If you missed the December 1 musical tribute to BCC cantorial soloist Fran Chalin, entitled “Always in our Hearts,” you missed a very special evening. If you were there, you’ll cherish the songs and the parodies, the jokes and the testimonials, almost as much as you’ll miss Fran.
In addition to Fran herself, a choir of accomplished cantors and cantorial soloists graced the stage at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills – Cantors Perryne Anker, Marcelo Gindlin, Evan Kent, Sam Radwine, and Aviva Rosenbloom, and BCC members Cantor Ellen Jaffe Gill and Barry Wendell. And our special guest star Gwen Stewart, the original soloist for “Seasons of Love” in the Broadway production of “Rent,” received a standingovation for that song and for “I Know Where I’ve Been” from “Hairspray.” There was Yiddish, of course, with Fran and the BCC band and choir performing “Alle Brider” (All Brothers), “Bei Mir Bist Du Sheyn” (By Me You Are Beautiful), and “Lomir Alle Freylich Zayn” (Let’s All Be Happy), among others. Thebookends for the concert were the songs “Grateful” and “Let Music Bring us Together,” the latter jointly by Fran and Tamara Kline-Rivera.
Our thanks for this wonderful evening go to Mindy Blum and Amanda Bender (organizers and worker bees), Ted Greenberg and Ray Eelsing (stage direction and aesthetics), Pam Postrel and Jacob Omer Bar-Sadeh (video), Davi Cheng and Joanne Laipson (graphic design), Tamara Kline-Rivera (musical producer and pianist), and Cecilia Quigley (scrumptious desserts), as well as BCC’s executive director Felicia Park- Rogers, Victoria Delgadillo, and Tim Goad, and the clergy and staff of Temple Emanuel. We thank our guest musicians Jonathan Lee, Rachel Siegel, Megan Foley, Larry Tuttle, Brady Cohan, and Novi; BCC’s klezmer band Gay Gezunt (Amanda, Davi, Scott Ferguson, Jeanelle LaMance, Dave Parkhurst, Stephanie Plotin, Lauren Schlau, Tami Singer, and Rebecca Weinreich); and BCC’s choir Shirey Chayim (Amanda, Davi, Ilene Cohen, Ray, Vanessa Eisemann, Liatt Granott, Ted, Howard Hamburger, Ellie Herscher, Jay Jacobs, Jeffrey Janis, Dave, Stephanie, Estaire Press, Cecilia, and Sue Terry). I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone; please accept my apologies.