By Arielle Dollinger
Dix Hills resident Helen Proimos will play Eddie Money’s mother in Madison Theatre’s production of “Two Tickets to Paradise” – an autobiographical musical written by American rocker Eddie Money – in a four-show run this month at Molloy College.
Proimos, who has been living in Dix Hills for 30 years, said she saw an online advertisement for auditions and decided to try. She would later find herself sitting in a room next to Eddie Money and then singing a 1960s Petula Clark song – a cappella with no sheet music for reference – to win the role of Eddie Money’s mother in the musician’s autobiographical show, which gets its title from one of Money’s biggest hits.
“We were in the basement of a church. It had a great echo,” Proimos said.
Eddie Money will serve as the show’s narrator, while Matthew Burns will play “young Eddie Money.” Other cast members, under the direction of John Blenn, include Vincent Calone, who will play music producer Bill Graham, Jenna Ghideleson, who will play the woman Eddie marries, and Jason Kloos, Michael Raimo and Jared Grossman as members of Eddie’s band.
In the 70s, Edward Mahoney became Eddie Money – a man who had served for two years as a New York City police officer and decided to leave the force to chase a career in music. He had made the move from New York to California and changed his last name by the time he met promoter Bill Graham, who would become his manager.
Proimos, as Dottie Mahoney, will sing a ballad – “I’ll Always Want The World For You,” written by Eddie Money – that, she said, tells the story of what Eddie Money went through with his parents.
“He really had to be quite courageous to go and fulfill his dream,” she said. “He was a cop, his father was a cop, his grandfather was a cop… The story follows what happened when he said [that he wanted to leave the police force].”
This will not be the first time the show reaches the stage; three years ago, the show went on with a different cast and on a different stage. This time, the show will take the stage of Molloy College’s Madison Theatre on Jan. 16, 17, 24 and 25.
“I think the appeal of the show is that it’s like the American dream,” said Proimos, who hosts a public access television show called Stage Screen and In Between With Helen and interviewed Eddie Money for the program. “He was a regular middle class [man], from a working class, blue collar family, who hit it big… He took a chance and he went for it and he actually did it.”
Today, Proimos said, Eddie Money is “trying to make the American dream come true again” by getting his show to Broadway.
“He did it once, and I think he could do it again,” Proimos said.
To purchase tickets, visit Madisontheatreny.org.