To Whom It May  Concern:

The seventh grade Advanced Choir of Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, CA, had the privilege of meeting and working with Ben Mittleman and Susan Martin this past fall on the musical, “Lenny and Lori’s America’s Got Tolerance Show”.  When I read the script and got a good understanding of the topics covered in the show, I knew it could have a great impact on my students and on the audiences that would attend our shows.  Timely topics such as anti-bullying, tolerance and acceptance aligned with our counseling office goals which helped to bring awareness to the entire student body.

I found the original songs to be very poignant with messages that brought the point home and helped the actors express themselves through touching, meaningful lyrics. My favorite, IT HURTS WHEN YOU CALL ME NAMES, brought a tear to my eye every time we rehearsed it.

What I also liked about the script is that it could be performed just as written, but it also allows for flexibility according to the number of performers and the individual talents of a particular cast.  It allows for highlighting of various ethnicities of the student body.  Our Kid #1, #2 and #3 danced native dances of the countries of their ancestors: Dominican Republic, China and Nigeria.  Costuming was modern and inexpensive.  Our staging was simple, but it can be as elaborate as you want to make it.

When we were performing, I could feel a sense of community with our audiences.  The shows were very well received, and the comments that followed made us feel like we had successfully delivered important lessons in a fun and entertaining way.

I am so thankful to Ben and Susan and so glad for this experience for my students.  I know it brought us all closer together as we worked on it and it also taught my students the value of community service and the knowledge of how the arts can impact peoples’ lives and beliefs.

I highly recommend this show to your school or organization.


Janice Kueppers

Choral Director, Walter Reed MS

Los Angeles Unified School District

District 2 Schools

Walter Reed Middle School

Home of  the Wolves

4525 Irvine Ave., North Hollywood, CA 91602   

To Whom It May Concern:

On November 8th & 9th Walter Reed Middle School and community enjoyed “Lenny & Lori’s America’s Got Tolerance Show” a homegrown musical production celebrating diversity, culture and tolerance.  This production was developed and directed by one of our parents, Susan Martin and presented by our Advanced Choir students.

Two invitational assemblies were held during school hours and community members and families enjoyed an evening performance. The reviews were positive!  Students were entertained, respectful and embraced the music and message.  Parents were proud and supportive of the efforts and creative approach to addressing sensitive topics.  I found myself humming the lyrics “tolerance, peace and love” for many days afterwards.  Many commented on the sentiments expressed in the moving “IT HURTS WHEN YOU CALL ME NAMES” solo.  The cast took their excitement around the show and translated it into a fundraising campaign selling rubber bracelets declaring messages from the show and supporting themes of character counts.

I believe the production was well received and got a lot of kids, staff and parents talking and thinking.  I truly believe kids will listen to kids and having the messages and sentiments come from them is powerful.  The actors who portrayed Lenny and Lori still get feedback from peers, which says a lot!  I hope that these premiere performances were only the beginning and the message of tolerance, peace and love continues to spread!

Bravo Susan and Ben and thank you!


Mr. Steve Salva

Assistant Principal,  Secondary Counseling Services


To Whom It May Concern;

Lenny and Lori’s America’s Got Tolerance Show is a kind and forceful example of the effects of bullying occurring in school today.

Set in an imaginary world whose characters are expertly portrayed by real students, Lenny and Lori is a great example of how children from many different types of backgrounds and experiences can initially dislike then come to understand each other in a positive and meaningful way.

I highly recommend this musical to anyone interested in how children can gain a better understanding not only of bullying but of themselves.

In a world where tolerance is getting much harder to find, Lenny and Lori’s America’s Got Tolerance Show is a breath of fresh air to all who see it. 

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Mark Johnston

Governance Chair, PTSA Executive Vice President and President of the Friends of Humanities Academy; Walter Reed Middle School