A spokesperson at Hillary 2000, the First Lady's senate campaign headquarters in New York City, has told Playbill On-Line that everything is still go for the President Clinton and First Lady to attend the "Broadway for Hillary" fundraiser-birthday celebration this evening, Oct. 25 at the Ford Center. A sell out is expected.
The democratic fundraiser event is open to the public. Tickets are based on a donation structure of $250, $500 and $1,000 and can be purchased directly from the First Lady's NY Senatorial campaign office at (212) 239 2000 ext. 210.
A very limited number of tickets -- less than 100 -- are still available according to the campaign office staff.
One campaign staffer with experience working in regional theatre box offices told Playbill On-Line that sales were brisk and that there were only a few seats left.
"There are really just single tickets left, that sort of thing," the staffer said. As reported earlier on Playbill On-Line, the Oct. 25 Hillary Clinton birthday gala at the Ford Center will be attended by many stars. Rosie O'Donnell will host the Oct. 25 event, which also stars Barbara Cook, James Naughton, Lauren Bacall, Tom Wopat, Joel Grey, Judith Light, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita Rivera, the cast of Fosse and the Gay Men's Chorus among others.
Producer Fran Weissler's office reports only one cast change from earlier reports -- Savion Glover cannot attend the show due to a scheduling conflict.
Alton Fitzgerald White, the star of Broadway's Ragtime will also perform at the First Lady's birthday bash.
"Alton's closing the first act with his big song from Ragtime, 'Make Them Hear You,'" said his manager, Rene Harriston. Harriston told Playbill On-Line that White would be backed up by the Gay Men's Chorus.
USA Today (Oct. 14) reported that the President will "lead the crowd" in singing "Happy Birthday" to the First Lady, who is conducting an exploratory New York Senatorial campaign.
The White House press office did not confirm this detail, but event producer Marty Bell told Playbill On-Line that the President would "definitely" be on hand.
"It's a birthday celebration and the President will obviously be part of it," Bell said. Asked to confirm whether the President would actually be singing, Bell said he could not say and that he wanted to keep some things a surprise.
The Clintons, frequent Broadway patrons, have seen Chicago, Rent, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Lion King, and The Iceman Cometh.
Producers for the fundraiser are Marty Bell, Peter Stone and Fran Weissler. Bell, who has some history linking the Clintons with Broadway, told Playbill On-Line that Ted Kennedy was also booked for the fundraiser.
Bell said that he and Peter Stone had done the "Broadway for Bill" show in 1992 at the St. James, and had later produced the "Broadway Tent" on the Capitol Mall in 1992 as part of the Clinton inauguration festivities. That event starred Barbara Cook, James Naughton, Savion Glover and Lauren Bacall, all of whom will perform on the same bill with White Oct. 25 at the Ford Center.
"After the [original Clinton] inauguration they invited us to the White House to do a Governor's Ball," Bell said. "Then they asked us to come back and do this show with Fran [Weissler] this time."
Weissler and her husband Barry produce Annie Get Your Gun, and Bell said that Tom Wopat and other cast members from that show would participate in the fundraising gala.
Bell indicated that there would be some poignant special material in the show's program. Asked if it might have to do with Alton Fitzgerald White (who has served the City of New York with a "notice of claim" after being wrongfully arrested July 16 by the NYPD in Harlem), Bell laughed and said, "I'd like to kind of leave it a surprise, and let people imagine."
-- By Murdoch McBride