Bundy, Skinner, Sills and Benanti Mother and Daughter Join embrace Concert 2/17

On February 17th at 7:00 pm, Michele Helberg and Jamie McGonnigal will present a special one-night-only concert to benefit The Matthew Shepard Foundation. The concert will take place at the Westside Theatre at 407 West 43rd Street, the current home of the long-running off-Broadway hit, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

Joining the cast of embrace! will be Laura Bell Bundy (Wicked, Hairspray), Kelli O'Hara (Dracula), Emily Skinner (Side Show), Douglas Sills (Little Shop, The Scarlet Pimpernel), Nicole Snelson (tick, tick BOOM Nat'l Tour), and two-time Tony Award-Nominee Laura Benanti (Nine, Into the Woods) and her mother, renowned voice teacher Linda Benanti in a rare public performance. Also scheduled to appear are Nancy Anderson (Kiss Me, Kate), Bryan Batt (La Cage aux Folles, Jeffrey), Nikki Renee Daniels (Little Shop, Nine), Max von Essen (The Baker's Wife, Dance of the Vampires), Darius de Haas (Marie Christine), Tom Hewitt (Dracula), Kate Pazakis (Pippin In Concert), Jai Rodriguez (Queer Eye For The Straight Guy) and several other Broadway performers are currently scheduled to appear. In addition to that, singer/songwriters Jenny Giering, (Caraboo, The Mistress Cycle) and Randi Driscoll (whose song, "What Matters" has raised more than $40K for The Matthew Shepard Foundation). embrace! will be directed by Jamie McGonnigal, who produced the recent Pippin and Children of Eden Concerts for World AIDS Day.

The Matthew Shepard Foundation, founded in December 1998 by Dennis and Judy Shepard, was established in memory of their 21-year old son, Matthew, who was murdered in an anti-gay hate crime. The Foundation carries out Matthew's legacy by supporting educational projects, activities and documentaries that raise awareness of the issues involving discrimination and diversity. The Foundation's goal is to educate and replace hate with understanding, acceptance and compassion.

embrace! will feature songs which celebrate diversity, inspiration and hope and all proceeds will benefit The Matthew Shepard Foundation in its mission to replace hate with understanding. Last year's concert raised thousands for the foundation and spawned embrace! concerts in several other cities around the country.

Tickets may be ordered online at www.MatthewShepard.org or by calling 646-289-6864. The performance will take place February 17th at 7PM, The Westside Theatre, 407 West 43rd Street (btw 9th and 10th Aves).

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