Photo Flash: Adam Jacobs, Ashley Brown & More Honor Disney Theatrical & Thomas Schumacher at TDF Gala!

Theatre Development Fund (TDF), the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, honored Disney Theatrical Productions and Thomas Schumacher, its president and producer, last night at TDF's Gala on Monday, March 14 at Manhattan's historic Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway @ 36th Street, NYC).

After cocktails, dinner and a video highlighting key TDF/Disney Theatrical Production collaborations on TDF's philanthropic access and arts education programs (video was produced by Serino/Coyne), guests were treated to a special program produced especially for this event. The program was hosted by Tony Award® and Drama Desk Award winner James Monroe Iglehart (for his role as the Genie in Aladdin) and featured a lineup of Disney on Broadway stars which included Adam Jacobs (Aladdin) and Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins).

Adam Jacobs sang a medley of "Proud of Your Boy" (from Aladdin) and"Endless Night" (from The Lion King); Ashley Brown sang "A Change in Me" (from Beauty and the Beast), and together they sang "Something to Believe In" (from Newsies) and a medley of songs from Mary Poppins. Then, in an Aladdin "first", four "genies" from various companies of Aladdin; James Monroe Iglehart (Broadway), Major Attaway (Broadway), Trevor Dion Nicholas (London) and Michael James Scott (Australia), banded together to perform "Friends Like Me." This was the first time these four 'genies' have performed onstage together!

The big surprise of the evening came at the end of the program when 14 former NYC high school students from TDF's Open Doors Program, who had been mentored by Tom Schumacher in the program over the past ten years and were his guests at the gala, got up from their seats and took to the stage and joined the entire cast singing "A Whole New World" with special lyrics written by Rick Elice. These new lyrics were personal to their TDF Open Doors experience with Tom. There wasn't a dry eye in the house!

The program was directed by Jeff Lee with musical direction by Jim Abbott, who led a 5 piece band. The chair for the event is TDF Trustee Betsy Miller.

Photos by Jeremy Daniel


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