Carrie Manolakos stars in the title role of this first-look benefit performance of IRENA, a new musical by Megan Cavallari (The Game, Hot Shoe Shuffle) and Kait Kerrigan (The Mad Ones, The Bad Years), directed by Jonah Platt (Dog Sees God) at Temple Emanuel Beverly Hills on January 26th (7pm) & 27th (1pm). Proceeds from the event will go toward the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.
IRENA musicalizes the true story of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker during World War II who rescued more than 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and preserved their original identities in jars that she buried in her yard. Where others stood by in fear, Irena was compelled to risk her life, proving that there is nothing more powerful than a determined - and underestimated - woman. With a lush melodic score, IRENA is a timely story of feminism, radical empathy, and doing right in the face of unspeakable wrong. Irena's heroism earned her the title of "Righteous Among the Nations" by the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, but her passion and rebellion are what make her a force to be reckoned with on the stage.
Carrie Manolakos (Wicked, Mamma Mia!) leads an all-star cast that includes Caitlin Ary(Westside, For the Record: Baz), Carly Bracco (Peter Pan, Grease Live), Laura Dickinson(three-time Grammy winner, Phineas & Ferb), Wilkie Ferguson (Motown, Porgy & Bess), Michael Scott Harris (Phantom of the Opera), Doug Kreeger (Les Miserables, For the Record: Love Actually), Ilysia Pierce (cantor at Temple for the Arts), Zak Resnick (Mamma Mia!, For the Record: Scorsese), Nick Sacks (Dear Evan Hansen, The Bad Years), Nickie Scates (Hair, Company), Hayley Shukiar (A Christmas Story Live, Dance Baby Dance), Bella Stine (Cartoon Network's Peanuts, Cucuy the Boogeyman), and Mitchell Wray (Finding Neverland). The event is stage managed by Amy Francis Schott & Sam Sherry.
The evening will be conducted by maestra Noreen Green (conductor of the LA Jewish Symphony), with Grammy Award-winning violinist Jeremy Cohen playing first chair with a live string quartet.
Tickets are available for purchase at http://tebh.org/irena.