Actors Fund Spring Gala to Celebrate Disney's 20 Years on Broadway, 4/28

Actors Fund Spring Gala to Celebrate Disney's 20 Years on Broadway, 4/28

The Actors Fund's annual gala on Monday, April 28, 2014 honoring Disney Theatrical Productions will feature a one-night-only benefit performance including surprise appearances and production numbers from Disney's award-winning musicals.

The benefit evening celebrating 20 years of Disney on Broadway begins at 7 p.m. at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City (214 West 42nd Street) and tickets ($100 and $250) are now on sale by calling 212.627.1000 or visiting for more information.

Disney's beloved Broadway titles include musicals like Newsies, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aida, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid-and now Aladdin which is set to open on March 20, 2014.

As previously announced, the evening will also honor Actors Fund President and CEO Joseph P. Benincasa, for 25 years of service to the creative community. Disney Theatrical Productions and Mr. Benincasa will each receive the Medal of Honor, the highest award given by the 132-year old non-profit human services organization.

Mr. Benincasa oversees the programs and services of The Actors Fund, an organization that is available to everyone in performing arts and entertainment in times of need, crisis or transition.

Tickets for the full gala evening start at $1,500 and include the benefit performance at the New Amsterdam Theatre at 7 p.m. and a private post-show cast party with Disney stars and special guests at the New York Marriott Marquis beginning at 8:30 p.m. For tickets and sponsorship packages, call 212.627.1000 or email or visit

THE ACTORS FUND is a national human services organization that helps everyone-performers and those behind the scenes-who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 17,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Serving professionals in film, theatre, television, music, opera, radio and dance, The Fund's programs include social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, housing, and employment and training services. With offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, The Actors Fund has been-for 132 years-a safety net for those in need, crisis or transition. Visit

DISNEY THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, was formed in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. Worldwide, its eight Broadway titles have been seen by over 128 million theatergoers. With 5 productions currently produced or licensed, a Disney musical is being performed professionally somewhere on the planet virtually every hour of the day.

The company's inaugural production, Beauty and the Beast, opened in 1994. It played a remarkable 13 year run on Broadway and has been produced in 28 countries worldwide. In November 1997, Disney opened The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical and is now the highest grossing show in Broadway history. In its 17th smash year, it has welcomed over 70 million visitors worldwide to date. The Lion King can also currently be seen on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan, and in London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo, and Sydney, Australia, a total of ten concurrent productions worldwide.

Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida opened on Broadway next, winning four 2000 Tony Awards, and spawning productions around the world. Mary Poppins, a co-production with Cameron Mackintosh, opened in London in 2004 and established itself as one of the biggest stage musical successes to emerge in recent years, launching seven productions on three continents. Following a six year Tony-winning Broadway run, the title is now being licensed to professional theatres worldwide.

Tarzan®, which opened on Broadway in 2006, is now an international hit with an award-winning production in its 6th year in Germany. In January 2008, The Little Mermaid opened on Broadway and was the #1-selling new musical of that year. Its success continues with new productions in Russia and Japan.

Disney Theatrical Productions opened two critically acclaimed productions on Broadway in 2012, receiving seven Tony Awards between them: Newsies, entering its third year at the Nederlander Theatre, and Peter and the Starcatcher, which enjoyed a two year New York run.

Other successful stage musical ventures have included King David in concert, the national tour of On The Record, several touring versions of Disney's High School Musical, and Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame in Berlin. DTP has collaborated with the country's leading regional theatres to develop new stage titles including Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of The Jungle Book and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Its new musical, Aladdin, opens on Broadway this spring.

JOSEPH P. BENINCASA is the President & CEO of The Actors Fund, the national human services organization that helps everyone in entertainment and the performing arts; he joined The Fund in 1989.

Mr. Benincasa oversees innovative programs including comprehensive social services, health care services, employment and training, and affordable, supportive and senior housing. The Actors Fund's headquarters are in New York City with regional offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, a nursing home in Englewood, NJ, and supportive housing residences in Manhattan, NY, West Hollywood, CA, and Brooklyn, NY. He is also President of the Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation which is building affordable, supportive and senior care residences for artists in major urban centers.

He serves on the boards of directors of several organizations, including Bio-Reference Laboratories, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Career Transition for Dancers, Learning Ally, the Human Services Council, National Executive Service Corps, Times Square Alliance, the YMCA of New York City and the Somerset Patriots, a minor league baseball team. He has been recognized with several honors, including the inaugural Made in New York Award, presented by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Brooklyn's Italian of the Year, presented by Borough President Marty Markowitz. He served as chair of the New York Society of Association Executives in 2007, has lectured on not-for-profit management at Duke University and the New School, and served on the Tony Administration and Nominating Committees, and on the Board of Directors of St. Peter's University Medical Center. He is a member of The Lambs and Friars' Clubs. In 2011, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Centenary College and served on the New York State Attorney General's Leadership Committee for Nonprofit Revitalization.

Mr. Benincasa graduated from St. Joseph's University, earned a Masters from Rutgers University and attended the Graduate Business School at Fordham University. He is incredibly proud of how The Actors Fund helps everyone in the Creative Community.

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