Written by Elizabeth Ann Foster
A day with the Yankees, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa with wine tastings, Rao’s comes to your home to cook for a private party and VIP tickets to the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club where all part of the opening of Karine Hannah’s most recent show “Guilty Pleasures.” A surprise live auction to the audience’s delight with thousands of dollars raised all going to benefit the Manhattan Children’s Center (MCC). Hannah has been dedicating all her proceeds from her recent shows to MCC as her family are big supporters of the school.
Before we get to Hannah, a little background on this magical school that is doing such vital work on the west side of Manhattan. Only 7 years since its establishment, it has children ages 5 to 21 with autism spectrum disorder. Their mission is individualized teaching based on each child’s needs and their family’s goals. They offer one on one training which is highlighted in this video. Parents contribute to the student’s education through participation in parent training, direct observations, clinical team meetings, and support groups. Did you know one child in 68 develops autism or a related disorder by the age of eight, autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S., delays in diagnosis are common: early intensive behavioral intervention has been shown to improve the skill deficits associated with autism and an estimated 1 to 1.2 million children under the age of 21 have been diagnosed with autism in the United States.
Back to Hannah.
Guilty Pleasures is a show full of 70’s and 80’s pop and rock classics Hannah’s mother used to play on the radio and Hannah hates to admit, she loved. She recreates her own personalized version and covers a varied playlist. Hannah had to keep her usual storytelling and audience banter to a minimum to complete this ambitious program and auction. Hannah being her down to earth ever so loveable self was still able to interject, she revealed that she created her own dress by adding glitter dust all over it. I overheard impressed fans at a neighboring table that were going to try to duplicate the fashion statement.
People in the audience were singing along, clapping in time and really enjoying a fun evening. Sexual Healing (Marvin Gaye) had people swaying and who knew that so many there would know every word. The duet singers John James and Keith Anthony Fluitt get special mention. Seeing their chemistry with Hannah was almost as brilliant as her dress.
Hannah’s intent was clear for the evening. Raise money for the Manhattan Children’s School and have a wonderful time doing it. Both goals accomplished. She is a selfless artist that draws you in and you cannot help but become a groupie.
A great cause, a great evening and a roomful of very lucky people. If you didn’t catch Hannah in 2019 make it one of your new year’s resolution for 2020.
Karine Hannah Guilty Pleasures– performed by Karine Hannah.
WITH: John James and Keith Anthony Fluitt (Duets), Clifford Carter (piano),Daniel Sadownick (percussion/background vocals).
At Feinstein’s 54 Below; 254 West 54ThStreet Cellar, NYC 10019; (646) 476-3551. One- night performance November 1, 2019 at 9:30. Tickets $30-$45 with $25 table per person minimum. Run time: 2 hours.