'Christmas Show' Comes to Kids at SIUH


St. George Theatre dancers bring 'Christmas Show' to youngsters at Staten Island hospital

Published: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 3:01 PM     Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 3:03 PM
Jillian Jorgensen  

Christmas Show at SIUH
Enlarge From left, Alyssa Rowan, Suzanne Dascher and Jeanine Shipp perform as 'The Richmondettes' visit Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel) St. George Theatre 'Christmas Show' cast members perform for kids at Staten Island University Hospital gallery (6 photos)
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- They might have been in the hospital recovering from illnesses, but a small group of children at Staten Island University Hospital still got a chance to see some of the St. George Theatre's "Christmas Show" this morning.

"They can't come to the show, so we try and bring the show to them," said dancer Suzanne Dascher.

Ms. Dascher and two other "Richmondette" dancers, Alyssa Rowan and Jeanine Shipp, showed off their best high kicks and tap moves for a small group of youngsters in the pediatric unit at the Ocean Breeze hospital today. They also carried in big sacks of presents, donated by the cast and crew of the show.

"We love it. We love coming," Ms. Dascher said. "This is our second year, we're making it an annual thing."

The inspiration stems from the creator of the show, Rosemary Cappozalo, better known to decades of dancing school students as Mrs. Rosemary, who died in 2009. Her kindness and generosity in giving back to the community inspired the dancers to perform a few numbers at the hospital, Ms. Dascher said.

"I know she's smiling down on us," Ms. Dascher said.

Also smiling were the children in the "audience" -- a group of chairs gathered together in the hallways.

Brianna Osmani, 5, of Great Kills, was happy to get a present -- but she was most concerned that her friend and roommate at the hospital, Julianna Buonomo, 5, got one, too. Julianna was busy elsewhere in the hospital while the show went on.

"I want to give her a present," Brianna, who came to the hospital with pneumonia, said.

"Nice, it's very nice," said Nor Elmetwally, 12, who now lives in Tottenville but until recently lived in Egypt. Her father, Abdu Elmetwally, said Nor is in the hospital due to a rare muscular disease, but is doing much better after two weeks of treatment.

Nor and her father both snapped photos of the show, which helped cheer her up, Abdu Elmetwally said.

"Believe me, she's very happy, I can see that," he said.

Little Maria Tsodikov, just 9 months old, smiled throughout the performance. She had come to the hospital for a high fever.

"It was great," said her mother, Ludmila Tsodikov, of South Beach. "It was very nice for the kids, something new."

Ardi Bajri, 1, of Rosebank, tore open his gift with a little help from the dancers and found a toy truck that he delighted in waving around for all to see.

"He likes the toy," his mother, Dijana Bajri said.

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