Skip to main content

Local Men's Health Organization MEMAH to Host Gala Featuring Shakespearean Performances, Honoring Community Leaders

Local men’s health nonprofit Men Educating Men About Health (MEMAH) will host its annual gala on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Pasadena. The evening will feature dinner and entertainment in celebration of the contributions of four outstanding community leaders.

MEMAH will honor Dr. Barbara Freund as Woman of the Year 2019; Assemblymember Chris Holden as Man of the Year 2019; City of Hope as Business of the Year 2019; and Laura Farber, president of the 2020 Tournament of Roses, with a Community Contribution Award.

Additionally, an extraordinary group of 19 actors will perform “Health in a Very Happy Season,” an evening of Shakespearean sonnets, readings, and music. The performance, named after a quotation from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, part 2, is produced and directed by noted Shakespeare scholar and director Louis Fantasia.

“We will not only focus on Shakespeare’s timelessness and universality, but on his passion for healthy living,” Fantasia said.

The performance will be co-hosted by actors Michele Greene and Lydia Castro. The cast of actors performing (subject to availability) are: Anthony Armatrading, Eric Braeden, Claudia Christian, Suzan Crowley, Neil Dickson, Jamison Jones Lisa LoCicero, Lindsay Plake, Lawrence Pressman, Jessica Spotts, Paul David Story, Kitty Swink, Joan Van Ark, Peter van Norden, Claude Hall, Karen Bankhead and opera star Oscar Zhang.

“Shakespeare is the voice of human experience,” said van Ark, who will recite Sonnet 147. “There is no emotion that any of us has felt—anger, love, joy, pain, loss—that Shakespeare hasn’t written about. That’s what makes him so human.”

The gala will be hosted by the MEMAH Board of Directors and the Honoree Host Committee: Aline & Danny Bakewell, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Faye & Robert Davidson, Louis Fantasia, Pauline & Earl Fields, 2019 Tournament of Roses President Gerald Freeny, LA Couty Family Court Commissioner Alan Friedenthal (ret.), Thelma & Webster Guillory, Pasadena City Councilmember John J. Kennedy, and San Gabriel City Councilmember Chin Ho Liao.

MEMAH is a Pasadena-based nonprofit dedicated to educating men and women about their health. Since 2011, MEMAH has hosted the annual Get Healthy Pasadena health conference, providing free health screenings to thousands of the uninsured and underinsured in the San Gabriel Valley.