The late Tommy Kane, co-founder of brooklynONE, a Bay Ridge-based theater company, loved writing, producing plays and acting, according to his friend, Anthony Marino. “He was big on collaboration,” Marino said.
But what Kane loved more than anything was music. “He bonded with people over music. Bob Dylan was his all-time favorite. He also liked Van Morrison. He loved going to concerts with people. I went to a Tom Petty concert with him one time. It was a great night. He was like that. You’d be talking to him about music and the next thing you knew, he’d be calling you up saying he was going to a concert and asking you to come along,” Marino told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Marino, who co-founded brooklynONE with Kane in 2006, is one of the organizers of a tribute concert to Kane that is set for Jan. 24 at Saint Patrick’s Church auditorium, 401 97th St., at 7 p.m.
Kane, who was legendary in Bay Ridge for his artistic endeavors, died in 2011 at the age of 53. He would have turned 56 on Jan. 21. In addition to his work in the arts, Kane was a journalist. He wrote the popular column “Citizen Kane” in the Brooklyn Eagle.
The concert, which is being billed as “Tommy Kane's Bay Ridge Birthday Music Blowout,” will feature performances from such popular local musicians as Frankie Marra & His Band, Head N South, Radio Daze, Beefcake, John Heffernan and Kiernan Hamilton.
“Tommy Kane’s Birthday Bash Blowout” is being organized by Marino, Arlene Keating, an actress-singer who serves on the board of directors of brooklynONE and musician Frankie Marra.
Proceeds from the concert will be donated to The Francesco Loccisano Memorial Foundation, www.FrankiesMission.org, and Saint Patrick Catholic Academy. The show is sponsored by two local businesses, Lock Yard and Rocco’s Calamari.
Kane was a member of the board of directors of the Loccisano Foundation, a non-proft organization that assists the families of children with cancer.
“I'm so looking forward to this event as we're not just celebrating the life of a beloved friend but it's also an opportunity to help the Loccisano Foundation continue the great work they do assisting families of children dealing with cancer,” Keating said. “I can't thank St. Patrick's enough for allowing brooklynONE to gather the community together for what I know will be a terrific night.”
A lifelong resident of Bay Ridge, Kane spent 25 years at Credit Lyonnais, eventually becoming vice president, and then worked as a behavior therapist for Thursday’s Child, an educational program for children with autism.
His love of theater led him to take part in numerous community theater productions. After writing his first musical, “The Life and Times of Matthew Ryan,” he was inspired to create brooklynONE with Marino, who at the time was a performer and drama teacher. “We knew each other from being around the community theater scene,” Marino told the Eagle. “We had been talking about forming our own company for a while. And then one night, he sent me an instant message telling me that brooklynONE was a good name for it,” Marino said.
The name symbolized the new company’s goals, according to Marino. “We both wanted to produce original, one-act plays. And we thought putting the word ‘ONE’ in the name was a good way of telling people that we were the one place to go to see new plays in this end of Brooklyn,” he said.
Kane also encouraged young people to take part in theater, Marino said. “He loved working with them. And they loved working with him,” he said.
The Jan. 24 concert will give people who admired and respected him the opportunity to share their fond memories of him, Marino said. "You knew who he was and you knew what he meant to Bay Ridge," he said.
To purchase tickets to the concert, visit https://www.artful.ly/store/events/2318.
For more information on brooklynONE, visit www.brooklynONE.org.