Debra Monk's Starry Birthday Celebration Raises Over $140,000 for BC/EFA

Debra Monk Birthday Bash, the starry Feb. 24 evening at the Gerald W. Lynch Theatre at John Jay College that celebrated Tony winner Monk's 65th birthday, raised $140,355 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Joining Monk for the special evening were friends Charlotte d'Amboise, Brandon Victor Dixon, Scott Ellis, Victor Garber, Andrea Martin, Jim Newman and Ron Rifkin, with a surprise appearance by David Hyde Pierce.

Monk conceived and wrote the 90-minute show especially for the night.

"I wanted to make my 65th birthday something truly special and a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS was the perfect answer," Monk said in a statement. "By singing some great songs, sharing a few jokes and having fun with my closest friends, I hope I at least helped make a small difference for an organization so near and dear to my heart."

The evening also featured Monk's back-up singers, which she dubbed "The Totally Hots" – Joe Grandy, Chuck Ragsdale and Julius Thomas III – and a 10-piece band. The benefit was directed and choreographed by JoAnn M. Hunter with music direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and David Gardos, lighting design by Jamie Roderick and sound design by Brian Ronan.

Monk, a fixture on stage and screen, has been nominated four times for the Tony Award, winning for Featured Actress in a Play for Redwood Curtain. She also was nominated for Picnic, Steel Pier and Curtains. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.