Julie Halston (Gypsy, Hairspray) will host the evening Oct. 16 starting 7:30 PM at Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for the Arts (technically an Off-Broadway house). "In the tradition of great television game shows, Play On Broadway is a one-of-a-kind, fully interactive event in which Broadway celebrities will play alongside audience members for chances to win fabulous prizes," according to production notes.
Susan Vargo is producing the evening, which will consist of "games inspired by all-time TV favorites tailored to test our celebrity and our audience's knowledge of Broadway."
Each game will conclude with one celebrity winner and one audience prize winner. As of Oct. 3, Play On Broadway has received over $10,000 in travel prize donations, including a weekend stay at Chicago's Hotel Monaco plus two tickets to Wicked at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre, a two-night weekend romance at the Hotel Vintage Plaza in Portland, Oregon and a weekend stay in a bay view suite at San Francisco's Hotel Griffon.
The roster of celebrity participants includes Michael Arden, Kate Baldwin, Chris Barron, Anastasia Barzee, Laura Benanti, Tituss Burgess, Michael Cerveris, Lori Chase, Didi Conn, Scott Ellis, Katie Finneran, Merwin Foard, Hunter Foster, Jenn Gambatese, Alexander Gemignani, Danny Gurwin, Marc Kudisch, Megan McGinnis, Gerry McIntyre, Matthew Morrison, Graham Rowat, Tracie Thoms and Allison Walla.
Play On Broadway is directed by Jen Bender with musical direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell. Just prior to beginning work as the assistant director on Broadway's The Pillowman, Todd Lundquist suffered a massive seizure. Tests revealed he would require a frontal craniotomy to remove a growth from his right frontal lobe possibly to be followed by radiation or chemo-therapy. "Like many young artists in this country, Todd has no health insurance," according to organizers. "Todd's experience is a harsh reminder that youth does not equal invincibility. It also drives home just how vulnerable a person is without access to proper healthcare."
Inspired by Todd Lundquist's health crises, Play On Broadway "will support him in his time of need while raising awareness for the importance of health care for emerging artists."
Tickets are $75 (mezzanine), $150 (rear orchestra, $75 of which is tax deductible) and $275 (front orchestra, $200 of which is tax deductible). The $275 seats include admission to the exclusive post-show celebration at Balzano's (1515 Broadway at Shubert Alley). To purchase tickets, please call TheaterMania.com at (212) 352-3101.
Sponsorship Packages are also available at $1,200 ($750 of which is tax deductible), which includes six tickets to Play On Broadway, admittance to exclusive afterparty at Balzano's, and a listing in the show program. To order, or for more information, call (917) 664-1779.
Todd Lundquist's directing credits include MAGICIAN by Katherine Knowles (FringeNYC), Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet, The Browning Version by Terence Rattigan, Wiley and the Hairy Man by Jack Stokes, God by Woody Allen and The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco. He directed and developed One Sax, Leight Rain, a collection of un-produced work by Sideman creator Warren Leight. He also directed and co-conceived Alexander Gemignani: You Don’t Love Me Anymore for the Broadway Spotlight Series at Ars Nova. His Broadway credits include associate director to Michael Mayer on After the Fall and An Almost Holy Picture.
Fractured Atlas "provides services, resources, and support to liberate a nation of artists. From healthcare to publicity to creative development grants, we supply critical tools for independent artists and arts organizations so they can focus on their creative responsibilities. By nurturing today's vital but underrepresented voices, we hope to play a role in fostering a dynamic and diverse cultural landscape of tomorrow."
The Actors Fund of America, founded in 1882, "is the national human service organization helping all entertainment professionals in theatre, television, film, music, opera and dance. The Actors' Fund’s broad spectrum of programs – designed to address the specific needs of the community – includes comprehensive social services, financial assistance, supportive and affordable housing, career counseling, and skilled nursing and assisted living care. Administered from offices in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, these programs help people solve problems and make positive changes in their lives." Visit www.actorsfund.org to learn more.