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Carol Channing, Rita Moreno, et al. Set for S.T.A.G.E. Benefit, 4/2

By BWW News Desk

February 15, 2011

The 27th Annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event-S.T.A.G.E.-will be dedicated to the memory of musical-comedy star and long-time Event Co-Chair Betty Garrett who died Saturday at the age of 91. 

ORIGINAL CAST 2, a musical celebration showcasing artists from theatre, television and cabaret performing songs they originated in musical productions, will take place for one-night-only on Saturday, April 2. Garrett, who appeared in 22 previous S.T.A.G.E events, was preparing to perform a number in this year's show from "Something for the Boys," in which she appeared on Broadway in 1943 with Ethel Merman. A musical retrospective honoring Garrett is now being planned as part of this year's show.

Heading the initial list of participants who will donate their time and talents to this notable event is a slate of Tony®-award-winning performers, among them stage legends Carol Channing and Rita Moreno and Robert Morse from the hit series "Mad Men." 

The cast members of ORIGINAL CAST 2 will perform songs from shows with which they were associated. Those scheduled to appear and the shows from which they will perform material are as follows: Jonelle Allen ("Two Gentlemen of Verona"), Liz Callaway("Baby), Philip Casnoff ("Chess"), Patrick Cassidy ("42nd Street"), Mary Jo Catlett("Hello Dolly"), Carol Channing ("Hello Dolly"), Carole Cook ("42nd Street"), Barbara Deutsch ("Godspell"), Willy Falk ("Miss Saigon"), Danny Gurwin ("Little Women"), Bill Hutton ("Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"), Jane Kean ("Ankles Aweigh"), Dale Kristien ("Showboat"), Sean McDermott ("Showboat"), Rita Moreno ("The Ritz:"), Patricia Morison ("The King and I"). Robert Morse ("How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying"/"Take Me Along"), Pamela Myers ("Company"), Stephen Nathan("Godspell"), Jennifer Paz("Miss Saigon"), Valarie Pettiford ("Fosse"), Charlotte Rae ("Three Penny Opera') and Lee Roy Reams ("42nd Street").

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

S.T.A.G.E., the world's longest continuously running AIDS event, is the second fund-raising event ever created to fight AIDS. It has raised millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS organizations throughout the Southern California over the last 28 years. Net proceeds fromORIGINAL CAST 2 will go to AIDS Project Los Angeles, one of largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the United States, which provides bilingual direct support services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation. Founded by four friends in 1982, APLA is a community-based, volunteer-supported organization with local, national and global reach.

The one-night-only performance of ORIGINAL CAST 2 is set for Saturday, April 2 at 7:30PM at theLuckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA, 90032. The silent auction will commence at 6:00PM with a wine reception. Tickets range from $75 - $220. Betty Garrett memorial ad pages are being prepared as part of the show's program book.