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Norm Lewis, Michael Urie, Leslie Kritzer And More Join Vanessa Williams For THANKFUL FOR CHRISTMAS Holiday Benefit

Norm Lewis, Michael Urie, Leslie Kritzer And More Join Vanessa Williams For THANKFUL FOR CHRISTMAS Holiday Benefit

The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture, the arts center of the Archdiocese of New York, launches the holiday season with a one-night-only festive concert event, "Vanessa Williams & Friends: Thankful for Christmas," on Monday, November 18 at 7:30PM in the Loreto Theater, 18 Bleecker Street (between Elizabeth and Mott Streets).

Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award nominee Vanessa Williams (Broadway: Into The Woods, Kiss of the Spider Woman; Film & TV: Pocahontas, "Ugly Betty," "Desperate Housewives." "Daytime Divas"; Recordings: "Save The Best for Last," "The Sweetest Days") will be joined on stageby Broadway veterans Leslie Kritzer (Beetlejuice, Something Rotten!, Sondheim on Sondheim), Norm Lewis (NBC's "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert," The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, Phantom of the Opera), and Michael Urie (Torch Song, How to Succeed in Business, TV's "Ugly Betty," "Younger"), former New York Yankees All-Star and Latin Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist Bernie Williams, and His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Proceeds from the evening benefit The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture.

"Vanessa Williams & Friends: Thankful for Christmas" is produced by Dan Parise, Diversified Production Services (DPS), whose many productions include the Papal Mass at Madison Square Garden. Musical direction for the evening is by Rob Mathes, the Emmy Award-winning, Grammy, Tony, and Drama Desk Award-nominated arranger/composer, music producer/director, and singer/songwriter. Rob has produced recordings by Sting (his last three records), Rod Stewart, Carly Simon, Vanessa Williams, among others.

"I can't think of another place I'd rather be to kick-off the holiday season than on the stage of the Loreto Theater at the Sheen Center," says Vanessa Williams. "It will be a glorious night of music including some of my greatest hits - 'Save the Best for Last,' 'Sweetest Days,' 'Colors of the Wind' - as well holiday favorites. It will be such a treat to share the stage again with three of my favorite co-stars: Leslie Kritzer, Norm Lewis and Michael Urie. This is The Sheen Center's first benefit, which I hope will be an annual event. I fell in love with The Sheen Center from the moment I first set on the stage for my evening of conversation and song hosted by Fr. Edward Beck. Since then, I've become a board member and it has been wonderful to give back to this amazing jewel of an arts center and the community it serves."

"We all know Vanessa Williams from her recordings and her fabulous performances on Broadway, television and film," says David DiCerto, Interim Executive Director of The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture. "But the most extraordinary thing about Vanessa is her big heart. We can't thank Vanessa enough for headlining this extraordinary concert, serving as a vital member of our Board of Directors, and launching Christmas season in a big way for all of us here at The Sheen Center."

"Vanessa Williams & Friends: Thankful for Christmas" plays one-night-only Monday, November 18: at 7PM at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street at the corner of Elizabeth Street in NYC). Individual tickets are $150. $250 benefit tickets include a guest pass for the post-concert cast party. For tickets and more information visit

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