Thursday, December 17, 2009
A Night with Rita Rudner and Jennifer Hudson
This was Miss Hudson's first public performance in our desert, although I had the privilege of hearing her perform at a private house party in Palm Springs a few years ago. Jennifer Hudson is still quite young, having gained initial notoriety from competing on American Idol a few years ago. She is hard at work building her career, recording several albums, and performing in films such as Dreamgirls and Sex in the City. Listening to Jennifer Hudson perform and hearing her speak its clear she is a very sweet young woman. Very personable and appreciative of her audience. After her first song, One Night Only, she greeted us by saying "I'm so happy to be here signing for y'all tonight". It was very genuine and down to earth.
Miss Hudson is still early in her career, developing a stage act of her own and finding her comfort zone. Yet she can clearly sing. She showed tremendous range and emotional depth with songs like “Invisible,” “I Love U I Do” and a commanding version of “And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going.” Despite a tough economy, the evening was a success, raising over $900,000 that evening. In addition to running the theatre, the McCallum's Education department has now worked with 40,000 students to teach music programs and fostering an interest in the arts.
There have been countless studies about the positive impact music and the arts has on kids. We're lucky to have a generous community that supports our theatre and the education programs to ensure our children have a place to learn and appreciate the arts for generations to come.
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