Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the PERFORMING ARTS LODGE Toronto (PAL) “Celebrity Club” toy drive where the residents collected unwrapped gifts for Toronto’s needy kids and teens and oh what a wonderful outpouring of love…and teddy bears… it was!
The PAL residents include some of Canada’s greatest TV, film, stage, music and dance performers and production people from the 1960’s onwards, many of whom are still very active in their careers regardless of their age.
Several weeks ago, I had met a charming gentleman, HERB WILLIAMS, who was playing a baby grand piano at the Royal Winter Fair, and after chatting with him and hearing his wonderful stories about his involvement with the Royal and hosting all the SuperDogs shows as well as his musical abilities, I invited the octogenarian pianist to play for the PAL folks on their brand new grand piano recently donated by Canadian musical theatre icon LOUISE PITRE. Herb was amazing…imagine Victor Borge meets Johnny Carson – Herb’s stories of encounters with greatness (and British royalty) were hysterical and kept everyone laughing between his musical sets. And we all admired his awesome red tuxedo, very in keeping with the season’s festivities.
At the end of the concert, Herb had some of PALs finest singers up on stage leading the room with a Christmas carol singalong, and MC for the night, KENNY WICKES, kept things light and laugh-filled, too. PAL is located in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood of downtown Toronto and for more information, please visit : www.paltoronto.org