The event began with a benefit concert, donated by Disney to The Fund. Performers included Steve Blanchard (Beauty and the Beast), Ashley Brown (Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins), Gavin Lee (Mary Poppins), Sierra Boggess, Alan Mingo, Jr. and Norm Lewis (The Little Mermaid), Josh Strickland and Merle Dandridge (Tarzan), Heather Headley (The Lion King, Aida), Michael Arden (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Sherie Rene Scott, Adam Pascal and Heather Headley (Aida), Judy Kuhn (King David), Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Celia Keenan-Bolger and the cast of Peter and the Starcatcher, James Monroe Inglehart and the cast of Aladdin, as well as the casts of Newsies, The Lion King and a special appearance by Fund Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell.
The one-night-only performance was followed by a post-performance cast party at the Marriott Marquis New York for more than 600 guests.
“Over these 20 years, Disney’s magical productions—on Broadway and on tour—have employed more than 10,000 actors, crewmembers, musicians and management professionals all of whom have access to The Fund’s programs and services,” said Actors Fund president and CEO Benincasa in a statement. “We are proud to honor Disney for their continued leadership and commitment to this organization.”
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that helps everyone—performers and those behind the scenes—who works in performing arts and entertainment, helping more than 17,000 people directly each year, and hundreds of thousands online. Visit www.actorsfund.org.