Josh Strickland Joins Brown et al. in 'Tim Rice & Friends' Benefit, 1/7

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Josh Strickland, currently starring in PEEPSHOW and "Holly's World" on E!, will join The cast of Broadway performers for "Sir Tim Rice & Friends," a salute to the Disney on Broadway songbook hosted by Oscar® and Tony Award®-winning lyricist Tim Rice. Josh, the original star of Tarzan on Broadway, will join six other accomplished performers who are veterans of one or more Disney Theatrical Productions' Broadway shows.

Held on Friday, January 7 in New York City as part of The New York Times 10th annual Arts & Leisure weekend celebration, the Disney evening will also feature Ashley Brown (original title star of Mary Poppins on Broadway), Heidi Blickenstaff (Ursula in The Little Mermaid; Merle Dandridge (Kala in Tarzan; Aida; Jesus Christ Superstar), Christopher Jackson (Benny in In the Heights; The Lion King), Tshidi Manye (currently starring on Broadway as Rafiki in The Lion King), and Alton Fitzgerald White (currently starring on Broadway as Mufasa in The Lion King, Miss Saigon).

"I am so honored to be a part of such an amazing event with Mr. Rice and one of the best papers in the world, The New York Times," said Strickland. "It will be fun to perform the songs from not only my title role in Tarzan®, but some of my favorite Disney on Broadway songs to date."

"Sir Tim Rice & Friends" will feature selections from the musical theater scores of Disney's seven Broadway shows including King David, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, Tarzan®, Mary Poppins, a co-production by Disney and Cameron Mackintosh and The Little Mermaid. James Abbott serves as musical director.

A versatile and prolific lyricist and librettist, Sir Tim Rice is a longtime collaborator for Disney Theatrical Productions, having written lyrics for four of the seven Disney scores heard on Broadway. Rice partnered with composer Alan Menken for Beauty and the Beast and King David and with Elton John on the blockbuster The Lion King (film and stage) and the musical Aida. He was nominated for a Tony Award® for Best Original Score for his work on Beauty and the Beast (1994) and The Lion King (1998), earning the 2000 Tony Award® for Best Original Score for Aida. A three-time Tony Award® winner, Rice's other notable Broadway and West End credits include Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita (1980 Tony Award® winner for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Chess, among others.

The New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend will be held from January 6 to 9, 2011 and is a four-day celebration of the arts featuring interviews with New York Times journalists and celebrated guests from film, media, music, television and theater.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride/WM Photos


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