A spokesperson for the Fund told Playbill On-Line that the annual fund-raising concert brought in over $500,000 for the non-profit organization. Hair followed star-studded concert presentations of Dreamgirls, Funny Girl and, last season, Chess. Although a specific show has not yet been chosen, the tradition will continue next year with a fifth annual concert set for Sept. 19, 2005.
The Hair concert was the brainchild of musical director Seth Rudetsky, who conducted the small onstage orchestra. Devanand Janki and Christopher Gattelli co-directed and co-choreographed the concert, which featured three onstage staircases and two above-the-stage screens with projected images. The creative team also featured Paul Weimer (scenic designer), Jeff Croiter (lighting designer), Scott Stauffer (sound designer), Michael Crowler (costume coordinator), Elaine McCarthy (projection designer). Gattelli, Janki and Tim Pinckney adapted the musical for this concert version.
The sold-out evening began with remarks by Actors' Fund Executive Director Joseph Benincasa and new Actors' Fund President Brian Stokes Mitchell. The curtain then raised on the starry event that boasted some of the theatre's greatest talent. Among those taking part in the one-night-only event were Shoshana Bean ("I Believe in Love"); Laura Benanti ("Initials"); Kathy Brier, Orfeh and Ann Harada ("Black Boys"); Liz Callaway ("Good Morning Starshine"); Paul Castree and Darius de Haas ("What a Piece of Work Is Man"); Chuck Cooper ("Colored Spade"); Gavin Creel ("Going Down"); Lea DeLaria ("Donna"); Raúl Esparza ("Hair"); Harvey Fierstein ("Air"); Ana Gasteyer ("Dead End"); Annie Golden ("Frank Mills"); Jackie Hoffman; Jennifer Hudson ("Easy to Be Hard"); Ledisi, Brandi Chavonne Massey and Shayna Steele ("White Boys"); Norm Lewis ("Let the Sunshine In"); Michael McKean; Euan Morton ("Manchester, England"); Julia Murney ("Where Do I Go?"); Nancy Opel; Adam Pascal ("I Got Life"); Billy Porter ("Abie Baby"/"Four Score"), Jai Rodriguez ("Sodomy"); RuPaul ("My Conviction"); Christopher Sieber and John Tartaglia ("Don't Put It Down"); Toxic Audio ("Electric Blues"); Lillias White ("Aquarius"); and Harris Doran as Claude.
The company of the Gerome Ragni- James Rado-Galt MacDermot musical comprised Meredith Akins, Aliane Baquerot, Jerad Bortz, Isaac Calpito, Stuart Capps, Kate Chapman, Brian Corey, Bobby Daye, Mary Faber, Jenifer Foote, Julie Garnyé, Chris Ghelfi, Lucia Giannetta, Brian M. Golub, Geoffrey Hemingway, MaryAnn Hu, Naomi Kakuk, Trent Armand Kendall, Evan Knapp, Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua, Jason S. Little, Julie Lyke, J. Elaine Marcos, Orville Mendoza, DeQuina Moore, Anisha Nagarajan, Darius Nichols, Craig Ramsay, Eliseo Roman, Nell Snaidas, Shanna VanDerwerker, Jessica Walker, Brooke Wendle, Jason Weston, Schele Williams, Gustavo Wons and Christopher Zelno.
* 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.