The students of Liz Rubino Studios will take their talent on the road next month to perform at Disney World in Florida.
Rubino, a New York theater professional and Austintown native, instructs Valley teens (and younger) in musical theater at her studio, which she started in 2005. Classes take place in the Morley Building in downtown Youngstown.
In addition to her own theater career, Rubino is also a singer, director, educator and drama therapist. Her most recent stage work in the Valley was directing an acclaimed production of “Spring Awakening” late last year at the Oakland.
While in the Orlando, Fla., area, the Rubino Studios students also will perform at Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit group that fulfills the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses.
To raise money for the trip, Rubino Studios will have a Date Auction on Saturday at the Upstairs Restaurant, 4500 Mahoning Ave., Austintown. Stan Boney of WYTV will serve as auctioneer for the three men and three women who will be on the block, and the winners will receive a date package Feb. 9.
The event, which begins at 8 p.m., also will include appetizers, a DJ and a silent auction with items donated by dozens of local restaurants and businesses. For more details, look on Facebook.
Donations will be accepted at the door. If you wish to donate to the Florida trip but can’t make it to the Date Auction, contact Rubino at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail at 135 Berwick Heights Road, East Stroudsburg, Pa., 18301.
Thirteen of Rubino’s 25 students will make the trek to Florida, and all will get solos when they perform at the Waterside Stage in the Downtown Disney area of the theme park. The troupe, which had to pass an audition process to earn the opportunity, will do a 30-minute revue of popular songs, including Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” Beyonce’s “Halo,” Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” and “We Tell the Story” from “Once on This Island.”
It will give the same performance later on the same day at Give Kids the World Village.
Guest choreographers for the Florida shows are Billie Anzevino, Colleen Chance and Christine Cobb.
In addition to her Youngs-town studio, Rubino also has students in the Pocono region of Pennsylvania, where she lives, and also in New York.
The 1998 Fitch High graduate is gearing up for her new cabaret production, the risque “Suave & the Boner,” March 15 at The Duplex in New York City’s Greenwich Village.
Rubino, who is teaming with cabaret partner John Paul Boukis, describes the show as a “steampunk burlesque cabaret that drags double entendre to new depths.”
Rubino, who has been a member of Actors Equity since 2007, visits Youngstown once a month to work with her students, many of which have gone on to professional careers.