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Photo Coverage: Pippin World AIDS Day Benefit Concert - Rehearsal

On November 29th, 2004, to commemorate World AIDS Day, one of this year's most exciting theatrical events took place: a star-studded concert presentation of Stephen Schwartz's acclaimed musical, PIPPIN. The concert raised nearly $93,000 for the organization, making it a resounding success.

Rosie O'Donnell opened the concert as the first of five Leading Players. Ben Vereen, who won a Tony Award for the role in the original Broadway production, closed out the show as the final Leading Player. The other Players included Darius de Haas (Marie Christine, last year's Children of Eden Concert), Billy Porter (Grease, and the upcoming Ghetto Superstar at The Public Theatre) and Kate Shindle (Cabaret, Jekyll & Hyde, Miss America 1998).

Michael Arden, from the Tony-Award winning ensemble of Big River and the star of the Off-Broadway hit, BARE, portrayed the title role, with Laura Benanti (Tony-Award Nominee from the casts of Swing, Into The Woods and Nine) as Pippin's love interest, Catherine. Also in the cast as young Theo, is Caroline, or Change's Harrison Chad and Cameron Mathison of daytime's All My Children played the role of Pippin's half-witted step-brother, Lewis. Terrence Mann, who originated the role of The Beast in Disney's Beauty & The Beast played Charlemagne and in the role of Berthe (originated by The Beverly Hillbillies' Granny, Irene Ryan), was actor and playwright, Charles Busch. Julia Murney, well known from the benefit concerts of Children of Eden, Chess and Funny Girl played the role of Fastrada. Included in the ensemble was Sarah Chase, Kristoffer Cusick, Adam Fleming, Sriram Ganesan, Julie Garnye, Jordan Gelber, Kearran Giovanni, Jenna Leigh Green, Colin Hanlon, Natalie Joy Johnson, Michael Longoria, Jennifer Malenke, Kate Pazakis, Erin Quill, Robb Sapp, Rebecca Soler, Aaron Staton, Pearl Sun, Marty Thomas, Caitlin van Zandt, and Josh Young.

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Billy Porter, Max von Essen and John Tartaglia

Rosie O'Donnell rehearsing Magic To Do...

with Terrence Mann...

...and the whole company

Pippin aka Michael Arden

Billy Porter - Leading Player #2

Terrence Mann as Charlemagne

Terrence and Michael

Cameron Mathison as Lewis

Terrence playing close attention to Julia Murney, as Fastrada

Terrence and Cameron

Billy singing Glory

Michael with John Tartaglia and "Rod" who played "Head"

Darius de Haas - Leading Player #3

Charles Busch as Berthe

Michael "frolocking..."

Maybe some things are better left unseen?

Vote Pippin!

Arriving partway through rehearsals - THE Leading Player - Ben Vereen with Producer Jamie McGonnigal

Julia Murney - Not a regular housewife/mother, no matter
what she says!

King Pippin

There she is - Kate Shindle - Leading Player #4

Laura Benanti as Catherine

Jamie feeling the pressure...

Harrison Chad and and pet duck Otto

The ensemble sowing the fields...

Michael and Laura

Leading player Kate Shindle looking on...

Laura Benanti

Who's behind that wall of fire for the finale?

It's Ben Vereen!

Rosie O'Donnell and Pippin Composer Stephen Schwartz

Stephen and Jamie


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