Elton John will be feted by Broadway stars at the New Amsterdam Theatre (home of The Lion King) in a concert to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA). Nathan Lane and Christine Baranski, set to start previews in the upcoming Roundabout production of The Man Who Came to Dinner in June, will host the benefit.
Production sources said (March 28) that a limited number of tickets remain for "This Is Your Song: Broadway Sings Elton John" on April 3 at 7:30 PM at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Tickets range from $100-$1000 and proceeds will be divided equally between Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
There are no plans to record the all-star Broadway event.
Joining Baranski and Lane will be Sandra Bernhard, Betty Buckley, Mario Cantone, Lea DeLaria, Ann Duquesnay, Linda Eder, Victor Garber, Deborah Gibson, Sam Harris, Heather Headley, Jennifer Holliday, Jeremy Kushnier, Andrea McArdle, Orfeh, Adam Pascal, Jason Raize, and Sherie René Scott. Ernie Sabella was said to have been attached to the show but production sources say this was erroneously reported.
The stars participating in the benefit are expected to sing such Elton John favorites as "Rocket Man," "Levon," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart," "Benny and the Jets," "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" (sung by Pascal), "The Circle of Life," "I'm Still Standing," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Blue Eyes," "Daniel," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" and many more. Elton John and his band are expected to perform some of his favorite Broadway songs, but the titles of these numbers are being withheld for the sake of theatrical suspense.
Directed by John DeLuca, with musical direction by Paul Bogaev, "Elton John: This Is Your Song" is sponsored by Continental Airlines, Target and Visa.
The performances on April 3 will be followed by a VIP party for performers, benefactors and sponsors. The party will be held at Barney's New York, located at Madison Avenue and 61st Street. Barney's Simon Doonan is said to be preparing special "windows" along the Upper East Side store front, using costumes popularized by the pop legend during his three-decade career.
John, whose music is featured in Disney's The Lion King and Aida, is actively involved with funding direct care for AIDS patients.
Since its inception in 1987, BC/EFA has raised $35 million to fight AIDS. In the eight years since its inception in 1992, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has funded direct care for men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS and has distributed more than $13 million in grants.
Tickets are $100, $250, $500 and $1,000. All proceeds are distributed equally to BC/EFA and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The New Amsterdam Theatre is located on West 42nd Street near Broadway. For tickets call (212) 840-0770 or visit www.broadwaycares.org.
-- By Murdoch McBride