By Ken Martin

SILENCE BROKEN: When I ceased writing this column on a regular basis, I said that I would be back if something special arose. Well, something has.

On Friday, February 29, the fifth annual “Light the Lights” concert will take place at the Redwood Chapel. This is one of my favorite CV events and one of the highlights of all CV happenings. While it is an opportunity to see excellent entertainment, its major function is to raise funds to support our beautiful Center for the Arts.

In the past years, we have seen Frederica Von Stade, a world-class mezzo-soprano, Val Diamond, a CVHS alumna and star of  the long running “Beach Blanket Babylon”, Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers, whose swing era music rocked the house, and the Oakland Gospel Choir, who are certainly at the top of their type of music. All of these augmented the phenomenal combination of all of our middle and high school choirs along with the CVHS orchestra, who alone are worth the price of admission. These students are a visual and aural delight and, as they have proven in many competitions, the best there is. To me the featured performer (Alice Lynn this year) is the frosting on a very sweet CVHS cake.  

This year’s featured performer will be Alice Lynn, another CVHS alumna that has gone on to greater fame as a New York star of theater, film, television, and caberet. At CVHS, she was active in the orchestra and jazz band and A’Capella choir and the Madrigal Singers. She appeared in several musicals while there including “The Sound of Music”, “The King and I” (with CVHS alumna Val Diamond), “The Pajama Game”, and “Camelot” (in which she played Guinevere).

After graduating and earning a BA degree in Music/Opera at Cal State Hayward, she went on to perform in many western regional theater companies. Among them were ACT, 42nd Street Moon, Denver Center Theater, and our own local Woodminster Amphitheater in Oakland.

At one point, Alice ran off with the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus where she became the first female singer ever heard in “The Greatest Show on Earth”. Later she traveled with the Broadway touring company of “Cats” (for 1347 performances) and with the Broadway Tour of “Sunset Boulevard” where she was the understudy for Petula Clark.

A very versatile person, Alice is also a portrait photographer who has had two solo shows in New York galleries. She is also producing CD and DVD recordings of traditional jazz bands. She is living in New York with her husband and pianist, larry Goldberg.

As I have said many times in the past, this is a “DON’T MISS” show. Having a star of this caliber combined with our own outstanding student talent is an event worthy of sold-out attendance. Everyone in Castro Valley should want to be there. Tickets are now available at the Center for the Arts box office (open Thursday and Friday, 3-5 PM) and the CV Adult School office, 4430 Alma Ave. For more information, call 889-8961 or 886-1000.

SUPPORT THE TROOPS: Unfortunately, our troops overseas are still having their blood spilled unnecessarily. To help those soldiers that need it, the VFW is holding a Blood Drive at the Castro Valley Moose Hall, 20835 Rutledge Road, CV, on Saturday, February 16, from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Please help if you can. For more information, call Bob Pirone at (510) 537-3385.