PHOTO CALL: Raúl Esparza, Orfeh, Andy Karl, Chester Gregory, Sally Wilfert and More Celebrate a New York City Christmas
By Matthew Blank
Tony Award nominee Raul Esparza (Company) hosted New York City Christmas, the third annual benefit concert for Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP), featuring Broadway folk singing new, hip and stirring arrangements of Christmas classics, Dec. 20 at Joe's Pub.
The evening also included Michael Buchanan (The Addams Family), Chester Gregory II (Cry-Baby, Tarzan, Hairspray), David Josefsberg (Altar Boyz, The Wedding Singer, Grease), Andy Karl (Legally Blonde, Altar Boyz, 9 to 5), Lindsay Mendez (Everyday Rapture, Grease), Orfeh (Legally Blonde, Footloose, Saturday Night Fever), acclaimed recording artist Anya Singleton, Elizabeth Stanley (Company, Cry-Baby, Million Dollar Quartet), Sally Wilfert (Assassins, Make Me a Song and the national tour of …Spelling Bee), Betsy Wolfe (Everyday Rapture, 110 in the Shade), Kay Trinidad, Christina DeCicco, Gaelen Gilliland and Shannon Antalan.
Here is a look at the concert:
The concert presented fresh, original approaches — pop, soul, R&B, rock and more — of holiday songs. The album — available for purchase at the concert, through iTunes, Amazon and the Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records website at www.sh-k-boom.com — features "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," "Silent Night," "New York Christmas," "O Holy Night," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Still, Still, Still"/"The First Noel" and more. At the concert, Wilfert sang "Wish for a Daddy," a satiric song from the new musical Naughty/Nice.
New York City Christmas is conceived, produced and music directed by Drama Desk nominee Lynne Shankel. Todd Underwood directed. Also appearing were musicians Shankel (on piano), Joe Mowatt (drums/percussion), Randy Landau (bass), Summer Boggess (cello), Cliff Lyons and Scott Kreitzer (saxophones), Peter Calo and Michael Aarons (guitars), Jeff Schiller (sax), Justin Smith (violin) and Jeremy Miloszewicz (trumpet).
All proceeds from tickets to the show and album sales go to supporting ASTEP's mission to create positive change for young people in need across the globe. For more information about ASTEP, visit www.asteponline.org.
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