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Arts and Theater 1

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Black Tie International: White Plains Performing Arts Center


Wallenberg Opening Night

 Photos & Story  by Fiddle Viracola


Kimothy Cruse and Alice Evans

Kimothy Cruse and Alice Evans

Annette Jolles, Kathleen Davison and WPPAC CEO John L. Loris

Annette Jolles, Kathleen Davisson and WPPAC CEO John L. Loris

ELANA and Benjamin Rosenbluth

Elana and Benjamin Rosenbluth

Sophia Roth and Benjamin Milon-Polisar (cast)

Sophia Roth and Benjamin Milon-Polisar (cast)

Laurence Holzman, Benjamin Rosenblth, Felicia Needleman

Laurence Holzman, Benjamin Rosenbluth, Felicia Needleman
    (Book, music, lyrics)

Danielle Frimer, Kelly McCormack, Staci Rodnitsky, Michael Scott (cast) Laurence Holzman

Danielle Frimer, Kelly McCormack, Staci Rodnitsky, Michael Scott (cast) Laurence Holzman

Scott Mikita (Wallenberg)

Scott Mikita (Wallenberg)



"Bloom where you are planted!” The White Plains Performing Art Center is doing just that by beginning its 2010-2011 season with a changing of the guard:

Annette Jolles: Artistic director; Laurence Holzman: Executive director; Felicia Needleman: Literary manager; Kathleen Davisson: general manager (all Main Stage) with WPPAC’s John. J. Loris, Chairman and President, Board of Trustees, are now at the helm. Development of original musicals and plays by established and emerging playwrights, composers and lyricists is their paramount fare.

As David Buchwald of the White Plains City Council enthusiastically stated:

"We want White Plains to be the place for Broadway tryouts; a place where audiences will feel part of the process.”

“And training the next generation of theatrical professionals also remains one of our most fulfilling missions.” Ms. Jolles added.

This echoed across the White Plains Blue Restaurant's opening night party, after the sold- out audience, stood and cheered for the World Premiere of Wallenberg a drama/musical.

Wallenberg is a story that must be told. It is important. It’s based on the true story of Swedish Diplomat, Raoul Wallenberg, who during a six-month stay in Budapest, Hungary, from July 1944 to January 1945, saved 100,000 Jews- more than were rescued by any other individual, organization or government during the entire Holocaust. He was imprisoned by the Soviets and never heard from again. This Honorary citizen of the USA, Canada and Israel is a great 20th Century hero and must not be forgotten.

Besides the Wallenberg production, what amazes me is the vast and shimmering range of accomplishments of those involved.

Bejamin Rosenbluth: (Composer); protégé of John Corigliano while at Julliard, has a Harvard MD degree and practices radiation and oncology

Annette Jolles: (Director/Choreographer); director, writer, producer for stage and TV; producing partner in Bard theatricals; 2 Emmy awards, 6 Emmy nominations and is a teaching Professor at Yale. {Amazing lady!  While 8/3/4 months pregnant she directed South Pacific with my Bloody Mary on a stage as large as the Metropolitan Opera.)

Laurence Holzman & Felicia Needleman: (Book and Lyrics) ; winners of the prestigious Kleban Award, etc. He has a Columbia Law School degree, etc. She was a featured dancer and on faculty of Broadway Dance Center, etc.

Kimothy Cruse: (Production Stage Manager); director, writer, dramaturge, Broadway stage manager, actor, etc.

Alden Fulcomer: (Assistant Stage Manager): actor, designer, photographer; Director of the Rhode Island Film Festival, etc.

David Young: (Performer) Award winning performer; produced six Broadway shows and five off- Broadway, etc.

Alice Evans: (Mrs. Wallenberg); awarded veteran of 13 Broadway shows etc. Remember her Aldonza in Man of La Mancha?

Scott Mikita: (Wallenberg) current Broadway Phantom of the Opera vet, etc.

Mary Jo Mc Connell: (Performer) Captain in the U.S. Army Nurse Corp, etc.

Joe Cassidy: (A. Eichmann) Concert soloist with Maestro Lorin Maazel etc.

Darren R. Cohen: (Musical Director/ Conductor) ; Broadway conductor,
published author, etc.

Varied accomplishments weave throughout this cast.         

There’s a mightier picture emerging in the lobby gallery, art exhibit where one goes back in time, looking at the paintings of Holocaust victims.  There we see on a canvas “We can achieve. We can change things. We can make a difference.” I am moved; thirsty to know more. This doesn’t usually happen at a theatre. It did at Wallenberg.

Here, words of my friend Henry Miller flash:

“Develop interest in life as you see it, in people, things, literature, theatre, music-
the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself!”

And my favorite: “If there are flaws in your paradise, open more windows.”

Yes, Henry. It’s needed in this uncertain, fast moving age as people ask, “Can I make a difference? Where do I belong?”

Wallenberg is one place. Hear the new and established voices in a plush theatre. Be where it’s happening. Pay very reasonable prices. Go to the box office. Join in. Be a part of its creativity.



Wallenberg (Musical) World Premiere:  October 28- November 21, 2010

That Time of the Year: (musical)  Westchester Premiere!  Dec. 2-19,2010

A Passion Of The Hausfrau: (play)    New York Premier!  Feb.3-13, 2011

Renovations: (play)   World Premiere!              March17-April 3, 2011

Enchanted April: (musical).         World Premiere!      June 2 -19, 2011


White Plains Performing Art Center

11 City Place, White Plains, NY 10601


For Subscription or Single Tickets

877.548.3237 or

Group sales 914-744-9898  



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