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Office: 8229 Boone Blvd. Suite 280 West Springfield, VA 22182 Hours Open Monday through Friday 9AM to 5PM

Help Reverse Cognitive Decline with

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment in West Springfield, VA

There's no way around it: Getting diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease can be both scary and disheartening for patients and their loved ones. The cognitive impairment, memory loss, and eventual cognitive decline can seem like a grim prognosis. Unfortunately, the standard reductionist approach seeking to identify a single silver bullet cure doesn't account for the multifactorial nature of Alzheimer's disease.

That's why treating Alzheimer's disease requires a multifaceted response from functional medicine. While there is no single drug that can cure Alzheimer's, protocols addressing the nuanced factors contributing to the disease can make a difference. That's where Proactive Wellness Centers and Bredesen protocol treatment in West Springfield, VA comes into play.

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Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment West Springfield, VA

The Proactive Wellness Approach to Brain Health

At Proactive Wellness, we firmly believe that brain health is an essential part of your overall well-being. However, despite the emergence of new research, there has been limited understanding of how to promote brain health effectively. This includes reducing the risk of dementia/Alzheimer's and stabilizing cognitive decline in patients with early symptoms. Dr. Lawson, an esteemed Bredesen Protocol practitioner and ReCode 2.0 Certified with 17 years of experience in functional medicine can identify and address the root cause of cognitive decline in you or your loved one.

Dr. Lawson's goal isn't to replace the role of family physicians. Rather, we collaborate with primary care physicians, internists, and other medical professionals to provide a comprehensive approach to care. We believe that every individual is unique from a physiological perspective, and therefore, we avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, our programs focus on a customized approach, addressing risk factors that, if avoided or modified, could have beneficial effects for men and women who have dementia.

Our programs have a strong emphasis on slowing down and reversing the aging process, preventing diseases, and treating chronically ill patients. To achieve this, we employ a three-pronged approach:

  • We empower patients with the knowledge they need to manage their health and attain optimal well-being.
  • We prioritize disease prevention by conducting a thorough evaluation with the help of comprehensive diagnostics and the patient's health history form.
  • We collaborate with patients to implement a rejuvenation program that includes various science-based treatments, like our Brain Health Optimization Program (BHOP) for people suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's

One of the most popular and effective programs we offer includes Bredesen protocol treatment in West Springfield VA. This revolutionary approach to dementia has provided hope and improved cognitive function for countless people in the US. But to understand the importance of the Bredesen protocol, it's important that you first understand dementia, Alzheimer's, and its effect on people across the world.

The Wide-Reaching Effects of

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

There are currently more than 5.8 million individuals in the United States who are living with Alzheimer's disease. It is predicted that the number of individuals with Alzheimer's disease will more than double by 2050.

Dementia is a type of cognitive decline that affects mental abilities. There are many different causes and complex layers involved. Cognitive impairment is characterized by abnormal results on tests measuring memory, speech, critical thinking, and other cognitive abilities, but individuals with this diagnosis are still capable of performing daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Without proper treatment, Alzheimer's disease is likely to follow within a few years. Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent form of dementia, and it is diagnosed through neuro-imaging and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid.

In the past, being diagnosed with Alzheimer's was often worse than receiving a death sentence. It was dehumanizing and stripped individuals of their memories, thinking abilities, and independence. However, after three decades of research, we now have a greater understanding of this devastating illness and even solutions like Bredesen protocol treatment in West Springfield, VA that can help patients deal with dementia.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment West Springfield, VA

What Causes Dementia?

Dementia is caused by a normal and healthy brain process that malfunctions due to a toxic environment, inflammation, and a lack of necessary nutrients and hormones. The brain's defense mechanism produces amyloid plaques, which serve as a protective helmet around the brain. Unfortunately, these plaques destroy connections between nerve cells, ultimately affecting comprehension, recollection, and clarity.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment West Springfield, VA

Dementia by the Numbers

It's important to understand the impact of Alzheimer's disease (AD) around the world. According to the CDC, AD is present in 50% of patients in nursing homes and causes more than 110,000 deaths annually in the US. It was the 6th leading cause of death in 2015. More than 5 million people in the US are affected by AD, and recent data indicates that the problem is getting worse.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 47 million people around the world are currently living with dementia, and this number is expected to rise to 75 million by 2030 and 132 million by 2050. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.

While reading those statistics can be disheartening, there's reason to be hopeful. New therapies and treatments offered at Proactive Wellness - like Bredesen protocol treatment - can help patients deal with dementia and cognitive decline.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment West Springfield, VA

The Power of

Bredesen Protocol Treatment in West Springfield, VA

The Bredesen Protocol is a highly personalized treatment program that aims to reverse cognitive decline and improve brain function in patients. Dr. Bredesen has designed the protocol to be adaptable and customizable, tailored to the specific symptoms and needs of each patient.

The program is centered around lifestyle changes, medication, and nutritional adjustments, all of which are tailored to address the unique symptoms and environmental factors that may be contributing to cognitive decline. This approach, referred to as ReCODE, helps patients to combat brain fog and prevent the onset of dementia.

It has also helped patients improve cognitive function significantly, reverse symptoms, and even return to work. The ReCODE program comprises lifestyle interventions, therapeutic diets, and targeted nutrients. Proactive Wellness Centers is thrilled to offer this promising treatment modality for Alzheimer's disease to benefit our patients.

It all starts with a baseline Bredesen evaluation at our wellness clinic in West Springfield, VA.

Baseline Bredesen Evaluation from

Proactive Wellness Centers

At Proactive Wellness Centers, we have two ways to help patients who are in search of Bredesen protocol treatment in West Springfield, VA. The first option is our Baseline Bredesen Evaluation, which is best suited for asymptomatic patients - that is, individuals who do not exhibit any significant cognitive decline beyond what is expected with age. Dr. Bredesen classifies such patients as "PreCode."

This evaluation serves as a starting point for PreCode patients, as well as those who are unsure of their cognitive status and potential risk factors. Our baseline evaluation includes the following:

The first step involves conducting a comprehensive set of baseline labs to evaluate your overall health, closely following the Bredesen protocol. This step goes beyond standard labs that you might have for a physical. It includes tests for magnesium, zinc, and selenium levels, B6, B12, and folate levels, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid levels.

It also includes

  • Pre-Diabetes Evaluation
  • Hormone Level Evaluation
  • Thyroid Level Evaluation
  • Specific Immune Marker Evaluation such as TH1, TH2, IL6, and TNF.

Our goal with this assessment is to establish a starting point and compare your cognitive function against what is typical for your age group. We have chosen to use the CNS Vital Signs cognitive assessment, which is widely recognized as one of the best in the industry. Additionally, we will be conducting the standard MoCA test as part of the evaluation.

A DNA test is performed to identify the specific APOE genotype present in your DNA. APOE e4 has been shown to be associated with an increased chance of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, which occurs after a person is 65 years old.

This step covers your lab results and includes a detailed plan of action to address areas of improvement as identified in your baseline evaluation.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment West Springfield, VA

What are the Early Signs of

Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease?

As we grow older, it can be difficult to distinguish between normal changes in our cognitive abilities and the initial signs of dementia. The issue with preventing chronic illnesses is that we often believe we are healthy as long as we don't experience any symptoms, but this is not entirely accurate. Symptoms are typically the last indicator of a disease, meaning it has already progressed by the time they appear.

While it's always best to catch diseases before you notice symptoms, taking proactive measures at the first sign of cognitive changes can greatly impact the aging of your brain and body. It's crucial to act immediately if you're experiencing the following symptoms of Mild Cognitive Impairment. That way, ,you have a better chance of preventing the development of Alzheimer's.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment West Springfield, VA

Roughly 10% of individuals with MCI progress to Alzheimer's annually.

Fortunately, Bredesen protocol treatment in West Springfield, VA may provide you with a chance to delay or even reverse these symptoms

Memory Issues

Memory Issues

You have a hard time remembering events that happened recently, such as appointments or important conversations with loved ones. You may also have trouble remembering important information.

Language Issues

Language Issues

You have trouble finding relevant words when you're talking with other people. You may also have problems following along with complex or complicated discussions.

Maintaining Concentration

Difficulty Maintaining Concentration and Attention

You have noticed a reduced ability to focus and stay honed in on most tasks. You may also not be able to multitask effectively, and it may be harder to keep your attention for long periods of time.

Decline in Executive Functions

Decline in Executive Functions

This symptom involves difficulty with skills like decision-making, planning, problem-solving, and organizing. These difficulties are often most apparent in day-to-day activities.

Visuospatial Awareness

Problems with Visuospatial Awareness

You may have trouble parking your car, judging distances, reading maps, or completing tasks that necessitate spatial orientation.

Impaired Judgement

Impaired Judgement and Reasoning

This may include problems when making judgments or decisions. Examples may consist of difficulties making financial decisions, managing finances, making reasonable and appropriate social decisions, or thinking through risky situations.

Bredesen Protocol Alzheimers Treatment West Springfield, VA

By contrast, some of the most common signs of normal aging can include the following

Experiencing temporary lapses in memory, where recently learned details like names or scheduled events may slip from one's mind but can be remembered later on

  • You occasionally make mistakes, but nothing that stands out as significant or unusual.
  • You have to ask for help putting together or setting up electronic devices or equipment.
  • You sometimes forget what day it is but have the ability to remember the correct date later on.
  • Your vision is getting worse, which is caused by cataracts.
  • You experience shortness of breath or get tired more often when being active.
  • You feel unusual aches and pains, especially during poor weather.
  • You get confused sometimes but don't have an inability to make decisions or multitask.
  • You have a hard time keeping your body temp regulated.
  • You get angry or frustrated when tasks aren't completed in certain ways.

Your Trusted Choice for Bredesen Protocol Treatment in West Springfield, VA

Maintaining a healthy brain is crucial for one's overall well-being, yet there remains a lack of knowledge when it comes to promoting brain health, reducing the likelihood of dementia, or managing symptoms for those exhibiting early warning signs.

That's why we're excited to offer patients the ReCODE program at Proactive Wellness Centers. Developed by Doctor Bredesen, this treatment has shown remarkable success in improving cognitive function and even reversing symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. This comprehensive program includes lifestyle changes, dietary interventions, and specialized nutrients, and we are eager to provide this promising treatment option to patients like you.

If you or a loved one are starting to show concerning signs of cognitive decline, contact our office today to learn more about Bredesen protocol therapy. It could be your first step toward reversing mental decline and enjoying life to its fullest.

Latest News in West Springfield, VA

Veterans Day: What is it and how can you celebrate?

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s Veterans Day, a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served in the military. In West Springfield, the town hosted it’s annual Veterans Day Parade. Veterans Day events in western Massachusetts “We get to put our veterans out at the parade and have the community applaud them, cheer for them, and s...

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s Veterans Day, a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served in the military. In West Springfield, the town hosted it’s annual Veterans Day Parade.

“We get to put our veterans out at the parade and have the community applaud them, cheer for them, and support them,” expressed West Springfield Director of Veteran Services, Jorge Santiago.

Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, those living, and those no longer here with us.

Hundreds of people flocked to West Springfield for the Veterans Parade on Saturday, where they honored and remembered our country’s fallen heroes. With the bravery and the sacrifices of these veterans, the community says it is important to show appreciation for those who fought for freedom.

Attendee Ken Lamontagne of the Corvette Club of Western Massachusetts told 22News, “I mean, let’s face it, we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have if it weren’t for the veterans. In so many countless ways they have contributed to the quality of life in this country and our future, and our potential. So its nice to give them some recognition and feed back.”

Veterans Day occurs every year on November 11th in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918, signaling the end of all wars. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11th became a national holiday in 1938. This holiday used to be called Armistice Day.

So on Saturday, people across America will celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love for the country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice.

There are Veterans Day celebrations happening all over, in West Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Agawam, Greenfield, Westfield, and South Hadley.

Brian Miller with the Massachusetts Chapter of Honor and Remember says he came to the parade to honor all veterans, “We are just out here joining the march, the parade to honor those veterans that can not actually be there today, and make sure we remember those veterans also. And not just the veterans here to participate in the parade.”

Around 6:45 a.m., 22News was at Vietnam Veterans Bridge in West Springfield for a ceremony. After that the veterans parade started at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas School.

The celebrations were taken to West Springfield Town Hall after the parade, where the town unveiled two parking spots that are designated for veterans.

Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.

Veterans Day events in western Massachusetts

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11. This Federal holiday is to recognize all who have served in the United States military, both living and deceased.Below is a list of events being held in the region to commemorate Veterans Day:Wednesday, November 8:Holyoke Community College: 8:30am- Campus ceremony in the Kittredge Center conference room.Thursday, November 9: Springfield: 11 a.m. – American International College (AIC) ceremony at Cam...

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11. This Federal holiday is to recognize all who have served in the United States military, both living and deceased.

Below is a list of events being held in the region to commemorate Veterans Day:

Wednesday, November 8:

Holyoke Community College: 8:30am- Campus ceremony in the Kittredge Center conference room.

Thursday, November 9:

Springfield: 11 a.m. – American International College (AIC) ceremony at Campus Center Auditorium on the upper level of the Schwartz Campus Center, 1000 State Street.

Friday, November 10:

Pittsfield: 10 a.m. – Parade with a ceremony to follow at Veterans Memorial. The lineup will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Fenn, Pearl, and Allen Streets then proceed to North Street, and move south to the Veterans Memorial on South Street.

Saturday, November 11:

Agawam: 7 a.m. – Wreath laying ceremony at Vietnam Veterans’ Bridge, Bridge Street. 10:45 a.m. Ceremony at Veteran’s Green at Phelps School.

Chicopee: 10 a.m. – Memorial Service at St. Stanislaus Church, 534 Front Street. 11 a.m.- Wreath Laying ceremony, Veterans Memorial Plaza, 650 Front Street.

Greenfield: 10 a.m. – Parade begins at Greenfield Middle School marching to Veterans Mall for a ceremony.

Holyoke: 10 a.m. – Ceremony at War Memorial Building, 310 Appleton Street.

Ludlow: 10 a.m. – Ceremony at Ludlow High School Auditorium, 500 Chapin Street.

Palmer: 10:45 a.m. – Parade steps off at Bondsville Fire Department and ends at the Bondsville Grammar Park.

South Hadley: 10:45 a.m. – Ceremony at Town Hall, 116 Main Street.

Westfield: 10 a.m. – Parade steps off at Westfield Bank at 10:30 a.m. and moves along Elm Street, onto Broad Street, and then down West Silver, ending at the Westfield Middle School parking lot at 30 West Silver Street. The ceremony will be held inside the Middle School at 11 a.m.

West Springfield: 6:45 a.m. – Ceremony will be held at the Vietnam Veterans Bridge, Front Street. 10 a.m. – Parade steps off from St. Thomas School down Kings Highway to Elm Street, ending at Town Hall on Central Street where a ceremony will be held at 11 a.m.

22News, an NBC affiliate, began broadcasting local news, network, syndicated, and local programming to western Massachusetts in March 1953. Watch the 22News digital edition on weekdays at 4 p.m.

District Taco tries out different look for new restaurant in West Springfield

A new District Taco quietly opened its doors last fall in the Old Keene Mill Shopping Center.The Mexican-inspired fast-casual chain began welcoming customers at its West Springfield location in September 2023, according to a spokesperson for District Taco.Spanning 2,043 square feet, the restaurant at 8432 Old Keene Mill Road...

A new District Taco quietly opened its doors last fall in the Old Keene Mill Shopping Center.

The Mexican-inspired fast-casual chain began welcoming customers at its West Springfield location in September 2023, according to a spokesperson for District Taco.

Spanning 2,043 square feet, the restaurant at 8432 Old Keene Mill Road is co-owned by Hicham El Abbassi and Isalmou Boussaa, who also launched a District Taco franchise in McLean last August. The West Springfield restaurant operates from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, according to District Taco’s website.

Originally from Morocco, the franchise owners started their journey in the food industry working at Five Guys before franchising several restaurants, including Five Guys.

In 2016, Abbassi and Boussaa approached District Taco with aspirations of running a franchise. Fast forward to seven years later, they now oversee 13 locations. Last August, they inked a deal to open five more outlets in Northern Virginia, including the Old Keene Mill and McLean locations.

“Their story mirrors the resilience and determination of our own CEO and co-founder of District Taco, Osiris Hoil who transformed his own opportunities and dreams into reality,” District Taco’s spokesperson told FFXnow.

District Taco, which started out as a food cart in Arlington over a decade ago, now boasts 16 locations throughout the D.C. area and Pennsylvania.

While the company says there are no specific expansion plans in the D.C. region that it can share, the spokesperson disclosed that 70 stores are currently in development nationwide, including northern New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York, and Tampa, Florida.

The menu at every District Taco offers customizable tacos, burritos, bowls, salads, and quesadillas, with vegetarian and vegan options available.

The West Springfield location, however, is unique in that the interior has more of an “industrial” design.

“We kept the existing brick infrastructure as is and it is exposed in the interior of the store in the front,” District Taco Director of Design Victoria Stratton told FFXnow. “It also has more of an open kitchen design where you can clearly see the prep area and the employees making guac right in front of you!”

So far, customer feedback for the West Springfield location has been overwhelmingly positive, according to the company.

“The new location’s success has exceeded expectations and has received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from guests,” the company spokesperson said. “We hope to continue to deliver a delicious and memorable experience to our guests, and we look forward to creating a stronger relationship with the Springfield and McLean community in the New Year.”

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Hundreds of Fairfax Connector workers could strike if contract talks between their union and employer break down.

Nearly a month after the end of their existing contract with Transdev, which operates Fairfax County’s public bus system, union drivers, mechanics and other employees voted on Dec. 29 to authorize a strike, the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 announced yesterday.

As a policy, the union didn’t disclose how many of the approximately 546 Fairfax Connector workers it represents participated in the vote, but 99% of those who did voted in support of authorization, a Local 689 spokesperson told FFXnow.

Despite the recent authorization vote, a strike call doesn’t appear to be imminent, as the union says it has another bargaining session scheduled for Jan. 19.

“For the past three months, Transdev has proven time and time again that they are more interested in hoarding their money than making necessary investments to improve their dedicated and hardworking employees’ wellbeing,” Local 689 President Raymond Jackson said in a statement. “Our members are fed up with Transdev’s flat out refusal to fully engage in meaningful bargaining over key economic issues and attempts to distort facts.”

The workers who support Northern Virginia’s largest public bus system have been negotiating a new labor contract since October, when Local 689 delivered its first proposal to Transdev. The union has said its priorities include pay increases, better sick leave, standard work schedules and retirement security.

Shortly before the existing contract expired on Nov. 30, the union reported progress on some issues, but it said Transdev’s proposed wages still fell short of what workers are seeking.

Now, the union says Transdev “finally presented a decent wage increase proposal,” but the company is pushing the union to drop its demands for “improved dental care and sick leave, retirement security, and more stable working hours.”

(Correction: This article initially said that, according to the union, Transdev had threatened to withdraw its offer of improved sick leave and other benefits in exchange for the wage increases. A union spokesperson clarified that those benefits weren’t offered. Instead, the proposed pay plan was “contingent” on the union dropping its other demands.)

Transdev, which was first hired by the county to operate Fairfax Connector in 2019, says it’s continuing “to bargain in good faith” with ATU Local 689.

“To date, we’ve agreed to over 50 modifications to the prior [collective bargaining agreement] and proposed significant improvements to wages & benefits,” Transdev said in an emailed statement. “We value our partnership with the ATU and remain hopeful that we can come to a mutually-agreeable resolution quickly.”

However, Local 689 claims that many of the contractor’s concessions are either “technical corrections or the bare minimum necessary changes to keep somewhat competitive with other transit entities in the region.”

“A vast divide between the two sides still remains,” the union said.

Serving approximately 26,000 passengers a day on 93 routes, Fairfax Connector is currently operating under the expired contract, which was ratified in early 2020 after workers went on a four-day strike in December 2019 and raised the possibility of a second walkout.

The county’s plan for handling a strike, if the current contract dispute isn’t resolved, aren’t yet clear. The Fairfax County Department of Transportation told FFXnow it “has no comments about a potential strike at the moment.”

Inside Springfield's new Whole Foods Market, double the size of now-shuttered West Springfield store

It’s amazing what one can do with 25,000 extra square feet.Greater Washington’s newest Whole Foods Market opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Springfield. The grand opening at 6426 Springfield Plaza comes three days after Whole Foods closed its West Springfield store three miles away, giving employees 72 hours to stand up a store double the forme...

It’s amazing what one can do with 25,000 extra square feet.

Greater Washington’s newest Whole Foods Market opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Springfield. The grand opening at 6426 Springfield Plaza comes three days after Whole Foods closed its West Springfield store three miles away, giving employees 72 hours to stand up a store double the former’s size.

The new Whole Foods, formerly a Giant Food, is nearly 49,500 square feet, and with that extra space, the store offers a host of things the former could not. There was no full-service meat department in West Springfield; there is here. There is indoor and outdoor seating, multiple areas of prepared foods, salad bar, coffee bar, made-to-order pizza and sandwiches, a scratch bakery, massive cheese section, much larger beer and wine selection and a large row of self-check stations.

Daniela D’Ambrosio, senior “local forager” for Whole Foods Market, described the setting as lighter and brighter. It’s D’Ambrosio’s job to identify “local” — defined as within 250 miles — items to offer in store, of which there are some 600 in Springfield.

The new store employs roughly 200, a Whole Foods spokesperson said, and all West Springfield staff were offered jobs in the new location. Operating hours are from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The West Springfield Whole Foods is among the region's oldest. It originally opened as a Fresh Fields in 1993. Whole Foods acquired Fresh Fields three years later and converted the store.

At Springfield Plaza, Giant relocated to a larger store carved out of a former Kmart. Trader Joe’s, another Springfield Plaza tenant, is expected to leave its space for Whole Foods’ now vacated location on Old Keene Mill Road in West Springfield.

Largest Grocery Retailers in Greater Washington

Metro-area grocery sales 2022

RankPrior RankName/Prior/URL
11Giant Food LLC
22Albertsons Cos.
33CVS Caremark

View this list

Virginia actress comes home to Fairfax Co. for ‘Cher’ musical tour at Capital One Hall

Now, she’s excited to come home to Fairfax County to headline “The Cher Show” at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia, for a run of five shows this weekend on Friday, Feb. 16, Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18.“I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for months, ever since I found out I got this role and we were coming so close to [my] hometown,” Ariale told WTOP. “I can’t wait...

Now, she’s excited to come home to Fairfax County to headline “The Cher Show” at Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia, for a run of five shows this weekend on Friday, Feb. 16, Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18.

“I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for months, ever since I found out I got this role and we were coming so close to [my] hometown,” Ariale told WTOP. “I can’t wait to show everyone who hasn’t seen me perform in so long. … Lots of family, friends, people in the theater program at West Springfield, my old teacher Bernie DeLeo is coming, as well as my old chorus teacher Dustin Brandt. … They had a huge part in kick-starting my career.”

She’ll never forget meeting DeLeo when she was a sophomore in high school still finding her way.

“One day after school, I ended up walking past the arts hallway where he had a bulletin board of all the auditions,” Ariale said. “I was just there by myself, glancing around looking at auditions for a play that was coming up and he happened to walk by like, ‘Hey, who are you? Are you interested in auditioning?’ … He convinced me right then and there. … One day after rehearsal he was like, ‘What do you want to do for college? … You should be doing this.'”

Her answer was to study theater at Pace University in Manhattan, allowing her to see Broadway shows in person.

“That was the reason that really drew me to Pace,” Ariale said. “I always loved New York City, I always knew I wanted to live there from an early age honestly, just going to see shows with my family growing up on vacations. A lot of [Pace] faculty are in the business … and the insight that you get from going to a school like that is unmatched. There was no scary post-grad moving to the city … I had been there for four years already.”

Now, she brings her Big Apple experience back home for the national tour of “The Cher Show,” which premiered on Broadway in 2018. Written by Rick Elice, the show casts three lead actresses to portray musical icon Cher at different stages of her career, first nicknamed “Babe” in the 1950s and ’60s (played by Ella Perez), then nicknamed “Lady” in the 1970s (played by Ariale) and finally nicknamed “Star” in the 1980s and ’90s (played by Morgan Scott).

“It starts out with Babe, you see Cher in her early teen years when she first meets Sonny, they have this lovely spark moment where there’s just crazy chemistry between the two of them,” Ariale said. “Lady steps in when Babe is a little too shy in front of a crowd in Vegas. I literally tap her on the shoulder like, ‘Get out of the way, it’s my turn.’ … Then you see Star come in, the oldest Cher, she is the pop-glam icon that we see today.”

Along the way, you’ll hear all of your favorite Cher tunes for a jukebox musical.

“We sing ‘Song for the Lonely’ at the end of Act 1, which is by far my favorite moment,” Ariale said. “The opening is ‘If I Could Turn Back Time,’ just full concert mode. … ‘I Got You Babe’ has to be the No. 1 recognized. … One I didn’t know is a mashup of ‘When the Money’s Gone’ and ‘All or Nothing.’ … You’ve got to have ‘Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.’ … ‘The Beat Goes On’ was a song I did not know was Cher’s. … ‘Believe’ is in our megamix at the very end.”

Of course, you can’t have a Cher show without the Tony-winning costumes by Bob Mackie.

“There’s some iconic costumes in there that are just really brilliant and really fun to wear,” Ariale said. “I forget how many there are, I know it’s in the hundreds. I have around 23 costume changes I think. There’s a lot of beads, there’s a lot of sparkles. … Some of the iconic Oscar costumes that Cher wore, the one with the mohawk. … She wanted to be big and bold with her fashion and that’s why Bob Mackie was so perfect for her.”

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WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'The Cher Show' at Capital One Hall (Part 2)

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