The entire audience at the Dec. 17 taping of "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" will receive a copy of "Broadway's Greatest Gifts: Carols for a Cure 1999." The recording featured current Broadway casts members singing holiday songs, with proceeds going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA).
So far, production sources say, the album has earned $150,000 for BC/EFA.
O'Donnell, a strong theatre advocate, will plug the recording on her Dec. 17 show. Orders can be placed by calling (800) 479-1855 or visiting the BC/EFA website at www.bcefa.org. "Carols for a Cure" co-producer Lynn Pinto said that the BC/EFA number, (212) 840-0770 ext. 250 also works for New York residents.
ABC-TV's all-night national newscast, "ABC World News Tonight" will air a special segment from the recording featuring members of the casts of Cabaret, and Rent, as well as the Broadway Gospel Choir during its Dec. 21 broadcast.
As reported earlier, on October 25th, hundreds of performers from 18 of the biggest Broadway shows gathered at the oldest church in Greenwich Village, St. John's Lutheran Church, to record the holiday CD, which is a virtual yearbook of the 1999 Broadway season. It features cast members of Annie Get Your Gun with soloist Bernadette Peters, a collaboration by the cast of Rent and The Broadway Gospel Choir, the 1999 Tony winning cast of Fosse, and the star of the new musical Swing! Ann Hampton Callaway. It also includes performances by the casts of such long-running Broadway as Ragtime, Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Chicago, Smokey Joe's Cafe, The Phantom of the Opera, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Jekyll and Hyde, as well as the new hit shows Footloose, Cabaret, and Kat and the Kings.
Among the CD's 15 songs are such holiday classics as Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," "Away in a Manger," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "What Child is This?" Also featured are new interpretations of "Silent Night," "I Wonder as I Wander," and "I Saw Three Ships." Several original holiday songs make their debut, including an inspirational composition by celebrated Broadway composer Frank Wildhorn.
In addition to a collection of music, the CD features spoken holiday wishes by such Broadway luminaries as Judith Ivey, Andrea McArdle, Ken Page, Marcia Lewis, Howard McGillin, Susan Egan and many more.
The CD is a production of Rock-it Science Records and features the artwork of New York artist Ann Gontarski. Though not sold in stores, the CD is available for a donation of $20.00 in the lobbies of many shows or by calling BC/EFA @ (212) 840-0770 ext. 250.