PHOTO CALL: Friends With Benefits 3 at the Metropolitan Room

News   PHOTO CALL: Friends With Benefits 3 at the Metropolitan Room
 
The third installment of Friends With Benefits at Manhattan's intimate Metropolitan Room was presented Jan. 28.
Hosts Gerard Salvador and Amy Wolk
Hosts Gerard Salvador and Amy Wolk

The event benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS was created, produced and hosted by MAC Award winner Amy Wolk and Gerard Salvador of Broadway's Mamma Mia!

The evening boasted the talents of such theatre and/or cabaret performers as Spring Awakening's Jonathan Groff, The Little Mermaid's Tituss Burgess, Dennis Moench (formerly of the Altar Boyz), Young Frankenstein's Justin Patterson, Don't Quit Your Night Job creators Steve Rosen and Dan Lipton, "The After Party" host Brandon Cutrell and cabaret duo Karen Mack and Michael Holland. Musical director Steven Ray Watkins was featured at the piano.

Among the evening's highlights: Cutrell delivered a gorgeous Michael Mahler/Alan Schmuckler song entitled "That's When I Miss You"; Patterson followed with a rendition of Rodgers and Hart's "Where or When" that preceded a powerful "More Than Anyone" by Gavin Degraw; Mack and Holland, the duo behind Gashole, delighted with a comedic collection of 80s pop tunes accompanied on acoustic guitar; Moench offered a solo version of "The Calling," a popular song from Altar Boyz; and Rosen, with Lipton on piano, had the entire room in stitches with Lipton's "Broadway Shuffle," a frantic medley of at least 30 random showtunes. The hosts also took their turns in the spotlight, with Wolk crooning The Scissor Sisters' "Kiss You Off" and Salvador contributing an emotional "Does The Moment Ever Come?" by Styles and Drewe. Jonathan Groff opened his set by leading the audience in a sing-along version of the "Saved By The Bell" theme song before going it solo on a rendition of the lovely "You're Different" from Violet. The evening closed with Burgess taking to the piano and lending his smooth tenor to two of his original songs.

The 90-minute concert raised over $3,000 for BC/EFA. A fourth edition of Friends With Benefits has been slated for April. More information will become available shortly at metropolitanroom.com

Here are a few photos of the performers:

Jonathan Groff, Amy Wolk and Justin Patterson
From left: Dennis Moench, Amy Wolk, Nikki M. James and Titus Burgess
Wolk and Salvador at the piano

photos by Matthew Blank

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