November 25, 2013|By Julia Reed

“Through music and movement, “A Labor of Love” silver anniversary cabaret is designed to raise money for the HIV/AIDS community in Howard County while celebrating the performers and people who have worked toward the cause since the event’s creation 25 years ago.

“Founded in 1988 by Carolyn Kelemen, A Labor of Love was created to address the HIV/AIDS crisis during a time when the theater community was losing many performers to it. “That isn’t true today — the situation has changed in the past 25 years,” Kelemen says in regard to advances in medicine and HIV/AIDS treatment. A more joyous event this time around, the Dec. 2 performance will serve as a homecoming for many of the original performers and celebrate better times for patients.”

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Once Upon a Time and Once Again, It’s A Labor of Love.


“A Labor of Love” began on Labor Day, 1988, and was, indeed, a labor of love. Performers from Broadway, Hollywood, and throughout our area gathered in Columbia, MD to sing, dance, and entertain to raise money for the Emergency Fund of AIDS Alliance of Howard County. For our Silver Anniversary, we are once again gathering at Howard Community College’s Smith Theater on Monday evening, Dec. 2, for a “Cabaret,” directed by Carole Graham Lehan, and what a show it promises to be! Among the talent invited are Robin Baxter, a fabulous singer who has performed on Broadway, most recently “Mama Mia,” and her talented pianist friend, Rob Bowman, whose last gig was playing for Elaine Stritch. Howard County’s own Ric Ryder returns from his New York City home to sing for his family, friends, and many fans. Megan Lawrence, Betsy True – both performed in “Les Miz” on Broadway – plus so many others who have been part of “A Labor of Love” in the past. Tico Wells, the Choir Boy of “The Five Heartbeats” film is flying from Hollywood to join the talent. I’m hoping that Shep (Jeffrys) and Judi (Gavrella De Boer) will reunite on stage that evening for a rendition of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Look for information on all these Broadway gypsies and more at For tickets go to

 — Carolyn Kelemen

Announcing: The Silver Anniversary of “A Labor of Love” AIDS Benefit

Press Release:  Silver Anniversary of “A Labor of Love” AIDS Benefit

Contact Carolyn Kelemen 410-730-6122

In times of crisis, art can stimulate change, educate people and, at the very least, deal with personal grief. Once again, dozens of performing artists will gather at the Howard Community College Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center on Monday, Dec. 2nd to deal with the AIDS crisis in the way that they know best:  singing and dancing.

Past “A Labor of Love” benefits have been held on Labor Day with the exception of the very first show at Slayton House, a concert performance of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Jim Rouse Theatre, “Follies” at Toby’s Dinner Theater, and our fabulous “Cabaret” at HCC a few years ago. This 25th anniversary of the fund-raiser for the Howard County AIDS Alliance Emergency Fund will showcase a large roster of singers, dancers, and TV/movie celebrities in “A Silver Anniversary Cabaret,” directed by Carole Graham Lehan with artistic support from Toby Orenstein (a dynamic force since the inception in 1988) and Jenny Male, coordinator of musical theater at HCC. With its theme “A Homecoming,” artists who grew up in Howard County will travel from Broadway, California, and throughout the East Coast.

“We’re talking about people in the arts giving of themselves,” explains Toby Orenstein, founding director of Toby’s Dinner Theater, the Columbia Center for Theater Arts, and The Young Columbians – all part of this year’s celebration.

As in past years, all the money raised will support an Emergency AIDS Fund, by the Howard County Health Alliance. Some of the money will be given to Howard County Healthy Families fund that helps individuals living with AIDS/HIV, or those at risk, meet their daily needs. Tickets are $25 for show at 7:30 p.m. and a $50 for a pre-show reception, and concert. Tickets available at