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Creative Youth Theater Foundation schedules Saturday concert

Performances of Totally Tutti: A Holiday Celebration will be featured at the Church in the Middle of the Block, 217 5th Avenue in Altoona Saturday, December 16 at 6 and 8 p.m. Admission fee is $5 at the door, proceeds benefiting The Creative Youth Theater Foundation. A new and unwrapped toy will also be collected at the door to be donated to the St. Vincent DePaul Society Soup Kitchen Families. According to Sister Paula DelGrosso, over 100 toys were collected during last year’s event.
The performance will begin with holiday selections by The Tom Riley Musical Theater Company. Special features of the show include a lyrical dance created and performed by Haley Noel and a tap number created and performed by Michael Luther. The performance will conclude with a grand finale.
“This year, The Tom Riley Musical Theater Company is privileged to share the stage with Tutti Perricone of Middleburg, Virginia,” said Anthea L. Germano, publicist for the theater company. “Tutti is no stranger to Altoona having appeared at the Mishler Theater in 1999 and 2005 as the angel Anna May in the musical Porches. In our holiday celebration, she’ll warm our hearts as she shares childhood memories through song and narration of her struggling family and a father determined to instill in his children the real meaning of Christmas. Along with her reflection of the past, Tutti will give us a perspective of what the holidays mean and how they fit into our present world,” Germano explained.
The youngest of six children, Perricone was born and raised in Middleburg and sang in her church choir. She became involved in community theater and took voice lessons from Tom Sweitzer who, along with Kim Tapper, would later form The Creative Youth Theater Foundation. She is described by Sweitzer and Tapper as a self-made artist with natural talent.
“When Tom and Kim started the Creative Youth Theater Foundation, I thought it was great,” Perricone recalled. “They do wonderful things for kids. I thought it would be great to do a benefit for the Foundation to raise money,” she said.
Thanks to her larger-than-life personality, her first one-woman show in 2005 raised over $10,000. Her husband Vince shares her belief in the Foundation’s mission and values and is currently a member of the board.
In the 20 years that she has owned and operated Middleburg’s Back Street Café and Catering Company, she has often been asked to sing both at her business and her catered events in the community. In speaking about her return to the Altoona stage, Perricone summed it up this way: “I love Altoona. I think it’s a beautiful little town.”
The Creative Youth Theater Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to nurturing teenagers through the performing arts by providing educational and performance opportunities and financial assistance. The Foundation consists of the local Tom Riley Musical Theater Company, The Loudoun Youth Company, a drama-based group in Loudoun County, Virginia, and the newly-formed Anguilla Group, “Creative Kids,” in the British West Indies.
For more information about the Creative Youth Theater Foundation or to have the Tom Riley Musical Theater Company perform at an event, contact artistic directors Tom Sweitzer and Kim Tapper at 540-687-5897 or visit www.cyfoundation.org.