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    When Hearts Touch

    September 15, 2014 Livingston, NJ – In early September, through art and science, two hearts touched…neither aware that they had shared roots in the Township of Livingston.   Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, one of this year’s Livingston High School Hall of Fame 2014 inductees (LHS class of 1986), participated on a Q and A panel for the American Heart Association- My Heart. My Life speaking to theatre-goers following an OFF Broadway performance of Piece of My Heart.  It is the story of deceased songwriter Bert Berns, whose music touched the world through hits including, “Twist and Shout”, “I Want Candy”, “Hang on Sloopy”, and the title song, “Piece of My Heart”.  Cast member Leslie Kritzer, (LHS Class of 1995) portrayed though song and stage the role of Jessie, a composite of Bern’s children who, due to his early demise from complications associated with rheumatic heart disease, would, as he was known to say “only know their father through his music”.  With a common goal to educate others about the human heart, one through preventative health care, the other though the music that touches one’s soul, Suzanne Steinbaum and Leslie Kritzer were united not only in bringing to the OFF Broadway community their own hearts’ passions, but the achievements of distinguished alumni from the Livingston Public Schools.  

    Amy Saffer, past LHS Hall of Fame honoree, retired LHS teacher and o-chair of the LEF Hall of Fame Committee, attended one of the OFF Broadway performances.  “What a wonderful show!  My dear friend Leslie was fabulous,” Saffer shared.  When she learned that Dr. Steinbaum was on the Q & A panel, and that the two had met, neither knowing that the other was from Livingston, Saffer contacted each of them to let them know.  “Suzanne was scheduled to speak for a second time on September 14, following the closing performance of the show, and I hoped that both she and Leslie would be able to share the experience, this time with the knowledge that they were connected through their Livingston roots.” 

    Dr. Steinbaum is an attending cardiologist and the Director of Women’s Heart Health of Lenox Hill Hospital of the Northshore-LIJ Healthcare System in New York City.  She has done fellowship training in both Preventive Cardiology and Cardiology.  She recently released her book Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Heart Book:  Every Woman’s Guide to a Heart Healthy Life, teaching all women how to lead the healthiest lives by living from the heart.  Dr. Steinbaum is the host of Focus onHealth, a weekly magazine news show spotlighting health topics, seen on WLNYTV. She has been awarded a New York Times Super Doctor, and a Castle and Connelly Top Doctor for Cardiovascular Disease.  She is a National Spokesperson for the Go Red for Women campaign and chairperson of the Go Red for Women in New York City.  She is often cited in magazines and newspapers and is regularly seen on network news health segments for ABC, NBC and CBS, CNN, WPIX and FOX, including Dr. Oz, the Doctors, and the Dr. Steve Show, as a leading consultant in the field of women and heart disease, preventive cardiology and topics of lifestyle management.  She most recently made New York Magazine’s Top Doctor List 2014 for cardiovascular disease.

    On October 10, Dr. Steinbaum,  will join, Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, (LHS ’81); Charles Bendit, (LHS ’71); and  Larry Fieber, (LHS ’68); as well as LEAD Award recipients Jim Ransegnola and Don Schwartz as they are honored at The Hall of Fame Reception  hosted by LEF at The Wilshire Grand Caterers in West Orange from 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  The event is open to the public.  Reservations are required.  Information on how to make reservations to attend, how to send a ‘Roll of Honor’ celebratory message to the honorees or how to become a patron for the Hall of Fame is available on the Livingston Education Foundation (LEF) website www.livingston.org/lef.  Inquiries can be made at (973) 535-8000, x8898.  

    Leslie Kritzer, returned to Livingston this past May to participate as a LIVE STREAM performer and host in support of the LHS TV Telethon fund-raiser, a collaborative partnership between LEF and the Livingston Public Schools.  She has appeared on Broadway in Hairspray and was the character Serena in Legally Blonde The Musical. Off-Broadway she was seen in The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bat Boy and Godspell, and her regional credits include Vanities (Kathy), Babes in Arms (Baby Rose), and both Grease (Rizzo) and Funny Girl (Fanny) at Paper Mill Playhouse.  She received a 2006 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for The Great American Trailer Park Musical,[5] followed by a 2007 Special Achievement MAC Award for her show Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches,[6] and a 2007 Clarence Derwent Award for her performance as Serena in Legally Blonde.[7]