A Tribute to Rebecca Rosenthal: A Night of Music, Art & Remembering Presented by Amanda Palmer & Neil Gaiman

by | Oct 2, 2013 | Industry News

A Tribute to Rebecca Rosenthal: A Night of Music, Art & Remembering, presented by Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Brian Viglione and other friends of Becca’s will take place at the Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square, for one show only on Monday evening, October 7th at 7:00PM. Reserved seat tickets are $25.00 (plus $1.00 facility fee) with a limited number of Gold Circle seats available at $100.00 (plus $1.00 facility fee) that include an after-show meet and greet plus an original, limited edition art poster signed by the participating performers. All proceeds are to benefit the Rebecca Samay Rosenthal ’07 Memorial Special Collections Fund at Smith College.

Tickets are on sale now at https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=a4e51df651ed159d57c8ee040f26e44d

main photo- Wayne Hoerchel_backstagerider.com hi-res

On October 23, 2012, the world was forever changed. Rebecca Samay Rosenthal, Smith College class of 2007, passed away at her home in Newton, MA. She was 27. Becca was a prolific writer, ardent reader, and lover of books. While a student at Smith, Becca worked in the Mortimer Rare Book Room and in the Archives, focusing on the work of Sylvia Plath. At the time of her death, she was in the MLS program at Simmons College in Boston, focusing on Archival Science. Becca’s life was a daily inspiration filled with curiosity and the seemingly endless search for ‘more.’

To honor Becca’s memory, and to redirect extreme grief into something positive and productive, Amanda, Neil and other friends of Becca’s are spearheading this benefit for this fund in Becca’s name. It is for the benefit of students working in the Archives or the Rare Book Room, where Becca spent so much of her time being the hipster librarian they all knew she would one day actually become (and get paid to do).

Annual income from this fund shall be used to provide internships for students enrolled in library special collections concentrations (including but not exclusive to the Archives and Book Studies concentrations) and/or to provide general internship and research funds for student work in special collections.


Provocative, irreverent, controversial and wildly creative, Amanda Palmer is a fearless singer, songwriter, playwright, blogger and an audaciously expressive pianist who simultaneously embraces – and explodes – traditional frameworks of music, theater and art. [she has also graced the cover of Performer in the past – see photo]

Amanda is widely known as “The Social Media Queen of Rock-N-Roll” for her constant and disarmingly intimate engagement with her fans via her blog, Tumblr, and Twitter (800,000+ followers), and has been at the vanguard of using both “direct to fan” and “pay what you want” (patronage) business models to build and run her business. In May of 2012 she made international news when she raised nearly 1.2 million dollars pre-selling her new album, Theatre is Evil, along with related merchandise and “experiences” via Kickstarter. Theatre is Evil went on to debut in the “Billboard Top 10” when it was released on Sept. 11, 2012, and has been released in over 20 countries on her own label, 8ft records.

Neil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis.  As a child he discovered his love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, and G.K. Chesterton.  A self-described “feral child who was raised in libraries,” Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading: “I wouldn’t be who I am without libraries. I was the sort of kid who devoured books, and my happiest times as a boy were when I persuaded my parents to drop me off in the local library on their way to work, and I spent the day there. I discovered that librarians actually want to help you: they taught me about interlibrary loans.”

Neil Gaiman is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages.  He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.

In addition to performing, Amanda and Neil will serve as MC’s for the evening.  Other performers include:

Brian Viglione is the drummer for the Violent Femmes, The Dresden Dolls, and Loudboy. 

Siena Oristaglio is a communicator.  She lives in New York.

Jessica Allyn is described as “A voice straight out of the 1920’s.”  Starting in musical theatre and moving into uncharted territory, she now has four solo albums under her belt, has played to packed venues (including the CMJ Festival), as well as lent her voice to many other albums and projects.

Marykate O’Neil is a NYC based singer-songwriter serving up bittersweet songs of the indie-pop variety who hails from Hudson, Mass.  The Boston Globe describes O’Neil’s literate lyrics as featuring the sort of off-kilter insights Emily Dickinson might make if alive today.  CMJ describes O’Neil as “If Elvis Costello and Astrud Gilberto swapped spit in another time dimension, singer/guitarist Marykate O’Neil would be the musical spawn of their eros. A doll-faced talent with enough 60’s chutzpah and ’90’s cynicism to spark her own songwriting genre.”  

Jason Webley is an accordionist who has spent much of the last fifteen years wandering around the planet, playing songs and telling stories.

Emilyn Brodsky is a charmingly aggressive ukulele balladeer with a great many opinions. She’s looking forward to meeting you.

Also performing will be Michael Pope and Kara Trott, with more to be announced.

photo by Wayne Hoerchel