Full Moon Fridays

JUNE 25 EPISODE:PINAY POWER

This month, it’s an Artist Takeover Night with the Bay Area’s multi-talented director, performer and choreographer, Gary Stanford. Join Gary as he takes over the “Full Moon Friday” virtual stage for an evening of art, inclusion, and cultural representation as we shine the spotlight on Filipina actors! As one of the more under-represented ethnic groups on theater stages, this evening will reimagine, highlight and celebrate Pinay talent through beautiful performances of favorite musical theatre songs.
Featuring:
  • Trixie Aballa
  • Allison Rondez
  • Charlene Villareal
  • Accompanist: Benjamin Belew

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GARY SANFORD. Born in San Francisco, Gary has lived in the Bay Area, including the peninsula and south bay, his entire life. He graduated from San Jose State in Computer Engineering and has worked in High Tech, Communications, Sports Gaming, Retail and Online Business Companies here and nationwide. After 20 years, he retired from that career in 2019 and is using his software development, Project and Process Management skills in the performing arts sector. In 2020, he co-founded a diversity collaboration program, The Colorism Project, which incorporates training, mentoring and art therapy for schools and professional organizations.

Since 2019, he has been running his own theater company, North California Arts Collective, and is on the Board of Directors for Z-Space theater (SF), Woodside Community Theater and Hillbarn Theater (Foster City).

As a performing artist, he has been involved with singing, dancing, and acting since a child. He spent his youth with P. S. Performance, a performing arts company, which primarily performed for senior/retirement homes and hospitals as well as competing in State Talent Competitions. As an adult, he has been in 80+ Bay Area musical theater productions as a director, choreographer and actor. Most recent productions include Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr (director, choreographer, music director) with Woodside Elementary School, Bring it On with MoonSchool (co-choreographer), Once On This Island (director, choreographer) with Sunnyvale Players, Oklahoma (Curly) and Into The Woods (Rapunzel’s Prince) with Woodminster Summer Musicals, and Ragtime (Coalhouse Walker Jr.) with Throckmorton Theater. He has been part of 7 Ragtime productions as director, choreographer, lead and ensemble.

TRIXIE ABALLA. Trixie is so excited to join Full Moon Friday with 42nd Street Moon! A local Bay Area performer, she was raised in Pinole and currently lives in San Francisco. She graduated from SF State University, majoring in Theatre Arts (2016). With her mom’s encouragement, she started her community theatre career in Annie as a pre-teen. She was in her high school choir, did more community theatre and focused on singing through both high school and college. She continues to study her craft via performance workshops.

Past credits include: Cynthia (u/s) in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert (Contra Costa Musical Theatre), Erzulie (u/s) in Once on This Island (Contra Costa Civic Theatre), Little Red in Into the Woods and Little Sally in Urinetown (both at SFSU) and ensemble in The Wiz (directed by Gary – Sunnyvale Community Players).

She “fell” into her job as a recruiter for tech when someone saw her profile on LinkedIn and “recruited” her. She loves to entertain and enjoys the creativity involved in making beautiful charcuterie boards to serve to her friends. She is truly honored to be a part of this evening with local Bay Area female AAPI artists. #representationmatters

ALLISON JOY RONDEZ. Allison is a proud Filipino-American Bay Area Native from Milpitas, CA and studied Musical Theatre at Notre Dame de Namur University. There is no doubt that she has a love and passion for music and the performing arts. Her mother is a singer who performed up until 2 weeks before she was born. Growing up, she was a dancer and started singing when all the dancer slots were filled in the 4th/5th grade talent show. At age 16, she joined her mom’s R&B band and loves singing alongside her at various events around the Bay Area. Being able to share the stage with her mom is an absolute treasure as she is Allison’s biggest inspiration and the reason she got into performing in the first place.

Favorite roles include Dorothy in The Wiz (directed by Gary – Sunnyvale Community Players) reprising a role she also played at age 14; Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Dolly in Hello, Dolly! and Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie (all at St Lawrence Academy).

Not having performed in the last year due to the pandemic, she discovered a new outlet to share her music with people all over the world through Kumu, a streaming app (short for the Filipino/Tagalog word “kumusta.”), where she recently became a verified and signed artist. She would like to thank 42nd St Moon for this amazing opportunity to honor her AAPI Heritage alongside her talented stage sisters!

CHARLENE MINA VILLAREAL. Charlene was born and raised in the Bay Area and has been active in community/regional theaters since the 90s, more so in the late 2000s. Before performing locally, she was strongly considered for Kim in the first Broadway production of Miss Saigon, under Johnson-Liff Casting in NY, before the show and agency closed in 2001-2002. Heartbroken, she decided to “end” her career in theater, concentrate on family and became a Nurse. After seven years, she realized she needed singing in her life and fulfilled her dream to play Kim for the first time at Ohlone College’s Summerfest Musicals in 2007.

She next played Kim with both Townsend Opera Players and the Raven Theatre; her oldest daughter played Tam in both productions and her husband was Thuy at the Raven Theatre. Years later, she played Eponine (another dream role) in Les Miserables with North Bay Stage Company – her oldest daughter played young Eponine and Cosette. Two of her daughters were in The King and I together. More recently, she was Camilla at Woodminster Summer Musicals’ In the Heights. She is currently a full time Mom, raising her three daughters with her loving husband, Paul. A theatre family – their oldest is heading to NYU as a BFA Dance major this fall, middle daughter is a dancer and the youngest is in choir and dance class! Getting back into theater has been challenging – opportunities have been few and far between. When given the chance, she makes sure she enjoys every single minute.

Benjamin Belew Benjamin is a musician, composer and sculptor. He works as an accompanist, pianist/keyboardist, musical director for musical productions in the Bay Area and beyond. Shows he has musical directed include La Cage Aux Folles and Jekyll and Hyde (Sunnyvale Community Players), Miracle on 34th Street (Los Altos Stage Company) and Chicago (San Jose Stage Company). He was the pianist/composer-arranger for Gary’s cabaret show, Juke Joint Juke Box. He wrote, composed and produced two original operas in Japan, Nen-Ne-Neko (Tokyo University) and Monster (Tokyo University and Akita International University). Both librettos are in English and Japanese. Other professional experience includes painter, illustrator and animator. His portfolio can be seen at mephistoape.com.

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