Michele Lee (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife) and David Hasselhoff (Jekyll & Hyde) will light the Broadway holiday tree at 5:15 PM on Dec. 13 in Manhattan’s Duffy Square. The Theatre Development Fund, the League of American Theatres and Producers and Times Square Business Improvement District are sponsoring the event.
The ceremony will also mark the performance debut of The Times Square Bid Kidz, described in TDF production notes as “an exciting musical theatre company made up of young performers from The New Dance Group Arts Center musical theatre program.” Also performing will be the Broadway Tenors.
As reported earlier, continuing a three-year-old tradition, TDF and the League will donate a $5,000 gift to an unnamed not-for-profit organization; the Actors' Fund of America and Encore Community Service are part recipients. This year, TDF said, its annual $5,000 charitable contribution “will be given to The Manhattan Plaza AIDS Project (MPAP), a community-based organization providing support and assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS.” Established in 1986, MPAP serves the residents of Manhattan Plaza, home to many employed in the performing arts and the theatre, and those living in the surrounding theatre community.”
The event is free and open to the public. The Broadway holiday tree (a white spruce) is decorated each year with colored holiday lights and ornaments representing every show currently playing on and Off Broadway. The ceremony takes place at Duffy Square, where TDF’s TKTS booth is located on 46 St. and Broadway.
A moment of silence in remembrance of those people the theatre community lost in the last year will be observed after the tree ceremony. —By Murdoch McBride