The Dementia Society of America is presenting its first online fundraising entertainment program on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m. “Broadway Alive” will feature a special performance by Keith Spencer, a nationally recognized entertainer and concert artist. The performance is being hosted and performed at the historic Highland Farm – the former home of the legendary Oscar Hammerstein – in Doylestown. Arguably, his most famous works were written while residing there, including South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music.
“We chose the theme of ‘Broadway Alive’ for our fundraiser this year for a very special reason,” said Kevin Jameson, volunteer, president and founder of the Dementia Society of America. “There is significant research that supports the benefits of non-medical care for those living with dementia, and music is one of the most effective life-enrichment therapies we have. Interestingly, research has shown that Broadway show tunes, such as those from The Sound of Music, have been identified as being incredibly useful in rekindling long-held memories, increasing joy and lowering anxiety.”
The exclusive online performance features baritone vocalist Spencer (who has appeared at Bristol Riverside Theatre) and pianist Peter Hilliard. They created a celebration of the Golden Age of Broadway, which will include a 45-minute set of classics from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bernstein & Sondheim, and more. It’s a selection of well-known songs from Broadway musicals. They will also perform several selections from Spencer’s one-man show Brothers on Broadway: A Celebration of African American Leading Men on Broadway.
The Society estimates that more than 9 million Americans live with some form of dementia today, and three times as many may be considered as caregivers. When all forms of dementia are combined, they are globally thought to be the third leading cause of death, behind heart disease and stroke in high-income countries, according to the World Health Organization.
A limited number of free tickets are available for the online event. The full program is one hour. Tickets are available at BroadwayAlive.org