Albuquerque Journal
February 26, 1999
Byline: INSIDE SOURCE by Charlotte Balcomb Lane Of the Journal

Have you found yourself wondering, who is this terribly handsome, long-haired Tony Vincent who is the spokesperson for United Way of Central New Mexico in its television ads?

Well, this talented 25-year-old is an Albuquerque native who has also been a Christian rock singer and now is in the cast of "Rent." He plays the musician, Roger.

Vincent, whose real last name is Strascina, was '91 class president at La Cueva High School and is the son of Albuquerque advertising and PR whiz Peter Strascina and his wife, Linda Strascina.

Not so coincidentally, Peter Strascina is the former marketing committee chairman of the United Way of Central New Mexico. He's the Strascina behind Strascina Johnson Public Relations on Pennsylvania.

Peter and Tony Vincent cooked up the United Way's most successful ad campaign so far, using the lead song from Vincent's 1997 CD, "One Deed," as the United Way's theme. That public-service campaign has helped turn Vincent into an almost-household name in his hometown.

In fact, when Vincent joined the touring cast of "Rent," the parents of the late Jonathan Larson, the author of the rock opera, were there to see the first show. Allan and Nanette Larson, who live in Albuquerque, attend every new production of "Rent," even traveling to Mexico, Germany and Japan. When they went backstage to meet Vincent, Allan Larson's first comment was, "We've see you on television in Albuquerque."

WE SHOULD ALL LOOK SO GOOD: Saturday was the 50th birthday party for a very nice doctor, Rosalind Epstein, an orthopedic surgeon with Lovelace Medical Center. To celebrate, "Roz" Epstein threw a bash at her home in Sandia Heights and invited about 100 of her nearest and dearest. If anybody had snapped an ankle at the party, which nobody did, there would have been plenty of experts in the house, because most of the guests were surgeons, nurses and other medical types.

Inside a rented tent set up in Epstein's back yard with windows so it wouldn't block the twinkling city lights the band, Wa Go Go, got folks dancing. Epstein's gentleman companion, Jefferson Voorhees, drummed shoeless with the band.

Dancing to the beat were Epstein's sister, Santa Fe psychotherapist Sandra Oppenheimer, and her companion, Jim Follingstad; and Native American radio and cable television host Jon Ghahate from Zuni pueblo (whose day job is as a Lovelace physical therapist) and his wife, Barbara Snow.

Another media person was also there: Dr. David Epstein (no relation to the other doctor), a former Chicago veterinarian, who for 18 years had a weekly television pet talk show on the Chicago CBS-TV affiliate and a radio talk show, as well. Epstein retired in Albuquerque with his wife, Lana, but still can't stop talking about pets.

Other guests included the ever-so voluble Randy Percy, another Lovelace orthopedist, and his wife, Judy; Laurel McGinty, a Lovelace hand surgeon; and retired orthopedic surgeon and a former clinical professor for the University of New Mexico, Robert Turner, whose wife, Karen Turner, is a powerhouse in social organizations, including Art Street, a program sponsored by Healthcare for the Homeless, and a church-sponsored food pantry for needy families.

LAST WORD: What do Jane Seymour, Ali MacGraw and Carla Aragon have in common besides highly recognizable hair? They all practice Pilates, which is an old, but suddenly "in" form of exercise that emphasizes stretching and flexing. Pilates is big in Santa Fe, of course, because it's expensive and only taught by a handful of masters who learned from the late inventor, Joe Pilates. Pilates worked in the 1930s with dancers from the New York City Ballet, and still most Pilates people are dancers.

The Pilates Method also has its share of devotees in Albuquerque, including Aragon, who does it to "stay as limber as possible" at age 43. Some are former ballet dancers, including Chris Custer, wife of architect Phil Custer, and Jan Keleher, wife of attorney William Keleher. The method, which uses several complicated machines called "The Reformer" and "Wunda Chair," is taught in Albuquerque by three women: Instructor Suzanne Gutterson, dance teacher Lorin Saint and dancer Nora Daniel.


PHOTO: Color
VINCENT: Albuquerque man is in touring cast of "Rent"

PHOTO: Color
EPSTEIN: Physician turns 50 with a rocking party

PHOTO: b/w
ARAGON: News anchor keeps fit with Pilates