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John Tartaglia, Jodi Benson, Christy Carlson Romano and More to Take Part in THE HOWARD ASHMAN CELEBRATION

John Tartaglia, Jodi Benson, Christy Carlson Romano and More to Take Part in THE HOWARD ASHMAN CELEBRATION

RAINBOW SUN PRODUCTIONS will present The Howard Ashman Celebration, a special video presentation honoring the award-winning lyricist and creator.

Howard Ashman was an extraordinary writer, lyricist, director, and leader in the entertainment industry, creating award-winning songs for a variety of shows, films, and television. Among his numerous creations, his most recognized projects include Little Shop of Horrors, Smile, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. His talent was recognized through a multitude of awards and honors, including two Oscars, two Golden Globes, four Grammys, a Drama Desk Award, a London Evening Standard, and the prestigious status of Disney Legend. Howard's life would be cut short when he passed away from AIDS in March 1991. To celebrate what would be Howard's 70th birthday, an array of talent from entertainment and Broadway (with a few surprise appearances) will come together to pay tribute to Howard's legacy, taking audiences through a magical musical journey to become part of his world.

The Songs of Howard Ashman, a live concert celebrating Howard's songs, was originally scheduled to perform live at venues in New York and Los Angeles this month. Due to COVID-19, these dates have been postponed until further notice. However, in the spirit of "the show must go on," and to honor Howard Ashman during the month of what would have been his 70th birthday, Rainbow Sun Productions has combined both NY and LA casts, as well as welcoming some very special guests, to create a new expanded presentation featuring a sampling of songs, interviews, information about Howard's life, and more!

This special presentation will feature appearances by Jodi Benson (Smile, The Little Mermaid), John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Johnny and the Sprites), Christy Carlson Romano (Disney Channel's Even Stevens, Broadway's Beauty and the Beast), and Bradley Pierce (Beauty and the Beast, Jumanji). The concert will also feature Ben Bogen, Danny Feldman, Irene Gallin, Jessa Halterman, Victoria Kingswood, Dillon Klena, Bella Luna, Katie Nail, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, Eric Scherer, Emily Schultheis, and Sean Stephens. Additional guests will be making surprise appearances as well.

100% of the proceeds raised will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, a charity which perfectly matches Howard's professional theatrical experiences and his personal struggle with AIDS. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation's leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. BCEFA funds the social service work of The Actors Fund and awards grants to AIDS service organizations worldwide. Currently, BCEFA has been actively assisting in pandemic relief by helping provide medication, meals, and more for people whose needs have been heightened by the COVID-19 crisis.

"We are ecstatic with the opportunity to have this newly formatted presentation reach an even larger audience," says Rainbow Sun Productions Co-Creator, Eric Scherer, who will also be participating in the event. "These artists and guests have put together a phenomenal event, and because we are online, there are no time constraints which allows us to explore more about Howard's life. To me, that is just as important as celebrating his work. Howard's work has shaped the lives of so many performers and people, and continues to inspire all to reach for their dreams, even if they have to defeat a man-eating plant or sell their voice for legs."

The Howard Ashman Celebration will premiere on the Rainbow Sun Productions' YouTube Channel starting at 6pm EST/ 3pm PST on May 20, 2020. The concert will remain available for viewing thru May 31, 2020, allowing flexibility for those that are continuing to work through the current pandemic. You can subscribe to the channel now, and set a reminder for the event on May 20. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFjkKrcprnw3z0NtCirkkmA

While there is no minimum donation for viewing, Rainbow Sun Productions is asking for any amount you can donate to assist those in need.

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