WESTFIELD, NJ —Russell Fischer, who currently plays “Joey” in “Jersey Boys” on Broadway and is the understudy for the part of Frankie Valli, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” Sept. 15 at Greta’s Run, a 5K run/walk and fundraiser for special needs programs at the Westfield Area Y in memory of Greta Schoenemann.
Fischer learned of the event from Allison Siko, a 2006 Westfield High School grad who has been involved in theater since she was a child.
“I am volunteering as much as I can to help with Greta's Run because I knew Greta since kindergarten—we shared classes and were in Girl Scouts together,” said Siko. “That's why when I heard we needed someone to sing the National Anthem I immediately said I could help.”
“Over the years I have grown up with many people who are now in movies and on television and Broadway,” said Siko. “One of those great people is Russell Fischer. We met at Paper Mill Playhouse's Summer Musical Theater Conservatory in 1999. We have worked together and been friends ever since. He has such a wonderful voice and such a kind heart that I instantly thought of him for Greta's Run. I sent him an email, told him about the run, what the money is being raised for, and in less than five minutes I got his response saying he was in!”
“Even though he's on Broadway, he still has New Jersey roots. His brother is actually a pastry chef at Bovella's in Downtown Westfield and he frequents the town whenever he can,” she added.
Regionally, Fischer has performed in “The Music Man” at Chautauqua Opera, “Children of Eden” at Paper Mill Playhouse, “The Sound of Music” at the Palace in Myrtle Beach, SC, and“Monkey: Journey to the West” at Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC.
To learn more about Greta’s Run, click here.
Before the 5K takes place, 25 original oil paintings by local artist Maxwell Sang will be sold at “Petals for Greta” Sept. 7 at Swain Galleries in Plainfield, also to benefit special needs programs at the Westfield Area Y. For more information, click here.