28 fundraising show 1

From left, Adam Wayne Gistarb, Bobby Ellison of Santa Rosa and Dan Clanton rehearse a song for a fundraiser at the Solano Community College in Fairfield, Tuesday. The fundraiser will help raise money so a local singer can produce an album. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)


One benefit show raises funds for theater groups, singer

By From page B1 | February 28, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Theater-lovers can attend one show this weekend and help the Solano Repertory Theatre Company, Solano Community College Theatre club and singer Bobby Ellison – all at the same time.

“A Night of Broadway and Beyond” will showcase local talents singing some of Broadway’s and pop’s biggest tunes, vaudeville acts and dramatic scenes. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

“It’s a variety show of Solano’s finest,” Ellison said.

He will sing Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” and Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” He recently performed the Dion tune while auditioning for TV’s “America’s Got Talent.”

Standing on the main theater stage at Solano Community College Tuesday night, where the show will take place, Ellison recalled the first show he did there.

“This place holds a lot of memories,” he said.

He came to the area in 2009 from South Carolina. He recently moved to Santa Rosa and is concentrating on releasing his first CD, which will be produced with the help of the funds raised this week. He has written eight tunes. His goal is to have a dozen songs.

“The songs are geared to the gay community,” Ellison said. “Everyone can enjoy them. They are about celebrating life.”

Ellison, 37, a veteran of many local stage shows and an Arty winner, has brought together friends for the show, which he hopes will become an annual event.

“In theater, we are all family,” he said. “We are there when we need each other.”

The cast and crew of “A Night of Broadway and Beyond” are volunteering their time and talents.

Dan Clanton will sing “This is the Moment” from the stage production of “Jekyll and Hyde” to fulfill the Broadway component. For “Beyond,” he’s bringing out Heatwave’s “Always and Forever.”

Uniting two groups and one singer for the show brings a sense of community to theater, something needed as the arts continues to struggle after the economic downturn, Clayton said.

He just wrapped up filming two episodes of the TV show “I Almost Got Away With It” and as an extra on HBO’s “Looking.”

Clanton, who retired from the California Department of Corrections in 2010, said his free time is spent pursuing his love of the arts. He is president of the Solano Repertory Theatre Company’s board of directors.

Other performers are Casaba Meloune, Jae Hovok, Nicole Thordsen, Jarrett Batternberg, Joanna Gardener, Frank Hannen-Pantaleon, Jennifer Sundell and Rubin Orial.

Eric “Rick” Bullis, the college’s theater arts instructor, said the show is part of the college’s mission to support arts in the community.

“I just make the equipment and space available to them and let them go to town,” he said.

Adam Wayne Gistarb is at the helm of the show. He also serves as president of the Solano College Theatre club.

He met Ellison when both worked on Solano College Theatre’s production of “Ain’t Misbehavin.’ ”

The two became friends and hang out together. The show marks Gistarb’s directorial debut at the theater. He’s almost as happy about that as the fact that two theater groups, and a dear friend, will benefit from the ticket sales.

“We are putting money in everyone’s pockets,” he said.

Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.


“Broadway and Beyond”

  • 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
  • Solano College Theatre, 4000 Suisun Valley Road, Fairfield
  • www.brownpapertickets.com
Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey

Amy Maginnis-Honey joined the staff of the Daily Republic in 1980. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. Over the past three decades she’s done a variety of jobs in the newsroom. Today, she covers arts and entertainment and writes for the Living and news pages.

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