Guyz ‘n’ Dollz performs Valleywide, defying age with timeless music

Guyz ‘n’ Dollz musical troupe donates all proceeds to charitable organizations while performing Valleywide. (Submitted photo)

After nearly 20 years, there’s no final curtain call in sight for the Guyz ‘n’ Dollz group who perform throughout the Valley of the Sun.

As a matter of fact, it’s more like a second act for many of the performers who have retired and volunteer their time for the nonprofit organization that donates its proceeds to charity.

What began as a sing-along with Scottsdale resident Barbara Kirschner, playing the piano at a social affair at her home as others joined in, has grown to a regular production of mature performers lending their musical talents to take the show on the road.

The singing troupe, Guyz ‘n’ Dollz has danced and sang around the Valley for 18 years with 11 singers, a saxophone and keyboard player plus a moderator, said Ms. Kirschner, adding that they do 20 shows a year.

“We have a brand new upbeat show every season with lots of Broadway and familiar music. The show always has great costumes and choreography,” Ms. Kirschner, the band director, said.

She moved to Arizona in 1990 when her husband retired and she founded the singing troupe in 2000 due to her love of music, which enhances the lives of the audience, she stated.

Follow along for an informal meet-and-greet and backstage interview with some of her musical sidekicks as they share their insight into their charitable performances benefiting non-profit organizations.

She said the singing troupe has donated to Make-A-Wish and to Free Arts for Abused Children historically.

“The past two years, our non-profit is Rosie’s House, a music academy for underprivileged children in the greater Phoenix area. They provide free lessons and instruments to 500 children each year,” said Ms. Kirschner who enjoys piano concerts at Scottsdale Center for the Arts, tap dancing, spending free time playing piano and with friends.

“Volunteer in your community. Do what you enjoy,” she said.

Ms. Kirschner added that she is inspired by American jazz pianist and composer Dave Brubeck and Oscar Peterson, a Canadian jazz pianist and composer.

Music is something she and fellow members agree is important to youths and want more of it to be put back in schools.

Robert Saretsky, of Cave Creek, said more emphasis in schools should be teaching the fine arts since he noticed that less music and fine arts are taught in schools now.

He even wants more live music available like in the past.

“Education is and always will be important. Become a well-rounded individual and learn as much as you can,” said Mr. Saretsky.

He joined the troupe last year and is “a great addition to our group,” Ms. Kirschner said.

A retired doctor who moved from Michigan in 1977 for an OB/GYN internship and residency, Mr. Saretsky creates music for himself and others. In addition to his passion for music including vocals, piano, guitar and saxophone, he’s passionate about teaching medical students.

Mr. Saretsky, also a member of Rockin’ Docs, looks forward to performing with both groups for charities while pursuing his musical passion and enjoys giving to others.

He acknowledges that there’s not enough opportunities available to hone his musical craft amidst other activities he enjoys such as showing horses and volunteering at Musical Instrument Museum.

“I have less free (time) now since retirement,” he said. “Pursue your passion, no matter what obstacles you encounter.”

Lisa Andreotti, of Fountain Hills, is the musical director and happens to be one of the newest members who “does a terrific job,” according to Ms. Kirschner.

Ms. Andreotti, who relocated to Arizona in 1995 for a job, finds time to pursue her interests and passion in singing and dancing. She has a life-long love of theater and has been involved in community theatre for 12 years.

She does the choreography and directions while performing in Guyz ‘n’ Dollz, and enjoys “brightening the day of the people for which we perform,” despite an increasing challenge of memorizing as time progresses, said the proud mother of a 19-year-old “smart and beautiful daughter.”

She encourages youngsters to “try new things and find your passion.”

Ms. Andreotti grew up idolizing Barbra Streisand and now loves Kristan Chenowich, she said.

Before the next show begins, meet former geriatric nurse, Patty Obst of Fountain Hills, who moved to Arizona in 1990 as she said to escape the cold of Minnesota while defying aging through music.

“Music is important at any age. Studies from Johns Hopkins have shown that listening to music throughout the aging process is incredibly important. Music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory,” said the singing professional inspired by Ella Fitzgerald’s musical and jazz genius. “I like to sing jazz. I’ll take pieces of songs from jazz artists and combine them into a song.”

“She has been a long-time member of our group and we have been so lucky to have her with us,” Ms. Kirschner said, adding that Ms. Obst is a “very talented lady!”

“I love to see our audiences smile, laugh, sing along, and thoroughly enjoy our music. It is very fulfilling,” Ms. Obst said, noting the challenges involved with being committed to the practice, conceptualizing and perfecting performances.

“We have a fabulous program and I’m looking forward to seeing the smiles on the faces of the audience. The quality of our performances has improved every year under the tremendous guidance of our leader, Barb Kirschner and our talented musical director, Lisa Andreotti.”

Finishing a performance at Pacifica of Paradise Valley on Nov. 16, the group can be heard practicing Rock Around the Clock in the background as they prepare for upcoming productions.

Scheduled performances for the remainder of the year include Wednesday, Dec. 12 at Fountain Hills at Morning Star; Friday, Dec. 14 at Heritage at Carefree; Wednesday, Dec. 19 at La Sienna in Phoenix, followed by performances in Tempe and all over the Valley.

Groupies interested in following the troupe can call, 480-585-6606.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment