'For Our Children': Disney's winning wish upon a star

VIDEO

February 19, 1993|By Scott Hettrick

FOR OUR CHILDREN: THE CONCERT

(Disney, 1992)

If ever there was a win-win situation, it is "For Our Children: The Concert," a benefit program that has a simultaneous video release and cable premiere this week.

The Pediatric AIDS Foundation of Santa Monica, Calif., wins not only crucial recognition but also critical funding from record and video sales of the concert and donations pledged during the cable broadcast.

Walt Disney Co. wins because it is the first time the entertainment conglomerate has unified three of its divisions to produce one of its most honorable projects.

The entertainers win because they had an opportunity to donate their talent to an unquestionably good cause.

Finally, video customers and subscribers to the Disney Channel win because they will see a rare assemblage of diverse talent performing memorable interpretations of children's songs.

A packed house of families at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, Calif., Sept. 26 was thrilled by Paula Abdul and Sheila E. singing engagingly hip versions of children's tunes, such as "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" and "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

Michael Bolton sang a pastoral "You Are My Sunshine," Randy Newman belted out "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and Salt 'N' Pepa and Gerardo charged up "This Old Man" and "Loop-De-Loo," respectively.

Woody Harrelson of "Cheers" offered a delightful folksy acoustic guitar number called "I Told the Sun I Was Glad," and Celine Dion delivered another inspiring rendition of her Academy Award-winning "Beauty and the Beast," this time with Maurice Davis as a most worthy duet partner.

Applause from the younger members of the audience was just as great for the co-hosts who introduced each act, all of whom are popular stars of TV shows "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Blossom," "Full House," "Doogie Howser, M.D." and "Dinosaurs."

Two numbers that seemed to stand out with the crowd were the original rap song, "Krossed Out Nursery Rhyme," performed by Kris Kross, and Melissa Etheridge's exhausting pyramid sing-along, "The Green Grass Grew All Around," for which her enthusiastic energy captured the audience.

But the most enjoyable performances were an incredible Hula-Hoop act by the electrifying Mat Plendl and an amazing and innovative seven-minute a cappella condensation of the songs and sounds from "The Wizard of Oz" by Bobby McFerrin that drew a standing ovation.

+ Los Angeles Times Syndicate

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