Local media personalities were the stars of the show for Newsapalooza, a benefit held Nov. 10 at Park West. More than 500 guests attended this third annual variety show that featured Grammy winner and Chicago native Richard Marx, who served as the musical director. Founded by singer-songwriter Marx and Roe Conn (WLS radio co-host of "Roe & Roeper"), the event raised money for Clearbrook, one of Illinois' largest providers of services for people with developmental difficulties.
The two-hour show, emceed by Conn, opened with "Windy City Live's" Ryan Chiaverini singing John Mellencamp's "Hurts So Good." Other performers included Steve Dahl, Val Warner, Dina Bair, Richard Roeper (who performed as Elvis), Anna Davlantes, Rob Johnson, Natalie Martinez, Steve Sanders, Cheryl Scott, Alicia Roman, Daniella Guzman and Paula Faris.
Marx performed "Long Hot Summer," a song he had written for and with country-western star Keith Urban. WTTW's Phil Ponce introduced his sons, Dan and Anthony, who had written a parody of Billy Joel's "Piano Man." They performed on matching pianos, substituting the original lyrics for, "Sing us a song, you're the anchorman," as the crowd laughed and gave them a standing ovation. The entire group came together for the finale, singing "Keep on Rocking Me Baby." About 125 guests attended the VIP afterparty at the Four Seasons Hotel.
Newsapalooza co-founder Conn said, "Clearbrook helps people lead incredible lives that they normally wouldn't be leading." The nonprofit organization provides services and support for 3,400 children and adults in nearly 80 communities in Chicagoland.
Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers
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