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Valerie diLorenzo Brings Broadway Back

Photo: Tom Kochie

Prior to Covid, getting regular work was tough enough for talent. The competition was fierce, and the opportunities were sparse. But the past two years have made it nearly impossible for creative people to find their way to the stage with any regularity. 

Faced with few open venues, and limited opportunities to even get in front of audiences, Valerie diLorenzo decided that it was time to get busy. Instead of waiting for the possibilities to come to her, she did her own thing. As a result, she’s got a slew of new projects, including a new album to release, a stage play to produce, and several upcoming concerts planned.

“You’ve got to create your own work,” she says. “That’s the difference between waiting and doing. You don’t have to be on Broadway to make your own art, pursue your own passion and have a good livelihood.” 

The album, her third, will be released in April. Produced by Cynthia Daniels and featuring the talents of several other professional East End singers — including Joe Delia, James Bernard, Randolph Hudson III, Bosco Michne, Steve Shaughnessy, and Amanda Jones — the yet-to-be-named collaboration will include “songs that were burning to be heard,” according to diLorenzo. 

The 18-song collection includes some of her favorites from musicals, hard-to-find recordings, and a few deeper cuts. Tracks include “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin, “I Got Lost in His Arms” from Annie Get Your Gun, “Far Away Places,” a lullaby made famous by Perry Como and Dinah Shore, “Don’t Forget Me” from the television show Smash and “Never Let Me Go,” an out-of-print tune from Aretha Franklin.

“The beauty of this album is that it’s a collection of songs that most of you have never ever heard before but will still recognize in some way,” she says of her passion project, which will be released on the regular streaming platforms and available online at retailers such as Amazon, CD Baby, and on her website. 

Ms. diLorenzo’s theater project is also a very personal endeavor. She read the play “Right Before I Go” by television producer Stan Zimmerman — who wrote for The Golden Girls and Gilmore Girls — and knew that she needed to bring it home to the East End. The play brings to life the last written words of those who took their own lives and those who survived suicide attempts. While the subject matter is dark, the show has been hailed for raising awareness and offering hope for suicide prevention. 

“So many people are dealing with really tough times right now,” says diLorenzo of her reasoning for choosing the play. 

“I thought this could help people feel less lonely, more alive.” 

Bringing together even more East End talents, the show will stage at LTV in Wainscott in May and will feature staged readings by Matthew Conlon, Susan Stout, Rachel Feldman, John Leonard, Brian Mott, Vay David, and a few East Hampton High School students as well. The production will also be accompanied by a Q&A with the cast and panel discussions.

“Yes, it’s tragic, but it’s also surprisingly light in many ways,” says Ms. diLorenzo. “I see it as a real opportunity to bring awareness to the important topic of mental health issues. 

Looking ahead to what she hopes will be more positive times, the singer and actor has also booked a slate of other gigs, including a series of Stephen Sondheim tribute concerts and live performances across the East End and beyond. 

“All the roads lead together to being able to do what I love: singing, acting, dancing, and being able to include my talented friends,” she laughs. “I’m a musical theater baby at heart. So even if the theaters are dark, we’re still going to find a way to make it Broadway all the way!”

Learn more about Valerie diLorenzo at www.valeriedilorenzo.com.

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