This past Wednesday evening, Catskill Animal Sanctuary hosted their first fund-raiser and cultivation event in New York City. In addition to great vegan cuisine by GO Catering and a moving presentation by Kathy Stevens, founder of CAS, 30 farm animals were available to sponsor for a year. By the end of the event, all 30 animals found loving “parents”, including a piglet named Carmelo (in honor of my father)!
Look at these faces….do you ever wonder how and where they live?
The Catskill Animal Sanctuary gives these discarded farm animals a home for the rest of their lives…
On Wednesday, June 4th, I am proud to be a part of “Cocktails & Cow Tales”, a benefit in NYC to raise awareness and funds for this important organization. Please go to Catskill Animal Sanctuary to find out more.
It’s not often I post something so personal but this interview with my dear friend of more than 25 years is too important to not share with as many people as possible…
Please click here (scroll down to the 4th window to see the interview in it’s entirety): Penny Clifford Interview
The T.J. Martell Foundation hosted the Women of Influence Awards last week and honored seven exceptional women for their work and advocacy in the fight against cancers.
Hosted by the inimitable Robin Quivers (of the Howard Stern Show), the event was our first time working with TJ Martell and their executive director Teresa Guadio. Congratulations to all!
I was thrilled and honored to work with Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization and that the lives of more than 250,000 affected by crime and abuse each year, at their recent Champion Awards event.
Honored for their commitment and advocacy (and personal experience with abuse) were Kira Kanzanstez, Miss America 2015, and Alan Cumming, Broadway, TV and Film Actor. After they told their stories, nearly $90,000 in additional donations was raised in just 10 minutes!
See more images here: http://championnyc.org/photos/
Great article in the New York Times on fund-raising galas. Click here: New York Times
We’re honored to be providing production management for the Safe Horizon Champion Awards to be held April 28th in New York City. Safe Horizon is the nation’s leading victim assistance organization and touches the lives of more than 250,000 affected by crime and abuse each year.
This year Safe Horizon will honor Verizon with its Corporate Leadership Award, for advancing the conversation about domestic violence nationwide and for providing essential funding for programs to help victims become survivors. They will also honor Alan Cumming with their Humanitarian Award and Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev with their Voice of Empowerment Award, both chosen for their courage to speak out against abuse and create real change in the world.
Check out Safe Horizon
Which Former Cinderellas Sang “Agony,” and What Hunk Belted “Don’t Rain On My Parade”? Details from Miscast!
By Michael Gioia from Playbill.com
31 Mar 2015
Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti, Jessie Mueller and a slew of other Broadway stars were Miscast last night, when MCC Theater presented its annual gala at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Here’s what happened.
This year’s gala honored Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated stage and screen actress Sarah Paulson (The Glass Menagerie, Collected Stories) and Tony Award-winning producer Fran Weissler (represented this season with Finding Neverland).
At the annual revue, invited performers finally get to take on their dream roles — although, in real life, they’d never be cast. Annaleigh Ashford, Tony-nominated for her performance as Lauren in Kinky Boots, decided to play Lola this time around. She opened up the night by walking onto the Hammerstein Ballroom stage in knee-high, red Kinky Boots (as opposed to the Kinky “Booties” she wore in the show) and, along with a trio of Kinky backup singers, belted out “Land of Lola,” the show-stopping number that Billy Porter put his stamp on when he played Lola in the production’s original cast.
Tony winners Laura Benanti and Jessie Mueller, who both played Into the Woods’ Cinderella (Benanti in the 2002 Broadway revival, and Mueller in the recent staging in Central Park), said that they’d much prefer playing the prince to the princess. They performed “Agony,” complete with a virtual backdrop of the waterfall used in the film adaptation.
Uzo Aduba and Ben Platt put on their aprons to cook up some “Priest”! Aduba played Sweeney Todd, and Platt played Mrs. Lovett in their performance of “A Little Priest” from Sweeney Todd. (PS: If a gender-bending revival of Sweeney ever came to fruition, these two need to be at the top of the casting list!)
The Sondheim love-fest continued with “Johanna,” performed to perfection by Jessie Mueller.
Joshua Henry was up next…and asked Mueller back to the stage for some help on the next tune. He needed a backup singer for his rendition of Carole King’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” from Beautiful. He told Mueller, who created the role of King on Broadway, he “felt sorry” that she was “fired.” (She took her seat on stage after a few “oohs” and “ahhs,” and she was the first to clap when Henry finished.)
Annaleigh Ashford took center stage again. This time, she stripped down to a Tin Man costume — clearly petitioning for her spot in the NBC broadcast of The Wiz. She performed “Slide Some Oil to Me” and ended her performance in a split!
Laura Benanti finally took her shot at The Sound of Music’s Liesl! In the next number, she and Christopher Fitzgerald — obviously too old for Liesl and Rolf — performed “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” Benanti chewed bubblegum, and Fitzgerald made his entrance by bicycle. (The audience fell in love with their older version!)
Leslie Odom, Jr. captivated with his performance of “Another Hundred People” from Sondheim’s Company. (Before he sang, he thanked casting director Bernie Telsey for his career, including his casting in the acclaimed Hamilton, which transfers to Broadway this summer.)
Andrew Rannells belted his best “Meadowlark” from The Baker’s Wife… But, before he began, he made sure Patti LuPone wasn’t in the audience, or else he’d be too nervous.
The boys of this year’s Miscast class walked on in all black for their rendition of “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago. Let’s just say… You had to be there! (An all-male “Cell Block Tango” seems to be quite the rage this year, as it was performed at Broadway Backwards, too.)
Betsy Wolfe delivered a belty performance of “Let It Sing” from Violet, taking on the role of Flick — the part Joshua Henry was Tony-nominated for last season.
Concluding the evening, Jeremy Jordan dedicated “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl to the powerful female honorees of the evening, Sarah Paulson and Fran Weissler. With a digital boat on the screen in the background, no one was able to rain on his parade!
Proceeds from Miscast 2015 contribute to supporting MCC Theater’s mission to develop and produce work Off-Broadway, as well as its Youth Company and partnerships with New York City public high schools, and MCC’s literary development work with emerging playwrights.
For nine years, I have had the incredible pleasure to be the production consultant/designer for MCC Theater’s “Miscast” Gala. This event brings together some of the top talent on Broadway for one night who perform songs from shows in which they would never be cast.
Below are some great images (you can find more pictures and videos on our Facebook page). Many thanks to our amazing lighting designer Brendon Boyd, graphics designer Ted Stevens, and event photographer Amber De Vos.
For the 9th consecutive year, we are producing the amazing “Miscast” Revue to benefit MCC Theater, off-Broadway’s premier company that produces new and challenging works from today’s best playwrites.