The beautiful Aventura Arts & Cultural Center recently welcomed over 300 guests, eager to see the Broadway-themed 4th annual AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE presented by Northwestern Mutual / Laser Financial Group. A double celebration was in order as the Aventura Marketing Council (AMC) celebrated its 25th anniversary during the show, with AMC Chairman Cliff Schulman, Weiss Serota Helfman, once again serving as Event Chair. Proceeds from the event benefited the AMC Education Foundation, supporting their educational and cultural outreach initiatives.
As the doors to the theatre opened, guests were awestruck by seven year-old pianist Brandon Goldberg, dressed in a tux, playing his little heart out....all Broadway songs...and all from memory. Brandon also provided accompaniment for one of the singers, as well as learning a medley of all the songs for the grand finale...what an amazing young man!
The first act was a surprise as the Aventura Marketing Council Troupe, choreographed by Jennifer Wilson, featured Elaine Adler, AMC; Maria Galletti, Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center; Elisa Silverstein, Rainbow Circus Productions; Ran Oz, CooLAM Productions; Aventura Comm. Billy Joel; Ben and Belkis Launerts, Parksman Parking; Fernando and Jaqui Levy Hara, mckafka Development Group; and Claudio Stivelman, S2 Development, all sang and danced to “We’ve Got Magic To Do” from the award-winning Broadway show, Pippin. The show-stopping costumes, aerialists and dancers from Rainbow Circus Productions combined with the AMC Troupe performance, brought the house down... (but the rehearsals were the most fun of all...you just had to see Ben Launerts trying on his spandex costume!)
Emcees for this special evening were popular entertainment reporter for Deco Drive (WSVN 7), Shireen Sandoval and Nickelodeon’s newest star of the series Every Witch Way, Nick Merico, one of the Young Stars featured in the 2010 AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE.
As each young singer took the stage, the audience applause and appreciation grew: Savannah Ashton, 16; triplets Brandon, Kaitlyn and Kyle Dawson, 13; Tiffany Donates, 16; Austin Gladstone, 15; Michelle Palm Martin, 14; Lannie Rubio, 14; Bianca Sirgany-Castro, 19; Alli Taylor, 16 and Isabella Vargas, 11; and VIP pianist Brandon Goldberg, 7 years old. Throughout the night, the stage was filled with song and the talented dancers from Rainbow Circus Productions, overseen by Ran Oz.
Another surprise was in store after intermission as Cliff Schulman, Comm. Joel and Ran Oz, complete with top hats, tux and canes, brought the audience to their feet with their rendition of “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
Dr. Wilbert “Tee” Holloway, Area Director for Corporate and External Affairs with AT&T, said
“The AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE experience extends beyond the stage and the youngsters’ performances. At the heart of this experience is a caring community that exposes our youth to the rigors and responsibilities of stagemanship. We truly want to thank the entire community for supporting this outstanding opportunity.”
Jordan Laser, Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual / Laser Financial Group, said “The talent of these children continue to grow each and every year and I am so grateful that I can continue to support the dreams of everyone involved as presenting sponsor once again of the YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE.”
Citibank came aboard as a Gold Sponsor in honor of their new second Aventura branch at 189th & Biscayne Blvd. and Comm. Billy and Sandra Joel also were Gold Sponsors for the second consecutive year.
In the spirit of giving back, Herb and Gloria Barker of Barker Animation Art Gallery, gave each Young Star a piece of Disney artwork, and ten special “Friends of the Young Stars” included Ken Bernstein; Ron Book; Ben Cohen; Bill and Carole Landa; Alex and Monique Halberstein; Comm. Billy and Sandra Joel; Hon. Bob and Arlene Diamond; Stephanie, Jules and Eddie Trump; Diane and Alan Matus; and Elaine and Howard Adler. Comm. Joel served as Commemorative Program Book Chairman to ensure a big, beautiful commemorative program book.
After the show, an exquisite dessert reception in the lobby of the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center featured tiramisu, macarons, chocolate ganache and cookies courtesy of The Cheese Course, Il Mulino, Mo’s Bagels & Deli, Novecento and Rococoa Café.
As the 2013 AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE drew to a close, plans were already underway for the 2014 show scheduled for Sunday, December 7th at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. This year’s show was definitely the best yet....and so the question remains...what will they do to top it next year?
Highlights of the show will soon be up on Youtube. For more information on the AT&T YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE, call the Aventura Marketing Council (305) 932.5334 or visit aventuramarketingcouncil.com.
Photography by Andrew Goldstein