Ovation winner “The Big Voice: God or Merman?” benefit for kids

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“The Big Voice: God or Merman” returns to the  Avery Schreiber Theatre in North Hollywood on July 25, where it played to sold-out crowds, won a 2005 Best Musical Ovation Award and laid the groundwork for an incredible off-Broadway run that the New York Times called “…triumphant and sidesplitting – a hilarious and utterly rewarding evening of musical theatre.”

Created by (and starring)  theatre pros Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin, “The Big Voice” chronicles their love story…a story of a Catholic Brooklyn boy who wanted to be pope until he heard Ethel Merman, an Arkansas Baptist who longed to be an evangelist until his mother told him to write a song, and a unique partnership beginning in 1985 that has survived the good, the bad and the incredibly hysterical.


Ovation winner "The Big Voice: God or Merman" will perform for one-night-only July 25 with the proceeds from the show (at $25 a ticket) going to benefit Total Improv for Kids.

Playing for one-night-only, the proceeds from the show (at $25 a ticket) will go to benefit Total Improv for Kids, a unique school that uses the art of theatrical improvisation to offer kids a fun an exciting means of tapping into and expanding their imaginations. Not necessarily focused on prepping students for a career in “the biz,” Total Improv for Kids instead focuses on building life and social skills and self-confidence that they can draw from no where their lives take them.

“It’s an honor to have entertainers of this caliber recognizing and supporting our school,” said Linda Fulton, founder of Total Improv. “We couldn’t be more excited to host this amazing event.”

Fulton has a long history with both Brochu and Schalchlin, who used Linda’s Avery Schreiber Theatre as both a rehearsal space and later a performance space as the show began to grow and accumulate awards (and big crowds).

“Since we live in North Hollywood , for us the Avery Schreiber Theatre is like a second home,” Schalchlin said. “Linda does great work for the community and for kids. We felt it was our obligation to support the work, especially when it involves young people.”

Brochu and Schalchlin have also been long-time supporters of Total Improv, using past students in improv movies and they jumped at the chance to help support the organization.

“When we used to rehearse at the Avery Schreiber Theatre, we became inspired by the talent of the young people in Total Improv for Kids,” Brochu said. “In return, we hope to demonstrate to them how our show, in its simplicity, is made up of two men on a bare stage with only two chairs, a keyboard and a mirror ball (similar to the ‘non-props’ used in improv) and how they themselves can write an off-Broadway show without all the bells and whistles many people think is necessary for a professional production.”

The Big Voice: God or Merman? July 25 8 p.m. Avery Schreiber Theatre 11050 Magnolia Blvd.North Hollywood, CA 91601 General Admission: $25 INFORMATION & RESERVATIONS: For further information, please call: (818) 766-9100 Or to purchase tickets online: www.theatremania.com For more information on the show, check out: www.thebigvoice.com

About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.