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Ryan to belt out hits for hospital fundraiser

Bridget Ryan goes Broadway to raise money for precision surgery equipment

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Apr 09, 2014 06:00 am

CUE THE CABARET – Bridget Ryan performs Saturday at the ATB Financial Arts Barns.
CUE THE CABARET – Bridget Ryan performs Saturday at the ATB Financial Arts Barns.
Supplied photo

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Preview

Here's to the Ladies Who Laugh
Saturday, April 12 at Doors at 7 p.m. Show 8 p.m.
ATB Financial Arts Barns
10330 – 84 Ave.
Tickets: $27. Call 780-420-1757 or purchase online at tixonthesquare.ca

As the live eye host for Citytv’s Breakfast Television, Bridget Ryan is one of the most recognizable faces in the capital region.

But she’s also a celebrated vocalist and comedic performer, and this coming Saturday, Ryan goes Broadway.

The St. Albert Children’s Theatre alumna is the central performer in Here’s to the Ladies Who Laugh, a musical cabaret in support of the Lois Hole Hospital for Women.

“I like to use the arts to raise awareness. And I am a woman and I believe it’s very important we support this initiative for our health,” says the effervescent Ryan in a telephone interview.

Ryan is donating all proceeds from the cabaret to purchase a da Vinci robot for women. Its manufacturers describe it as the da Vinci Surgical System, a device that allows surgeons to operate with a few small incisions.

It features a magnified, 3-D high definition vision system and tiny wrist instruments that rotate and are extremely flexible. This allows surgeons to operate with extraordinary vision, precision, dexterity and control.

“With this microscopic robot you can address issues that were more difficult before and the recovery time is much shorter,” Ryan explains.

She adds that the University of Alberta Hospital already has one da Vinci system in place. The Royal Alexandra Hospital also has one but it is set aside for women’s surgeries only one day per week.

A third da Vinci System is pegged at $3 million. The Full House Lottery is tied in with procuring funds for another robot. Ryan estimates that, at the lottery’s conclusion, Lois Hole Hospital will have about $2 million – two thirds of what is needed.

Ryan has plowed through her catalogue of 70 musicals and will deliver a mash-up of classic Broadway, songs from the ’80s and an homage to ABBA and Queen. There will also be songs borrowed from new Broadway musicals such as Wicked, Next to Normal and Spring Awakening.

And they will all be peppered with her zesty, indefinable humour.

Accompanying Ryan is the indefatigable Jenn McMillan on piano and Kokopelli Choir is on board as featured guests. The choir and Ryan are joining forces to sing Styx’s Mr. Roboto, a tune that is planned as a salute to the evening.

“Our message is one of hope, inspiration, strength and tenderness. We want to take theses words and make it into a raucous party.”

In addition, Jason Carter, a rapidly-rising aboriginal visual artist, is putting up for auction three sculptures of the female form and some of his whimsical rabbit carvings.

Ryan began a long history of benefit concerts back in 2007 when she created The Breast Show with radio host Shannon Tyler, a musical cabaret that celebrated women’s strength and courage in the face of adversity.

Since then Ryan, an independent, cheerful spirit with a snappy sense of humour, has always stepped in to fill a need.

“Come. It will be awesome. There will be music, a live auction and lots of merriment and hope. It’s an inspiring and celebratory evening for women and for men.”


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