JFS home page
senior services
Contact Us
2012 ONO banner


Carol Channing began to cry when she stepped backstage at the McCallum Theatre to join the cast of One Night Only.

“I was just overcome by seeing so much talent on one stage, all at once, all in one night,” she said.

“Dolly” wasn't the only one to express such lavish praise. The packed house gave round after round of applause to each of the
more than two dozen performers — along with several accompanists, a full orchestra, director — who contributed to the
synergistic event benefiting Jewish Family Service of the Desert.

Honorary co-chairwomen Annette Bloch and Helene Galen got the evening started by welcoming the sold-out audience from
the stage, while fellow honorary co-chairpersons Barbara Keller and Harold Matzner smiled broadly from the audience.
Barbara Fromm and Sherry Schor, serving their fifth year as event co-chairwomen, sat nearby watching with delight.

The performance was a salute to the music of Ira and George Gershwin, who had extensive ties to the Coachella Valley.

Acts receiving the loudest applause included Freda Payne singing “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” Marilyn Maye singing
“The Man That Got Away,” Brent Barrett's unique delivery of “Heaven On Earth,” Von Smith's rendition of “Embraceable You”
and Lucie Arnaz belting out “'S Wonderful.”

A fellow audience member critiqued Arnaz's performance saying: “Her voice is great, but I was applauding those long
legs of hers — most beautiful I've ever seen.”

Carole Cook's hysterical version of “Strike Up The Band” was in a comedy class by itself, beginning with a big bass drum suddenly rolling across the stage when she sang “let the drums roll out” and continuing with wild jokes and off-stage sound effects. Then, suddenly, Cook leapt from comedy to patriotism, finishing with a serious, flawless rendition that would do justice to any presidential parade.
Betty FrancisDesert Sun

“If you could only see one show a year – be sure that it is Michael Childers’ ONE NIGHT ONLY. Every performer brought so much
meaning and – whether it be Michele’s Lee’s "The Man I love", Freda Payne in “Our Love is Here to Stay”,
Lucie Arnaz in “S’Wonderful”, Von Smith in “Embraceable You”, or Angel Blue and Bradley Baker doing “Porgy and Bess”.
This annual show is simply genius – every year the best of the best.”
Gloria Greer Palm Springs Life

“Lucie Arnaz was simply dynamite and looked amazing. Carole Cook was unbelievably funny. And the singers from Porgy and Bess; Bradley Baker, Nita Whitaker, Angel Blue were overwhelmingly powerful. Most of my praise goes for Michael Childers; the miracle man, who made magic work, totally enchanting a thrilled audience.”
Barbara Sinatra

“What a smashing and thrilling success, a truly elegant amazing evening, every performer delivered 100%. Bravo.”
David Zippel, Broadway and Hollywood Lyricist.

“Honestly this is one of the greatest evenings of my life in the theater. You are all brilliant and wonderful.
Absolute perfection! Your voices are great gifts from God. I love what you bring to the world of the arts!”
Carol Channing

“Among the audience favorites were Freda Payne, Marilyn Maye, the unique and powerful Brent Barrett, Von Smith’s thrilling rendition of “Embraceable You” as well as the sensual and sensational Lucie Arnaz belting out “’S Wonderful”. Alix Korey and Jason Graae turned “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” into a one act comedy filled with inside jokes about Palm Springs and the Acqua Pazza restaurant where the song took place. Ann Hampton Callaway gave us such perfect jazz vocals that no other singer could possibly duplicate. The emotional and brilliant ending of the show, Porgy and Bess, featured Indio’s very own Voices of Calvary as well as the powerful and poignant voices of opera stars Angel Blue, Nita Whitaker, Rogelio Douglas Jr. and Bradley Baker.”
Betty FrancisDesert Sun

“Each year,ONE NIGHT ONLY raises the bar for performances in the Coachella Valley. This year’s salute to the music of George and Ira Gershwin was the best yet. Every performer, whether a legend in the industry or an up and coming star, was at the top of their game, giving spine-tingling performances of some of the best songs ever written.
We are so proud to have ONE NIGHT ONLY at the McCallum Theatre”
Mitch Gershenfeld, Director of the McCallum

ONE NIGHT ONLY is the finest concert in the valley for entertainment.
Where else can you hear the best in music, song, dance, Broadway, and opera all in one performance?
Michael Childers has proven this is a show to be seen by its sold out performance year after year.”
Pat KrauseThe Desert Entertainer Magazine
“Michele Lee did a fabulous job performing "The Man I Love" and how impressive the beautiful Lucie Arnaz was in "‘S Wonderful" from Funny Face. Along with Carole Cook who was so incredibly funny I had to take my glasses off three times to wipe away my hysterical tears. ONE NIGHT ONLY was particularly special and brilliant this year because it was the Gershwins and every song was recognizable.” Barbara WisbeyBottom Line Magazine

“Nita Whitaker, Lucie Arnaz, Freda Payne and my friend, Michele Lee were all exceptional!
Who could ask for anything more? Nowhere in the world, could you expect to hear the performances
from these artists other than at the McCallum and Michael Childers’ ONE NIGHT ONLY.”
Francis Allen
- Beverly Hills Courier

“Angel Blue, Nita Whitaker and Bradley Baker were spectacular in the Porgy and Bess finale. ONE NIGHT ONLY is a wonderful show and great, great entertainment.”
Todd Marker K-JAZZ 102.3