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Published: Thursday, 4/26/2001

Timothy Shew concert to benefit youth programs


Timothy Shew, who has starred on Broadway as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, sings at a benefit concert tomorrow night with the TSO Big Band in the SeaGate Centre.

Tunes such as "Bring Him Home," "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat," and "Just in Time" will be featured by Shew, accompanied by a jazzy 10-member rhythm and horn band organized by the Toledo Symphony.

Shew, whose mother, Susie Shew, lives in Toledo, played the lead role of the compassionate hero in Les Miserables in 1988 and 1989. Ten years later, he again played Jean Valjean for seven months in Australia, and in 1999, reprised it on Broadway.

He also has appeared in Broadway productions of Guys and Dolls, King David, Sunset Boulevard, and The Scarlet Pimpernel, and on several television shows, including the role of young Johnny Ryan on Ryan's Hope.

Last month, Shew sang at the University of Toledo's Doermann Theatre, an annual fund-raiser for music and counseling scholarships that raised $12,000. He lives in New York City but his collaborators for the 90-minute program tomorrow are in Toledo and Detroit. Putting together a musical show by e-mail has been made easier by Shew's musicality, said Keith McWatters, the Toledo Symphony's orchestra manager.

"Tim knows what he likes to sing and what's going to work, and I know the musicians," said Mr. McWatters. Detroit trumpeter and former Whitmer High School teacher Brad Sharp arranged the music.

Open to the public, the concert is a highlight of the Rotary District 6600 conference held at the Radisson Hotel this weekend. Proceeds will support young people in vocational programs. Rotary is an international service organization.

Shew once worked as a singing waiter at the former Westgate Dinner Theatre in Toledo. He is an ideal candidate for the concert, said Chuck Stocking, governor of the Rotary district that includes Northwest Ohio. "He's a local young man who has taken the path that's less traveled and has held up a wonderful example for young people."

The 67 Rotary clubs of Northwest Ohio, District 6600, sponsor programs to mentor and provide tutoring for students who study vocational education, and to encourage them to use their skills by doing volunteer work, said Mr. Stocking.

Timothy Shew and the TSO Big Band perform at 8:30 p.m. tomorrow in the SeaGate Centre, 401 Jefferson Ave. Tickets, $30, are available at the SeaGate Centre box office. Information: 321-5007.

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