DALTON -- Some of the most popular movie tunes ever have leaped from the screen and into the Berkshires -- to benefit a local Down syndrome group.
Berkshire Olde Tyme Review, alongside the Down Syndrome Family Group, is currently prepping for "Movie Memories: The Best Years Of Our Lives," a revue of popular movie music by a cast of more than 35 actors, including five people with Down syndrome.
"They came to us and said they wanted to put up a show," said Aaron Robb, president of the group. "The first question was: ‘What's in it for them?' And they said, ‘Nothing.' "
The Berkshire Olde Tyme Review is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that devotes its time and talents to entertaining at assisted living facilities and raising money for local charities.
The show will be held Saturday evening at Berkshire Community College. All proceeds earned through Saturday's production will go to the Down Syndrome Family Group, a branch of Berkshire County ARC.
A dress rehearsal was held Monday at St. Agnes School in Dalton. Director David LaPlante bustled to work out kinks with microphones, costumes and set-striking. Songs rehearsed included "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from "Wizard of Oz;" "You Got a Friend in Me" from "Toy Story" and "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)" from "Beetlejuice." Movie clips played on an overhead projector.
"We always like working with the Down syndrome kids," LaPlante said. "They're such a happy bunch of kids."
Brittany Dorwin, 17, a North Adams resident with Down syndrome, rehearsed her ballet alongside Kristin Saharczewski to "In the Arms of an Angel," the Sarah McLachlan song originally heard in the film "City of Angels."
"There are a lot of [movements with your] arms and [movements with your] legs," Dorwin said in her white gown costume. "And it's a really pretty dress."
Though he was mum with The Eagle beforehand, Alex Pettus, a 20-year-old Dalton resident with Down syndrome, had no problem singing Smash Mouth's "I'm a Believer" from "Shrek" alongside Rick Willey.
"He listens to it at home and sings it all the time," said his mother, Lee Ann Pettus.
Drawings and cut-outs of characters from "Cars," "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo" that members of the Berkshire Olde Tyme Review made will be used as props along alongside their respective movie tunes. They will be raffled off after the show Saturday.
The movie-tune review follows the company's hoe-down for Relay for Life two years ago.
"We always have to have a theme," said Berkshire Olde-Tyme Review co-founder Dawn LaPlante. "We started prepping in September. Tickets are selling quite well. From what I understand, we're down to 150 left."
If you go...
What: "Movie Memories: The Best Years Of Our Lives," performed by Berkshire Olde Tyme Review featuring the Down Syndrome Family Group.
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Robert Boland Theatre, Berkshire Community College, 1350 West St.
Cost: Adult, $15; Couple, $25; Children, $10 or $15 for two. Children under 3, free. All proceeds go to the Down Syndrome Family Group, a branch of Berkshire County ARC.
To reach Adam Poulisse:
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On Twitter: @BE_Poulisse