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    'Bullets for Broadway' benefits LSCPA, PALT

    When a group of Port Arthur friends sat down to plan a fundraiser for Lamar State College Port Arthur and the Port Arthur Little Theater, they came up with a killer idea … literally.

    “Bullets for Broadway” murder-mystery theater will be presented Thursday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. in the Carl Parker Center banquet room with proceeds benefitting LSCPA and PALT.

    The idea is the brainchild of Erika Banda-Meza, Joe Tant and Raquel Ochoa, a trio of community activists who are no stranger to helping Port Arthur organizations.

    “A year ago, Joe, Raquel and I talked about how fun an event like this would be,” said Banda-Meza, managing partner and co-owner of Southeast Texas Training and Staffing Services. “We all have a strong connection and love for LSCPA and we decided we wanted to do something to help after Hurricane Harvey.”

    All three are alum of LSCPA and have dedicated their efforts to helping the college, especially in the wake of Harvey’s devastation.

    “Lamar State College Port Arthur has a very special place in my heart,” said Banda-Meza. “It was my home for a two years and it helped me turn my life around. I also love the Port Arthur Little Theatre. There is so much talent there and they are so passionate about the theater. I was very amazed of how many people show up just for an opportunity to be a part of their shows.”

    The cast and crew of “Bullets for Broadway” come from an array of communities across the area. The performance is directed by Port Arthur native, and LSCPA alum, Nikki Turner. She is joined by Technical Director Kayla Kay of Nederland, Choreographer Caroline Badon of Nederland, and Musical Director Carrie Wilson of Orangefield.

    Donnis T. Hunter of Port Neches leads the cast, playing the dual roles of Tony Alto/Bernie Broadhurst, while Stacie Smith of Dallas portrays Toffee Alto. Matt Hurt of Beaumont plays Baxter Mallenhurst, Carrie Wilson of Orangefield is Mimi Sheridan, Russell Smith of Beaumont will portray Eli Blain, while Badon plays the dual role of Abigail and Annie Muller.

    Performing as part of the cast ensemble are Jon Hearn of Fannett, Stephen Loehr of Nederland, Spenser Holland of Beaumont, Angel Suitt of Lafayette, Louisiana, Destiny Townley of Beaumont, and Debra Arnold of Fannett.

    “I’ve heard of many people excited of this event,” said Banda-Meza. “It’s something fun that you can do and at the same time know you are contributing to two great places. It’s a great feeling.”