Sunday, April 22, 2012

Broadway Babies!

Inside a former beauty salon and a former paper-making room lies a future café, a place where the community can enjoy coffee and tea in serenity, sobriety, and love courtesy of the women at Magdalene & Thistle Farms. Although there is much work to be done at 5128 Charlotte Pike, this room was teeming with excitement and joy on April 11 as guests poured into a dimly lit, elegant atmosphere full of delicious refreshments and award winning entertainment to benefit the Thistle Stop Café.

The event, titled "Broadway Babies!" was met with great community support.  On tables beautifully decorated with Connie Duglin Linens and floral arrangements from Ode, Floral Artistry, guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres provided by Sambuca and Howdy Cupcakes, along with fresh coffee from Just Love Coffee Roasters.  The room was brought to life with décor and design from Centered Staging and mood lighting from Nashville Audio Visual. While guests mingled, toured Thistle Farms facilities, shared stories, and browsed Thistle Farms products, the women of Thistle Farms worked hard to make sure food was on the table, drinks were filled, and everyone understood their eagerness to serve.

Once all the seats were taken, extra chairs were brought in to accommodate the abundance of people at this sold out benefit for the Thistle Stop Café. Songwriters Marcus Hummon (“God Bless the Broken Road,” “Born to Fly”) and Desmond Child (“Living on a Prayer,” “Dude [Looks Like a Lady]”) showcased selections from their Broadway songbooks such as Jazzage, The Warrior, Lucy & Viv, The Piper, and Cuba Libre. Joining Hummon and Child were outstanding vocalists Kim Bretton, Nick Duckhart, Mike Eldred, Tabitha Fair, Michelle Nicolo Prentice, and Chris Roberts. The talent was impeccable. Everyone in the room felt like they were pulled into the various stories of Child and Hummon’s musicals.

Before intermission, founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms, Reverend Becca Stevens, gave a brief reflection on the vision for the Thistle Stop Café. “We want the café to be a welcoming space for people to nourish their bodies as well as their spirits. It is another way we can help the women of Magdalene acquire skills that contribute to their economic well-being.” At the end of the evening, the cast gathered together on stage to perform “Beautiful City” from Stephen Schwartz’s Godspell.

Come sing me sweet rejoicing
Come sing me love
We’re not afraid of voicing 
All the things
We’re dreaming of…
We can build
A beautiful city
Yes, we can
Oh, yes we can…

As this hopeful song echoed through the crowd during the final performance, the lyrics brought to life the true purpose of this special evening: the dream of building a beautiful city, a loving community, and a safe haven of hope. Thanks to the generosity and love of others, $21,000 was raised to make this dream a reality.

by Courtney Johnson, Thistle Farmer

For more photos from the magical night, check out our photo album on Facebook HERE.  (Note: you don't need a Facebook account to view the pictures.)  We are grateful for all of the donations and support, though we still need additional funding to completely renovate the space and cover startup costs.  You can still donate on line HERE or contact to find out how to get involved.

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