Writer-creator of Off-Broadway's From My Hometown and Yo' Alice, Lee Summers has concocted a "1970s, bell-bottomed, big-afro'd musical," to feature Broadway stars in the ArtCents concert raising money and awareness for Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP).
The Funkentine Rapture/ASTEP benefit concert will feature Chester Gregory from Tarzan; Candice Marie Woods from Hairspray; Kecia Lewis-Evans from The Drowsy Chaperone; Kenny Williams from The Lion King; Jeffery V. Thompson from It Ain't Nothin' But The Blues; Shango Amin from Play On!; Steven Eng from Miss Saigon; JD Goldblatt from Les Misérables; and Lawrence Stallings and Stacey Sargeant from Passing Strange.
Musical director is Timothy Graphenreed from the original Broadway production of The Wiz. Other artists include Rachel Kincaid, Darryl Jovan Williams, Ricky McDonald and associate musical director Stacey Penson from From My Hometown.
ASTEP's ArtCents Concert Series (where admission is just a jar of change) spotlights emerging songwriters with performances by New York theatre performers.
Summers and Ben Blake co-authored the book of The Funkentine Rapture; music and lyrics are by Summers. The show appeared in the 2005 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival starring Billy Porter. The Funkentine Rapture will have its world premiere at Cleveland's Karamu Theatre in 2008.
The ArtCents concerts are hosted by the Triad Theatre in New York and held on the third Monday of each month. Admission to each concert is a jar of change. The concert series is produced by Michelle Miller and Susan Vargo. ASTEP was founded in 2005 by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, the Drama Desk Award-winning orchestrator (Company), music director and pianist.
The Triad Theatre is located at 158 W. 72nd Street in Manhattan. The performance is at 7 PM. In addition to the jar-of-change admission, there is a two-drink minimum.
Reservations for ArtCents concerts can be made by calling (212) 706-1516 or by emailing [email protected].