BWW TV: Andrew Rannells, Charo and More in the 29th Annual Musical Theatre Benefit, S.T.A.G.E.
A company of more than 25 stars of stage and screen entertained a packed house at the historic Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Saturday night (April 6) at the 29th Annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.). BWW TV's Michael Sterling and Jerry Evans of the JLE Media Group were on hand for an up close and personal look at the event , themed "Broadway, My Way," which raised more than $285,000 for HIV/AIDS direct care, education, and advocacy services offered by AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). Check out the video below!
A bevy of stars took to the stage in numbers that ranged from vocal powerhouse to comedic twists on long-time favorites (including comedy writer and six-time Emmy winner Bruce Vilanch appearing in a ballet tutu for A Chorus Line's "At the Ballet") to touching moments - as when Madison Claire Parks, granddaughter of late S.T.A.G.E. performer and star Betty Garrett, offered a soaring rendition of The Phantom of the Opera's "Think of Me." The show capped off with six-time Emmy award winner and Tony award winner Tyne Daly's performance of "Rose's Turn" (Gypsy), followed by an all-company finale. The show was directed, as it has been since its inception, by David Galligan, and John McDaniel returned as music director.
S.T.A.G.E. marked its 29th production this year with a new theme: "Broadway, My Way," which showcased this exciting cast performing popular Broadway musical numbers in their own contemporary styles. Since its first show in 1984, the event has featured more than 300 stars of Broadway, film, and television while raising millions of dollars for APLA and other Southern California AIDS service organizations.
This year, Wells Fargo served as the event's Presenting Sponsor; the financial services company doubled its longtime support of the event this year, offering a $50,000 cash contribution to support the event and APLA's direct services. Grand sponsors were Elgart Aster and Paul Swerdlove and HBO. The supporting sponsor was Ted Snowdon.
Other Broadway stars who comprised the company included Jim Bailey, Patrick Cassidy, Mary Jo Catlett, Carole Cook, Karen Culliver, Joely Fisher, Davis Gaines, Kathy Garrick, Gordon Goodman, Marsha Kramer, Florence Henderson, Shirley Jones, Jane Lanier, Vicki Lewis, Kimberley Locke, Tom Lowe, Pat Marshall, Patricia Morison, The Mumos, Alex Newell, Michael Orland, Janis Paige, Valarie Pettiford, Andrew Rannells, Lisa Vroman, Lillias White, Terri White, and Jo Anne Worley.
Funds raised through S.T.A.G.E. support APLA programs including its Vance North Necessities of Life Program food pantries; freestanding and mobile dental clinics; in-home health services; housing assistance; HIV prevention and testing efforts; and a range of other APLA services that thousands of Angelenos who are affected by HIV/AIDS depend on. S.T.A.G.E. is among the most enduring and valuable sources of private support for the agency's HIV/AIDS care, prevention, and advocacy work.
The event, which features Grammy and Tony Award-winning cast, remains the world's longest running musical theatre benefit to fight AIDS and key private source of HIV funding
AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, provides bilingual direct services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. With 30 years of service, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national, and global reach. For more information, visit apla.org.