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More Than Just Lip Service

Lip Sync For Lungs: Live Battle II to benefit the American Lung Association

Laura Balll (left), Noel Richardson (middle) and Geoffrey Richardson (right) at last year’s Lip Sync For Lungs: Live BattleLaura Balll (left), Noel Richardson (middle) and Geoffrey Richardson (right) at last year’s Lip Sync For Lungs: Live Battle

September 6, 2017
By Lorne Chambers | Editor

We’ve all done it. Whether it’s singing into our hairbrush microphones or just fantasizing in front of the mirror that we’re our favorite singer when our song comes on the radio. Lip syncing is an age-old guilty pleasure that predates other revered art forms such as shower singing and air guitar. And while most of the time these jaw-dropping performances are done in the privacy of one’s home, next week six local lip sync artists and their respective teams will battle it out publicly on the stage of the Sottile Theatre on the campus of the College of Charleston downtown.

West Ashley will be well represented at the event, which is a fundraiser for the American Lung Association (ALA). The Avondale Business District in particular is a big part of the event, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14.

Not only is Geoff Richardson, co-owner of Lava Salon in Avondale, returning as the host of Lip Sync For Lungs: Live Battle II, but his wife and business partner Noel Richardson is set to perform an opening number as part of the alumni team who performed last year. Among the six competing teams one is headed up by Johnny Hudgins, co-owner of Mellow Mushroom. And another team will be headed up by Caroline Smith-Adams, general manager of Voodoo Tiki Bar & Lounge, and will feature owners Jen and Mike Kulick, among others. Additionally, local Hematologist/Oncologist Dr. Yanis Bellil of Roper St. Francis will be heading up a team.

The other competitors are Lori DeNicola, owner and lead designer of Petaloso, Ashley Brook Perryman, professional makeup and hair artist and owner of ABP Makeup; and Kim Powell, regional developer and owner of Woodhouse Day Spa.

“You don’t have to be a good singer, you just have to be uninhibited,” says Richardson, who himself has spent several years in the local theatre scene and feels quite comfortable playing the role of host.

But this year’s event holds special meaning for Richardson. Just a couple weeks before the event, it was discovered that his mother is suffering from severe lung disease when she came down with double pneumonia. “We first started helping the Lung Association with this because that’s what we do at Lava, we help where we can. But then when I found out about my mom, it just really hit home,” says Richardson, who besides hosting, will also help on the technical production side of the event.

Lip Sync For Lungs: Live Battle II is directed by Michele Seekings of SPIRE Art Services and will feature celebrity judges Erin Kienzle of Lowcountry Live, City Councilman Michael Seekings, and Lance Oliver of the Motley Rice Law Firm, which is known for their fight against Big Tobacco, which changed the public health and tobacco industry landscape. Motley Rice is also sponsoring the event.

The participants will lip sync in an epic battle for the title of “Lip Sync For Lungs Battle Champion.” The event raises funds for the ALA right here in South Carolina to provide lung health programs and advocacy in coastal South Carolina. The ALA is well-known for smoking cessation and lung disease support groups. In addition to these adult programs, one of the Lung Association’s largest programs in the Lowcountry is a free day-camp for children with asthma and their parents called Camp Breathe Easy. Funds raised at Lip Sync For Lungs are vital to the success of Camp Breathe Easy and other community lung health programs.

According to host Richardson, last year the Lip Sync battle raised about $27,000 for ALA. “Honestly, we set the bar relatively low for the first one because we just wanted to pull it off,” he says. “This year we’re shooting for $60,000.” Last year the event was held at the American Theatre on King Street and sold out all 175 seats. But this year, it is being held at the much larger Sottile Theatre on George Street.

Lip Sync For Lungs: Live Battle II will be held Thursday, Sept. 14 at the Sottile Theatre, located at 44 George St. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $50 for preferred seating. You can vote for your favorite performer or purchase tickets  at www.LipSyncForLungs.org.


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