This year, rather than salute the work of a composer, the annual AIDS benefit features artists from theatre, TV and cabaret performing songs they originated in musical productions.
The 7:30 PM concert, titled Original Cast, boasts Tyne Daly, reprising her Tony-winning turn as Rose in Gypsy with help from her Broadway co-star Jonathan Hadary; John Lloyd Young, who won his Tony in the role of Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys; and Donna McKechnie, who will perform a tune from the show that brought her a Tony Award, A Chorus Line.
Other cast members and the shows from which they will perform material include Betty Garrett (Call Me Mister), Nancy Dussault (Do Re Mi), Bill Hutton (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Dale Kristien (The Phantom of the Opera), Vicki Lewis (Damn Yankees), Carole Cook (Hello Dolly!), Michele Lee (Seesaw), Melissa Manchester (Song and Dance), Pat Marshall (Mr. Wonderful), Sharon McNight (Starmites), Patricia Morison (Kiss Me, Kate), Karen Morrow (I Had A Ball), Charlotte Rae (The Littlest Revue), Joan Ryan (Ruthless), David Engel (La Cage aux Folles), Ilene Graff (I Love My Wife) and Constance Towers (The King & I).
Also on the bill: Valarie Pettiford and Jane Lanier will perform a number from Fosse; Sally Struthers and Julie Johnson will offer a song from Always…Patsy Cline; and Ron Dennis will deliver Confidence, a song cut from A Chorus Line.
David Galligan directs the evening, which features musical direction by John McDaniel, associate music direction by Mary Ekler and choreography by Lee Martino and Dan Mojica. Jon Maher offers sign-language interpretation. The S.T.A.G.E. concert is the longest continuously running AIDS benefit in the world. Proceeds from this year's event will go to AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA), an organization now in its 27th year of providing direct services and HIV/AIDS prevention education throughout Los Angeles County.
The first S.T.A.G.E. benefit took place in October 1984, honoring the music of Leonard Bernstein. Subsequent presentations have paid tribute to Stephen Sondheim (1985, 1987, 1996), Jule Styne (1988), Jerry Herman (1989), John Kander and Fred Ebb (1990), Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein (1991), Irving Berlin (1992), George and Ira Gershwin (1993), Harold Arlen (1995), Cole Porter (1997), Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe and Burton Lane (1998), Richard Adler, Jerry Bock and Cy Coleman (1999), Charles Strouse, Arthur Schwartz and Stephen Schwartz (2000), Jerome Kern (2001), Johnny Mercer (2002), Frank Loesser (2003), Andrew Lloyd Webber (2004), Marvin Hamlisch and Harry Warren (2005), Betty Comden and Adolph Green (2006), Stephen Sondheim (2007), Burt Bacharach (2008) and the Gershwins (2009).
Luckman Fine Arts Complex is located at 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA. A VIP reception for Premium and Most Preferred ticket holders will precede the performance at 6 PM at which time the silent auction will also open. For ticket or sponsorship information, visit www.stagela.com or call (866) 679-0958.