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THE NIGHT LARRY KRAMER KISSED ME Benefit Raises Over $66K for BC/EFA

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A sold-out benefit performance of the landmark show THE NIGHT Larry Kramer KISSED ME on May 20, 2013, raised a remarkable $66,025 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Sero Project. The re-imagined work was transformed from a one-man show into one featuring an all-star ensemble cast.

Actor and activist David Drake wrote THE NIGHT Larry Kramer KISSED ME in the early 1990s. After joining the activist group ACT UP, Drake began writing autobiographical monologues about the AIDS crisis that eventually became the one-man show about this critical point in American history.

The one-night-only benefit performance featured an ensemble of talented actors, including Drake, Brandon Cordeiro (Pearl at Kumble Theater of the Performing Arts), two-time Tony Award nominee Robin De Jesús (La Cage aux Folles, In the Heights), two-time Tony nominee André De Shields (The Full Monty, Play On!), Claybourne Elder (Bonnie & Clyde), Tony nominee Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (Rent), Wesley Taylor(Smash, The Addams Family), Chad Ryan (Chicago premiere of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me), Donald C. Shorter, Jr. (La Cage aux Folles national tour), Aaron Tone (BearCity 2) and Tony winner BD Wong (M. Butterfly). Tony nominee Robert La Fosse (Dancin', Jerome Robbins' Broadway) directed.

"The 20th anniversary performance was a moving, exhilarating success," said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. "Under Robert's superb direction, the brilliant ensemble cast joined David in an explosive re-working of what had been landmark solo work. We were so proud to be a part of this evening, celebrating the present, remembering the heartbreak and still committed to a better future."

First performed by Drake himself, who won an Obie for his work, the original off-Broadway run at the Perry Street Theatre became one of the longest-running solo shows in New York theatre history. There now have been nearly 100 productions worldwide and it's been translated into French, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek.

The 20th anniversary performance was presented at the Gerard W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. It was produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and benefited BC/EFA and Sero Project, which is working to end inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV.

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.

For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at broadwaycares.org, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/BCEFA, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BCEFA, watch us on YouTube at youtube.com/BCEFAtv and pin us on Pinterest at pinterest.com/BCEFA.

Sero Project is a national alliance of people with HIV working to realize the vision of the 1983 Denver Principles manifesto to empower people with HIV and combat HIV-related stigma, discrimination and criminalization. For more information, visit seroproject.com, like them on Facebook at facebook.com/TheSeroProject and follow on Twitter at twitter.com/theseroproject.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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