Menken was lyricist and book writer Ashman's most prominent collaborator. The two first collaborated on the short-lived Off-Broadway musical God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, which they followed with the mega-hit Little Shop of Horrors. The two next worked on a string of classic animated films for Disney, helping usher in a resurgence for the studio following the success of titles like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. In the years since Ashman's 1991 death, Menken has continued to be one of the primary keepers of his legacy, particularly as their work together on Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin have all come to the stage.
"Who better to carry forward the vision, passion, and storytelling of Howard Ashman than his composing partner for his most beloved shows?," said GMHC Vice President of Policy Jason Cianciotto in an earlier statement. "Without Alan Menken, there is no Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin."
The cabaret is a benefit for GMHC's work helping those living with HIV and AIDS. The group offers a number of services, including HIV/STI testing, mental health and substance use treatment, legal and immigration support, housing, workforce development, policy advocacy, meals, and more.
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