DOWNEY - The Performing Arts of Rancho program will present its first outdoor show on Friday, Aug. 5, at 5 p.m. at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center's Jacquelin Perry Institute backlot."STARS: An Acoustic Evening Under the Summer Sky," will include the talents of five new Rancho graduate performers as well as many veterans of the program. There is no charge to attend the show, which is open to the public. "This will be the most entertaining show in the history of the Performing Arts of Rancho," said program director and comedian Jay Cramer. "Maybe it's the allure of summer, maybe it's the opportunity to perform outside, or it could be the outstanding mix of actors, singers, dancers and comedians, but the one thing I can say is that this will be our best show ever." The upcoming performance will also mark the first time that two stages will be used for the Performing Arts program. "This will allow one performer to get ready while another is on stage," said Jay, who will be hosting the show and providing some comic relief. Jay is the reigning top comedian in Los Angeles. His wife, Katy Sullivan, an accomplished actress and paralympic athlete, will also be singing at the event. They are two of more than 20 Rancho STARS who will be shining next Friday. "Our stars are all Rancho Graduates who will be singing, dancing, acting and playing music to lift the spirit of Rancho patients, staff, families and friends in the community," Jay said. "I have been involved in several of these shows, and when the patients begin hitting the stage, it's magic." First-time Rancho graduate performers at the summer Performing Arts concert include: RICK COCO - Although Elvis is no longer among us, he often returns to the stage in the person of Rick Coco. "I love Elvis, I love his music, and I've always liked to sing," he said. The Santa Fe Springs singer placed second in a recent Elvis impersonator contest. "Now The King is coming to Rancho!" he exclaimed. ANNETTE A. REVILLA - "I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and inflammatory myositis last year," Annette said. "I first became a resident of Rancho on Christmas Eve of 2010 and I am currently an outpatient." She has been a photographer for 30 years and has taught commercial photography for more than a decade. She is also an outstanding singer who has performed with The Pasadena Pops, Jester Harrison's Choral for Cal State Los Angeles, Sierra Madre Chorale, Big Bands and 'Remember When' Vocal Group. She also starred in Carmen, The Pirates of Penzance and Orpheus of the Underworld. "I want to thank everyone at Rancho for bringing me back to life," she said. LOUIS ROSA - "I had a car accident in Kentucky about a year ago," Louis said. He spent five months doing rehabilitation there, then moved back to his hometown of Santa Monica. "When I found out about Rancho, everything changed for the better," he said "I would like to thank God, my family and my family at Rancho for all that they have done for me." PATRICK BURNS - Born in Pittsburgh, Patrick lived in New York for 15 years and has lived in Los Angeles for the last 30 years. "I came to Rancho in 2009 to help me deal with the effects of a stroke," Patrick said. "I'm a musician, writer, inventor, graphic artist, entrepreneur, and a comedian," he said. "Now I live in a senior home, which is a rich source for comedy material." LESLIE BAUVAIS - Leslie was born in New Orleans. "I am a musical veteran, having been a part of the National Touring Company of Les Miserables," she said. She made her way out to the West Coast in May of 2007. After a stroke in December of 2010, Leslie did her rehabilitation at Rancho. She also has two independently produced albums available for download on iTunes. "The Performing Arts of Rancho is just one of many innovative Rancho programs that provide our patients an opportunity to reconnect with the community in meaningful ways," said Chief of Rancho Therapies Lilli Thompson "All our performers work very hard for their chance to show their family members, friends and community members how far they've come, and we're delighted to see how much they accomplish." "I have been to several Performing Arts shows, and each has been a memorable experience," former Downey mayor Meredith Perkins said. "The performers' stories are truly amazing. I always come away from this show inspired, and proud that we have a world-renowned hospital in our community where miracles happen every day." For more information, call the Rancho Los Amigos Foundation at (562) 401-7053 or visit www.rancho.org.
********** Published: July 28, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 15