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Published: Thursday, 5/17/2007

New York performers return with a show to raise funds for the Rep


Actress Kirsten Kedzierski and several of her friends are putting on a show.

It's a very special show, ithey believe, one that offers thanks to a hometown theater that nurtured them.

Coming Home: A Benefit Cabaret is scheduled Saturday in the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, where Kedzierski, Carolina Burdo-Moravec, Maria Portaro, and Amelia Sheperd-Lefevre learned to love the stage.

"I think we all met in 1992 when we were like fourth-graders in the Young Rep Roadshow," Kedzierski said in a telelphone interview Tuesday.

Now performers in New York, the quartet is staging the one-performance show to raise funds for general maintenance of the theater and for its educational department, according to Kedzierski.

"All of us have really just wanted to give back to Toledo," Kedzierski said, and they guarantee that every nickel made will go to the Rep.

The production will be a cabaret-style show, with songs about getting out of Toledo, living in New York, and the occasional urge to come back.

Among the numbers to be performed are John Denver's "Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio," "Home," "A Summer in Ohio," "New York, New York," "I Wanna Go Home," and "As If We've Never Said Goodbye."

Along with the performance, there will be a silent auction with donations from the Toledo Symphony, the Mud Hens, the Toledo Ballet, and various salons and restaurants, as well as individuals who offering the use of vacation homes.

"Coming Home: A Benefit Cabaret" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Rep, 16 10th St., preceded by a light reception at 6:30. Tickets are $25. Information: 419-243-9277.

The Monroe Community Players presents Oliver! this weekend for the finale of it 2006-07 season.

The musical, based on Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, was adapted by Lionel Bart and opened in 1963 on Broadway, where it ran for more than 770 performances and won three Tony Awards.

Set in lower-class Victorian England, the story is about a boy who is taken from the orphans' home to be apprenticed to an undertaker. The conditions are cruel there, and Oliver runs away.

He is found wandering the streets of London by the Artful Dodger, a pickpocket, who recruits him to join a gang of child pickpockets run by Fagin.

The bleak conditions of Dickens' novel are somewhat toned down in the musical by such songs as "Food, Glorious Food," "Consider Yourself," and "As Long as He Needs Me."

For the MCP production, Oliver is played by Matthew Pettrey, Paolo Carone is the Artful Dodger, and Steven Thornton is Fagin.

Other key members of the cast, which numbers more than 50, are Keri Geftos as Nancy, Stephanie Kandes as Bet, and Jim Rollet as Bill Sykes.

The Monroe Community Players present "Oliver!" at 8 p.m. tomorrow, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Meyer Theater of the La-Z-Boy Center at Monroe Community College, 1555 South Raisinville Rd., Monroe. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and children. Information: 734-241-7900.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.

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