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D'Ambrosio Brings Down The House At Somers 'At Home' Event

SOMERS, N.Y. - Broadway star Franc D’Ambrosio gave a dynamic performance before an audience of more than 300 at Somers Middle School Friday evening. D’Ambrosio appeared pro bono, for the benefit of At Home in Somers and the audience, many of whom were subscribers to the organization, were both grateful and thrilled by his performance.

Accompanying D’Ambrosio was Scott Besser at the piano, and special guest Glory Crampton. Together they performed some pieces from Phantom of the Opera, in which D’Ambrosio held the title "World's Longest Running Phantom" for over a decade. On her own, the soprano performed an aria from Puccini’s Turandot.

At Home in Somers is an all-volunteer Aging In Place movement that provides transportation, errand-running services and social networking for the elderly. “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” is its motto. Its initiatives are wide-ranging and deeply appreciated by the community.

Here is an example of the organization’s value and its efficiency. Heritage Hills resident Peggy Murphy was at home alone when she fell and broke her femur. Unable to move, Murphy waited 14 hours until At Home President Ernie Osborne arrived to drive her to an appointment. “I heard him ring the bell and call to me,” she said, “and I knew he wouldn’t give up.”

Osborne said, “She knew I was coming and she was supposed to come out to the car. I got out and rang the bell and I heard a faint voice saying, ‘Ernie, I’m on the floor…’ She was in a lot of pain, but she’s feisty as hell.”

Emergency workers were soon there to take over. Murphy was one of the most enthusiastic applauders at Friday’s event.

After the show, the performers answered questions for the student volunteers who had acted as ushers and otherwise assisted in the evening’s entertainment.

“Do you have any audition tips?” a student asked.

D’Ambrosio responded, “Be prepared, show up and don’t go in and say ‘I’m going to do this a half a step lower.’ And let’s say you’re auditioning for Maria in West Side Story. Make sure you don’t go in with spiked hair and rings in your nose."

“Remember that you are uniquely you. They will respond and it takes the pressure off. Remember that they want you to be good. They want you to be great.”

“What do you do to warm up?” someone asked. 

“I say ‘Aaahhhh’ in the morning and drink a lot of water during the day,” said D’Ambrosio. “You can’t drink at the last minute. There’s a fine line between warming up and performing. You can’t leave the warm-up in the dressing room.”

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