Sally-Jane Heit grew up in Brooklyn rivaling for attention among her seven siblings. It led to her discovery as a natural performer singing, dancing and acting. After raising her three daughters in Washington D.C., she traded the nation's capital for capital performances in New York.
Heit is bringing her life-inspired show "Before I Forget..A Memoir with Music" to the Sanctuary Clubhouse March 27 for an intimate evening benefitting the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation an organization close to Heit's heart.
"I love SCCF," she said. "It moves my heart the most."
Sally-Jane Heit and Erick Lindblad
This seasoned actress first took the stage in Michael Bennett's Broadway musical, "Ballroom," which led to productions off-Broadway and beyond. Her film and television credits include "Tattoo," "The Paper," "N.Y.P.D. Blue" and "Guiding Light." After an inspirational encounter with actress Lily Tomlin, Heit wrote "Starting in the Middle," in which she also starred as a composite character, Harriet Ferment, based on her own experiences as a woman, mother and professional caught between changing times.
As audiences around the world recognized themselves in the hilarious, sad and sometimes neurotic portrait peppered with alter-egos, Heit's latest production leaves audiences enlightened and smiling. "Before I Forget..A Memoir with Music" blends comedy and song into a poignant portrayal of real life.
The songs that are interspersed throughout the dialogue are a highlight of the show. Many are original, while others will be familiar to the audience.
"Before I Forget..A Memoir with Music"
Starring and Written By Sally-Jane Heit
7:30 p.m. March 24
2801 Wulfert Road
"The show is astonishing," said Luc Century, an islander who recently previewed the 2012 version of Heit's ever-changing show. "Its messages are simple yet as complex and layered as you want them to be."
To Heit, the show is about "the absurdity of life in particular, my life in relation to the absurdity," she said.
Besides Heit, the only other person on stage is Uel Wade, the musical director and pianist for the show. The pair originally met many years ago doing cabaret in New York City, and by a strange twist of fate they re-met after they both relocated to the Berkshires in Maine.
For Heit, this performance is her way of giving back. "It's time," she added.
Meet Heit following her performance while enjoying a decadent dessert buffet and champagne and coffee bar. The evening begins at 7:30 p.m.
"We deeply appreciate Sally-Jane and her support" said Erick Lindblad, the SCCF executive director.
SCCF is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on Sanibel and Captiva through environmental education, land acquisition, landscaping for wildlife, marine research, natural resource policy, sea turtle conservation and wildlife habitat management.
There is SCCF dedicated land adjacent to the Sanctuary property, where Heit's show will be presented. Community support through membership dues and tax-deductible contributions, in addition to grants and staff-generated revenue, makes the work of SCCF possible.
"This will be a great venue," Heit said.