Keith David, who has starred on Broadway in Jelly's Last Jam and Seven Guitars, will serve as the evening's narrator and will offer poems selected by Holliday. Some of the poets attendees can expect to hear include the works of Langston Hughes, Frank Yerby and Gwendolyn Bennett. Side Show's Norm Lewis, currently playing the Painter in the new Michel Legrand musical Amour, will join Holliday for several duets.
A benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Romance in the Dark is billed as a "celebration of great black Broadway musicals, and will be held at New York's famed Town Hall on West 43rd Street. Conceived by Holliday, the evening will feature such songs as Dreamgirls' "One Night Only" and "I Am Changing"; Eubie!'s "I'm Just Wild About Harry"; Raisin' "Sweet Time"; St. Louis Woman's "Come Rain or Come Shine"; The Life's "He's No Good"; Purlie's "I Got Love"; Me and Bessie's "Romance in the Dark"; Bubbling Brown Sugar's "His Eye's on the Sparrow" and "Love Will Find a Way"; Once On This Island's "The Human Heart"; and Holliday's signature tune, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls. *
Ticket prices for the one-night-only event include $50 (concert only), $95 (concert plus Friend listing in program), $150 (premium seat plus Supporter listing in program), $250 (premium seat, one ticket to Holliday's birthday party following the concert and Patron listing in the program), and $500 (premium seat, one ticket to Holliday's birthday party, commemorative Playbill signed by Holliday and Benefactor listing in the program). Call (212) 840-0770 or go to www.broadwaycares.org for more information or to purchase tickets. A portion of the evening's proceeds will benefit Harlem United.
Holliday, who garnered a Tony Award for her work as Effie White in the original Broadway company of Dreamgirls, recently reprised that role for Atlanta's National Black Arts Festival. On Broadway she has also appeared in Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, Chicago and Grease!, and she recently starred Off-Broadway in Downhearted Blues—The Life and Music of Bessie Smith. Holliday, who appeared on several episodes of "Ally McBeal," is also a Grammy Award-winning recording artist. Town Hall is located in New York City at 123 West 43rd Street. Showtime is 7:30 PM.
—By Andrew Gans