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Rosie's Broadway Belters - April 11 - with Alvin, Arden, Brier, Korey, Lewis, Morton, Steel and Thomas

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Rosie O'Donnell is proud to present "ROSIE'S BROADWAY BELTERS," an evening of music and comedy that will be presented for one performance only at The Zipper Theatre (336 West 37th Street) on Monday, April 11, 2005 (8:00 p.m. curtain). All proceeds from "ROSIE'S BROADWAY BELTERS" will benefit Rosie's Broadway Kids, a not-for-profit arts education organization dedicated to enriching the lives of New York City public school children through the arts.

"ROSIE'S BROADWAY BELTERS" is a musical comedy variety show that marks Ms. O'Donnell's return to her stand-up roots while also celebrating some of Broadway's best musical talent, both established and up-and-coming. With music direction by Seth Rudetsky, "ROSIE'S BROADWAY BELTERS" will feature musical performances by Farah Alvin, Michael Arden, Elaine Brier, Alix Korey, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton, Shayna Steele and Marty Thomas.

Rosie's Broadway Kids is a not-for-profit arts education organization founded by Ms. O'Donnell in 2003. Using professional teaching artists, Rosie's Broadway Kids provides New York City fifth graders with in-school classes in dance and music, and a professional theater experience for those who might not otherwise have the opportunity. The program's mission is to inspire excellence, motivate learning, uplift the human spirit and install a lifelong appreciation for the arts.

Describing the evening, Ms. O'Donnell says, "Back in the days of 'The Ed Sullivan Show,' when New York City was the home to live primetime television and the world's entertainment capitol, the incredible talents of Broadway - the Ethel Mermans and Barbra Streisands - were able to be seen and appreciated by everyone. I want to do an evening has that same feeling that show did and to throw a party that celebrates the theatre industry's very best singers. And this evening of music and comedy will help Rosie's Broadway Kids share this life-altering love of Broadway with children who live in this city but who do not have access to it."

Tickets for "ROSIE'S BROADWAY BELTERS" are $250 and are now available by calling 212-703-7400. Ticket price includes a post-performance cocktail party with Ms. O'Donnell and the cast at Al Sur, the new Latin American restaurant attached to the Zipper Theatre (the former site of The Belt Theatre) which is scheduled to open to the public this May.

BIOGRAPHIES

Rosie O'Donnell was, from 1996 to 2002, the host and executive producer of the critically acclaimed, nationally syndicated talk/variety series "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." In her first season on the air, Rosie won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host and for the show's remaining five seasons she continued her success by winning Daytime Emmys for both Outstanding Talk Show Host and Outstanding Talk Show. In May 2002, she decided to leave her successful show to concentrate her talents and energies elsewhere. As a tireless crusader for children, she established the For All Kids Foundation, which distributes money to children's charities across the country. In April 1997, Warner Books published "Kids Are Punny," a best-selling collection of Rosie's favorite jokes sent to her show by kids, with all proceeds going to the Foundation. Furthering her commitment to kids, Rosie hosted Nickelodeon's "Kids Choice Awards" from 1997 to 2003. Additionally, in 2003 she founded Rosie's Broadway Kids, a non-profit organization that puts musical theatre programs in NYC's neediest schools. On television, Rosie has made guest appearances on a number of series including "Will and Grace," "All My Children," "Suddenly Susan," "Spin City," "Sesame Street," "The Nanny" and "The Larry Sanders Show." Rosie first honed her hosting and executive producing skills back in 1988, on the top-rated cable show "Stand Up Spotlight" on VH-1. She made her motion picture debut in Penny Marshall's 1992 film A League of Their Own starring opposite Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna. She has since gone on to star in the films Sleepless in Seattle, Another Stakeout, The Flintstones, Exit to Eden, Now and Then, Beautiful Girls, Harriet the Spy and Wide Awake. Following her heart to the stage, O'Donnell made her Broadway debut in 1994, starring as Rizzo in Tommy Tune's revival of Grease! In 2001, she returned to Broadway to star as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical. Last year, O'Donnell combined her love of Broadway and '80s pop music by producing the Boy George musical Taboo. An ardent Broadway fan, she hosted the Tony Award ceremonies in 1998 and 2000. In April 2001, Rosie made her media debut as the Editorial Director of Rosie, the magazine she launched for G&J USA publishing in partnership with her own KidRo productions. A celebration of humanity with humor and heart, the magazine's December 2002 issue was its last. In April 2002, her book Find Me was released (the book reached number two on the New York Times Bestseller List). Rosie will soon be seen in the CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame production of "Riding the Bus with My Sister," a telepic directed by Anjelica Huston and co-starring Andie MacDowell in which she makes her dramatic television debut. She has also completed a three-episode arc on Showtime's acclaimed hit "Queer as Folk," scheduled to air this fall. Additionally, she recently filmed a guest-starring spot on HBO's hit series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Seth Rudetsky has played piano in the pits and/or conducted over 15 Broadway shows including Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, Ragtime, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Producers, as well as the Off-Broadway shows Pageant, Forever Plaid and The Fantasticks. As a stand up comedian he was voted "The Funniest Gay Male in NY" at Stand Up NY and had long running shows at Rose's Turn and Caroline's. He was a comedy writer on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" for over two years (three Emmy nominations) and wrote the opening number lyrics for the 2000 and 1998 Tony Awards (with Patti LuPone, Jennifer Holliday and Betty Buckley). He conceived and conducted the Dreamgirls concert for The Actors' Fund (with Audra McDonald, Heather Headley and Lillias White) which raised $1,000,000 and was released on CD by Nonesuch Records. He was also the Artistic producer/conductor for the Actors' Fund concert of Funny Girl (with Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher and Idina Menzel), Chess (with Josh Groban and Sutton Foster) and Hair (with Jennifer Hudson, Raul Esparza and Adam Pascal) which is being released on CD by Ghostlight Records. Every Thursday for the last five years, he has hosted Seth's Broadway Chatterbox at Don't Tell Mama, where he interviewed such luminaries as Bebe Neuwirth, John Lithgow, Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane and then shown mortifying video clips from their pasts. Last fall he did the vocal arrangements for the upcoming Broadway musical Harmony by Barry Manilow. His one-man play Rhapsody in Seth had a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run. He appeared on TV on "The Conan O'Brien Show," "All My Children" (as Rudy the choreographer opposite Susan Lucci) and most recently on "Law and Order: Criminal Intent." For over ten years he has volunteered with Lifebeat's 'Hearts and Voices,' bringing sassy singers to hospitalized people with AIDS. Currently, he hosts "Seth's Big Fat Broadway" every night on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

Farah Alvin. Broadway: Nine, The Look of Love, Saturday Night Fever, Grease! (also first national), A Christmas Carol. She appeared in the Actors' Fund benefit concerts of Chess and Funny Girl, both music directed by Seth Rudetsky. Other New York credits include Jewish Rep's Kuni Leml and William Finn's Infinite Joy at Joe's Pub. Farah can be heard on many records including Varese Sarabande's Burt Bacharach Album.

Michael Arden portrayed Peter in the hit Off-Broadway musical Bare and made his Broadway debut starring as Tom Sawyer in the revival of Big River for the Roundabout. He recently played the title role in Pippin for both the World AIDS Day benefit concert in NYC and for the Repise! mounting in Los Angeles. His other theatrical credits include The Vampire Lestat, It's Only Life: The Music of John Bucchino, Harold & Maude, God of Vengeance, Falsettoland, Art, West Side Story, Songs for a New World, The Common Pursuit and A Winter's Tale. His musical compositions include Easter Rising (recently performed at Joe's Pub), As You Like It and Ripley.

Elaine Brier won the Backstage Bistro award for her one woman show Jirque du Soleil in 2003. She's done numerous voiceover ads and can be seen performing regularly at Don't Tell Mama Cabaret.

Alix Korey is currently appearing on Broadway as Mayor Matilda Hyde in All Shook Up and has performed in ten other Broadway shows, a dozen Off-Broadway shows, numerous regional theatre productions, five live-action films and seven animated films. She has recorded two solo CDs, has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and one Outer Critics Circle Award and won a 2001 Drama League Award.

Norm Lewis. Broadway: Amour, The Wild Party, Side Show, Miss Saigon, The Who's Tommy. National tour: Once on This Island, Four Score & Seven Years Ago. Off-Broadway: Captains Courageous, A New Brain. Regional: Dreamgirls (with Jennifer Holliday), Sweeney Todd (Helen Hayes nomination), Once on This Island, Abyssinia, Pippin, My Fair Lady, Forum (with Nipsey Russell), Joseph . . . Special Events: 20th Anniversary Dreamgirls concert, Hair concert, Chess concert all for The Actors' Fund; Golden Boy (Encores!).

Euan Morton played Boy George in the Broadway musical Taboo, a role that earned him Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Award nominations in addition to a Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway debut. Euan also received an Olivier Award nomination when he originated the role in London. Last fall he earned a NY Musical Theatre Festival Award for Best Actor for appearing in the title role of Caligula in the festival's inaugural season. Concerts: Hair (for The Actors' Fund), Broadway Unplugged and Broadway by the Year at Town Hall, Euan Morton in Concert at The Zipper.

Shayna Steele is currently seen as one of The Dynamites in the hit Broadway musical Hairspray, and has also been seen on Broadway in Jesus Christ Superstar and Rent. Regionally she was seen in Constant Star at Arena Stage. Shayna is also a member of Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Marty Thomas is currently seen on Broadway in the cast of Wicked and was previously seen on Broadway in The Secret Garden (Colin). Marty is a Grammy-nominated recording artist, a 1992 Ed McMahon's "Star Search" champion and has shared the stage with Patti LaBelle, Grace Jones, Billy Porter, Stephanie Mills and Sheryl Crow, among many others.


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