Broadway revue comes to Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Jake Hayes of Albion performs “Make Them Hear You,” a song from Ragtime, during “A Night of Broadway” at St. Mary’s Athletic Club tonight in Albion.

Matt Mayne sings “Purpose” from Avenue Q during tonight’s debut show from JMS Productions, an event directed by Nick Russo and Shellene Bailey, both of Albion.

ALBION – St. Mary’s Athletic Club has long been a host for Little League baseball games and volleyball matches. Tonight, the Moore Street site was filled with the sounds of Broadway.

Albion resident Nick Russo, who has 12 years experience working in professional theater in Western New York, directed his debut production tonight for the newly formed JMS Productions. He planned the show with Shellene Bailey of Albion. She was one of six performers who sang popular songs from several Broadway shows.

“We wanted to bring the arts here,” Russo said before tonight’s show. “We’re talking about doing more in the future.”

Russo grew up in Albion as “a Simboli kid.” He was part of the high school musicals led by Gary Simboli, the long-time musical director.

Russo knew there was a lot of talent in the community. “We put out a call and we got an absolutely stellar response,” he said.

Jake Hayes auditioned and landed one of the spots in the cast. Hayes has been performing for Albion audiences since he was in the middle and high school musicals. The 23-year-old earned a marketing degree from Pace University in Manhattan.

He is happy to be home and have a venue to perform. He said the middle and high school musical program has developed many performers in the community who would welcome a chance to return to the stage.

“I love singing and performing,” he said. “And this is a way to give back to the community.”

The group will be back at St. Mary’s for another performance of “A Night On Broadway” at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

Victoria Barbis, left, and Shellene Bailey were part of a group that sang “21 Guns” from American Idiot during a show at St. Mary’s Athletic Club tonight. The group will return 1 p.m. Saturday for another performance.