Two local performing arts companies have joined forces to bring holiday cheer at the historic Paramount Center for the Arts and restore the hopes of the merchants and Peekskill residents following the recent closing of the Paramount.
The production of "Yes, Virginia" the musical on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 was born out of several children's wishes and determination to fill the stage with music and dance again.
The Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill was the first big stage young performers, including Mohegan Lake's two sisters Maddie and Gabbrielle Sansone and their friend Miles Harvey, performed.
Gabrielle Sansone, the girl with the long hair and big voice, is best known for her role of Annie in the sold out performances at the Paramount in 2011. She has since gone on to perform professionally throughout Northern Westchester, Connecticut and New York City.
The talented performer is full of dreams and hopes for her future – from becoming a professional performer on Broadway, to combining her other passions for horses and skiing, and becoming a veterinarian. Earlier this year she played Candy in the off-Broadway musical Zombie Prom.
On Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 she and her sister, along with several other performers, will grace the Peekskill stage for a performance of "Yes, Virginia" which is presented by Antonia Arts and Rising Stars Performing Arts Academy. The mission of the two non-profit organizations is to make performing arts accessible to all children along with staging family friendly and affordable musical theater in the Northern Westchester community.
"Yes, Virginia" sends a message to believe all things are possible even reopening the Paramount, according to a press release.
"The community is hopeful a organization will step forward soon," the statement read. "The cast and crew are hopeful this production will gain some attention to how much the Paramount is needed in Northern Westchester community."
The musical is co-directed by Laura Rizzo and Scarlet Antonia; Michelle DeAngelis is the musical director. The cast of more than 20 performers is made up of all local children ages 8 to 18. It is a mix of talented professional child performers and eager first-timers many who had never appeared on stage.
Proceeds from the shows will be used to support additional performing arts programs for children. Donations will also be made to local charities to help people who suffered damages and loss from Hurricane Sandy.