There are times when a heart-breaking story has a Good News ending.
And when it comes to our ever-increasing, homeward-bound troops there will never be enough that we can do for these American heroes. Perhaps many of them are not only suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but at last count 22 of these brave men and women are committing suicide every day, and that tragic number is growing.
What can each of us do to help these PTSD casualties? First, check out Stand for the Troops (www.sftt.org), which is dedicated to providing the best medical and emotional care services to all who may suffer from this severe anxiety disorder.
Another way to show support is to see the professional entertainers who are putting on a concert, “Spring Fever,” a musical evening and silent auction at the Unitarian Church, 10 Lyons Plains Road, Westport, Connecticut. at 7 p.m., Friday, March 15. All proceeds will benefit the Stand for the Troops PTSD Initiative.
The performers include Connecticut-born James Naughton, a two-time Tony Award-winning leading man in the musicals, “City of Angels” and the revival of “Chicago.” His many movies include “The Paper Chase,” “The First Wives Club,” and “The Devil Wears Prada,” opposite Meryl Streep.
He has directed several plays in New York, including the 2002 revival of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” as well as the TV movie version starring his close friend Paul Newman. Also on the bill is Leslie Orofino, an acclaimed and award-wining cabaret singer. One critic wrote, “I was breathless from laughing…and great vocals too. Leslie has starred at the Waldorf Astoria, the Plaza Hotel, the Algonquin’s Oak Room, Opia, and Danny’s Skylight Room. Her act, “Red Hot and Blues,” included the songs of Alberta Hunter, Eartha Kitt, Carolyn Leigh, Peggy Lee, Edith Piaf, Sophie Tucker, and many others.
Robin Batteau is an American Grammy-winning, Emmy-winning, Clio-winning, and Oscar-nominated composer, singer-songwriter-soloist, and music producer. He is best known for the jingles he’s created, such as “I’m Lovin’ It” for McDonald’s, “This is Beer” for Budweiser and “The Heartbeat of America” for Chevrolet. David Buskin, after selling five songs to Mary Travers for her album, “Morning Glory,” toured with her for several years as her opening act and they became lifelong friends.
Some of the other artists who have recorded his songs include: Astrud Gilberto, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul & Mary, Johnny Mathis, Tom Rush, Roberta Flack, Dixie Carter, and Tracy Nelson. Chris Coogan is a multi-talented entertainer who, as a composer, performer, teacher, choir director and producer, is rooted in the jazz and gospel traditions. He has played with Ronnie Spector, James Naughton, Phoebe Snow, Jose Feliciano, Bette Midler, Donna Summer, and Kristen Chenoweth.
For tickets go to http://sftt.org/sftt-events or call 203.629.0288. All tickets include music, gourmet food, and fine wines: $100 single, $175 couple, $125 preferred seating. The Westport Inn has a special rate for concertgoers who would like to stay overnight in Westport.