Ensemble Announced for Starry Wonderful Life Benefit

News   Ensemble Announced for Starry Wonderful Life Benefit Casting is now complete for the star-studded concert presentation of A Wonderful Life, which will benefit the Actors' Fund of America.

The ensemble of the musical — which will be presented Dec. 12 at 7 PM at the Shubert Theatre — will feature Tolan Aman, Leslie Anderson, Meredith Akins, Nili Bassman, Beth Blankenship, Harry Bouvy, Ryan Dietz, Barb Folts, Jenifer Foote, Todd Alan Johnson, Cecily Kate, Ian Knauer, Marcy McGuigan, Kelli Maguire, David McKeown, Bill Nolte, Bret Shuford, Matthew Shepard, Stacey Sipowicz, Todd Michel Smith, Danny Vaccaro, John Wasiniak, Christopher Windom and Betsy Wolfe.

These actors join the previously announced Brian Stokes Mitchell as George Bailey, Judy Kuhn as Mary Bailey, Phylicia Rashad as Millie Bailey, Philip Bosco as Joseph, Marian Seldes as Mrs. Hatch, Michael Berresse as Harry Bailey, Marc Kudisch as Sam Wainwright, Ronn Carroll as Tom Bailey, David Hyde Pierce as Clarence, Dominic Chianese as Mr. Potter, Chuck Cooper as Uncle Billy, Nancy Anderson as Violet and Karen Ziemba as the evening's emcee.

Based on the famed Frank Capra film "It's a Wonderful Life," A Wonderful Life features book and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by the late Joe Raposo with additional music by Harnick and Jerry Depuit. Like the motion picture, the musical concerns the life of Bedford Falls resident George Bailey as he learns how those around him would be affected had he never existed.

The concert will feature orchestrations by Michael Starobin, choral arrangements by Raposo, Harnick and Jeffrey Saver and dance music arranged by Saver, who will also be the show's musical supervisor. Carl Andress will direct the one-night-only event with choreography by Denis Jones and musical direction by Lawrence Yurman.

A Wonderful Life was first presented at the University of Michigan in 1986. The 1946 film, "It's a Wonderful Life," was directed by Frank Capra and starred James Stewart as George Bailey with Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Frank Faylen, Ward Bond, Gloria Grahame, H.B. Warner, Frank Albertson, Todd Karns, Samuel S. Hinds, Mary Treen and Virginia Patton. The movie received five Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture. The Actors' Fund of America, a nonprofit organization founded in 1882, provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. Its headquarters and The Aurora Residence are located in New York City, and its nursing home and assisted living care facility are in Englewood, New Jersey. For more information, go to www.actorsfund.org.

For tickets, priced $75-$1,000, call (212) 221-7300, ext. 133. Visit www.actorsfund.org for more information.