With sold-out shows for five consecutive nights, the Diamond International Broadway to Barbados showcased Fifty Years of Rock and Roll last Friday evening. After a two-year hiatus, the cast was back to continue their fund-raising efforts for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).
Producer and star Neil Burg was accompanied by his esteemed cast which consisted of some of Broadway’s finest performers including Jarran Muse, Joey Calveri and Miss Yaya. They have starred in productions such as Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ Superstar, American and Motown.
The team took a break from their current tour to make the trip to Barbados. Since they were unable to perform for their fans recently, they treated them to a “half-show, half-concert”. Local saxophonist Andre Woodvine was also featured among the cast.
Burg narrated a detailed story which told of the rise and fall of many of the major players in the history of Rock and Roll. While some of the facts would have been familiar to loyal fans of the genre, those who were newly exposed to the information were enthralled with the exciting tale he told.
Burg’s production saw patrons singing at the top of their voices and dancing in the aisles from its introductory moments. Using the 1920s as its starting point, the stellar show featured music by the Beatles, Etta James, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen and the Righteous Brothers.
Proceeds from the sale of the tickets will be used to purchase much needed equipment for the QEH. During the intermission, patrons made monetary contributions which would go towards the purchase of essential medical supply packs. These kits would contain pivotal items such as gloves, masks and gauze. The fundraising efforts also included a silent auction in which all the prizes were donated.
Dr Annemarie Hassell, Head of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, confirmed that as a result of their continued fundraising efforts, the QEH had one of the best-looking Intensive Care units in the Caribbean. Some areas which have benefitted from the funds are the Accident & Emergency and the Paediatric Departments.
A partnership with the Massy Foundation and Rotary West resulted in an upgrade of equipment in the Respiratory Unit at the hospital. Hassell assured that there was no need to be concerned about the maintenance of the machinery.
“This Trust has set aside a fund specifically for the maintenance of our equipment that we buy.”
The charity has also made provision for training for doctors and nurses, with the latter category of caregivers being internationally accredited at the conclusion of such training.
To date, the fundraising efforts have accumulated $2.8 million dollars for the QEH. (STT)