Masked Productions To Host Benefit Concert For 4-H

The sound of the 1970s is set to ring the in ears of area residents.

Masked Productions is set to present the “Sounds of Motown” benefit concert for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County 4-H on the stage of the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts at 8 p.m. on Friday.

From covers of Steve Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” the soulful “Sounds of Motown” will be revived by a variety of local musicians and performers. The cast includes: Shannon Nixon, Jamie Lee Bonfiglio-Davis, Karen Buck, Logan Beard, Angelo and Ylsa Giuffre, Corey Osbourne, Kevin Gleason and others.

According to Nixon, producer and performer, the show began as solely a concert, but has grown to also include a radio show feel.

“We’ll have a lot of classic Motown numbers that people are sure to recall, and we’ll mesh that with a radio show to add some comedy,” Nixon said. “I found an old public domain radio script called ‘It Pays To Be Ignorant’ that is kind of like a game show. So, in between the music we’ll have a bunch of local performers getting in touch of their inner comedian.”

Nixon feels the event will be an opportunity for kids to be exposed to classic music, but will also serve to entertain a more mature audience as well.

“Guests will be able to appreciate the music in a live form instead of on the radio or by listening to the original artists,” Nixon said.

In addition to acting as producer for the show, Nixon will also perform as a member of the cast. Not only will she sing as backup on several numbers, but she’ll also take on a duet with Beard, and a finale performance of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.”

Nixon is also partly responsible for the idea to raise funds for 4-H. As a member of 4-H horse program in her youth, Nixon gained much from her participation, and feels that she wants to give back to the organization so that others have access to the opportunity she did.

“It taught a lot about responsibility, and how to contribute back to the community,” Nixon said. “So, I think this is my opportunity to contribute back to the organization that taught me the importance of being active in the community.”

4-H is a youth development program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County. According to Emily Kidd, 4-H issue leader, it offers a variety of youth development career readiness and life skills programming to more than 1,300 area youth. For more information about 4-H, call 664-9502 or visit www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua.

Tickets to Friday’s show are $15 presale, $20 at the door, or $25 for a VIP ticket to the “Have A Heart For 4-H” reception set for 7 p.m. Tickets can be ordered by calling 484-7070 or by visiting www.reglenna.com. The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts is located at 116 E. Third St. in Jamestown.

In addition to Masked Productions, sponsors of the event include: Wall Street Dairy LLC and H&H Enterprises. For more information, search for “Sounds of Motown” on Facebook.