Forever Young Saturday @ Embassy
Ft Wayne Journal Gazette Wednesday, March 28, 2018 1:00 am
Life’s musical journey -Evan Bosworth – A homecoming
Local natives bring friendships, careers full circle with stage production
“Forever Young,” written by Auburn natives Evan Bosworth, Josh Sassanella and Justin Sassanella, chronicles a journey that begins with young listeners’ discovery of their parents’ vinyl records in a suburban Indiana basement to trace five musical adventures around the world.
The show will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Embassy Theatre. Tickets are available at the Embassy box office (260-424-6287) and http://www.ticketmaster.com.
“Forever Young” is a story I wrote with Josh and Justin Sassanella. Growing up as childhood best friends in the Auburn/Fort Wayne area, the three of us enjoyed playing sports and being involved in school choir and theater programs. We were a part of DeKalb Classic Connection, one of the nation’s top show choirs, and performed on school stages across the area, including Northrop, Bishop Luers, Carroll, New Haven, Homestead and many more all over the Midwest.
Under the direction of our iconic show choir director, Shelley Johnson, Classic Connection was named grand champion at Disney World’s Showstoppers competition.
After high school graduation, we went our separate ways. Josh followed his Broadway dreams and has performed in musical hits – “Rock of Ages,” “Mamma Mia,” “Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark,” and “High School Musical,” to name a few.
Justin, his brother, was talented in many areas and was drafted out of high school by the New York Mets, where he played in the team’s minor league system before pursuing his passion for music. He took to the stage professionally and has performed in numerous shows including “The 12 Irish Tenors” and “New Jersey Nights,” as well as on cruise ships across the globe.
After graduating from college, I also took to the stage, opening for LeAnn Rimes, Vanessa Carlton and the Backstreet Boys at multiple Six Flags theme park concerts. I’ve shared stage time with the late great Andy Williams, the Osmond Brothers and many more. My musical gifts have afforded me the opportunity to work on cruise ships as a headline entertainer, and I’ve performed all over the world while visiting over 110 countries.
A few years back, Josh, Justin and I decided to write a story about our lives, using the greatest musical hits of all time. It begins with the main characters discovering their parents’ vinyl record collection and falling in love with that music, and it then follows where the music takes them throughout their lives. The story culminates with the guys reuniting to write this incredible story, with one message: Music has the power to unite us all.
Our show spent two successful years in the musical town of Branson, Missouri, where it faced competition from as many as 145 productions to win Best New Show, Best Production Show and Best Musical Show. Currently, the show is touring the nation, with performances in more than 20 states so far, and arrangements are in the works to perform in Beijing, Shanghai and Sydney.
Now the show is coming home to where it all began. Saturday, we’ll perform at Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne.
We’re proud of our work, but we also want to give back to the community. In March 2017, we were chosen to be official ambassadors of the Give a Note Foundation, a foundation created by NAfME (the National Association for Music Education), which raises funds to keep music education in schools across the nation.
Our partnership with NAfME, whose other partners include 21st Century Fox and Radio Disney, has afforded us the opportunity to support music education through workshops, question-and-answer sessions and master classes at universities, high schools and middle schools. Over the course of a year, we’ve raised more than $30,000 for music education.
If you would like to help support this wonderful cause, we’ll be accepting donations Saturday. We have workshops scheduled with area high schools and middle schools to use our knowledge and experience to help inspire students to be the best they can be and to follow their passion for music. We are living proof – local living proof – that if you set your goals high and work hard, anything is possible!
Evan Bosworth, a music headliner for Princess Cruises, is an Auburn native.