The announced lineup of performers includes Deborah Cox, the cast of Broadway's Fela!, Chuck Cooper, Melba Moore, Alice Ripley, Lance Bass, Tituss Burgess, Julia Murney, Kate Shindle, Sean Bradford, Darius de Haas, Brandon Victor Dixon, Frankie James Grande, Emma Hunton, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Adam Kantor, Morgan Karr, Jose Llana, Tracy McDowell, Christopher Spaulding and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson. Shea Sullivan will perform a tap piece set to live African drums that she also choreographed.
Patrick Heusinger, star of Broadway's Next Fall and television's "Gossip Girl," will attend the event, which will also feature appearances by TV stars and 13 alumni Graham Phillips ("The Good Wife") and Ariana Grande (Nickelodeon's "Victorious").
Songwriters, including Grammy Award winners Desmond Child and Julie Gold as well as Drew Gasparini, Marcy Heisler, Joe Iconis, Kait Kerrigan, Peter Lerman, Brian Lowdermilk, Jordan Mann, Catherine Porter, Jeremy Schonfeld and Jeff Thomson, have created original material for the event based on essays and letters written by children instructed by BSA teaching artists during workshops conducted in townships surrounding Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
The evening, featuring direction by Jen Bender with music direction by Brad Haak, will honor producer Michael Butler, "lauded for bringing Hair to Broadway in 1968, and an active proponent of youth creating positive global social change," according to organizers.
Sandra Thurman, former AIDS Czar under President Bill Clinton and current President and CEO of International AIDS Trust, will give the keynote address. Bass, Cooper, Moore and Phillips will also give special presentations. The other performers will introduce the new songs written for the event. Individual tickets can be purchased for $100 and $25 by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. VIP and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting BSA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Manhattan Center's Grand Ballroom is located at 311 West 34th Street.
Broadway in South Africa aims to "develop cross-cultural exchange between youth in need and artists who seek to use their talents for change." Visit www.broadwayinsouthafrica.org.