A delicious array of Broadway stars will turn up at a private party at the Coco Pazzo Teatro restaurant, 235 West 46th St., Oct. 28, to kick off a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).
Following the gala event, for every "Coco Teatro Cares" dessert sampler sold, the restaurant will donate $2.50 to BC/EFA.
Expected at the 10 PM-midnight party are Marilu Henner, Marcia Lewis & Michael Berresse (Chicago), F. Murray Abraham (Triumph Of Love), David Allen Grier (Forum), Carole Shelley (Last Night Of Ballyhoo), Deborah Gibson (Beauty & The Beast), Linda Blair & Sean McDermott (Grease!), Jayne Atkinson (Ivanov), Christiane Noll (Jekyll & Hyde), Alice Ripley & Emily Skinner (Side Show), Maria Gentile & Chuck Santoro (Tony n' Tina's Wedding), Victoria Clark, Martin Moran, Karen Murphy, John Bolton (Titanic), Michael Mastro (Barrymore), plus Anne Runolfsson (Cyrano), Mario Cantone (L!V!C!), Claudia Shear (Blown Sideways Through Life) and Jonathan Dokuchitz (Tommy).
Says actor turned restaurateur Pino Luongo, the dessert donations are a way of "giving something back to Broadway and the community."
Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS was founded Oct. 1987 and has raised millions in the fight against HIV and AIDS and raised tens of millions "through the mobilization of the theatrical expertise of the entertainment industry." How does such a grass-roots organization fight an international plague? By distributing funds in three ways: to individuals, to AIDS service organizations and to events that raise money for the cause. Each year, thousands of entertainment industry individuals living with AIDS receive money through the Actors' Fund Of America's AIDS Initiative. Projects funded to help PWA (People With AIDS) include those offering food, shelter, transportation and non-reimbursed emergency medical expense coverage. Other annual events include the Easter Bonnet Competition and Broadway Bares.
-- By David Lefkowitz