Tuesday, June 21, 2005

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BigFish Has Big Heart

BigFish Has Big Heart

June 21, 2005

By Richard Kuper

The Op Ed Page


Most producers just want to put on the best show they can for the audience. Bernie Furshpan and his company BigFish Productions have, in their brief time so far in the business, managed to take it a step further.

At the "Legends of Motor City" show on June 10th in New York City, starring the Temptations, Martha Reeves, and the Spinners, young musicians from Delaware State University backed up the legendary artists. According to its website, Delaware State University was established on May 15, 1891 as the State College for Colored Students by the Delaware General Assembly, under the provisions of the Morrill Act of 1890. This was the way in which land-grant colleges for Blacks came into existence in states maintaining separate educational facilities. For the modern day students of Delaware State University, performing with the "Legends of Motor City" was an opportunity of a lifetime.

This was not the first time that BigFish Productions has shown a big heart. Last October they produced a show called “Russian Splendor.” Weeks before the scheduled show, tragedy struck in Russia. Thirty two terrorists stormed a school and took some 1,200 adults and children captive in a 48-hour siege. The siege ended with the deaths of 335 hostages, about half of them children. Mr. Furshpan, whose parents emigrated from Russia, announced that a portion of the proceeds from “Russian Splendor” would be donated to the families and victims of the community. In addition, at the show, Curtis Sliwa, leader of the Guardian Angels, presented an honorary membership in the Guardian Angels to a young Russian student hero who helped rescue his friends during that terrorist siege.