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  New York Times
A Theatrical Work to Do Good Works
By Kathryn Shattuck
December 2, 2007
"I remember the day I got a two-page letter from Disney allowing me to use a song from ‘Aida,’” Mr. Ehrlich said, still incredulous. “I never thought in a million yeasrs that could happen. I knew then that this was truly a miracle.”
“All the people associated with the show have donated their talents.Publishers and composers, and in some cases their estates, have relinquished their royalties in exchange for credit in the playbill.”   
Te Scarsdale Inquirer
EHS Becomes Great White (Oak Way)
Charity performance to benefit brain cancer research
By Heather Murray
November 16, 2007
“Show tunes will fill the Edgemont High School auditorium two weeks from now, but the stage hands won’t be going on strike like their brethren on Broadway. These stagehands, some of whom are high school apprentices, signed on for free along with the rest of the cast and crew, the creators, writers and musicians, of the musical benefit ‘Hear Our Song' "    
Playbill
Hear Our Song, Featuring Broadway Songbook,
to Benefit Local Charities

By Adam Hetrick
18 Oct 2007
“Harmony Entertainment Group will present ‘Hear Our Song,’ an original review utilizing popular songs from the musical theatre canon, as a benefit for several local charities.”    
Dailynews
“The restoration effort, which has just begun, will get a major financial boost Saturday when
‘Hear Our Song,’ a special charity musical featuring Broadway talent, is performed at Candlewood Middle School in Dix Hills. It’s a Broadway musical on Long Island.”
Newsday.com
By Steve Parks
“Friends of the Coltrane Home in Dix Hills are getting some help from new friends. One of them, Joel Ehrlich—who’s known ever since his student days at East Meadow Middle School that show business was for him—presents ‘Hear Our Song’ Saturday at Candlewood Middle School. The new musical is Ehrlich’s latest venture: a traveling fundraiser for causes of his choosing, in this case to make a museum out of late jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s Long Island home.”
Rockland
Rockland parents raise money for Rett Syndrome research
By Jane Lerner
October 29, 2007
“NYACK—A group of Rockland parents whose daughters have an autism-like disorder have raised more than half a million dollars over the past several years for research into Rett syndrome.”
ABC“We wanted to reinforce the idea that as human beings, we all go through the same basic ages and stages of life. And that we learn from all of our experiences and from the people we meet along the way. We want the audience to walk out with a smile on their faces. Therefore, I decided to use five women, ages 20-50+, and demonstrate through dialogue, but mostly through song, that we share the same basic hopes, dreams, neuroses, catharses, and epiphanies. My partner, Joan Lazer, and I developed each character, giving them a life of their own. We came up with 17 terrific songs from composers like Bernstein, Gershwin, Sondheim, Jason Robert Brown, David Shire and Richard Maltby, Kander and Ebb, Elton John, just to name a few.”  See the ABC Interview

On the Level with Hezi Aris
November 27, 2007

”Listening to people and their stories is fascinating. Everybody wants to tell their story. The premise of Hear Our Song is that the characters are telling you who they are. And you identify with them. When I originally conceived this idea with Joan Lazer, the initial idea was a bit too heavy. So, we had to make the seriousness of life comedic. That’s how people would understand it and appreciate it.”

“If you’re a good director, you go to the back of the theater and watch the audience. If you see the audience moving toward the actors, you know the audience is engaged. And that’s what we see. We want theater to touch us and take us away. “

”One of the songs in the show, ‘I’m Still Here’, is about the fact that the 60-year-old character has seen everything and is still here to tell about it. A lot of the lyrics were about people from many years ago. But when we thought about changing the lyrics to make them more current, we decided that we had to be respectful of the song, and that in the end, the lyrics would give the message that they had been giving for the past 30 years. And it does.”

“We were working on the show, doing the marketing, have never worked so hard, never been so tired and never been so fulfilled.”

Heart and Soul with Kampalya Thunderbird
“We wanted to do something different—something that wasn’t just going to a dinner and writing a check. Music is the universal language that we thought would move people to not only write a check to a deserving charity, but would give them a great evening of entertainment that would touch them personally. We wanted to go after charities that really needed help. Not the charities that everyone knows. We thought that it was particularly important that we go to charities that get no government money…charities that are totally dependent on individuals.”

“Let’s talk marketing for a second. Part of the goal was not only to raise the money, but to raise the awareness. The exposure that these charities now have received is remarkable. “

IMP (It’s My Passion)
IMPnow.com is backed by industry leaders who truly value giving back to the artist community. The site’s overall goal and purpose is to empower artists to achieve their visions by providing them with the practical networking tools and educational backgrounds necessary to succeed in their respective fields. IMPnow accomplishes this by connecting its artists with respected and established members of the arts and entertainment industry.

Hear and see Joel's interview about the ins and outs of producing a theatrical production as well as key pointers for aspiring actors and actresses.

 

 

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