Andy Karl, Orfeh, Shanice Williams, Eden Espinosa Celebrate Tom Viola Tonight

News   Andy Karl, Orfeh, Shanice Williams, Eden Espinosa Celebrate Tom Viola Tonight Seth Rudetsky hosts the starry benefit evening featuring an appearance by Bernadette Peters.
Tom Viola
Tom Viola Joseph Marzullo/WENN
Bernadette Peters
Bernadette Peters Andrew Eccles

Best in Shows, a star-studded cabaret evening benefiting the Humane Society of New York, is presented October 23 at Feinstein's/54 Below.

The evening honors Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Viola will be awarded the second annual Humane Society of New York’s Sandy Fund Award in recognition of his “deep concern and support of the needs of rescued animals.” The award will be presented by three-time Tony winner and animal rights champion Bernadette Peters, co-founder of the Broadway Barks charity.

Best in Shows features performances by Farah Alvin (It Shoulda Been You), Roger Bart (Disaster!, The Producers), Haven Burton (Kinky Boots), Eden Espinosa (Wicked), Capathia Jenkins (Caroline, or Change), Andy Karl (Rocky), Rob McClure (Chaplin), Orfeh (Legally Blonde), Gabriella Pizzolo (Fun Home), Keala Settle (Waitress), Margot Seibert (Rocky, In Transit), Shanice Williams (The Wiz Live!), and composer Charles Strouse.

Read: Tom Viola On Living with Elder Price and Celie

The third annual event, which begins at 7 PM, is presented by Dorothy and Bill Berloni and will have music direction by Seth Rudetsky, who also hosts. The Broadway performers will be joined by surprise two and four-legged guests.

Viola is the executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA), one of the nation’s leading industry-based not-for-profit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $285 million for essential services for people living with HIV/AIDS and other critical health issues nationwide. In 2010, Viola was awarded the Tony Honor “in recognition of the leadership, advocacy and creativity with which he has mobilized the theatre community’s response to AIDS and other critical health issues as executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS." Viola is the proud dad of two rescue dogs: Gracie, a three-year old Pomeranian/terrier mix, and Sophie, a five-year-old hound mutt.

Best in Shows is held at Feinstein’s/54 Below, 254 West 54th Street (between Broadway and 8th Avenue). All tickets include an open bar and hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are $150; premium seating tickets are $250 and also include a champagne reception with performers after the show. All tickets are available online at 54below.com. For further information visit humanesocietyny.org.

Viola previously received GMHC's Howard Ashman Award; see photos from the event below:

(Updated October 23, 2016)

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