'Broadway for Brunch' fundraiser returns this weekend to PV High School

Event returns to live format this year after being done virtually last year

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
  • "Broadway for Brunch" will be held Saturday, May 7 in the Commons at Piedra Vista High School.
  • Seatings are available at 9 a.m. and one at 10:30 a.m.
  • Tickets are $15 if purchased from a member or $16 if purchased online at calientechoir.org.

FARMINGTON — Show tunes and sweet rolls will be served up side by side this weekend when the Caliente Community Chorus presents its annual "Broadway for Brunch" fundraiser.

The annual event, a local tradition for the past dozen years, features members of the chorus waiting tables for patrons and serving them breakfast, then performing approximately two dozen well-known musical theater tunes.

Caliente director Virginia Nickels-Hircock — said she had the idea of conducting a fundraiser using this format back in the 1990s when she taught music at Farmington High School, but she never got the chance to put it into action until years later when she helped found Caliente.

She said the best thing about the event is you don't have to be a Broadway fan to enjoy it.

"There's good food, lots of energy and people signing their hearts out," she said. "It's more about the energy of the performance than Broadway."

Once patrons are seated, they'll be served their choice of juice, coffee or water by a Caliente member. They will then be brought a brunch plate that includes an egg-and-potato casserole, sweet rolls, fruit and cheeses.

The "Broadway for Brunch" fundraiser presented by the Caliente Community Chorus takes place this weekend at Piedra Vista High School.

Once the food has been served, Caliente members — all 45 of them — will gather onstage for the program, which opens with a medley of several iconic Broadway tunes, including "Give My Regards to Broadway," "76 Trombones," "Greased Lightnin'," "Do Re Mi," "Mama Mia" and "Consider Yourself."

The program will continue with solo and duet performances of such tunes as "Don't Rain on My Parade," "Best Friend," "I Have Confidence," "Second Hand Rose," "Mack the Knife," "Stepsister's Lament," "Practically Perfect," "Dancing Queen," "Hello Muddah," "Aint' Misbehavin'," "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "Rainbow Connection," among others.

Karen Lyon and Robin Harris perform during the 2015 "Broadway for Brunch" program presented by the Caliente Community Chorus.

The music will be interspersed with Nickels-Hircock offering factual information about Broadway shows.

Silent auction tables also will be set up offering such items as quilts, lessons and gift cards for local restaurants. Nickels-Hircock said all the money that is raised from the auction will go toward funding the scholarship Caliente awards each year to a Four Corners student attending college.

The organization did manage to hold the fundraiser last year on a virtual basis on its website, although the meal could not be included. Caliente members recorded their performances in front of a green screen and had special visual effects added later.

Caliente Community Chorus members serve breakfast to patrons before performing show tunes during the 2015 "Broadway for Brunch" fundraiser at Piedra Vista High School.

Nickels-Hircock said she was proud of how creative those videos turned out to be, but she's happy to be back in an in-person format this year.

"Oh, of course," she said. "From our last concert (held last month), the energy that live audiences bring to a performance is just electric. We're looking forward to seeing people and feeding off their energy while they feed off of … food."

Most Caliente members are not professional servers, but Nickels-Hircock said they make a special effort to be friendly and attentive to the guests at the tables they are looking after. There are two sessions for the event, so the fundraiser requires hours of work from members of the chorus.

"It is a little bit crazy and frenetic," she said. "But the smiles, the positive energy … we are exhausted by 1 o'clock when we're finished. But it is so worthwhile. We are energy addicts, and we feed off that."

"Broadway for Brunch" will be held Saturday, May 7 in the Commons at Piedra Vista High School, 5700 College Blvd. in Farmington. Seatings are available at 9 a.m. and one at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $15 if purchased from a member or $16 if purchased online at calientechoir.org. Call 505-215-1725.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription: http://bit.ly/2I6TU0e.