Raise a glass to Park City’s singing sushi waitress
May 13, 2008
Park City knows Krys Seligman as the singing sushi waitress with a penchant for antique jewelry and vintage clothing. Beginning in 1994, working at Kampai, Sushi Maru, Mikado, Zoom and Renee’s – many restaurants that were staples that have now closed – she would boldly sing to strangers a cappella at their table, or, if the music moved her, jump on stage with a band at a bar.
"She’s really got a wonderful spirit," says Rich Wyman, a professional Park City singer-songwriter and close friend. "If you meet her, she’s just one of those people that is full of light and just great to be around – really positive."
Sadly, since last July, the optimism of the sunny chanteuse has been tested, confronted with serious news about her health. Doctors diagnosed her with an adenocarcinoid tumor of the appendix – a rare cancer that took some time to discover. According to Seligman, there are only 10 doctors in the United States that specialize in it.
"Say what?" Seligman jokes on her blog, caringbridge.org/visit/krysseligman. "it was quite a shocker since I’ve always thought of myself as relatively healthy I kept thinking, ‘When is Ashton Kutcher going to jump out and tell me I’ve been punked?’"
For months, unable to work, Seligman has received mounting medical bills for chemotherapy and alternative healing work, and her battle continues. This week, pain and excess fluid throughout parts of her body have returned her to a hospital bed.
"For months she’s been at a level eight to 10 pain and it rarely subsides," reveals Tara Cinelli, Seligman’s friend and business partner who co-owns Salt Lake City’s Great Salt Air.
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Still, it’s time to celebrate and rally support, according to Seligman’s network of Park City friends. They have been plotting to throw her a benefit this Sunday, May 18 and the show will go on. The event will take place at The Playground (formerly Club Suede) and include a silent auction, food and live music.
Rich Wyman, his wife, Lisa Needham, and the Park City Divas, a local women’s group that counts Seligman as one of its members, plan to begin with a performance of "The Weight" by The Band and conclude with a cover of "Let It Be" by The Beatles. The songs will bookend a long list of Seligman favorites by Johnny Lang and Sheryl Crow, and originals by Divas Mary Beth Maziarz, Jeanne Marie Rettos, Erica Stroem, Thea Henney, Wendy Fisher and Lisa Needham.
In addition, Needham will show a film that she made with David Waterfall and lele Newey that follows Seligman’s healing process of both conventional Western medicine and alternative practices such as energy healing and craniosacral massage.
"I own the Park City Yoga Studio, so I’m always meeting pretty amazing healers," Needham explains. "And for some reason, when I found out Krys had cancer, it was just at a time was just meeting a lot of them so three months ago, I just had this wild idea to bring them together."
The thought to document Seligman’s experience followed soon after.
"Benefits are amazing themselves, but I thought, ‘We should create a benefit with parts that were connected to Krys,’ and then I thought, ‘Let’s show a video of Krys’ healing process and see what she had been going through.’"
The first alternative therapists were Toby Christensen, a healing drummer and creator of "Sound Attunement Therapy," and Jamee Curtis, a practicing shaman. While Christensen stood above Seligman as she lay on the gorund, beating a djembe drum near her heart, Curtis stood by near her head, remembers Needham.
"Krys was crying in the car on the way over but then she had amazing results," she says. "But it isn’t about, ‘OK, we’re not going to rely on Western medicine,’ it’s just that sometimes working with these energy healers does provide her some relief from the pain I just think these therapies are becoming more prominent and accepted. I would really love to say it was Park City, but I think it’s a trend that’s happening throughout the world."
Unfortunately, the cost of the trend and its amazing results have added to an already hefty dent to Seligman’s wallet.
"Krys does have insurance," assures Lauren Keiser, one of Sunday’s chief gala organizers and a friend. "But when you have something as serious as this, even with what insurance pays, the bills are gigantic Hopefully, what this fundraiser will do is pay off all her medical expenses that have been rising and hopefully, there won’t be a ton more to pay."
Support the singing sushi waitress
What: a fundraiser gala in honor of Krys Seligman, a local singer famous for singing at her tables who has been battling a rare cancer. The benefit will feature live music from The Rich Wyman Group and The Park City Divas, a local women’s group, as well as auction items.
Where: The Playground, located at 1612 Ute Blvd. at Kimball Junction
When: Sunday, May 18, at 6 p.m.
How much: $15 at the door.
To Donate: Can’t attend? Donate auction items or services by contacting Lauren Keiser at (435) 640-3953 or Deborah McGraw at (435) 640-4246. To donate a check, send donations to Zion First National Bank, 1100 Snow Creek Dr., P.O. Box 3899 Park City, UT 84060. Checks may be made out to Swift Code ZFNBUS55 routing number 124000054, account name: Christine Seligman Donation, account number 098358930.
For more information: Krys Seligman contributes to a Web site at caringbridge.org/visit/krysseligman.