performing Arts. Mr. Dawson spoke of Mr. Bronfman's background in Israel and Russia and about his personal experience with music. He was described as one who has brought us to a place where we appreciate the arts and ourselves. Mr. Bronfman joked about the challenge of eating the large chocolate piano dessert. Mr. Bronfman tore into the onstage piano with a passionate Rachmaninoff. He devoured the piano as he had devoured the dessert. With total confidence and poise, he mesmerized the banquet room.

Raffles for Broadway shows were drawn next, and winners will attend performances of Movin' Out (Watch for Upcoming Stories and Reviews) as well as Man of La Mancha, Take Me Out, and The Play that I Wrote.

Students performed next, in song and dance routines, with a George M. Cohan arrangement for All Aboard for Broadway/My Town (Jaime Gleicher, Jennifer McNulty, Caroline Pugliese), in which students joyfully pretended they were aboard a train and sang and danced in Broadway style, very well, I might add. Athena Adamopoulos played George Gershwin's Prelude No. 1, in a most distinguished and romantic manner, and Jessica Azenberg and Heather Levites adorably sang and danced Irving Berlin's Puttin' On the Ritz to piano and percussion with tuxedoes, leotards, and batons.

New York, New York, by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green, was sung by three boys (Harley Adams, Sean Hanley, Matthew Koplik), in a campy, but very On-Broadway style. Bernstein's and Sondheim's Somewhere was performed with a brilliant violin solo, by Yo-Yo Fann, an elegant and evocative vocal arrangement, sung by Alyssa French, and a lovely ballet, danced by Emily Adams, Paige Adams, Michael Gleicher, Ralph Ippolito, and Ariel Merrick. Milena Zhivotovskaya played Prokofiev's Suggestion Diabolique, Opus 4, with amazing piano fluidity, drama, and fearlessness. This was a lengthy and demanding piece for a tiny, but tremendous performer.

Be a Performer, by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh, was performed by Harley Adams, Paige Adams, Zachary Bernhard, Jessica Dean, Jonathan Demar, Lucy Watson, Jessica Weiss, & "Friends". This ensemble of dancers, musicians, budding opera divas, gymnasts, and Broadway style singers, was strongly applauded and appreciated for their purposeful and powerful act. Sing, by Marvin Hamlisch and Ed Kleban, was presented by Kether Fernandez, Jason Marcus, & Chorus, with mellifluous voices, charisma, and professionalism. Final performances were Old Friend, by Stephen Sondheim, with Pierce Cravens, Jason Marcus, and Jessica Weiss, Waiting for Life to Begin, by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, performed by Jessica Graff, and Razzle Dazzle, by Kander and Ebb, a Full Company number. As an encore, I Love a Piano was sung and danced to Yefim Bronfman, Guest of Honor, in a coquettish and campy style.

For more information about Professional Children's School or next year's Gala, Contact John Tucker at PCS, 212.582.3116 or email jtucker@pcs-nyc.org

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net