BY SANDY STAGGS
Glow Lyric Theatre’s summer season triple-bill is still some five months away, but patrons can still take in the company’s cavalcade of talent in its year-round Raising Voices series.
This year’s series of concerts kicks off Feb. 5-6 at The Warehouse Theatre for a two-evening celebration of “All Creatures Great and Small,” presented in conjunction with two Greenville charities: Saved by the Heart and Concerned Citizens for Animals SC.
This cabaret-style show ranges from opera, to musical theatre, to Motown, and tons of Disney. And this production is a great, family friendly cabaret, designed to celebrate the joy our pets give us,” says Director and Co-founder Jenna Tamisiea.
“What’s fun about the show is that we go between telling stories as humans about our pets, to literally singing as if we were our pets- so it allows for some really kooky, fun moments.”
This event features several Glow veterans like Jake Thomason, Leigh Ann Murdaugh, Laura Thomason, Sara Magun, Nicholas Hawkins, and General Director & Co-founder Christian Elser, who SPOILER ALERT will be singing and accompanying himself on “Easy to Be Green.”
“He makes a great Kermit,” she assures us.
Lisa Lipscomb is accompanying on piano, and there will be a special guest appearance by composer Jon Grier, whose original work is also featured in the show.
This program is a fundraiser for Glow, but Jenna says the main goal for any of Glow’s” Raising Voices” productions is to give “a megaphone for the marginalized voices in our community, as well as raise awareness for the really awesome non-profits here in the Upstate.”
“And to provide,” she added, “a way for the arts to be an inspiration for those who want to get involved with these service organizations.”
Choosing these animal charities for this presentation was a no brainer for the Elsers, who are passionate animal lovers and parents to both a rescue kitty and rescue puppy.
Bubbers is a Papillion mix, about 8 years old, and “the weirdest little dog ever,” Jenna says. And Kiko is a big tall tabby cat, who loves to bring mice and birds from outside.
“Christian is a huge animal lover,” she says. “He’s like a Disney Princess and animals just flock to him.”
The married couple has wanted for some time to create a performance piece celebrating the joy that their own rescue animals have brought them and “make sure that we as humans care for and be a voice to voiceless animals.”
“We wanted to involved local rescue groups- and both of these groups have proven that their service to animals is vital,” she says. “We want to support them in their missions!”
And if audiences join Glow for the pre-show reception, both Saved by the Heart and Concerned Citizens for Animals will have animals there available for adoption.
The next “Raising Voices” event is on March 19 with “Armed,” a performance that responds to the gun violence we see in our state and in our country. This performance is meant to bring differing views together to start a conversation, so it will feature lots of different opinions and responses to gun issues. For this event, Glow is partnering with Arm in Arm SC, Moms Demand Action SC and Safe Harbor.
Glow’s Summer Festival Season “Demand the Right to Dream” includes the smash Broadway hit IN THE HEIGHTS, a fiesta of a show by HAMILTON creator Lin-Manuel Miranda that will have you dancing down the aisles. Then, be empowered by the heroic actions of Leonora as she fights to save her husband in Ludwig van Beethoven’s only opera, FIDELIO. Finally, you’ll shed tears of laughter as you follow the hilarious forbidden love between the refined Josephine and the rough and tumble sailor Ralph in Gilbert & Sullivan’s operetta HMS PINAFORE.
“All Creatures Great and Small” runs Feb. 5-6 at The Warehouse Theatre, 37 Augusta St. in Greenville. For tickets the “Raising Voices” Series and to all Glow events, visit www.glowlyric.com/ or call (864) 558-4569.