Quilt Benefit Concert to Feature Nikki M. James, Constantine Maroulis, Daphne Rubin-Vega and Anthony Rapp
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award winner Nikki M. James, and Tony nominees Constantine Maroulis and Daphne Rubin-Vega will take part in Quilt A Musical Celebration and Reflection on 30 Years Nov. 28 at Avery Fisher Hall.
Whoopi Goldberg will host the special benefit performance that honors the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, as well as the 30th anniversary of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Quilt has a book by Jim Morgan, Merle Hubbard and John Schak. Music is by Michael Stockler, with lyrics by Morgan. The pop-rock musical intertwines songs and monologues of volunteers involved in the NAMES project, as well as those of survivors and the loved ones they have left behind.
In addition to James (The Book of Mormon), Maroulis (Rock of Ages) and Rubin-Vega (Rent), the concert will feature Anthony Rapp (Rent), Heather Raffo (9 Parts of Desire), and Steven Cupo (Sweeney Todd). Additional casting will be announced shortly.
David Esbjornson will direct the evening that benefits Friends In Deed, God’s Love We Deliver, Hispanic Federation, International AIDS Prevention Initiative, The NAMES Project Foundation and Rosie O’Donnell’s Rosie’s Theater Kids.
Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and POZ magazine editor in chief Regan Hofmann will co-chair the event. Faisal Al-Juburi leads the producing team.
Pieces of the quilt will also be on view at Lincoln Center, representing New York City artists in the fields of theatre, music and fashion.
"Now seems like the absolute perfect moment to remount the poignant and powerful Quilt - A Musical Celebration in New York, and to share with a new generation this story of creativity in crisis, of enduring love and loss, and of the power we have collectively to change the world," said NAMES Project president and CEO Julie Rhoad. "The Quilt tells the story of life in the age of AIDS with fabric, with baby blankets, love letters, photographs and now how exciting that another medium – that of theatre – will bring all of its power to the story of The Quilt."
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