SEQUIM — John, Paul, George and Ringo will be in the house. So will Phil and Don Everly. Channeling that youthful Beatles-Everlys energy are Barry, Bill, Rudy and Steve. They’re in the title roles of Men with Guitars, a one-of-a-kind concert at Olympic Theatre Arts this Saturday night.
The annual performance and singalong will benefit the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation, the Sequim-based nonprofit founded 13 years ago.
Mujeres, as it’s known to its local supporters, raises money to help girls and women go to high school and college in their home state of Chiapas, Mexico.
Doors will open at OTA at 414 N. Sequim Ave., at 6:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show, with admission by donation.
A $15 contribution is suggested, and since Men with Guitars typically sells out, patrons are encouraged to come early.
Olympic Theatre Arts’ Gathering Hall bar will be open with beer, wine and soft drinks available.
For information — and photos of Mujeres’ activities in the mountains of Chiapas — see www.mujeres demaizof.org.
Life for a girl in Chiapas is challenging, with pressures to marry young and quit school. The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation first sought to address this, and help women help their own communities, by providing a scholarship to one 16-year-old.
The foundation and that teenager have since flourished, and today Mujeres, which runs on donations and income from its events, funds 20 scholarships yearly.
Children’s enrichment programs, literacy workshops, eye examinations and eyeglasses are also part of the partnership between the women and families in Mexico and in Sequim.
To support these efforts, Mujeres holds a Dia de los Muertos event every fall and a Mexican breakfast in March along with the springtime Men with Guitars event.
The men are Port Angeles’ Bill Tiderman, Barry Burnett and Rudy Maxion, who go by BBR when they perform together, plus Sequim singer-guitarist Steve Anderson.
Together they travel across musical time from the 1950s through the ’80s, and across genres from bluegrass to rock ’n’ roll.
When asked to name his favorite thing about the Men with Guitars gig, Tiderman answered without hesitation.
“Oh, the audience. Everybody’s there to have a good time,” he said.
“They’re there for the music,” to which they add plenty by singing along.
As soon as you hear these songs, Tiderman added, you’re going to know the words. His repertoire includes the Beatles’ 1964 hits “I Should Have Known Better” and “You Can’t Do That,” plus “And I Love Her,” with Maxion on vocals.
If that starts to get a bit too mellow, in comes the Everlys’ “Wake Up Little Susie.”
The favorite-thing question, next posed to Mujeres cofounder Judith Pasco, got an equally quick reply.
“Oh, the music,” she said, especially since she and other Mujeres members get to relax and listen to it.
Men with Guitars is largely organized by Steve Gilchrist, one of the two men on the Mujeres board of directors. The board also includes Martha Rudersdorf, Cathy Van Ruhan and Kathy Purcell of Sequim and Beth Fetrow and John Boetsch of Port Angeles.
Mujeres’ other fundraisers are labor-intensive with elaborate food and drink, auctions of handicrafts from Chiapas and multimedia presentations about the foundation’s programs.
In high contrast, Saturday’s benefit is simply a concert — carefree for Pasco and the rest of the longtime Mujeres board members. The men with guitars give their time outright; Tiderman’s group BBR has reunited for the event.
“These guys come in; they all volunteer. One is bringing the sound system. They just do this for us. What a thing that is,” Pasco said.
For the one night, the women behind Mujeres de Maiz get to relax while the men dish up the music.
For the finale, Tiderman is working with Anderson on a song that will bring all four performers together — and include an invitation to the audience.
“It will definitely be a sing-along favorite,” he said, “so everybody can be involved.”