Made In Buffalo: Cheryl Stern - FBTB logo

Made in Buffalo



From Buffalo to Broadway

Waiting in the Wings

A Live Virtual Event Starring Cheryl Stern

April 25, 2021 | 7:30 PM


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From Buffalo to Broadway, Waiting in the Wings

An Evening with Cheryl Stern
Featuring Performers from Buffalo and New York City

In April of last year, we were planning an entirely different event.  The Made in Buffalo team, together with Cheryl Stern, spent a good portion of 2020 brainstorming how to bring you all the jazz and pizzazz we envisioned for our in-person event, but in the safest way possible.  And you know what?  We did it!

This event features performances by Buffalo’s very own Broadway and television star Cheryl Stern. From the stage of Cheryl’s alma mater Amherst High School, Cheryl will guide us through an evening of entertainment that includes native Buffalo performers alongside a few special guests from the stages of New York City.

This live, virtual event can be viewed from the comfort of your own home. We practically guarantee you’ll feel you’ve been transported to Broadway, watching a showcase of incredible talent from the best seat in the house (your couch!).

And that’s not all… oh yes, it gets better! To enhance your viewing pleasure, ticket holders will receive a free swag bag full of goodies to enjoy along with the show!

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Cheryl Stern

Cheryl is currently recurring as Ida Ettenberg (Benjamin’s Mom) on the Emmy winning series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Cheryl’s Broadway credits include the Tony Award Winning Revival of La Cage Aux Folles, starring Kelsey Grammer, The Women with Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Tilly and Kristen Johnston (Roundabout; filmed for PBS), Candide (NY City Opera) and Laughing Room Only starring Jackie Mason. Cheryl has also appeared in Fiorello at New York City Center’s Encores!

Off Broadway, Cheryl starred as Frannie in A Letter to Harvey Milk, Claire in Being Audrey, Alice B. Toklas in 27 Rue de Fleurus and won critical acclaim as Mamie Eisenhower in Transport Group’s Drama Desk nominated First Lady Suite. Other Off Broadway credits include City Of,  Requiem for William, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Game Show, That’s Life and The Immigrant.

She has appeared in National Tours of A Grand Night for Singing, Les Miserables, EvitaFiddler on the Roof and as Mme. Dindon in La Cage with George Hamilton.

Regional credits include Sue in Bells Are Ringing at The Berkshire Theatre Group, Yente in Goodspeed’s Fiddler On The Roof, Jack’s Mother in Into The Woods at Baltimore Center Stage/ Westport Playhouse and The Old Lady in Mary Zimmerman’s acclaimed production of Candide at the Huntington Theatre in Boston (IRNE Award – Best Supporting Actress).

Cheryl has been seen as a guest star on Unforgettable, Guiding Light, All My Children, As the World Turns and Law and Order-Criminal Intent. She can be seen in Sondheim: a Celebration at Carnegie Hall, filmed for PBS, and in the feature films, This is Where I Leave You, starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey and Brooklyn Lobster with Jane Curtin and Danny Aiello. She has also narrated many books for

As writer, Cheryl created lyrics for the critically acclaimed, Jonathan Larson Award winning, Off Broadway musical, Nor’mal:, starring Barbara Walsh. (Book by Yvonne Adrian, music by Tom Kochan). An adaptation of the musical, now retitled Pretty To The Bone has been enjoying a rich life in schools and universities. Also Off Broadway: A Letter To Harvey MilkThe Audience (Drama Desk nomination – Best Musical), Being Audrey (Transport Group) and That’s Life! (Outer Critics Circle nomination). Other credits include FamousA Hollywood Musical (TRU Musical Reading Series Winner –Kochan/Adrian), Gene Game (Alfred P. Sloan Grant) Are We There Yet? and A Christmas Survival Guide. Buffalonia, a solo piece written and performed by Cheryl with music by Tom Kochan was presented at Ensemble Studio Theatre.

Cheryl is a graduate of Northwestern University. She is currently on the teaching faculty at AMDA and has a vibrant private teaching practice in NYC.

Buffalo Performers



Saranaide is an accomplished vocalist, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist based out of Buffalo, NY.  With parents from Panama and Puerto Rico, Saranaide embraces and celebrates her heritage by intertwining the sounds of Latin America throughout her music. Inspired by the legends of soul and jazz, Saranaide’s unique sound is sweet and spicy- the best combination.

Her 2021 solo EP “Beyond”, which has a remarkable origin story, is an extraordinary fusion of sounds. It was described by JazzBuffalo as “another demonstration of how the next generation of jazz artists in our community is reshaping the music scene.”



Gaitre is a choreographer, dancer, yoga instructor, and podcast host. Her training with Indian dance consists of Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Garba, Bhangra, and semi-classical. She is a company member for the Sa Dance Company, and the founder of Devi Bollywood Performing Arts, Buffalo’s first Bollywood dance classes and performance troupe.  Over the years Gaitre has connected with the community by offering workshops and classes, as well as bringing notable Indian dance instructors to the area. Gaitrie’s mission to continue to offer a platform for individuals from all backgrounds to experience Indian dance and culture. A huge part of her inspiration and creativity is her children, she is a proud mother of 3 (a 5-year-old boy and twin 2-year-old girls), her hope is that, through dance, she can share with them a little piece of where they come from.



Slyboots Founder and Oswego native Griffin Brady has a Master of Arts degree from Goddard College, with a focus in Ethnomusicology and Music Pedagogy. Upon founding the The Slyboots School of Music, Art & Dance in Buffalo, NY in 2006, Griffin had been teaching and performing at over 800 universities, colleges, high schools, elementary schools, and clubs across the United States promoting the Slyboots mission: positive social change through cultural arts education and performance—and bringing the world together, on the sly.

In addition to his touring efforts, Griffin also works as a teaching artist in WNY schools, has been a featured speaker at various panel discussions and events including the TedX Buffalo conference, and he also organizes and implements a study abroad program that has brought WNY students to Africa nearly every summer since 2010.

Nancy Fernandez

Nancy Fernandez

Nancy Fernandez is a songwriter and performing artist born and raised in Buffalo, NY. In 2007, She co-created Los Angeles-based band, Madame Trash Heap. For four rockin years they were a mainstay of the LA music scene, putting out several EP’s of original, soulful rock. After moving to Buffalo, Nancy joined forces with some veteran Buffalo musicians to form Dirty Couture. After recording their first album and having a lot of fun playing all over Buffalo, domestic life and motherhood forced a semi-retirement. Nancy is still writing and playing music; mostly to her phone these days, but looks forward to getting out on stage again when life gets a little more safe for everyone. If you like her lyrics, then check out for more original writing.

Big J Blues | Jeremy Applebaum

Big J Blues | Jeremy Applebaum

Big J Blues plays the blues the way they were meant to be played…from the gut.  B.B. King said “You don’t choose to play the blues. The blues choose you.  You play it because you have to.” Big J approaches his music with the mantra “It’s all about the feeling.”  Sitting atop his custom Mississippi drum machine, Big J stomps his way throughout Western and Central New York spreading this gospel.

Born in Buffalo, Big J spent 12 years honing his chops working the LA bar band scene after a four year crash course in the Blues Mecca that is Chicago, IL where he studied under the feet of such greats as Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Koko Taylor and Buddy Guy.  Big J soaked it all up like a sponge.  In LA J befriended JJ “Bad Boy” Jones who would readily dole out welcomed advice to the young guitarist in a no nonsense way that only a seasoned bluesman can provide.  Now back home in Buffalo, J brings his unique style and passion for music to venues across New York as well as performances in Florida and New Orleans.  Big J delivers the blues you can use!   Boogie chillun!

NYC Performers

Bobby Daye

Bobby Daye

Bobby Day’s career has crossed into stage, film, tv and radio.  As a songwriter, he’s done the music and lyrics to the new musical LOVE AND SOUTHERN D!SCOMFORT, ( with a book by Monica L. Patton.  He also writes for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS with writing partner Tom Kochan and he penned the theme song to the ABC-TV soap Loving, which was performed by Johnny Mathis.

Bobby is a recipient of an Outstanding Individual Performance Award for his work in the 2010 NYMF production of The Great Unknown. He was a 9-time male vocalist winner on Ed McMahon’s Star Search where he used all of his own music and has appeared on television in Chicago PD, Empire, Law and Order and ED (among others). Bobby teaches a class with Alan Nussbaum at TVI Actor’s Studio, helping performers find what unique qualities they can bring to auditions. His Broadway credits include Aladdin, After Midnight, Book of Mormon, Shrek the Musical, The Color Purple, The Lion King, Smokey Joe’s Café, Dreamgirls and The Wiz.

Juliet Shatkin

Juliet Shatkin

Juliet Shatkin currently resides in NYC but is a born and bred Buffalonian. After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2016, she began working as a professional actress. Recently, Juliet has decided to go back to school to study medicine. She is currently in her last semester at Columbia University, gearing up to apply to medical school this upcoming summer. While in school, Juliet has been working as a recording artist and jingle artist for radio and television advertisements. She is also currently in the process of filming for a new television show called Paper Empire which is expected to air in the next year.

Adam Heller

Adam Heller

Adam has been an actor in show business for nearly 40 years. He has appeared in 8 Broadway shows, as well as worked on multiple plays and musicals in some of the great regional theaters in the United States. He has had the honor of meeting and working with some of his idols and has had the privilege of being friends with some of the loveliest and most dedicated people (he’s looking at you, Cheryl and Tom!) Adam even met his fiancé Beth working on one of his shows! Adam is in no place to stop performing, and has many plans for the future. Once we are all fully vaccinated, he will be working on 3 Broadway-bound shows that are currently in development. He also has a wedding to plan!

Karen Mason

Karen Mason

Karen Mason is an actress who has appeared on and Off-Broadway productions, on television, and on recordings. She was the recipient of the 2019 MAC Lifetime Achievement Award and is a 12-time MAC Award winner, including the MAC Award for Major Female Vocalist of the Year for six consecutive years.  She has also won the 2006 Nightlife Award for Major Female Vocalist and has three Bistro Awards. Karen has headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Feinstein’s 54 Below, Birdland,  The Fairmont Hotel (San Fran), and The Park West (Chi). Her 7 highly acclaimed recordings include her newest single, “It’s About Time” an anthem for Marriage Equality,  and single “Hold Me’, which won the 1998 Emmy Award for Best Song.

Her theatrical career includes:  the North American premier tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s LOVE NEVER DIES, playing Madame Giry;  Tanya in the original MAMMA MIA! (Drama Desk Nom);  Norma Desmond in  SUNSET BOULEVARD;  Queen of Hearts in WONDERLAND; Velma in HAIRSPRAY;  JEROME ROBBIN’S BROADWAY, TORCH SONG TRILOGY.  Karen won the Outer Critics Circle Award for her performance in AND THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND.

Joe Barros

Joe Barros

NYC Stage Direction

Joe Barros is an award-winning director and choreographer working on Broadway, regionally, internationally, and in film. In addition to developing original musicals around the world, Joe is the co-founder and Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn. Broadway: Gigi (associate director). Off-Broadway: The Evolution of Mann (cast album), Cagney (associate director), Bastard Jones, A Taste of Things to Come (associate director, also Broadway in Chicago). Regional/Int’l: two national tours of A Charlie Brown Christmas, Beaches (Chicago’s Drury Lane), Aida (Singapore), plus DC’s Signature Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Kaixinmahua (Shanghai). Film Choreography: The Girl Who Left Home (with Paolo Montalbán), Petunia (with Michael Urie), Mangus (with Jennifer Coolidge, Leslie Jordan). Recipient: The Drama League’s 2018 First Stage Residency, SDC’s 2018 Standout Moments, 2017 BroadwayWorld Regional Award (Best Choreography), New York Innovative Theatre Award-nominee. Barros is the director of 17-year-old Elise Marra’s new musical Frankie (concept album on Broadway Records with Tony-nominee Caitlin Kinnunen) and is the A&R Director of Theatre Barn Records (an imprint of Broadway Records).

John DiPinto

John DiPinto

NYC Music Direction

John DiPinto is currently the musical supervisor and arranger for Trav’lin’, a new musical featuring the songs of 1930’s jazz composer J.C. Johnson. Broadway credits include: Footloose, [title of show], Laughing Room Only, Victor/Victoria. Off- Broadway: Shoes And Baggage, Langston In Harlem, Altar Boyz, Water From The Moon, A Christmas Memory, Disaster!, I’m Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road, Summer Of ’42, Nor’mal, Streakin’!, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin and A Man Of No Importance. John is also an accordionist, singer, actor and composer. He has sadly never had occasion to work in Buffalo, but has visited the Anchor Bar and is a fan of their famous wings.

Tom Kochan

Tom Kochan

Creative Director and Producer

Tom is thrilled to be a part of Buffalo to Broadway with Cheryl Stern. He is an Emmy Award winning composer and a Drama Desk nominee for his score to Almost, Maine for Transport Group. His songs are currently featured on The Young and the Restless on CBS. 

Career highlights include: The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper at Williamstown Theatre Festival, two plays with Arthur Miller (at Roundabout and Williamstown), five CD’s with flutist James Galway (on RCA Records), three NYC productions with British filmmaker Mike Leigh (including the Obie Award winning Ecstasy), and the Jonathan Larson award winning musical Pretty to the Bone.  

Tom is the series composer for Playing On Air, a radio/podcast show of short plays.

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Those who call Buffalo home, whether or not they still live in the community, know the sense of pride and closeness that makes Buffalo special. There is a deep connection and love of this place, and we think it should be celebrated.

Made In Buffalo, an ongoing series powered by the Buffalo Jewish Federation, will shine a spotlight on those famous Buffalonians who cut their teeth right here in our backyard.

The purpose of Made in Buffalo is to celebrate a personality who can lay claim to being “made” in our region and allow the Buffalo Jewish Federation to provide a dynamic program as a gift to the greater community.


Marjorie Godin Bryen, Chair  |  Kelly Lignos Ziv  |  Joni Shatkin  |  Nancy Fernandez  |  Susan Grelick  |  Leslie Shuman Kramer   |  Shelly Yellen, President, Buffalo Jewish Federation  |  Rob Goldberg, CEO, Buffalo Jewish Federation  |  Miriam Abramovich, Chief Experience Officer, Buffalo Jewish Federation  |  Jill Komm, Chief Creative Officer, Buffalo Jewish Federation  |  Mike Steklof, Director of Jewish Experience, Center for Jewish Engagement and Learning

For more information