Animal-loving theater company puts on benefit for Columbia Second Chance

Thursday, July 17, 2008 | 12:29 p.m. CDT; updated 4:55 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — On Monday evening, about 14 singers will perform in a show that is sure to go to the dogs — and cats. The Independent Actors Theatre will put on a cabaret-style benefit for Columbia Second Chance called “Harmonies for a Home.”

The program will feature songs from American musicals including “South Pacific” and “Damn Yankees” as well as more contemporary musicals such as “Wicked” and “Avenue Q,” said Brett D. Johnson, director of education for IAT and the person largely responsible for the performance.

If you go

WHAT: “Harmonies for a Home,” a musical theater cabaret benefit for Columbia Second Chance WHEN: From 7 to 9 p.m. Monday WHERE: Cherry Street Artisan, 111 S. Ninth St. ADMISSION: Free, but donations will be accepted at the door.

“All of the songs deal with the idea of home — being a benefit for Columbia Second Chance and animals that need a second home or a new home or a forever home,” Johnson said.

Charles Willis, director of production for IAT and also a founding member, said the Columbia theater company has received a lot of community support in its first year and wanted to do something to give back. IAT’s executive board looked at local organizations and, upon discovering a common love of animals, settled on Columbia Second Chance.

The privately funded, all-volunteer organization is dedicated to “seeking first-class homes for second-hand pets.” The organization provides food, shelter, medical assistance and general relief to animals left homeless.

There were no auditions for this event; instead, Johnson invited people he knew through the community and MU.

“Brett selected people he knew would be interested in helping us out,” Willis said, “and who have a love and experience of doing musical theater.”

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