"We basically have to start over," said Flossi Micciolo, producing artistic director at the Ocean City Repertory Theater.
Micciolo's theater, which has served as an outlet for actors and musicians alike for more than 10 years, was one of the many businesses hurt by Hurricane Sandy.
Smithville resident Jerry Ryan couldn't bear to watch it crumble - and over a course of three nights, he plans to use music to bring hope.
With the help and cooperation of Dawnie Oliver of Little House Booking and Le Grand Fromage owner Mike Messina, Ryan used the days following the storm to schedule 75 to 100 bands to play the Atlantic City venue Nov. 16-18.
Ryan named it the Re-Do AC Benefit Show, and every ticket sale will benefit the Ocean City Repertory Theater, as well as the Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center.
"I really enjoy helping people and using my connections through music to make a difference in the world," Ryan said.
The man behind Elephant Talk-Indie Music Magazine has tried to use passion for music for good, helping to discover local musical acts while hosting a handful of charity shows, such as his Elephants for Autism music festivals.
And he has helped make a difference for local indie rock band, Maybe Awake. Colin Fahy, 20, and Blake Halliday, 21, of Beesley's Point and Colin Murphy, 20, of Ocean City, have only been playing their shoegaze post-rock sounds since the beginning of 2011, but booked many Atlantic City shows through Ryan.
"We started playing Atlantic City in the beginning of 2012," said Fahy, lead guitarist and vocalist. "A lot of playing in Atlantic City has been through Jerry and Elephant Talk."
The group of Ocean City High School graduates has played Le Grand Fromage before, but this time it will be different. This time, they will play to help save the Ocean City Repertory Theater, to which they referred as their "home theater."
The site at 813 Asbury Ave. has an expensive list of repairs post-Sandy, including the installation of new floors, stage and PA system and the replacement of chairs, props, costumes, musical instruments and a part of the roof over the backstage area. The theater also lost electricity on one side of the building, Micciolo said.
"It's going to take months," she said. "Everyone downtown was hit as well. …Workers are booked for months."
The theater, predominantly used for plays and musicals, also began Musical Mondays, where local musical acts could play their stage to a crowd of 50.
"We played our first gig there about a year and a half ago. It's kind of like our home theater, especially because (Murphy) lives right down the street from it," Fahy said. "Our friends from Ocean City, we could just have them walk down the street to watch us play in a venue that sounds really good."
Fahy also said he enjoys playing for charity, because most times the band does not know where the ticket sales end up. This time, he can be comforted knowing exactly where the $10 cover will go.
"We have the manpower. We have the volunteers. We need the supplies to rebuild the stage," Micciolo said.
The artistic director knows that if she wants to reopen for the New Year, proceeds from this show will help to get her there.
"I was in awe that (Jerry) called me," she said. "I was still in shock by it all and just so grateful. This was an unexpected joy."
The benefit show will feature The Mahlors, Deardarkhead and DJ Kids These Days with Frank Chase of Easy Does It, as well as other local acts.
Ryan said he feels honored to be put in this situation of joining these acts together.
"I do reach out to many bands and some reach out to me. This one is a little different. It just seems everyone wants to be involved and do their part in rebuilding this community," Ryan said. "If I was to die tomorrow, I would die happy knowing that I was part of something so beautiful and contagious."
Contact Caitlin Honan:
If you go:
Re-Do AC Benefit Show
4 p.m. Nov. 16, noon Nov. 17-18
Le Grand Fromage, 25 Gordon's Alley, Atlantic City
$10, benefits Brigantine Marine Mammal Stranding Center and Ocean City Repertory Theater