Benanti, Keenan-Bolger, Gettelfinger, Mann to Make Secret Garden Grow in Dec. 5 Benefit

News   Benanti, Keenan-Bolger, Gettelfinger, Mann to Make Secret Garden Grow in Dec. 5 Benefit Casting has been announced for the Dec. 5 benefit concert of the musical The Secret Garden, proceeds from which will support The Joey DePaolo AIDS Foundation and Camp TLC.

Stafford Arima (Altar Boyz) will direct a company that includes Michael Arden (Big River, Bare) as Dickon, Laura Benanti (Into the Woods, Swing!) as Lily, Celia Keenan-Bolger (...Spelling Bee) as Martha, David Canary ("All My Children") as Ben, Sara Gettelfinger (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Nine) as Rose, Terrence Mann (Lennon, The Rocky Horror Show) as Neville Craven and Max Von Essen (Dance of the Vampires) as Albert.

Additional casting will be announced. Yet unnamed is the actress to play Mary, the girl whose life is changed, and who changes lives, when she is sent to live with her uncle on his fallow estate.

Artistic producer Jamie McGonnigal and producers Brad Bauner, Adam Caldwell, Josh Fiedler, Ryan Hill and Erica Lynn Schwartz, in association with The Storm Theatre, present the star-studded one-night-only benefit concert. The performance will play 7 PM Dec. 5 at Manhattan Center Studios Grand Ballroom, 311 W. 34th Street).

The Secret Garden is presented as the Third Annual World AIDS Day Benefit Concert.

Benanti's participation, as the ethereal, soprano spirit of Mary's dead aunt, was previously reported by Playbill.com. The Secret Garden opened at the St. James Theatre in April 1991, playing 709 performances before closing in January 1993. The musical, based on the famed novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, features a book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon.

The original Broadway cast featured Alison Fraser, Howard McGillin, Rebecca Luker, Robert Westenberg, John Cameron Mitchell and Daisy Eagan, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Mary Lennox.

The creative team for the benefit concert includes musical direction by Michael Kosarin (Little Shop of Horrors), orchestrations by William David Brohn (Wicked, Ragtime), set consultation by Lauren Helpern (Underneath the Lintel) and lighting design by Traci Klainer (MTC's Four). Stephen DeAngelis is the casting director.

Proceeds from the concert presentation will benefit The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation and Camp TLC (Teens Living with a Challenge).

Tickets are scaled from $50-$150 and are now available by calling TicketCentral.com at (212) 279-4200, or in-person at the Ticket Central offices, located at 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenues), daily between noon and 8 PM.

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To inquire about special donor seating (Prime and Rear Orchestra seats for donations of $1,000 and $500 respectively), call (212) 769-7930. A production team member will contact you shortly to confirm and review your order. Tickets purchased at the $500 and $1,000 levels will include passes to the exclusive post-show party with the cast and creative team.

For information concerning available corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Josh Fiedler or Erica Schwartz at (212) 769-7930. All ticket holders are invited to attend a Pre-show Silent Auction. The auction will begin at 6:30 PM in the Grand Ballroom. If you are interested in providing an item to be auctioned, please contact Erica Lynn Schwartz at erischwa@gmail.com.

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The World AIDS Day Concerts were founded in 2003 by Kate Shindle and Jamie McGonnigal "to help raise awareness of the health holiday and to celebrate the lives of those lost and those still fighting the ever-present disease." The inaugural concert, the New York Professional Premiere of Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden, sold-out the majestic Riverside Cathedral on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The 2004 sold-out concert presentation of Pippin featured performances from Rosie O'Donnell, and a return to his Tony-Award Winning role by Ben Vereen.

For more information, visit www.WorldAIDSDayConcert.org or www.jdaf.org.