Musical revue benefits Bennett scholarships

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This year’s Jonathon Scott Bennett Scholarship event, “Masquerade: An Andrew Lloyd Webber Revue,” will feature a guest appearance by Alan Campbell, friend of Barton College Theatre and Tony Award nominee for his starring role in Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard.”

The fourth annual fundraising event is Sept. 8 at 7:30 in the Kennedy Family Theatre at Barton College.

Barton’s theater director, Adam Twiss, was quick to make the connection between an Andrew Lloyd Webber concert and Campbell; an invitation to perform for a great cause is all it took.

The musical revue will include music from Webber’s most famous shows: “Phantom of the Opera,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Evita,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Cats” and “Sunset Boulevard,” as well as some more obscure shows. There will also be songs from some of Webber’s most recent works: “Love Never Dies” and “Wizard of Oz.”

A company of 12 performers will open the program with the rousing chorus of “Masquerade” and continue with solos, duets and choruses, including “Pie Jesu” from “Requiem,” “Buenos Aires” from “Evita,” “Tyre Tracks and Broken Hearts,” a stirring duo performed by Hannah Slaughter and Clay Raines. Perennial favorites such as “Memory,” “Close Every Door” and “All I Ask of You” is programmed as well.

Cast includes Adam Twiss, Jim Grant, Eddie Atkins as baritones; tenors Caleb Skinner, Michael Blackmon and Clay Raines. The soprano and alto parts will be sung by Elizabeth Winstead, Jane Kolunie, Bobbi Jo Bone, Hannah Slaughter and Lindsay Cookson. All of these are seasoned performers in the various theater venues in Wilson. Patsy Gilliland from Rocky Mount, talent winner of the Miss America contest in 1969, will also perform.

The Jonathon Scott Bennett Scholarship has given awards to six students in the last five years. The scholarship was set up to honor the life of Bennett, who died in April of 2013 while a junior at East Carolina University. Bennett graduated from Fike High School in 2010 and was an outstanding student, excelling academically, athletically and in the arts. While a student in Wilson, he became an Eagle Scout, participated in the Rotary’s Youth Leader program and performed with ACT! for Youth and Playhouse. He was also active at First Baptist Church in Wilson.

Tickets are available in advance at the box office of the Boykin Center. Student tickets are $10, and general admission tickets are $25. In cabaret-style, there will also be stage-side seating, two for $100, that includes hors d’oeuvres and libations. Seating for the event is limited.