Actors Fund's Spring Gala, Celebrating 20th Anniversary of Disney on Broadway and Joseph P. Benincasa, Offered April 28
By Andrew Gans
The Actors Fund’s annual gala, which is held April 28, honors Disney Theatrical Productions as it celebrates 20 years on Broadway.
The producing organization, formed in 1994 and operating under the direction of president and producer Thomas Schumacher, will receive the Medal of Honor, the highest award given by the 132-year-old non-profit human services organization.
The evening begins at 7 PM with a celebration tribute at the New Amsterdam Theatre, followed by a post-performance cast party at the New York Marriott Marquis. The performance will feature surprise appearances and production numbers from Disney's award-winning shows.
“Over these 20 years, Disney’s magical productions—on Broadway and on tour—have given vital support to our programs and services,” said Actors Fund president and CEO Joseph P. Benincasa in a previous statement. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to honor Disney and their leadership and commitment to this organization.”
“We at Disney Theatrical Productions are deeply touched by this honor. Over the years we have employed thousands of actors, crew members, musicians and management professionals on Broadway and across the country who have been able to access the benefits provided by The Actors Fund. The organization is a lifeline and safety net to entertainment professionals, whenever they need it. It is a thrill for us to be part of this event and to support this invaluable organization,” added Schumacher, who has served the entertainment charity as a trustee since 2010.
Disney Theatrical Productions, a division of The Walt Disney Studios, launched with Beauty and the Beast, which opened in 1994. It played a 13-year run on Broadway and has been produced in 28 countries worldwide. In November 1997 Disney opened The Lion King, which received six 1998 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and is now the highest-grossing show in Broadway history. In its 17th smash year, it has welcomed over 70 million visitors worldwide to date. Disney's latest stage musical, Aladdin, recently opened on Broadway.
The evening also honors Actors Fund president and CEO Joseph P. Benincasa for 25 years of service to the creative community. Benincasa, who will also receive the Medal of Honor, oversees the programs and services of The Actors Fund, an organization that is available to everyone in performing arts and entertainment in times of need, crisis or transition.
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