IVHP’s 8th annual Senior Talent Showcase coming Saturday
By L.J. Gambone / For the Daily Press
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Young whippersnappers aren’t the only ones with showstopping talent, according to Marcie Lerner, community liaison for Inter Valley Health Plan’s 8th Annual Senior Talent Showcase set to begin at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Lerner said the event’s theme is “The Art of Entertainment.” More than 75 local residents will deliver a variety of performances before an audience of about 400 people at the Victor Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of Victor Valley College. Admission is free.
“The purpose of these shows is to bring entertainment and social events to the community and give people a chance to shine,” said Lerner. “And we also want to promote the message that good health care is all about staying active and involved in the things you love to do.”
Lerner said IVHP’s Talent Showcase is open to seniors over the age of 55. She said participants who have signed up for this year’s event will do everything from singing and dancing to playing the piano and delivering comedy routines.
“Everyone who wishes to perform is given a slot of three minutes,” Lerner said.
“Some of the people in the show are professionals and some have a lot of heart,” Lerner said. “And then there are others who are doing it because it’s on their bucket list. Whatever the reason, it’s up to us to make sure everyone gets their three minutes in the spotlight.”
As an added attraction, the master of ceremonies for IVHP’s Senior Talent Showcase will be John Lynd, a popular, Inland Empire-based comedian, impressionist and storyteller.
“John is a real treasure and we adore him,” Lerner said.
Also on the bill as a special guest will be Lake Elsinore-based entertainer Dianne Chavarria.
Chavarria is a seasoned performer who has been performing her multi-genre repertoire at retirement homes, women’s groups and senior events for the past 20 years. She recently appeared as the opening act for “An Evening with Dean Martin and Friends” starring Tom Stevens in Apple Valley.
“Dianne is a great talent and our audience is going to love her,” said Lerner. “She’s such a likable person, too, and that really shines through when she’s on stage.”
“I am extremely excited to be participating in the Senior Talent Showcase and hope everyone in the audience will be pleasantly surprised by the act I am doing,” said Chavarria.
“My husband Jim and I have been members of IVHP for nine months and we have been very impressed about how much they focus on the well-being of their members.”
IVHP has been serving Inland Empire residents for the past 37 years. The organization has grown to over 23,000 members throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties.
Along with providing quality coverage for people on Medicare, IVHP also offers health education and wellness programs for its members, as well as the community.
“People love programs like our senior talent shows and they provide two hours of fun for everyone,” said Lerner. “And everyone who participates takes away a wonderful memory.”
Victor Valley Performing Arts Center is located at 18422 Bear Valley Road in Victorville.
For more information about IVHP and its events, call 800-251-8191, ext. 626, or visit www.ivhp.com.
Dianne Chavarria sets the standard for memories
Posted Sep. 7, 2016 at 5:53 PM
Whether it’s oldies, Broadway standards, country or good old rock ‘n’ roll, Southern California-based entertainer Dianne Chavarria has it covered. Over the last 20 years, Chavarria has made quite a name for herself performing her multi-genre repertoire at retirement homes, women’s groups, senior events and private functions.
At 6:30 p.m. Friday, Apple Valley concert goers will have the opportunity to hear the songbird in a special performance preceding “An Evening with Dean Martin and Friends.” The concert will star multi-celebrity impersonator Tom Stevens and take place at the Hi-Desert Center for Spiritual Living, 18575 Corwin Road.
According to Chavarria, her show will be more of an audience singalong than a solo concert. She said it will feature beloved classics, such as “New York, New York,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Que Sera, Sera,” to name a few.
“Everyone is going to have a lot of fun that night,” said Chavarria. “Many of the songs I’ve chosen are ones that people haven’t heard in a long time, so they will bring back wonderful memories. I just love when audience members come up to me after a show and tell me how much it meant to them to hear the songs they grew up listening to.”
Chavarria was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts but she and her family moved to Southern California when she was three years old. As a girl, she honed her talents singing in her junior and senior high school choirs.
After graduation, Chavarria said she decided to get married and start a family, which meant her music career had to be put on the back burner.
“I really wanted to become a professional singer back then but I did not have the time or resources to find to someone who could accompany me either on piano or guitar,” said Chavarria. “It wasn’t until the karaoke tracks started coming out, and my kids were grown, that I got back into singing.”
Chavarria returned to her beloved music in the early 1990s when she and her sister Betty Brodkin decided to take a vocal performance workshop through the Ontario Parks and Recreation Department. The class provided her with many opportunities to perform at fairs, festivals, old folks homes and other public events.
At that point, Chavarria was well on her way to a thriving career doing what she loved the most.
“I really credit those classes with getting me back into music,” said Chavarria. “By that point, they were making all kinds of karaoke tracks, which made it easy to take your show anywhere without having to worry about backup.”
Along with her solo act, Chavarria was once a member of the country band Midnite Brood. In the late 1990s through the early 2000s, she performed with musician Rick Turner in the duo MainStream.
“I love to sing every chance I get,” said Chavarria. “If the audience knows the song and sings with me, that’s great. I like to leave knowing we had a great time together.”