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October cabaret fundraiser to support Bing renovations

By G. Michael Dobbs
Managing Editor
SPRINGFIELD A fundraiser to help move the renovation of the former Bing Theater to its second phase will feature an evening of cabaret.
The Bing Arts Center, 716 Sumner Ave., will present a special cabaret night fundraiser, "You Go To My Head," Oct. 15, at 8 p.m. The show, "Songs Straight Up, with a Twist," will be performed by Hillarie O'Toole and Matt Meers with accompaniment by Larry Picard on piano and Carl Montefusco on drums.
Brian Hale, who is heading the renovation effort at the Bing explained to Reminder Publications the arts center has established regular gallery hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and is booking more musical acts. The goal is to have an event every Friday starting in 2011.
The non-profit arts center, though, is still "scrambling for funds," he said. A grant from Hampden Bank has given the arts center necessary start-up operational funds, but a regular flow of revenue is needed.
Hale explained events presented in the first phase of renovation the lobby and storefronts that are now gallery spaces have drawn audiences. The musical group Rising Tide drew 80 people when they played the Bing in April and are returning Oct. 8.
The cabaret night features O'Toole, a singer and actress who appeared with the Springfield Symphony and Commonwealth Opera. Meers' performance credits include Commonwealth Opera, "Saturday Night Live" and "Sex in the City."
Picard is the Director of Music Ministries at South Congregational Church in Springfield. A graduate of Classical H.S., Hartt School of Music and Manhattan School of Music, he has performed on tour both nationally and inter-nationally. Montefusco, a neighborhood resident, has performed with many local bands and is the executive producer and co-founder of No Cover Caf , a collective of audio/video engineers and musicians, which produces programming featuring original music of local artists. Tickets for the show are $25 and include appetizers, desserts and drinks. They are on sale at Flowers! Flowers! at 758 Sumner Ave. and will also be available at the door.
The other October events include:
Oct. 8: Rising Tide
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. A $10 donation is requested at the door. They'll present their special blend of American popular and folk songs.
Oct. 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30: "Hall of Horrors" Interactive Haunted House. Youth from the Bing's summer theater program present a horrific spectacle! Enter if you dare! Hours are 7 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 per person.
For more information, call 731-9730 or visit www.bingartscenter.org.
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