Broadway 2

S.T.A.G.E. Benefit Returns To Luckman Auditorium 5/1

By BWW News Desk

March 26, 2010

S.T.A.G.E.-the annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event-marks its 26th presentation with a change in concept and a return to a familiar venue. Rather than its traditional salute to the music of a particular composer, this year's S.T.A.G.E. is entitled ORIGINAL CAST and will feature artists from theater, television and cabaret performing songs they originated in musical productions.

ORIGINAL CAST will be a one-night-only affair to be held on Saturday, May 1 at 7:30PM and marks a return to the beautiful Luckman Fine Arts Complex on the campus of California State Los Angeles, home to S.T.A.G.E. for several years. Net proceeds from S.T.A.G.E., the longest continuously running AIDS fund-raising event in the world, will benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), an organization now in its 27th year of providing direct services and HIV/AIDS prevention education throughout Los Angeles County.

Heading the list of participants who are scheduled to appear in ORIGINAL CAST is a slate of Tony®-award-winning performers. Tyne Daly, reprising her turn as Mama Rose in "Gypsy" with help from Jonathan Hadary, John Lloyd Young, who originated the role of Frankie Valli in "Jersey Boys" and Donna McKechnie, "A Chorus Line's" Cassie will lead the list of those performing songs from the shows with which they are associated.

Other cast members and the shows from which they will perform material include
S.T.A.G.E. regulars Betty Garrett ("Call Me Mister"), Nancy Dussault ("Do Re Mi"), Bill Hutton ("Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"), Dale Kristien ("Phantom of the Opera"), Vicki Lewis ("Damn Yankees") and Carole Cook ("Hello Dolly!"). Valarie Pettiford & Jane Lanier will perform a number together from "Fosse" while Sally Struthers-along with Julie Johnson-will reprise her award-winning role in "Always...Patsy Cline." Ron Dennis of the original Broadway cast of "A Chorus Line" will perform the song "Confidence," which was written for the original show and cut from the production before it opened. Also participating this year are Michele Lee ("Seesaw"), Melissa Manchester ("Song and Dance"), Pat Marshall ("Mr. Wonderful"), Sharon McNight ("Starmites"), Patricia Morison ("Kiss Me Kate"), Karen Morrow ("I Had A Ball"), Charlotte Rae ("The Littlest Revue"), Joan Ryan ("Ruthless"), David Engel ("La Cage Aux Folles"), Ilene Graff ("I Love My Wife") and Constance Towers ("The King & I").

David Galligan, who has produced and directed the show since its inception, will direct the production. John McDaniel will serve as Music Director with Mary Ekler as Associate Music Director and choreography by Lee Martino and Dan Mojica. Jon Maher will do sign language interpretation.

Since 1996, S.T.A.G.E. has recognized performers, philanthropists, businesses, organizations and individuals for their dedicated work in the fight against AIDS with the "S.T.A.G.E. Producers Award." This year, the S.T.A.G.E. Producers Award will be presented to Craig E. Thompson, Executive Director of APLA, for his long-standing commitment to worldwide battle against HIV/AIDS. Thompson joined APLA as Chief Operating Officer in 1997 and became the Executive Director in July 1998. As the leader of one of the largest HIV/AIDS service organizations in the United States, he oversees all APLA operations, including health education and HIV prevention, government affairs, client and community services, fund development, finance and communications. Additionally, Continental Airlines will receive the 2010 S.T.A.G.E. Community Involvement Award in recognition of their long-time support of S.T.A.G.E.

S.T.A.G.E. is the second fund-raising event ever created to fight AIDS, and it has raised millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS organizations throughout the Southern California over the last 25 years. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from ORIGINAL CAST will go to APLA, a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach that provides bilingual direct support services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation.

The May 1 performance of ORIGINAL CAST is set for Saturday, May 1 at 7:30PM at theLuckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 90032. A VIP reception for Premium and Most Preferred ticket holders will precede the performance at 6:00PM at which time the silent auction will also open.

For ticket or sponsorship information, visit www.stagela.com or call (866) 679-0958.