Seated: Jenna Lindberg, Christine Carmichael, Susan Lechner, Kate Neubert-Lechner, Shawn Clerkin, Bob Martin, Kristen Henry.
Standing: Gretchen Kerr, Nicole Rosenbayger, Kate Amatuzzo, Patrick Thiem, P. Barry McAndrew, Rich Tryzbiak, Scott Schillinger, Roger Wolbert, Brendan Daugherty, Kristin Fry, Michael Hipwell, Diane Martone, Art Martone.

By Diane and Arthur Martone

“…next week on the twentieth of May, I proclaim ‘Eliza Doolittle Day!’”   In Erie, ‘Eliza Doolittle Day’ will be on May 21st this year as the Erie Playhouse and Erie Philharmonic Orchestra present “My Fair Lady.”   Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle.   Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews.  The show’s Original Broadway Cast recording was frequently heard in the childhood homes of Art and Diane Martone.  Music and theater have had prominent places through much of their lives.

At a young age, Arthur started singing Italian songs with his grandmother, and he now chairs the Mercyhurst Preparatory School’s Performing Arts Department, teaches choral classes, and directs the MPS spring and fall musicals.  In between, he was a member of the Kiwanis Boys’ Choir, Vocal Performance major at Mercyhurst College, cantor at St. Peter Cathedral, actor/director with the Erie Opera Theatre, and assistant conductor of the Erie Chamber Orchestra while it was under the baton of Bruce Morton Wright.  Looking into the future, Art will be directing the musicals “Godspell 2012” and “Mary Poppins” next year in the newly renovated MPS Auditorium.  Art also enjoys researching family genealogy and following the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Diane started singing in the church choir.  In high school, she participated in District, Regional, State, and All-Eastern High School choral festivals. She is also a past member of the Clarion State Madrigal Singers, St. Peter Cathedral Choir, Erie Philharmonic Chorus, and Erie Opera Theater Chorus.  She was in the ensemble casts of two Erie Playhouse productions “bc” (i.e. “before children” Philip and Christopher).  By day, she is a Systems Analyst at UPMC Hamot.  Currently, she is a charter member of the Great Lakes Threshold Choir which sings in small groups at the bedside of hospice patients.  Diane has also been the photo historian for the Mercyhurst Prep Performing Arts program since 2009.

Diane and Art were surprised and thrilled to accept Almi’s invitation to be part of this fabulous concert.  Granted, they thought the “concert version” would involve holding the music and standing in place!  Although it involved more work, Almi’s vision for “My Fair Lady” is so much better!  Art and Diane hope you enjoy Saturday’s performance with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra as much as they’ve treasured bringing one of their childhood favorites to the Warner Theater.