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INTERVIEW: Southampton Cultural Center's Darren Ottati Talks "Broadway And Beyond: A Benefit Concert"

T.J. Clemente

Darren Ottati. (Courtesy Photo)

Within seconds of talking with Darren Ottati, you can feel the intense loyalty and dedication he feels for the Southampton Cultural Center's (SCC) Center Stage. Now as its Acting Artistic Director, Ottati is revving up for the 5th Annual Fundraiser Concert to support Center Stage at Southampton Cultural Center, "Broadway and Beyond: A Benefit Concert," on Sunday, September 15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Ottati explained, "The show will be a mix of classic Broadway shows and some Cole Porter standards." Performing along with Ottati, who is a majestically classically trained tenor, will be the talents of Valerie DiLorenzo and Jenifer DeMeo, who according to Ottati, "Will also be joining for some duets - all with an 8-10-piece orchestra."

Ottati is a native of Hamptons Bay, who told me, "I can't remember not knowing I was going to be a singer." He loves entertaining and has been successful for many years with his quartet, as well as his stage roles known by those in the know. Yet, he is so modest about his talent. When he starred as the Beast in Beauty and the Beast at the SCC a short while back, I actually wrote in a review that: "With Ottati as the 'Beast,' it was like he wasn't even acting. Darren's voice range is mind-blowing and his body language was all confidence, power and comedy. He is a 'ticket' all in himself!"

Now that "ticket all in himself" will be in the center of Center Stage entertaining, singing and leading, because when you talk with Ottati, every other sentence is about the wonderful projects the Main Stage will be presenting in the upcoming programming that has him both, "Excited and so busy planning!" He throws the credit around to the stable of SCC actors, directors and beams with pride when he ticks off all their successes.

He also wanted a special mention for the huge "raffle" that will also take place on September 15, in between the two shows. "I am predicting the winning prize may be $400-$500!" he relayed.

One cannot write about the SCC without mentioning the efforts over the years of SCC Artistic Director Michael Disher, who at the moment is healing from some health issues and is loved by all the arts communities on the East End for his tireless commitment to bringing quality performing arts to the Hamptons and particularly to the Main Stage of the Southampton Cultural Center.

Tickets to "Broadway and Beyond: A Benefit Concert" range from $50 to $60.

Southampton Cultural Center is located at 25 Pond Lane in Southampton. For more information, call 631-287-4377 or visit www.scc-arts.org.

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