At last, the big day has arrived, and Helen in a bit of a flap, getting ready to attend the 2023 UK Philanthropist of the Year Awards ceremony. She's wearing the fabulous one-off designer ball gown provided by the goddess Artemis, and Hermes is 'getting a lift'. What could possibly go wrong? I am joined by Frances Broudie Oldridge (Josie), John Warner (Jonathon) and Tayo Aluko (Deji) in the cast. Please let me know what you think of the story!
John T. La Barbera, film score composer, producer, guitar and stringed instrument virtuoso and concert artist, has won several awards and commissions from The Jerome Foundation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Martin Gruss Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, UMass-Dartmouth, and ASCAP.
His film scores include: Children of Fate (Academy Award Nomination 1992); The Old Guitarist starring Dominic Chianese; The Bounty Hunter; Sacco and Vanzetti ; Sister Italy; Pane Amaro; What's up Scarlet; Neapolitan Heart ; Finding The Mother Lode: Italian Immigrants in California; La Festa and Tarantella .
His silent film scores include Assunta Spina, (1915, Naples), ‘A Santa Notte (1922, Naples), Chaplin’s The Immigrant (1917) and The Adventurer (1917), The Black Hand (1906), The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) and The Adventures of Lieutenant Petrosino, (1912), Regeneration (1915)
In Theater, his expertise as composer, arranger and musical director was valuable in the off-Broadway productions of Souls of Naples, (Theater for a New Audience) starring John Turturro and the stage adaptation of Sicilian playwright Luigi Pirandello's short stories in Kaos, (New York Theater Workshop) directed by Marta Clarke. Folk Opera, Stabat Mater-Donna di Paradiso, was commissioned and performed at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
He has appeared on recording and performance projects with many great artists including folk singer Judy Collins, actor Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior- Sopranos), Hollywood film soundtracks, Walt Disney Productions, TV and Radio jingles, Broadway actress and star of The Lion King, South African vocalist Tsiddi Le Loka and the famed Italian American - Neapolitan singer, Jimmy Roselli.
As a producer he has recently produced I’m a Typical New Yorker for actor Dominic Chianese and worked for several labels including: Shanachie records, Meadowlark, Rounder Records, Lyrichord Disks, Ellipsis Arts, and Bribie Records.
He appears in the film When in Rome (Touchstone Films) as the wedding scene mandolinist/band leader and in the Bounty Hunter (Sony-Columbia) as the cocktail guitarist performing his own composition Cavatina Blue.
He is the author of the first and foremost book published in the U.S. on the Italian mandolin called Traditional Southern Italian Mandolin and Fiddle Tunes and Italian Folk Music For Mandolin, with Mel Bay Publications.
Since 1973 he has performed in concert halls around the world with classical music, jazz and traditional world music (as composer, solo guitarist and chamber music), throughout Europe, South America, Canada and the US and is the co-founder of I Giullari di Piazza, Inc., traditional southern Italian folk music and theater company in New York City since 1979 and artist in residence at The Cathedral of St. John The Divine.
He is an adjunct faculty professor of music at Bergen Community College and conducts workshop in Italy. His music can be found on: Bandcamp, DistroKid, YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud , CD Baby and his own website.
Flloyd Kennedy (aka Fairy Bessie), Australian-born actress, performance poet, singer-songwriter, director and voice/speech/accent coach, took part in the British folk revival in the late 60s, performed street theatre, cabaret and fringe theatre in Scotland throughout the 1980s and 90s, returned to Australia where she undertook research into the performing voice (specifically Shakespeare) for her doctorate. She has performed, directed, and taught voice and acting skills at colleges and universities in the UK, US and Australia. Now resident in Liverpool, UK, Flloyd tours her one-person versa plays with music around the world, performs her songs and poems at open mics in and around Liverpool. She also coaches student and professional actors, private individuals and community and corporate groups through her private studio Being in Voice. She is artistic director of Thunder’s Mouth Theatre (theatre of poetry, passion and philosophy), a Certified Teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork and is an Associate Artist with ISAAC (International School for Acting And Clown), She has now published two collections of poetry, songs and essays, Sunsets & Kites and Home is Where I Hang My Hat. Her songs are available on Bandcamp, as well as all major online streaming services.
Tayo Aluko is a playwright, a stage and TV actor, and a singer born in Nigeria, and living in Liverpool. His one-man play about Paul Robeson, titled CALL MR ROBESON, has taken him as far afield as the North West Territories of Canada and Australia and New Zealand, and to New York’s Carnegie Hall. A second play, JUST AN ORDINARY LAWYER, deals with Black liberation struggles worldwide, and has also been performed on three continents. He has initiated an international project titled MAPPING “GREATNESS,” in which people of the Global Majority worldwide film themselves performing his poem GREATNESS IN A TIME OF COVID in many languages, as a response to Imperialism and the global pandemic. His audio play PAUL ROBESON’S LOVE SONG is available online. He continues to write drama which demonstrates how Black History is everybody’s history, every day of every year, and is a history of resistance, resilience and triumph.
John is a Brisbane (Australia) based actor, director, producer. His company, Trocadero Productions is known for its site specific Shakespeare productions, and for his satirical reviews and musicals. Among his roles are Henry in Henry V, Edmund in King Lear, Trigorin in The Seagull, The Bastard in The Life and Death of King John, Aaron in Titus Andronicus, and John in A Life in the Theatre (the latter directed by Flloyd)
He is presently working on his fourth play, 0 is for Orson, and preparing a new outdoor production of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Frances is a vocalist, actor, voice actor and audio producer. She has just published her production of 'The Chavman Chronicles' written by Db Morgan and available on Audible, in which she also plays Mullins and Tracy Hummer as well as providing much of the background music.
The movie ‘Blood Highway’ based on real events is now out on Amazon Prime. Frances plays Francesca Rose, wife and mother placed in a home suffering from dementia. She appears as an apparition in a frightening sequence to her trapped pregnant daughter as she fights for her life in an overturned car.
Also, look out for Frances as Shelly Bass in ‘MorrisMen’, an urban revenge feature film due for release in 2023.
Upcoming projects for 2023 include the film 'Something Snapped’, as well as the release of a new album entitled ‘Consequence of Love’ plus a pop video.
You can access her back catalogue of music with Tracing Arcs on Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.
Begin at the very beginning, with Episode 1 "Kind Like Sharon". Or pick it up at Season 6, which is the beginning of Helen's life as a Super Hero!