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Performance art group looking to rebuild cast as they slowly return to the stage

TAMPA, Fla. — Some of the last places to reopen have been stages and concert halls. It’s been a long wait for people who love to perform.

Entertainment Revue may have had to cancel most of their shows in 2020, but no one was canceling their spirit, and now they are back receiving that applause they deserve.

“We are a performance group, and that was literally the last thing you were allowed to do during the pandemic,” said Creative Director Jessica Rhodes.

The nonprofit organization, made up of girls ages 5-18, saw half its members leave the team during the pandemic. Rhodes was worried they might have to close. She started singing and dancing with the group when she was nine years old.

“It’s wild, it really is, because I really see myself in these girls because I know how much it meant to me,” said Rhodes.

“I’ve grown up in Entertainment Revue; this is a home to me, this is a family, so having it not be there anymore would have been terrible,” said cast member Paige Foley.

Some of their students have gone on to TV shows, concert tours and recording labels.

Cast member Avery Franks just recorded her first original album.

“Entertainment revue has helped shape me into the person I am today,” said Franks.

The older students often serve as mentors to the younger girls just starting.

“I want to do dancing on Broadway,” said Lianna Varjabedian, an elementary school cast member.

Rhodes credits the organization’s 30-year-history in the community as its saving grace. They would average 50 shows during a normal year, performing everywhere from community galas to corporate events.

“I was worried that the phone would never ring again, but it is. They miss us,” said Rhodes.

It’s now up to ER to rebuild their cast. They are relying heavily on their May 15 auditions.

“We’re looking for kids who love to sing and dance because this is the place to be,” said Rhodes.

For more information, go to Entertainmentrevue.com.

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