Best Bets: Broadway’s Field to perform show for Veterans Watchmaker School

Broadway singer Grace Field will perform her show “You’ll Never Walk Alone” Saturday night at 7 at Middletown’s Everett Theatre. (Submitted photo)

For Broadway performer Grace Field, doing a charity show that benefits veterans is very personal.

“(Dave Skocik) approached me about the various charities he’s involved with. He knows I have a huge heart for charity. And it also hits home because both my grandfathers served. My grandfather on my dad’s side served in the Navy. And then my grandfather on my mom’s side served in the Air Force. So I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, this will be great if I can be involved in something that helps veterans,’” she said.

Ms. Field will be in concert Saturday night at Middletown’s Everett Theatre for a fundraiser to build a Veterans Watchmaker School in Middletown. The performance can be attended live or viewed virtually.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” is the theme of the concert in which she will perform a combination of Broadway, popular and even operatic music to highlight the disabled American veterans being trained as certified watchmakers at the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative in Odessa and to raise money for a larger school in Middletown.

“This is the kickoff fundraising event for the long-planned school in Middletown welcomed by the town council three years ago. It will be built on acreage donated by the Money family,” said school founder and director Sam Cannan of Dover.

The current Odessa school, housed in a former EMT station, was opened in 2017 and is limited to a handful of students. The school, which trains disabled veterans tuition free, was built through private and corporate donations, including donated labor by citizens and veterans organizations.

The new school will accommodate 40 students from across the nation who will be trained, housed and fed at no cost to them. The project is estimated to cost about $5 million and will also be built with private contributions.

Ms. Field has performed on the “Today” show with Hugh Jackman, and is a Tony award-winning member of Broadway Inspirational Voices.

She has sung at theaters including Broadway’s New Victory Theatre, Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre, the Barclay Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center and off Broadway’s New World Stages. She has also worked with Broadway’s Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, Rebecca Luker, Seth Rudetsky, Anthony Rapp, Tony award-winner Audra McDonald, Cynthia Elviro, Shoshana Bean and TV and Broadway star Billy Porter.

Her stage performances include ‘Oklahoma,” “Les Miserables,” “South Pacific” and “Carousel.” She is also a solo artist at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

Mr. Skocik, who will host the event, saw Ms. Field both at the Milton Theatre and the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center and was impressed by her talent and warmth.

“(His wife) Roseann and I met her about two years ago at the Milton Theatre and were blown away by her vocal range, including opera, her musical talent and her sense of humor. We stayed afterward and had a photo taken with her. We later heard her sing as part of a troupe at the Rehoboth Convention Center in a revival of Queen with lead singer Terry Barber, another Broadway entertainer on tour,” he said.

“She agreed to perform two back-to-back concerts last March, one for the Veterans Trust Fund at the Smyrna Opera House and the second at The Everett for the Watchmaker school, but COVID intervened. We agreed to stay in touch and I’ve kept her in the loop, including information on a special outdoor event at Patriot Auto and Truck Care in Dover in June honoring local Korean War veteran Charles Garrod on the 70th anniversary of the start of that conflict. She responded by creating a special personal video tribute to him with a green screen program she purchased, which I shared online at that time.”

Born in Austin, Texas, Ms. Field didn’t grow up in a musical family — quite the opposite in fact.

“It’s so funny. My whole family is not filled with any artists. My dad’s an electrical engineer. My mom’s a microbiologist. My grandfather is a rocket scientist. He literally moved to Alabama to work on the Apollo 11 missions. So we’re a very nerdy family, like super nerds, which is so great,” she said.

“Growing up, I did not want to be a singer, I wanted to be a paleontologist. And then after that, I wanted to be a biologist or a physicist. But it wasn’t until like the fourth grade where I played Oliver in ‘Oliver!’ I was like, ‘Alright, well, this is fun.’ I’m very thankful that my family has been supportive every second and every step of the way. Because it’s like an exotic place with their lives as a microbiologist, engineer and rocket science and all these other things. They don’t know about the arts. So it was just really sweet and great to have that.”

Music lessons with an emphasis on musical theater followed her throughout her schooling and she’s never looked back.

She was most recently seen in The Public Theatre’s production of Disney’s “Hercules!” and on an ABC streaming performance at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre in “Disney on Broadway” hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.

Next up in 2021 is a stop at famed Carnegie Hall.

“I’m thrilled and honored to announce in 2021 at Carnegie Hall, I will be playing the role of Aloysia Weber, Mozart’s muse, in Mozart² —The New Musical,” she said.

“Book and lyrics are by the incredible Tegan Summer, music and additional lyrics are by Gregory Nabours, and it will feature the music of Steve Aoki and various EDM artists.”

While work has been at a minimum for many artists during the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Field said she’s still been moving forward.

“I’ve been really fortunate this year. I’ve been hired by the Kiwanis Club to do some shows. They are another charity that’s great. And then there is also a local black box theater in Florida. They have been hiring me to basically make a new show every month and to perform it virtually. Now, this past one was virtual and live. But that was very last minute, because obviously the ordinances continue to change. So we had a couple of people there, which was awesome, but it was primarily live streamed,” she said.

Ms. Field thinks the arts are very important in a time like this.

“That’s why I’m thankful for every single performance, including this one at the Everett. Because, as artists, we’re called to make the world a better place through the arts, and especially when the world is struggling, and I feel like we’ve all been isolated, and not having that human contact to remind us that we’re not alone,” she said.

“That’s what the whole point of this concert is to lift their spirits and to remind them that they’re not alone. We’re all in this together. So it’s been tough from the beginning, but I’m very blessed that enough theaters have hired me through this pandemic, and have pivoted in a way to make it work.”

She’s looking forward to Saturday night’s show to perform in front of people in the theater and at home.

“It’s great to have some people there. I know it won’t be like sold out like all my other shows. But I love doing the livestream because a lot of people just don’t feel comfortable (going out). It allows the option to watch it at home, grab your popcorn, sit down and enjoy the show,” she said.

Reservations are required for the show. Visit www.facebook.com/VeteransWatchmakerInitiative for a link to buy tickets for virtual attendees and a limited number of physical attendees in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, or to make a tax-deductible contribution.

Visit www.VeteransWatchmakerInitiative.org for more information on the project.

Movie ticket discount

The Movies at Midway in Rehoboth Beach congratulates the teachers of Sussex County on implementing new procedures and safety protocols in order to safely reopen the schools.

As a thank you, the theater will be offering $1 movie tickets to all Sussex County school teachers on Saturday and Sunday. One discounted same-day ticket per teacher will be allowed with valid school district ID.

Along with movie theaters nationwide, The Movies at Midway has pledged to participate in the CinemaSafe program. CinemaSafe is a program that promotes protocols and guidelines developed and supported by leading epidemiologists to support a safe return to movie theaters.

As part of this program, The Movies at Midway requires face masks for all employees and guests, encourages social distancing with floor decals and signage, has reduced auditorium capacity by 60%, and has enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols.

In addition, theater employees undergo daily health screenings including temperature checks and are required to frequently wash their hands. Hand sanitizer stations have also been installed for use by both employees and guests.

For those who are immunocompromised or looking to hold a small group event, The Movies at Midway offers the option of private screenings. Private screenings are available during regular business hours for groups of up to 50 people. The cost is $195 for a retro movie and $295 for new releases.

For more information visit moviesatmidway.com or email info@moviesatmidway.com.

Mead mastery

Brimming Horn Meadery’s mead-maker Jon Talkington recently brought home two medals from 2020’s Mazer Cup International, winning a gold medal with “Golden Tears,” a dry traditional mead, and a Bronze medal with “Belt of Hippolyta” a sweet traditional mead aged in oak barrels.

Brimming Horn Meadery won two medals at the Mazer Cup International.

The Mazer Cup International competition has been described as “the largest commercial and amateur mead only competition in the world,” as it is composed of two events — one for commercial companies and one for amateur mead-makers. This year had over 500 different commercial meads and 700 amateur meads from all over the world to be judged. The MCI competition normally occurs in March in Broomfield, Colorado, but due to COVID restrictions, the competition took place on Oct. 2.

This now makes four Mazer Cups for Milton’s Brimming Horn and Mr. Talkington in the three years the meadery has been open.

The Brimming Horn Meadery is 28615 Lewes-Georgetown Highway and is open for tastings and drinks Thursday-Sunday.

Now showing

New this weekend in theaters is the romantic drama “2 Hearts,” Liam Neeson in “Honest Thief’ and the comedy-drama “The Kid Detective.”