Marcus Dagan and Chad Brennen, entertainers for Norwegian
Cruise Lines, have organised Tuesday's bash in St.
Two different cruise ships, two different entertainers, one single
thought: "Let's do something for our beloved Bermuda."
When Marcus Dagan, singer/pianist and recording artist now on the
Norwegian Sea, and Chad Brennen, art director and singer on
the Norwegian Majesty, heard about the damage Hurricane
Fabian had wreaked on the Island, they were devastated.
Each week throughout the season, they have been among the ships'
entertainers and crew who arrive in St. George's - a little town
whose charm and peoples they have grown to know and love, and
where they have spent their spare time enjoying its amenities and
hospitality. It is, as Mr. Brennan put it, "Everyone's home from
In fact, for Mr. Dagan, in particular, Bermuda had always held an
extra special place in his heart, for it was here some years ago
that his international career was launched.
He has never forgotten the time he spent entertaining patrons at
the then-Rum Runners restaurant, and all of the people whom he
Naturally, he was overjoyed when he found himself making regular
calls at Bermuda on the Norwegian Majesty both last year
and this, before being transferred a few weeks ago to her sister
ship, the Norwegian Sea.
When both men saw at first hand the devastation in St. George's,
and in particular at the St. George's Preparatory School, they
both had the same reaction: they wanted to do something to help.
So they resolved to have a concert to raise money for the school's
Disaster Relief Fund, as well as for families of the victims who
were swept off the Causeway.
"Entertainers on both ships love Bermuda, and we wanted to give
something back," Mr. Dagan said. "A concert gives us an
opportunity to do that and also to help people in a place that we
really care about."
When their idea was put to the respective singers, dancers, bands
and entertainers on their ships, the response was immediate and
positive: they would love to put on a big concert in the Town
They also agreed that admission would be free, but a donation box
would be strategically placed.
Losing no time in contacting the appropriate authorities ashore,
Mr. Dagan and Mr. Brennen met with nothing but enthusiasm,
cooperation and a willingness to help. St. George's activist and
town crier E. Michael Jones, St. George's Corporation common
councillor David Raine and his wife, artist Jill Raine, and the
St. George's Market Group (of which Mrs. Raine is chairman) and
many others have been of tremendous assistance.
"In fact, we could not have done it without the Raine's," Mr.
While a few details are still to be finalised today, the green
light is firmly on for tomorrow.
From 3 to 7 p.m. spectators will be treated to a non-stop
programme featuring the entertainers on both ships, including
comedians, dancers, bands, pianists, singers and a Celtic music
"There will be a significant variety of entertainment such as I
think Bermuda has not experienced before," Mr. Jones predicted.
"It is going to be great fun."
Jonathan Trott of Spanish Town International is handling all of
the sound and stage arrangements, including a marquee to protect
the performers in the event of inclement weather, for the concert
will go on rain, blow or shine.
The Bank of Butterfield has generously agreed to sponsor the
onshore expenses associated with what promises to be a very slick,
professional event, of which CNN has also been made aware.
In addition to St. George's Preparatory School principal Mrs.
Lodge, members of the school's PTA will also be on hand to sell
baked goods and sodas.
Meanwhile, as word of the ships' concert has spread in St.
George's, enthusiasm has mounted, and already a $1500 donation has
been received. It is anticipated that East End businesses and
residents will also follow suit with donations of their own.
Although Norwegian Cruise Lines' policy forbids entertainers and
crew from soliciting funds from passengers on board their ships,
the organisers are confident that, when they hear about the event
and its purpose, donations ashore will surely follow.
There will be 15 acts, each of about 12 minutes' duration, and
maybe "some surprises" in the form of guest appearances.
Mr. Brennen will emcee, and plans call for a renewed invitation to
donate at the end of each act. In addition, dancers have agreed to
let the public pose for pictures with them in exchange for a
donation, while two of them, once from each ship, have gamely
agreed to be ducked in St. George's Harbour by the Town Crier.
When Mr. Dagan brings the programme to a close, it will include
the première of his original composition, 'My Dreams are Safely
Gathered In' - a homage to Bermuda.
Finally, students from St. George's Preparatory School will sing a
special song and the chorus of Michael Jackson's 'We are the
As to how the funds will be used by the beleaguered east end
school, that is being left to the appropriate authorities to
"We have nothing to do with the money. We are just organising the
concert," Mr. Dagan stressed.
For her part, principal Mary Lodge said she is "absolutely
delighted" that the ships' entertainers have chosen to help her
school, adding that it has enjoyed a long history of working with
the Raine family, whose children are former pupils.
Speaking on behalf of the Corporation of St. George's, Mr. Raine
said it too was "delighted" to be associated with what he termed
"this splendid gesture" by the Norwegian Cruise Lines
"We have been very keen to cooperate with the St. George's Market
Group and others involved in this production, and we stand willing
to continue helping to make this event a resounding success," he
said. "We certainly hope that everyone will come out and support
this worthy cause."
"Let's pack the Town Square," Mr. Brennen echoed.
At press time, organisers were still hoping that the projected
reopening of the Causeway for full time use will be in time to
accommodate people returning to the mainland from the concert
after 7 p.m.
Anyone wishing to donate by mail should make their cheques payable
to the St. George's Preparatory School Disaster Relief Fund and
send them to 26 Church Folly Lane, St. George's GE 03 for the
attention of Mrs. Lodge. For further information telephone her at