Thursday, December 4, 2008

a post from Lori



Dear friends,

As we move into the final weeks of 2008, I think it is a good time to review the wonderful year we had at RBKids, some of which you've read about on this blog! Our artistic accomplishments were many, from the PS Broadway in-school performances, and original ACTE II summer intensive final show, to our nationally televised TV appearances on Rachael Ray, Rosie Live, and Live from Rockefeller Center on NBC just last night. The ACTE II students also performed at benefits around the city- Gilda’s club, Children Affected by Aids Foundation, and at Societe Generale’s upcoming Christmas party at the Rainbow Room. We prepared ten 8th grade students for admittance into Performing Arts High schools, the results of which we will find out in the spring.

Our greatest and most pressing challenge for the upcoming year is fiscal. The economic crisis has affected us all; giving has been reduced across the board for almost all charitable organizations, and unfortunately, we've had to make cuts to the budget across all areas by cutting schools, services, and part-time staff. However, we are left with our greatest asset: the excellent teachers and their commitment to the students of RBKids.

In order to continue the important work we do, we will need your help in 2009, and I encourage you to make a donation, no matter how small, today, by visiting www.rbkids.org.

Thank you, as always, for keeping up with the family here at RBKids! We look forward to the year ahead.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Web Auction


Are you unable to attend Rosie's Gala, but still want to help out? Now you can on CharityBuzz.com, where an online auction supporting the gala is currently is progress.

So if you're looking for a unique holiday gift or just want to treat yourself to something special, check out the one-of-a-kind items that the auction has to offer. You can't go wrong when you bid on items like tickets to a taping of Dancing with the Stars, a Caribbean vacation, signed Rosie merchandise, or any other of the exciting auction items! All proceeds will benefit Rosie's Gala: Building Dreams for Kids. Click here to make a bid!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rosie's Gala Tickets

$150 Show-Only Tickets now on sale for Rosie's Gala:
Building Dreams for Kids
November 24, 2008
Marriott Marquis, Times Square


For $150 contribution, you can be a part of Rosie's Gala and see a spectacular tribute to Chita Rivera, performed by Broadway's finest, including Bebe Neuwirth, Christine Ebersole, the new Broadway cast of West Side Story and Rosie's Broadway Kids!

Ticket buyers will be seated at 9 PM. Tickets do not include dinner or auction. Proceeds benefit Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation and Rosie’s Broadway Kids.

For more information and tickets, call 914-579-1000.

A Very Rosie Birthday Party!

RBKids is excited that our friend Kaitlin (pictured) recently hosted a Rosie's Broadway Kids birthday party! We met Kaitlin on one of Rosie's Rfamily cruises, when she participated in RBKids classes on the ship! Since then, she and her family have kept in touch with us and have even come to watch some of our classes in New York City. For her birthday, she graciously decided to ask her guests to donate to RBKids in lieu of any presents they might bring.

We know it's not easy for an 8 year old to give up gifts on her birthday, and we are so thankful for the contribution of over $350! That's enough to outfit about 4 kids in our program with dancewear.

Thank you very much Kaitlin - we appreciate that you used your gifts to give our kids one!

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Surprise Gift

a post from Toni

One of our last groups of students from the first semester of our fifth-grade in-school program, PS Broadway, went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway yesterday.


Once a semester, we provide tickets to every fifth grader in each school we teach, in addition to their teachers, chaperones, and administrators. Inevitably, given inaccurate counting and absenteeism, there are sometimes extra tickets. In that case, we encourage schools to invite their own "VIP's" to ensure that no ticket goes un-seated! Yesterday, I received this lovely email from one of our schools' administrators:

"Toni, Here's a sweet story. A little girl came in yesterday morning to sign up for 4th grade. She was referred to us from the domestic violence shelter across the street. One of our 5th grade teachers had an extra ticket so the mom signed the permission slip, and she went on the trip. Her mom felt like she really got the star treatment. Can you imagine starting a new school and the first day going to see Mary Poppins? What a gift!"

Like Rosie says, every kid deserves a chance to sit "in the velvet"...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Have Confidence

a post from Jeff


Another season of NYC Public High School Arts audition preparation is upon us!

A group of 9 eager RBKid's eighth graders have been busy since September

learning Monologues and Songs...some a cappella.

In preparation for their big auditions, this November.


For some of them it is their very first audition.

A daunting experience, to say the least.

They work on making it look natural and easy.


Selections include:

"Our Town"

"Voices from High School"

"I Have Confidence"

"Kickin' The Clouds Away"

"Brighton Beach Memoirs"


They learn to breathe...

Be themselves

Enter the room

Stand still

Stop fidgeting

Be polite

Say their names clearly

Take their time

Find their pitch

Trust their impulses, and

Rely on their hours of preparation and practice.


Every year hundreds of New York City public school students audition,

and only a select few make it into a Performing Arts HS.

RBKids have a 100% placement percentage.

We are proud of this accomplishment.

So are the kids.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We Wanna See Santa Do the Mambo!

Rosie's Broadway Kids were invited to record a song on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Carols For a Cure CD for the second year in a row. Carols For a Cure, a CD recorded annually, features both classic and creative holiday carols sung by current casts of Broadway shows, and is sold as a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The kids were excited to lend their voices once again, and recorded "(We Wanna See) Santa Do the Mambo" for this year's CD.

CD's are on sale now! You can hear the RBKids by going to broadwaycares.org and purchasing a CD today!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

September Update

a post from Lori


September scene:
The night before the first day of school, the perfect “first day” outfit laid out neatly, nervous excitement making sleep uneasy, anxiousness, hoping to be liked.
Dramatis personae:

Me!

For students and teachers alike September is the New Year. We usher it in with fanfare and joy. Lots of preparation, pencils to sharpen, practice runs to the schools (without a chaperone!) so we don’t get lost, and lots of supplies. It is a contradiction really; a continuum and a fresh start all at once.

PS Broadway is back in session with 800 new students in ten New York City public schools. Our fifth grade students have eagerly watched for years as their older brothers and sisters, cousins, neighbors, and friends have been treated to the gifts of RBKids. It is finally their turn!


At ACTE II we are preparing our nine 8th grade students for their High School auditions. It is at the top of our list of priorities to help these students be accepted get into the best schools. These years are life altering, and it is worth our concentrated efforts to place these students in safe and healthy environments, which challenge and inspire them. Our performance schedule is always busy in the fall, with our younger students performing at the Halloween extravaganza of “Children Affected by Aids Foundation”, while the older students are preparing for the November benefit. We just finished recording “Santa Do the Mambo” for the “Carols for the Cure” CD to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.


Our bags are packed and we’re ready to go! We should be in the building any day now. I look forward to the time where we will be a family under one roof!

With Kind Regards,
Lori

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Rachael Ray Show

Here's the RBKids' performance from the September 10th episode of the Rachael Ray Show!



Monday, September 8, 2008

Watch us on TV!

Watch Rosie's Broadway Kids perform on Rachael Ray, Wednesday, September 10! Check your local listings for time and channel information.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Nothing Will Ever Be The Same"

Here are more pictures of the two oldest groups, Teams Broadway and Excel, as they perform in the original musical "Nothing Will Ever Be The Same."






Friday, August 22, 2008

Team Applause

Some more pictures of Team Applause performing at the Summer Intensive...




Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bravo!

Here are some more pictures of Team Bravo's final performance of the 2008 Summer Intensive.






Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pictures!

Check out these pictures of our kids performing at the Summer Intensive.

Team Bravo



Team Applause




Teams Excel and Broadway perform "Nothing Will Ever Be The Same," an original musical based on their own stories





Monday, August 4, 2008

Fan Mail

After seeing the kids perform last week, one of our biggest fans sent us this review of the show...


Dear Lori,

I walked around today after the RBK performance and found myself so moved by the show that I knew I had to sit down and write you. It is-I unabashedly admit-a fan letter.

I always enjoy any RBK performance. I so admire the incredibly hands on work you do with the kids, the many gifts you give them, the way you guide them to become better performers, better students, better people. Today's performance, I think, was such a glorious coming together of the talent they have as well as the people these kids are. A new high for RBK, it was-simply put-wonderful. Many words come to mind....simple, honest, sung, danced and acted beautifully. It was wonderful to see the newer kids (so talented!) and I (of course) LOVE that the Nothing Will Ever Be The Same originated from a writing workshop. Bravo! And so brave!

So I'm raising a glass to you and the RBK staff today. Cheers to you for the work you do. Cheers to both the work that performs onstage and the personal work that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. I admire your entire staff.

And cheers also to the kids. Their bravery as they strive to find themselves serves as a source of inspiration to everyone who has the good fortune to see them. Their truth telling, and their ability to remind us all how difficult it is to be that age, is a gift. This was not just a cute show with kids in it-it was a wonderful and moving piece of theater that I would have paid top dollar to see. Please pass along my praise and bravos.

Congratulations,

Sharon Wheatley
Founding member of The Rosie's Broadway Kid's Fan Club. (Let's face it-I'm a groupie. And proud of it.)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

5 Minutes to Curtain!

Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures of the RBKids preparing for their final summer performances.

Stay tuned for more pictures and videos of the kids on stage!





Friday, August 1, 2008

say - who was pat maravel? - rosie writes

Yesterday RBKids wrapped up its 2008 Summer Intensive program with the last of four performances put on by the students for their families, friends, and industry professionals.

The next step for us is the move into our new building, the Maravel Arts Center, which will house music and dance studios, administrative offices, and spaces for the kids to use to study and relax. To find out more about the building and how you can help us build Maravel Arts Center, click here.

Below is a special post from Rosie about her former teacher, Pat Maravel, for whom our new building is named.



a post from Rosie
MARAVEL

ms maravel – a twenty something beautiful
almost hippie math teacher
who was engaged to mr pic -
the band teacher I loved instantly -

she - ms maravel -
caught me in the hall
without a pass
the third day of seventh grade

“open your locker – take out all the books”
I did – speechless
with arms full she slammed the locker door closed
“next time – detention, now go”
and I did
our first meeting
without even a hello

pat maravel died last week
nearly three decades after our rocky start.
we buried her today.
I sat today in the front row,
where she placed me from the start
inside her family.
a part of, my very own

I was born twice –
once in 1962,
to a woman who left so quickly,
I never got to know her.
I carry her name,
and from the few photos I have,
her face as well

i was born again
in 1975 to pat maravel,
a woman who refused to let go
she forced life back into my soul –
she stood solid and strong –
she showed up –
she stayed

i never got to ask her why she did it.
rescued this lost puppy of a girl,
motherless and starving
nothing special in any way
What did she see in me?

i tested her for years,
not able to trust,
still so broken.
bit I couldn’t shake her
no matter how I tried
and i did
i was her most difficult child,
she always says –
said
past tense
it hurts to breathe

will I ever stop refrencing my mother
i feel like Liza - with a z
here we go again
this old chestnut

when my mom was sick,
I thought if Barbras mom was sick,
she would go on Johnny Carson
and ask people to send a dollar and then would
and she would buy medicine
and her mom would liv
i believed that true
it’s not.
I have the money now,
and my second mom was not saved
there is no magic medicine

“do you think I am dying?”
she asked me in december
“yes” I anwsered
“me too” she said

then after a moment,
“ro, this is going to be very hard for you”
i laughed as i cried, telling her
“i could not love you more – I will look after the two you pushed out.”
she put on her glasses to get one last look
held me face in her hands
and said “now go”
i did

god has a sense of humor
she gave me two mothers
both die of breast cancer
both times I am devastated beyond words

pat maravel taught me about mothering freedom and family.
about tolerance, activism and compassion
she showed me how to live, how to love, how to give back
she had strong opinions with an open mind
and a will to live that defied doctors rules

I watched myself on 20/20
talking about parenting
i realized just today
I sounded like pat
the way I speak to my children
is the way she spoke to me

when she was dying –
almost too ill to talk
i brought an 8x10 of the kids
for her to see
she smiled with the parts of her face
that still worked

i put it on top of the dresser
in plain view – near the window
after an hour of only one word replys
i got up to go

she stared at me hard
wanting to say something
i could tell
she nodded toward the picture

“the photo pat?”
yes she nodded
i took it down and brought it to her
all emotional and dramatic
“did you want to see the kids pat?”
she rolled her eyes at me and said
no - window
then laughed

my picture was blocking her view
of the birds and trees
i got it – cracked up
then retold it to Joy, Dolores and Jessie
in front of her
she laughed every time
her closing joke

i miss her a lot
now especially
when I feel so much like myself
again


Barbara Walters asked me if my mom
would be proud of me

she was –
her name was pat maravel


she told me so

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thanks!

To reward two of our students who went above and beyond in their fundraising efforts for the Walk-a-Thon, Broadway.com donated gift certificates that can be redeemed for a pair of tickets to the Broadway show of each winner's choice. Both the student who raised the most money and the student who received the most individual donations were awarded with the certificates.

A huge thanks to Broadway.com for their support of Rosie's Broadway Kids and for the generous gift they gave to our deserving students!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

In less than 24 hours, our kids will be debut-ing their first book musical - the office and studios are buzzing with activity as we prepare for our audience tomorrow afternoon!

Thanks for the comments, all - we love to hear them - and check back soon to hear about how it went!!

Walk-a-Thon

a post from Lindsay
They did it! All 61 of our kids walked the 6.1 mile loop around Central Park last Tusday, with the help of eleven trusty chaperones (2 of us from the office, 6 interns, 2 parents, and 1 volunteer). Some people may shudder at the thought of being responsible for safely escorting a herd of abnormally energetic (though awfully sweet) kids 6.1 miles around a park – add to that the usual disgruntled New York City bikers, runners, walkers and occasional hot dog carts getting in your way (or maybe it’s us getting in their way – I suppose it’s a matter of perspective) and you’ve got a big job on your hands. But, in the end, it actually turns out to be a great experience for everyone – chaperones get to know each kid intimately as their personalities unfold through the stories they tell as they walk the loop, and kids feel a strong sense of accomplishment as they high five at the end of the trip. As an added bonus, we got a lot of free PR by traipsing around in our RBKids T-shirts, exploding with song and smiling faces. I hope some curious bystanders went home and Googled us!

Kicking off at about 9:30 in the morning, the walk was littered with snippets of enthusiastically sung songs (a passerby commissioned a song sung in unison by all of the kids at once, which prompted an improvised “This Joint Is Jumpin’” right about at the Onassis Reservoir), a lot of “Good morning sir! This is the Rosie’s Broadway Kids Walkathon!” and the occasional “How much longer???” Due to the promise of a Spirit Award, most kids were on their best behavior, encouraging positive thinking and keeping the pace. Lauren, one of the youngest in Team Bravo, coined our slogan for the walk, “Let’s DO this,” which was continually repeated throughout the 2 hours on the trail. Very motivational.

We made it through the “scattered showers” this morning with positive spirits, and ended the trip at around 12 noon with no injuries or lost children. Phew.

And here's some breaking news... the kids have turned in their sponsor forms and we have tallied the donations.... and they raised over $5500! What a huge accomplishment and great way for the kids to give back to this program they love.

Here are some pictures from the walk...



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Great Expectations

a post from Steven

I realized today that I've come to expect a lot from these kids. None of the musicians on staff really thought twice about throwing them arrangements as vocally dense as any Broadway score. We just knew they would make it happen.

And have they ever.

I picked my jaw up off the floor today as I listened to twenty kids -- all under the age of 16 -- belt out six and seven part harmony flawlessly.

Did I mention it's only been three weeks? It's not always so perfect or easy for them but today was truly magical.

Today, I saw twenty kids become a Broadway chorus.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Everybody's Free

movie captured by FlipVideo


Watch as Team Applause (RBKids 6th graders) rehearse for the final performance:

video

What a Circus!

movie captured by FlipVideo

Last Friday, company members of the new Broadway show "Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy" came to perform and teach the kids a few tricks...


video

Priceless

a post from Tina

  • Rushing through crowds of business people in Midtown trying to get to work each morning, Starbucks Coffee in tow...$4.75
  • Subway ride to Times Square in the warm summer air...$2.00
  • Smiling while walking up the steps to of the studio to meet the amazingly talented kids waiting to dance...Priceless

I cannot believe we're done with the third week already...
We got through our first non-stop run through of the show on Friday, it
took about an hour. There was nothing but proud and accomplished
feeling from the whole cast. Everyone cheered and exchanged high fives
and the final chord of "Sure Looks Good To Me." To be able to see the
work that they have put in, all come together on the stage was simply
moving.
The show is going to be fantastic and they deserve it!!
I would be able to take up this whole blog page with wonderful things
to say...so until next time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

City Center Tour

a post from Laura
The hard work continues for Team Bravo and Team Applause as week two begins to wind down. But amidst all the new dance combinations and voice parts, Team Bravo was able to take a field trip through the NYCityCenter Theater, currently home to the Encores! production of Damn Yankees! They walked in single file with their hands clasped in front of them, and experienced their first look out at an audience from a real professional stage. It was some of the few moments of silence we experienced this week, quickly burst by the raising of anxious hands with millions of questions!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time to Explore


a post from Jeff
The show is completely staged.
Now the hard part begins.

We've got a map...
Now it's time to explore.
Make discoveries.
Make specific choices.
Fine tune.

Some of them are already making strong choices.
Rosie always talks about stepping up
As an understudy, and making the most of an opportunity
Well, Mary is doing just that.
Singing out, taking risks
Creating moments
Setting a good example for the other understudys.

Doug is working on his vocal clarity, and improving.
He discovered that if he relaxes on stage
His diction and speech follows suit.
2 days ago he said he didn't think he could learn a speech
2 days later he knows it!

Members if the Class (Ensemble) will be writing monologues.
Each of them has the chance to create a character
From scratch...
A difficult, but important task.

For some of them, it is their first ever book musical.

For all of them, it is a great opportunity to have an unforgettable summer!

Blog ya later...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

7 Days


a post from Thecla
Team Bravo now has 7 days under their belts
Ballet, tap, jazz, drama and voice
Each day they enter the studios and more of their personalities are revealed

One kid asks each day when he'll be meeting Rosie
Another wonders what time she'll get to eat her lunch
Still another asks if we'll get to rehearse "Birdhouse in Your Soul"
Yes, I respond
He does a victory dance

Juggling Harry came in to teach them to juggle, some managed to juggle 3 tennis balls in less than 45 minutes!
These kids are becoming performers and most don't even realize it
They just know that they're having fun

We are too.


Watch the kids as they learn their number for the final summer performance...

movie captured by FlipVideo




video