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CHOC Up Another Fun Follies

April 05, 2001|ANN CONWAY

Ask arts-activist Chuck Martin to speak in public and it's no problem.

But sing?

It's something he did only in the shower until Friday, when he made his debut in CHOC Follies V, a musical variety show staged on behalf of Children's Hospital of Orange County.

A self-proclaimed "shy guy," the Laguna Beach resident belted out "Sixteen Tons" and "There's No Business Like Show Business" in the annual production that drew 2,000 people over the weekend and raised more than $350,000 for the hospital's Kids' Care Fund.

It was Follies' executive producer Gloria Zigner who invited Martin to sing and play James Bond in "Stage Struck: A Backstage Musical Mystery"-themed show, in which 80 community volunteers showcased their talent under a tent at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.

"There is a tremendous esprit de corps with the cast, and I'm impressed with the caliber of their performances," said Martin, a venture capitalist and chairman emeritus of the Orange County Museum of Art.

Gushed his wife, Twyla Reed Martin: "He was great! I'm going to have to work hard now at becoming a Bond girl."

Also under the spotlight: philanthropists Sandy Segerstrom Daniels (the wide-eyed ingenue) and John Crean (Mr. Cash); Orange County Performing Arts Center exec Terry Jones (the cool summer stock director); Anne Shedd (the Madonna-esque diva); Mia Maffei (the soprano); and Rick Reiff (the detective). Even former California Sen. Marian Bergeson got into the act with a walk-on.

"There are so many talented people in Orange County--people you don't even know have a performing background," Zigner said. "Some starred in their senior plays, for example, and some modeled--and they all went on with their lives and never had a chance to get back onstage. The Follies gives them that chance."

Also starring in the production (directed by John Vaughan and chaired by Daniels, Dale Skiles and Leslie Cancellieri): Michael Cipolla, Heidi Miller, Jack Egan, Pat Haslam, Barbara Attell, Michelle Reinglass, Tom Berndt, Merry Wong, Mary Pham, Carol Lam, John Gates, Kelly Gonis, Kim Hubbard, Ed Merino, Michael McCann, and John Igarashi.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Last week's report from the surgeon general that lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as a killer of women had guests buzzing at the Big Breathe Easy, an annual benefit for the American Lung Assn. of Orange County.

"In the area of lung disease, women and smoking is our No. 1 problem," association executive director Diane Masseth-Jones said during the dinner Saturday at the Palm Gardens in Newport Beach.

Since the surgeon general's report in 1980 on the subject, 3 million women have died of smoking-related diseases, reports say. Another alarming statistic: "Smoking among college-age women has dramatically increased," Masseth-Jones said.

Proceeds of about $65,000 from the event--where oncologist Glen R. Justice was recognized for his work on behalf of patients with lung cancer--will go toward the association's programs on tobacco control, asthma management for children, tuberculosis and influenza prevention, and air-quality awareness.

"The primary way to prevent lung disease is to stop smoking," Masseth-Jones said. "Another important thing is to control air pollution in your environment. Something as simple as chlorine bleach emits fumes that can be irritating to the lungs."

Dr. Paul A. Selecky, medical director of the pulmonary department at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, underscored that secondhand smoke can also be a killer.

"A person has to be exposed over a long period of time," he said. "I had a patient who had smoked for 50 years and died of lung cancer. And two years later, his wife, who had never smoked, appeared with lung cancer. The logical explanation was that she lived with her husband all of those years, inhaling secondhand smoke."

Ann Conway can be reached by phone at (714) 966-5952 or by fax at (714) 966-7790.

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