By Andy Smith
All the casts of Jersey Boys – New York, Chicago and the national tour – continue to go the extra mile for Broadway Cares.
Case in point, on Monday, April 7, the touring cast took the stage at Minneapolis’s Shout House for “Rock Like a Man,” a benefit which raised more than $10,000 for BC/EFA.
The show featured almost 20 cast members performing rock standards from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, including songs by Journey, Rush, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Styx, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Alanis Morissette and others. They also auctioned off prizes and packages from the stage, including: a set of cymbals and drumsticks from Jersey Boys, a brunch with the show’s Four Seasons, and an “Ultimate Jersey Boys Fan Package.”
During the four weeks leading up to the benefit, cast members promoted the event during their BC/EFA audience appeal following each Jersey Boys performance and then sold tickets in the lobby. “We sold about 200 tickets through audience appeals and just about everyone who bought tickets the night of the show heard about it through word-of-mouth,” says Lori Byars, Jersey Boys stage manager.
Byars has put together previous fundraisers for the Jersey Boys “Sherry Tour” as well as for 42nd Street’s Lullaby Tour andThe Lion King’s Cheetah Tour. She offered advice and assistance but credits Taylor Sternberg, a swing on the show, for “making this one happen.”
Sternberg developed the idea, found the venue (a ‘dueling pianos’ piano bar), handled publicity, signed up performers and created a song list, served as the evening’s auctioneer and even found time to perform Rush’s “Spirit of Radio.”
It helps to be 24. “I got this gig (on Jersey Boys) out of college,” says Sternberg, a 2006 graduate of UCLA’s Musical Theater department. “I’ve been with the show for 18 months now. All of us were itching to do some rock music,” he says.
“Everybody has a background playing music and some play more than one instrument. We felt really good about doing this event.”
Broadway Cares would like to thank all the performers and crew members who volunteered their time for “Rock Like a Man.” In addition to Lori and Taylor, they are: Buck Hujabre, Sarah Darling, Matt Bailey, Janelle Leone, Nathan Scherich, Brandon Matthieus, Tim Kerber, Holly Ann Butler, Chris DeAngelis, Kara Tremel, Miles Aubrey, Jamie Karen, Chris Jones, Mark Papzian, Michael Pearce Dickerson, Caren Cole, Anna Belle Gilbert, Allie Couture, Jon Massena, Jonathan Hadley, Michael Pearce and Nick Dickerson.