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Wonderama and UNICEF USA Joined for the “Biggest Halloween Parade in History II,” Times Square New York, Sunday, October 30th, 2022, Reviewed

Welcome to “One Time Scare” Wonderama Wonderwall.

It is late Sunday morning and I am here with one of the Grand Marshalls, SohoJohnny Pasquale. Time Scream is packed with people watching the early rehearsals as cast members from “Stranger Sings: The Parody Musical ” and “Little Shop Of Horrors” provide excerpts from their off-Broadway productions as well as special guest Kanisha Marie Feliciano (who is portraying Christine on Broadway and who wowed us all…)

Kanisha Marie Feliciano 

It is a gorgeous Autumn moment, the sun is shining and though you need a sturdy jacket it isn’t that off temperature. There are many people around, the children who are in the parade, the talent (David Osmond MCs), cast members and audience members and a general milling around between performances until the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Academy’s “Second Line Band” kick it off New Orleans style with a good old good old (as Satchmo used to say) “When The Saints Go Marching In”.

Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Academy’s “Second Line Band”

Meanwhile, Soho and I are soaking it in while the production rushes around before showing the entire world the parade of parades online. Soho chatted up Mrs. Claus who introduced herself with a resounding “I know you, you are on the good list”. Without a doubt the cutest Missus anywhere, she was a charming take away and much more fun than the stoical and quiet skeleton…

Mrs. Santa Claus, Grand Marshall Soho
All skin and bones

Somewhere between all of this I had the pleasure of speaking to UNICEF USA Chief Marketing Officer, Shelley Diamond. “In honor of spooky season, we are excited to celebrate Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF’s reimagined experience alongside Wonderama in Times Square for a second year in a row. As the cherished month-long campaign evolves into an entirely virtual experience, participants of all ages are encouraged to get involved and raise critical funds for UNICEF by incorporating the unique QR Code into Halloween activities. Funds raised from this year’s campaign will support UNICEF’s lifesaving working for every child.” That was actually from the UNICEF website though it captures the essence of the former Young & Rubicam executive before she chose to switch careers; certainly UNICEF is a charity on steroids, from vaccines to food, education, to living quarters, and online studies and life. In effect, they do everything you can for impoverished children and UNICEF will be the recipient of the funds raised.

UNICEF and Global Representing

If Audrey II is the one cast member I wish I had taken a picture of, Stranger Sings: The Parody Musical were fun even if I had my problems with the songs. I admire writer and composer, 29 year old Jonathan Hogue, with a knack for satire and a huge love of the Netflix series “Stranger Things”. He wrote the musical basing it on the first season but with a ton of foreshadowing (expect a sneak appearance from “Running Up The Hill”) and while I have problems with the songs (I have problems with a lot of new musicals because they can’t stand up to Sondheim, Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, etc, even the best, a Stephen Schwartz, doesn’t do. As for Andrew Lloyd Webber: of course we believe he has improved with age but he is simply a victim of global warming with the shore of pop receding into the sea. Having said that, Hogue is a smart guy (according to NYT he is taking playwriting lessons at night!) and a pleasant chap and I bet they get a good, long run as they open in Melbourne and London. I am seriously considering catching it…

Stranger Singers

Then the Parade down 7th Avenue to Duffy Square and back began with marching band The Second Line leading the way with horns blazing and drums egging us on. They were followed by children from all over, waving and walking their way, and SohoJohnny and I somewhere in the middle of the proceedings.

The Children Parade

It was a thoroughly good time for a wonderful cause that dovetails nicely into letmehelp’s mission statement, and it was a pleasure to have a good hang with SohoJohnny who is usually surrounded by admirers, as we put the meaning into Halloweening!

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