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The Fred Ebb Foundation Awards

December 1st, 2016 Comments off

Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDSThe Fred Ebb Foundation (Mitchell Bernard, Trustee) has announced that its 2016 donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will total $1.675 million dollars, bringing the foundation’s total contribution to BC/EFA to $13.325 million since it began twelve years ago. The foundation, which is funded by royalties from the late award-winning lyricist Fred Ebb’s vast catalogue of work, makes an annual donation to BC/EFA.

“Fred Ebb’s brilliant legacy – created with the extraordinary John Kander – has allowed BC/EFA to increase and expand its support for The Actors Fund to more than $5.6 million in 2016 alone.   This amazing gift allows us to extend support to the Artists Health Insurance Resource Center and the Fund’s Addiction and Recovery Services, nurtures our longtime commitment to the HIV/AIDS Initiative while increasing support for the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, the Dancers’ Resource and more,” said BC/EFA’s executive director Tom Viola.

“Throughout the country right now, many of the most vulnerable are concerned, even scared about their rights, access to social services and personal safety,” Viola continued. “Fred, your gift to BC/EFA and the community will make a profound difference in the lives of thousands of your colleagues and co-workers, friends and loved ones in the business.  Your ‘razzle-dazzle’ shines forever bright.”

(l to r) Curtis Moore and Thomas Mizer. (Photo: Xanthe Elbrick via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Curtis Moore and Thomas Mizer. (Photo: Xanthe Elbrick via The Broadway Blog.)

The Fred Ebb Foundation, in association with the Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) also presents an annual award, named for Mr. Ebb, to aspiring musical theatre songwriters. The Fred Ebb Award recognizes excellence in musical theatre songwriting, by a songwriter or songwriting team that has not yet achieved significant commercial success. The award is meant to encourage and support aspiring songwriters to create new works for the musical theatre, and includes a $60,000 award. This year’s award was presented to Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore.

2016 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting Recipients Curtis Moore and Thomas Mizer. (Photo: Henry McGee/Fred Ebb Foundation via The Broadway Blog.)

2016 Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting Recipients Curtis Moore and Thomas Mizer. (Photo: Henry McGee/Fred Ebb Foundation via The Broadway Blog.)

“Receiving the Fred Ebb Award is an overwhelming honor, particularly because Mr. Ebb and his longtime partner John Kander have always been idols of ours—consummate songwriters who stretched the boundaries of what theater music can do. It really does inspire us to work harder and live up to their example,” said Mizer and Moore.

“The amazing thing about getting this award is that it purposefully shines a light on music theater writers who have yet to have that big commercial hit. Hopefully, people will hear about it and check out our work,” the writing team shared. “That’s a huge gift in itself when so many writers are simply struggling to be heard. Our musical, Triangle, premiered in California last summer and we’re looking right now at how we can bring it to New York. Getting this award could be the tipping point that brings this piece to a wider audience.”

(l to r) Ross Lekites, Zachary Prince, and Megan McGinnis in 'Triangle.' (photo: Kevin Berne via The Broadway Blog.)

(l to r) Ross Lekites, Zachary Prince, and Megan McGinnis in ‘Triangle.’ (photo: Kevin Berne via The Broadway Blog.)

Past winners include John Bucchino (2005), Steve Lutvak and Robert L. Freedman (2006), Peter Mills (2007), Adam Gwon (2008), Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich (2009), Douglas J. Cohen (2010), Jeff Blumenkrantz (2011), Sam Willmott (2012), Michael Kooman and Christopher Dimond (2013), Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen (2014), and Stacey Luftig and Phillip Palmer (2015).

The 2016 Selection Committee is comprised of: Foundation Trustee Mitchell S. Bernard; actress Andréa Burns; lyricist, writer and composer Sheldon Harnick; music director David Loud; and theatre producer Arthur Whitelaw.

 

Broadway Bares 26 Raises Over $1.4 Million

June 21st, 2016 Comments off

Broadway CaresChiseled morning show hosts, rock-hard reality show contestants and pumped up politicos took over the airwaves at this year’s ratings-raising edition of Broadway Bares, an evening of elaborately staged burlesque production numbers that gave a new meaning to “Bares TV.”

Produced by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Bares: On Demand raised an impressive $1,482,724 in two performances on Sunday, June 19, 2016.

Broadway Bares: On Demand featured 198 of New York’s sexiest and most talented dancers, entertaining standing-room-only audiences at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. The evening was dedicated to the victims, families and friends of last week’s Orlando night club tragedy.  

For the first time in the event’s history, Stripathon, an online fundraiser by the show’s cast and crew, was the single largest contributor to the total, raising by showtime a record $612,212. 

This year’s guest performers included Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter, Olivier Award winner LesliMargherita, two-time Tony nominee Christopher Sieber, Frankie J. Grande, Daniel Dae Kim, Michael Longoriaand NY1 News’ Frank DiLella and Roma Torre.

The show also included special “on demand” video appearances by seven-time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan, Tony nominee Andrew Rannells, Emmy Award nominee Wendy Williams, RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob the Drag Queen, Cassandra Peterson as her horror hostess alter ego Elvira and HGTV’s Property Brothers, Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott. 

The evening followed a fledgling TV network’s efforts to turn itself into an audience favorite by asking its stars to drop their drawers and opt for “all nude, all the time.”

The show also included special “on demand” video appearances by seven-time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan, Tony nominee Andrew Rannells, Emmy Award nominee Wendy Williams, RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob the Drag Queen, Cassandra Peterson as her horror hostess alter ego Elvira and HGTV’s Property Brothers, Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott.

The evening followed a fledgling TV network’s efforts to turn itself into an audience favorite by asking its stars to drop their drawers and opt for “all nude, all the time.” 

The show opened with Broadway’s Erik Altemus and Morgan Weed as the chirpy and ultimately cheeky morning show hosts of “Crack of Dawn,” an inane way to start your day. As the network’s executive producer, Margherita decided to address their bottom-basement ratings by tapping into America’s salacious fantasies and creating “Bares TV.” She proclaimed, “Nudity, that’s what will make America great again.”

Weatherman Jelani Remy with his sassy trio of “weather girls” and the pole dancing Rommel Pierre O’choa, reporting on the ups and downs of the stock market, joined in bearing it all for the network’s new format.

The opening number was choreographed by Nick Kenkel, who returned for the fourth year as director of BroadwayBares. The opening was written by Hunter Bell and Wade Dooley with music by Matt Sklar and lyrics by AmandaGreen.

Broadway Bares: On Demand ultimately laid bare every iconic genre of television, from classic “As Seen on TV” exercise infomercials to a sexy sweet treat of a cooking show, from late-night horror flicks to strong and do-it-yourself shows.

In her search for higher ratings, Margherita sent one of her inquiring cameramen into the locker room for some undercover footage of the championship Bears baseball team. As the hard-bodied team steamed up the stage in a heart-pounding all-male number dubbed “Bases Loaded,” cameraman Zach Frank was ultimately discovered by team MVP Josh Drake and stripped of his camera – and his clothes – by the none-too-shy baseballers. The number was choreographed by Kellen Stancil.

Politics became much more interesting when hunky Adam Perry and sultry Ericka Hunter turned “Debate This” into a presidential boxing match, backed by each candidate’s scantily clothed campaign workers. The hard-hitting number was choreographed by Charlie Sutton.

Home improvement took a decidedly sexy turn in “Nailed It” as handyman Judah Frank helped home decorator Mark MacKillop get in touch with his stronger side. Choreographed by Michael Lee Scott, the number proved that do-it-yourself shows are the most entertaining when you work with an extra set of hands.

To celebrate the fast rise in ratings, the new “Bares TV” celebrated with its own singing reality competition. The finale of “Bares Idol,” choreographed by Jim Cooney, found YouTube celebrity Grande awarding the crown to the strappingAdam Roberts, who quickly found himself stripped of his clothes – but not his title. Dressed in silver-sequined thong, Roberts celebrated as the full Broadway Bares: On Demand cast joined him onstage for an electrifying end to the show.

Other numbers that paid homage to the sizzing small screen included: 

●      “¡Daytime Dramatico!,” staged by Kenkel, gave an over-the-top look at the already melodramatic world of telenovelas. Holly James played a soap opera diva on the fictional series “The Young and the Rhythmless,” unable to dance until her inhabiitions are stipped away with each piece of clothing she sheds.

●      A wildly popular medieval fantasy epic got the Broadway Bares treatment as “Throne Games” pitted a warrior and servant in an aggressive physical battle over the attentions of a powerful dragoness in choreography by Eamon Foley. Her exotic dragons were portrayed by three aerial artists spinning high above the runway staged by Ryan Lyons.

●      As stormy weather moved in, “Bares TV” reporter Lawrence Alexander was sent out into the elements to cover a severe thunderstorm that sent him writhing out of his business suit in passionate choreography byBrice Mousset. The “Soakin’ Wet” weather elements were performed by a team of eight aerialists, staged byBares favorite Armando Farfan Jr.

●      “Get Pumped” featured a battle of “As Seen on TV” exercise options, with aerobics battling the Thigh Master before the Shake Weight took over. Featuring Ariana DeBose, Hope Easterbrook and AmakerSmith, the high-octane number was choreographed by Laya Barak.

●      Chef Nicole found extra help in the kitchen as she whipped up “Sweet Treats,” in a number choreographed by James Harkness. Helped by six sexy sous chefs, Nicole Spencer dished out ingredients and whipped off her clothing in a decidedly sensual “taste test.”

●      A toy makers’ fate was in the hands of its new fashion doll as “Stock Tip” explored how a trio of company executives learned a lesson in marketing. Choreographed by John Alix, the number featured Whitney Sprayberry as the doll who found friends and empowerment in women of all shapes and sizes.

●      In a parody of late-night horror flicks, complete with an introduction by Elvira, “Scared Stiff,” choreographed by Sidney Erik Wright, found an unsuspecting group of coeds haunted, hunted and disrobed by classic scary movie villains.

Kim, currently starring in Broadway’s The King and I and a veteran of TV’s Lost, made a cameo appearance with Margherita who cajoled Kim into losing his T-shirt and revealing “Love is Love” painted on his chest. DiLella and Torre, hosts of NY1’s On Stage theatre show, both “auditioned” to be “Bares TV” news anchor, with Torre landing the job after agreeing to be more “nude and balanced” than DiLella. 

Closing each performance, Sieber led the show’s famous “rotation,” where the entire cast danced freestyle to encourage individual appreciation tips from the audience. This year’s rotation raised an additional $22,621.

This year’s top Stripathon fundraiser was Ricky Schroeder, who raised a remarkable $21,500. He was closely followed by Ariana DeBose, raising an impressive $16,116 – setting a record for most money raised by a woman inBroadway Bares history. Rounding out the top five were Ben Ryan with $16,000, Ed Stanley with $13,347 and Madeline Reed with $12,661. 

Broadway Bares: On Demand was produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, led by Producing DirectorValerie Lau-Kee Lai and an extraordinary staff. Production Stage Manager Kathleen Purvis led a team of 33 stage managers with more than 700 other volunteers behind the scenes to create the show. Paul Miller served as lighting designer; Nevin Steinberg handled sound design; and the show’s scenic designer was Jason Lee Courson. Hunter Bell wrote the show’s book. Aaron Hamilton served as assistant director.

Presenting sponsor M∙A∙C VIVA Glam delivered a $300,000 check, presented by Jennifer Balbier, M∙A∙C senior vice president of global product development and M∙A∙C AIDS Fund board member. Balbier also saluted the extraordinary skills of more than 70 M∙A∙C makeup artists who volunteered to create the show’s incredible looks.

Broadway Bares was created by Tony-winning director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell in 1992 as a way to raise money to help those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In its first year, Mitchell and seven of his friends danced on a New York City bar and raised $8,000. To date, Broadway Bares has now raised $15.8 million for Broadway Cares.

In addition to presenting sponsor M∙A∙C VIVA Glam, Broadway Bares receives generous support from BC/EFA corporate partner United Airlines.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry‐based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant‐making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Theater Buff: Broadway Bares Edition

June 18th, 2015 Comments off

Broadway-Bares-2015-artWe’re offering you a special edition of Theater Buff this month, as Broadway Bares celebrates its 25th spectacular edition of raising funds and awareness for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. This year’s unrivaled evening of sexy striptease is titled Broadway Bares: Top Bottoms of Burlesque, a show inspired by the golden age of Broadway.

The show will welcome back to the director’s chair Jerry Mitchell, Bares‘ two-time Tony Award-winning creator and executive producer. The 2015 edition will fill New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Sunday, June 21. Limited tickets are still available for the midnight performance.

In a lavish and thrilling extravaganza, Broadway Bares: Top Bottoms of Burlesque will feature a cast of colorful characters for every desire and fantasy. Broadway’s iconic personalities —from devilish divas to charismatic casting directors, luscious lyricists to studly stagehands—will combine the naughtiness of burlesque with the razzle-dazzle of Broadway. This always sold-out annual event combines the naughtiness of burlesque and the razzle-dazzle of Broadway.

Broadway Bares 2014 (photo: Jenny Anderson via The Broadway Blog.)

Broadway Bares 2014 (photo: Jenny Anderson via The Broadway Blog.)

Prices for Broadway Bares range from $50-1000. VIP tickets include open bar and special viewing areas. Also available is the exclusive “Stripper Spectacular” package, which includes a reserved table seat at either show, admission to a private cocktail party with Mitchell and more. Or join the exclusive “Jerry Mitchell’s Producers’ Circle” for unprecedented access all weekend long. You must be at least 21 years old to attend Broadway Bares.

Broadway Bares 2013 (photo: Tomas Vrzala via The Broadway Blog.)

Broadway Bares 2013 (photo: Tomas Vrzala via The Broadway Blog.)

“A lot of things can happen in 25 years, but who would’ve thought that seven guys dancing on a bar could grow into an annual event that has raised so much to help people living with HIV and AIDS,” Mitchell said. “Broadway Bares has done that. And this year we’re going full out, maybe even with a top hat and our version of tails, ’cause if, baby, you’re a bottom, you’re the top.”

Broadway Bares 2012 (photo: Kevin Thomas Garcia via The Broadway Blog.)

Broadway Bares 2012 (photo: Kevin Thomas Garcia via The Broadway Blog.)

Mitchell, who directed and choreographed the Tony-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots and is directing the upcoming Broadway musical On Your Feet, created Broadway Bares in 1992. It is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Broadway Bares: Top Bottoms of Burlesque will be co-directed by Nick Kenkel, who also directed Broadway Bares: United Strips of America in 2013 and last year’s Broadway Bares: Rock Hard!, which raised a staggering $1,386,105. The first Broadway Bares featured seven dancers stripping on a bar and raised $8,000. To date, the 24 editions of Broadway Bares have raised more than $12.6 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Broadway Bares 2011 (photo: Peter James Zielinski via The Broadway Blog.)

Broadway Bares 2011 (photo: Peter James Zielinski via The Broadway Blog.)

Broadway Bares 2010 (Photo: Ryan Moeller via The Broadway Blog.)

Broadway Bares 2010 (Photo: Ryan Moeller via The Broadway Blog.)

“Pageant” Returns to Off-Broadway

June 29th, 2014 Comments off
The cast of "Pageant" (photo: Jenny Anderson via The Broadway Blog).

The cast of “Pageant” (photo: Jenny Anderson via The Broadway Blog).

After a sold-out benefit run for BC/EFA this February, Pageant – The Musical returns for a limited Off-Broadway engagement at The Davenport Theatre beginning June 29 with an official opening scheduled for July 14.

Like every beauty pageant you’ve seen before, Pageant features contestants desperately vying for a glittering tiara. With swimsuit, talent, and evening gown competitions—the show includes both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. But unlike beauty pageants you’ve seen before, the female contestants are all played by men and the audience gets to select the winner each night. Let the beauty begin!

The cast of tiara-crazed beauties includes Nick Cearley (“The Skivvies”), Frankie J. Grande (Mamma Mia), Alex Ringler (West Side Story), Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu), Seth Tucker (Our Kiki), Curtis Wiley (Motown), and Emmy Award-winner Kevin Meaney (Hairspray, “Uncle Buck”) as the host.

Pageant has book and lyrics by two-time Tony nominee Bill Russell (Side Show, The Last Smoker in America) and Frank Kelly with music by Albert Evans and was conceived by Robert Longbottom. Matt Lenz directs, with choreography by Shea Sullivan, music supervision by Mark Hartman, music direction by Micah Young, scenic design by Paul Tate DePoo III, costumes by Stephen Yearick, lighting by Paul Miller, sound by David Sanderson, and casting by Duncan Stewart and Company.

Pageant debuted Off-Broadway in 1991 at the Blue Angel in New York where it ran for more than a year before playing successful engagements on the West End and around the world. Pageant was last seen this February in a sold-out five-show special engagement that benefitted Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at the Red Lacquer Club, which was the first time it had returned to the New York stage in more than twenty years.

Take the jump for an exclusive interview with co-creator Bill Russell!

Read more…

Broadway Bares 24: Rock Hard!

June 16th, 2014 Comments off

bb24 copyThey’re at it again… those sexy singer/dancers will strut their stuff on June 22 to raise funds and awareness for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Only a limited number of tickets are left, so you better snag yours soon so you can revel in all the rocking’ glory that will be overtaking Hammerstein Ballroom.

The fundraiser dates back to 1992, when seven of Broadway’s hottest men danced on the bar at the now defunct Splash bar. Jerry Mitchell choreographed the opening number and after the performance the guys did their own “solo strip” routines and the “Rotation” was born.

More than two decades later, Broadway Bares had raised more than $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. BC/EFA awards annual grants to more than 400 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.

CLICK HERE for tickets, but in the meantime, take a look at these sexy preview shots!

 

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photos: Andrew Eccles

Don’t Miss Broadway Bares: Solo Strips

May 11th, 2014 Comments off
Can't make Solo Strips? Purchase tickets for Broadway Bares: Rock Hard.

Can’t make Solo Strips? Purchase tickets for Broadway Bares: Rock Hard.

This Mother’s Day, give mom a gift she will always remember: an evening with 11 of the most delectable male dancers from Broadway Bares. Bring your mom to this Sunday’s Broadway Bares: Solo Strips and she will get in free with your paid admission at the door for the evening of sexy, choreographed stripteases benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Broadway Bares: Solo Strips (#bwaybares) will heat up Mother’s Day with one show only at 9 pm onSunday, May 11, at BPM Nightclub (516 West 42nd Street, NYC). Doors open at 8 pm. Purchase a general admission standing ticket at the door for a $15 donation and your mom will be admitted free. Moms must be with the ticket buyer when the ticket is purchased. No refunds on previously purchased tickets. Reserved table seating for the show is sold out. Additional standing room tickets can be purchased in advance for $15 at broadwaycares.org or by calling 212.840.0770, ext 229.

This year’s lineup of performers features Callan Bergmann (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Joshua Michael Brickman (Broadway Bares 23), Anthony Rooar DeCarlis (Broadway Bares 21-23), Todd Hanebrink (Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity), Vince Oddo (Rocky), Julius Rubio (WonderlandBroadway Bares 21, 23), Ricky Schroeder (Broadway Bares 22, 23), Michael Scirrotto (Broadway Bares 19), Dennis Stowe(AladdinBroadway Bares 9, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20), Sheldon Tucker (Bring It On: The MusicalBroadway Bares 21-23) and Ryan Worsing (ChicagoBroadway Bares 21, 23). Hosting the evening will be Terren Wooten Clarke of Broadway’s The Book of Mormon appearing as Kizha Carr. See photos of all the performers at broadwaycares.org/solostrips.

Broadway Bares: Solo Strips will be directed by Tony Spinosa (La Cage aux Folles).

Broadway Bares began in 1992 when Jerry Mitchell, then a performer in The Will Rogers Follies, organized a benefit burlesque show featuring himself and six friends performing original strips at a bar for a $10 donation plus whatever tips the audience gave the dancers. Mitchell, now a Tony Award-winning director and choreographer, is executive producer of Broadway Bares, which is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Broadway Bares: Solo Strips is a sexy tease for Broadway Bares, one of BC/EFA’s annual signature events.Broadway Bares: Rock Hard! will feature 150 of New York’s most desirable dancers. The show will be directed by Nick Kenkel (Catch Me If You CanPeepshow, Legally Blonde), who also directed Broadway Bares 23.

Broadway’s Annual Easter Bonnet Competition Returns!

April 21st, 2014 Comments off
The 2012 Easter Bonnet Competition (photo: Monica Simoes) via The Broadway Blog.

The 2012 Easter Bonnet Competition (photo: Monica Simoes)
via The Broadway Blog.

The Easter Bonnet Competition is the culmination of six intensive weeks of fundraising efforts by company members of Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring productions. Curtain speeches, bucket collections, autographed poster and program sales, auctions and cabaret performances bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars from audiences prior to the competition.  The winner of the Easter Bonnet Competition will be the company that raises the largest amount of money for Broadway Cares.  Awards are also presented to the Broadway play, national tour and Off-Broadway production raising the most money. The judges determine awards given to the company with the best bonnet design and presentation.

Broadway veterans will share the stage with celebrated newcomers as Bryan Cranston, Fran Drescher, James Franco, Idina Menzel, Denzel Washington and more than 200 of Broadway and off-Broadway’s most talented performers come together for the 28th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition.  Presented by and benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, this year’s Easter Bonnet Competition (#bcefabonnets) will be held Monday, April 21 and Tuesday, April 22.

The 2012 Easter Bonnet Competition (photo: Kevin Thomas Garcia) via The Broadway Blog.

The 2012 Easter Bonnet Competition (photo: Kevin Thomas Garcia) via The Broadway Blog.

Tickets start as low as $30.  They are available online at broadwaycares.org or by calling 212.840.0770, ext. 268. The show will be performed at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre, 200 West 45th Street, home to Disney’s The Lion King. A limited number of tickets will be available one hour prior to each performance in the lobby of the Minskoff Theatre.

Cranston (All the Way), Drescher (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella), Menzel (If/Then) and Washington (A Raisin in the Sun) will announce the top fundraising and best presentation awards at the Tuesday performance. Franco and his Of Mice and Men co-stars, Chris O’Dowd and Leighton Meester, will introduce the competition’s judges.

More of Broadway’s biggest names this season will grace the stage throughout the competition.  Stars scheduled to appear include Brandon Victor Dixon (Motown The Musical), Hunter Foster (The Bridges of Madison County), Ramin Karimloo (Les Misérables), Andy Karl (Rocky), Ron Kunene (Disney’s The Lion King), LaChanze (If/Then), Tshidi Manye (Disney’s The Lion King), Jefferson Mays (A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder), Cass Morgan (The Bridges of Madison County), Jessie Mueller (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Bryce Pinkham (A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder), Christopher Sieber (Matilda The Musical) and Karen Ziemba (Bullets Over Broadway).

Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon) and original Matilda Sophia Gennusa will appear in the original opening number, directed and choreographed by Al Blackstone. Hugh Panaro (The Phantom of the Opera) will close the show with the traditional performance of “Help is on the Way,” BC/EFA’s Easter Bonnet anthem.

The show also will include a special appearance by Kim Zimmer (Wicked) in the national touring show presentation, choreographed by Adam Fleming.

Productions scheduled to perform and present bonnets include After Midnight, Avenue Q, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Disaster!, If/Then, Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia!, Mothers and Sons, Murder for Two, Newsies, Once, Disney’s The Lion King and, with a special performance by MOMIX representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares, and special presentations by BC/EFA’s affiliate organizations: ASTEP, Broadway Green Alliance, Broadway Impact, Broadway Serves and R.Evolución Latina.

The 27 previous editions of the Easter Bonnet Competition have raised more than $53 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Last year’s event raised $4,250,542.

Three to See: February

February 3rd, 2014 Comments off

 

"The Bridges of Madison County"

“The Bridges of Madison County”

The Bridges of Madison County
If you’re looking for a lush, romantic Broadway musical, the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown hope to score big with The Bridges of Madison County. Directed by Barltett Sher (South Pacific) and starring

Four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara (Nice Work If You Can Get It, The Light in the Piazza) and Steven Pasquale (“Rescue Me”, reasons to be pretty), star in the soaring tale of romance and lost love takes place on the plains of the Iowa landscape circa 1965.

The Bridges of Madison County
Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
236 West 45th Street
www.bridgesofmadisoncountymusical.com

Take a sneak peek…

Kung Fu

Cole Horibe stars in David Henry Hwang's new play, "Kung Fu." (photo: Gregory Costanzo)

Cole Horibe stars in David Henry Hwang’s new play, “Kung Fu.”
(photo: Gregory Costanzo)

Incorporating dance and music into an exciting new form, Cole Horibe (“So You Think You Can Dance”) takes on the iconic role of real-life Bruce Lee, a young martial artist who comes to America from Hong Kong in the 1960’s with a dream as audacious as his talent: to become the biggest movie star in the world. To do so, he must struggle to overcome the West’s view of China as weak and backwards, and of Asian men as less than truly masculine.

The world premiere play by David Henry Hwang and directed by Leigh Silverman has created so much buzz that the production has already been extended. Also keep your eye out for choreography by Sonya Tayeh. 

Kung Fu
The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center 480 West 42nd Street
Through March 30.
www.signaturetheatre.org

 

pageantPageant – The Musical Comedy Beauty Contest
Returning for the first time to the New York stage in more than twenty years, Pageant features contestants desperately vying for a glittering tiara. With swimsuit, talent, and evening gown competitions – the show includes both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat! Unlike some beauty pageants you’ve seen before, the female contestants are all played by men. And the audience gets to select the winner each night.

Fifty percent of ticket sales benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Pageant
The Red Lacquer Club
240 West 52nd Street
Monday nights; February 3, 10, 17, 24

Take a peek at Pageant in rehearsal…

Broadway Backwards Tickets Now On Sale

January 10th, 2014 Comments off

broadwaybackwards

Broadway Backwards, the annual celebration where gays and lesbians experience their stories as told through the great songs of musical theater and performed by their favorite Broadway performers, returns for its 9th edition on Monday, March 24.

This one-night-only musical performance produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefits  Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

VIP tickets include premium seats and a special post-show party with the cast.  A limited number of “Backstage & Beyond” ticket packages also are available, which include the opportunity to see the dress rehearsal, exclusive backstage access, a “meet and greet” with some of the stars of Broadway Backwards, premium seats for the show and more. Tickets are available exclusively at broadwaycares.org or by calling 212.840.0770, ext. 268. Prices start at $85.

This year’s special guest performers will be announced later this month. Creator Robert Bartley will again direct and choreograph. Also returning are Mary-Mitchell Campbell as music supervisor, Tim Rosser as music director with Amy Jones providing additional choreography.

Last year’s sold-out show raised a record-breaking $347,060 and featured a line‐up of performers who had been collectively nominated for 34 Tony Awards, 25 Emmy Awards, and two Oscars.

Broadway Backwards began as a grassroots concert performed at the Center in 2006. In subsequent years, the event grew quickly, performing Off-Broadway, then on Broadway for the last five years.

Broadway Backwards
Al Hirschfeld Theatre
302 West 45th Street
Monday, March 24

Take a peek at last year’s benefit:

Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction Raises more than $631,000!

September 23rd, 2013 Comments off
The top-selling lot of the live auction was an opportunity to join the cast of this year's Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots in a walk-on that sold for a remarkable $8,250. (photo: Matthew Murphy)

The top-selling lot of the live auction was an opportunity to join the cast of this year’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots in a walk-on that sold for a remarkable $8,250. (photo: Matthew Murphy)

Even the threat of rain didn’t stop the biggest day of the year for Broadway fans from turning into a bright and sunny day for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS as the 27th Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction raised $631,222.

Thousands of theater lovers filled Broadway’s Shubert Alley and West 44th Street on Sunday, September 22, 2013, for the daylong extravaganza. They scoured 56 tables overflowing with unique Broadway treasures. Attendees met more than 60 of Broadway’s brightest stars at the Autograph Table & Photo Booth and bid on 212 Grand Auction lots in live and silent auctions.

The 27 editions of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction, which is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, have raised a grand total of more than $10.3 million.

With a strong fall wind blowing through the theater district, this year’s Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction flourished on a mix of spirited shopping and competitive bidding.

“With the beautiful weather, a wonderfully vibrant energy and great sense of community filled Shubert Alley and surged down West 44th Street from early morning to dusk,” said Tom Viola, Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “That enthusiasm and the great generosity of spirit of the theatre community itself translated into an extraordinary day for Broadway Cares and, in turn, a better one for hundreds of thousands in our own neighborhood and across the country living with HIV/AIDS and other serious health issues who receive support because of the ever-growing embrace of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.”

This year, the 56 tables of the Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction represented Broadway and Off-Broadway’s top shows, producing organizations, unions, guilds and fan clubs, selling all variety of theatrical treasure, memorabilia, marketing materials, Playbills old and new, handmade items and all around high-end and low-brow “fabulous stuff.”

The Grand Auction included both live and silent auctions. The top-selling lot of the live auction was an opportunity to join the cast of this year’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical Kinky Boots in a walk-on that sold for a remarkable $8,250.

The Phantom mask worn by star Hugh Panaro in the show's landmark 25th anniversary Broadway performance earlier this year fetched $7,500. (photo: Joan Marcus)

The Phantom mask worn by star Hugh Panaro in the show’s landmark 25th anniversary Broadway performance earlier this year fetched $7,500. (photo: Joan Marcus)

Unique offerings from two of Broadway’s biggest, long-running hits – The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked – helped push this year’s final auction total even higher. The Phantom mask worn by star Hugh Panaro in the show’s landmark 25th anniversary Broadway performance earlier this year fetched $7,500. Tickets to next month’s 10th anniversary performance of Wicked, including passes to an exclusive star-studded after-party, raised $7,000.

As in years past, musical phrases handwritten and signed by Broadway composers and lyricists continue to be among the most-popular lots. The “I Dreamed a Dream” phrase from Les Misérables by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alan Boublil raised $3,000, followed by “Defying Gravity” from Wicked and “Magic to Do” from Pippin, hand sketched by Stephen Schwartz, which sold for $1,500 and $1,400. A unique musical phrase from Motown The Musical, “Money, That’s What I Want,” by Berry Gordy sold for $1,200.

A poster of The Boy from Oz, signed by the original Broadway cast including Hugh Jackman, sold for $2,020, while a poster from Merrily We Roll Along, signed by Hal Prince and Stephen Sondheim, raised $1,450. A tambourine from Pippin signed by Andrea Martin sold for $920. A script from The Book of Mormon, signed by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Bobby Lopez and the original cast raised $875; a Follies poster signed by Stephen Sondheim sold for $800 and much more

The always popular Celebrity Autograph Table and Photo Booth raised $21,855 from hundreds of fans who waited patiently to meet their favorite Broadway and television stars, including Andrea Martin, Jeremy Jordan, Bernadette Peters and Laura Osnes, and many more.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.