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November 15-16-17, 2018

7:00 PM 

True story shines spotlight on need for better healthcare for veterans


North Palm Beach, Fl: Managing Director Donna M. Carbone announced that the Burt Reynolds Institute will honor veterans with a production of her play Shell of a Man November 15-16-17. The show begins at 7 pm. Shell of a Man is based on the life of an actual Vietnam veteran and focuses on the effects of his 45-plus year battle with PTSD. Her goal is to personalize this much talked about but barely understood condition in order to raise awareness of the need for better healthcare for our men and women in uniform.

The play will feature Jevon White as Robert Logan and Jeanne Bennett as Adriana Fleming. White currently has a recurring role as a police detective in City of War. Bennett has appeared on stage at the Maltz Theatre and nationally in the Broadway touring company of Les Miserables. “I’m so proud that Jevon and Jeanne will be bringing my characters to life,” Carbone stated in a recent interview. “There is a tremendous amount of dialogue to memorize, but both actors are passionate about Robert’s story, and I know that passion will show in their performances. Jevon is a veteran, so for him this story is even more personal.” Shell of a Man also features Audrena Scurry, who portrays Robert Logan’s teenaged mother, and Broadway Star Avery Sommers, who plays the mid-wife who delivers Robert.

The play will also be directed by Sommers, a long-time friend of Burt Reynolds and a celebrated actor/singer in her own right. She has appeared on Broadway in Ain’t Misbehavin’Show BoatChicago, and Platinum, and in the national tours of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Ann-Margret, and Chicago with Chita Rivera and Joel Grey. 

To set this presentation of Shell of a Man apart from all others, the play will feature Sommers singing two songs that poignantly represent what the audience will see on stage. Carbone said, “When Avery and I met to discuss her vision for the play, I cried. I mean, I really cried. She was able to see what was in my heart. Now, the audience will also see Robert’s story as I imagined it. I’m so grateful for her passion and participation.”

Carbone explained how Shell of a Man came to be written. "In 2011 I published two columns supporting better healthcare for veterans. A Vietnam vet wrote to me, expressing his thanks and beginning what was to become a much cherished and, often, painful friendship. He calls himself Robert L. We've never met. His face is but a ghostly image in an old photograph he sent to me. I hear his voice only through the emails we exchange. I believe that distance and the anonymity of the internet allowed Robert to share his life with me in a way few others have heard.

What he said forced me to accept that, despite being well-read, I knew nothing about what a black man endured being raised in the Jim Crow south or the effects of having served in a war zone. Although Shell of a Man is told through the life of one man, it is in actuality the story of many men.”

Carbone is partnering with La Bamba Mexican Restaurant, which is located at 730 U.S. Highway One, North Palm Beach – approximately five minutes north of the Institute. Every ticket sold will include a 20% off lunch or dinner gift certificate. Ticket holders can use the certificate to enjoy a meal before or after the show or at a time of their choosing.

Show time is 7:00 pm. Tickets are $25.00. Seating is limited and shows sell out quickly. Information and tickets are available by calling 561 743-9955.