Broadway Comes to St. John for Impressive Motown Madness Shows Jan. 30-31


It’s almost show time!

Get ready for two nights of toe-tapping music and glittery glamour at the Westin’s grand ballroom as Broadway Comes to St. John for the fifth year in a row on Friday, January 30, and Saturday, January 31.

The St. John School of the Arts fundraiser will feature two nights of Motown Madness entertainment. Four New York City Broadway professionals have been working with fourth graders at Gifft Hill School and Julius E. Sprauve School as well as SJSA students for the past three weeks gearing up for the original theatrical production.

Prepare to be entertained with music inspired by the likes of classic Motown icons like Jackson Five, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and more, explained SJSA Executive Director Kim Wild.

“This year’s theme is Motown Madness so it’s music from many eras, from the 50s and 60s to the 70s and even the 80s,” said Wild. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

In addition to the fourth graders from GHS and JESS, SJSA’s own students will join the cast and there might even be a few guest performers taking the stage, added Wild, who declined to offer additional details about the surprises in store.

The first night’s show, on Friday, January 30, at the Westin ballroom show is open to friends and family for a suggested contribution of at least $20.

The Saturday, January 31, show is the big Angel Show for donors who will help to fund SJSA’s programs for the year. Tickets for the January 31 show are $200 each, which include a champagne toast, seats for the show and a dinner at the Westin Resort following the performance.
Angel Show attendees are also encouraged to dress like their favorite Motown performer for the chance to win the Golden Spammy Award, Wild explained.

“We call it the Golden Spammy or the Spammy Hammy and it’s our version of the Grammy Award,” said the SJSA Executive Director. “Come out in your fringe or your sequins and get into it. The winner will receive dinner for four at Ocean Grill and four theater tickets to the Motown on Broadway production.”

SJSA is also hosting the exciting $100 Golden Ticket raffle once again this year. The Golden Ticket raffle winner will receive round-trip airfare for two to New York City, two tickets to a Broadway show, three nights at a hotel in NYC and dinner for two at Etc. Etc. in the heart of the Theater District. SJSA will only sell 150 Golden Tickets for this raffle.

The school is also hosting a second raffle with tickets costing $25 and the chance to win dinner  for two from Asolare, La Tapa, Lime Inn, Morgan’s Mango, Ocean 362, Ocean Grill, The Terrace, Virgin Fire and ZoZo’s.

“We’ll have nine different winners for that raffle and we’re really excited about that,” said Wild.

Buy raffle tickets at SJSA or at the Westin Resort before the January 30 or 31 Motown Madness performances.

This is the fifth year that Broadway professionals Rhonda Miller, Donna Drake, Michael Shawn Lewis, John Tartaglia and Laura Barnao have led the unique and entertaining SJSA fundraiser. The actors and choreographers have also brought along Rick Bertone this year.

Miller, is a long time choreographer who has worked extensively in New York and Los Angeles. Today she is an associate professor at Pace University and director of the school’s Commercial Dance Program. Drake, also a dance teacher at Pace University, was a cast member in the original production of “A Chorus Line,” and has numerous other Broadway shows to her credit.

Michael Shawn Lewis, a theatrical producer, performer and activist, has worked around the globe in theater and is co-founder of the New York Children’s Theater Festival. Tartaglia, a 12-year veteran of “Sesame Street,” was one of the youngest puppeteers to work on the show. He earned a Tony Award Nomination for his role in “Avenue Q” and was the executive producer and star of the eight-time Emmy nominated “Johnny and the Sprite.”

Barnao is a classically trained vocalist who has performed with Central City Opera and Da Capo Opera. Bertone, who is joining the SJSA Broadway instructors for the first time this year, is a musical director who has worked on the St. Louis productions of “Shrek the Musical and Tarzan.

Don’t miss what is sure to be two impressive performances of Motown Madness when Broadway Comes to St. John January 30 and 31. Angel tickets and raffle tickets are available at SJSA. For more information call the school at (340) 779-4322.