Pasquale, Chase, Benanti, Arden, Von Essen, Keenan-Bolger and Gettelfinger Enter The Secret Garden Dec. 5 | Playbill

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News Pasquale, Chase, Benanti, Arden, Von Essen, Keenan-Bolger and Gettelfinger Enter The Secret Garden Dec. 5 The Third Annual World AIDS Day Benefit Concert, The Secret Garden, will be presented Dec. 5 at 7 PM at Manhattan Center Studios Grand Ballroom.
Steven Pasquale
Steven Pasquale Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Following acclaimed concert presentations of Children of Eden and Pippin, the Secret Garden concert will benefit The Joey DePaolo AIDS Foundation and Camp TLC.

Directed by Stafford Arima, the star-studded cast comprises Steven Pasquale as Archibald Craven, Will Chase as Dr. Neville Craven, Michael Arden as Dickon, Laura Benanti as Lily, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Martha, David Canary as Ben, Sara Gettelfinger as Rose, Max Von Essen as Albert, Jenny Powers as Claire, Deborah S. Craig as Alice, Matt Cavenaugh as Lieutenant Shaw, Ben Magnuson as Major Holmes, Shonn Wiley as Lieutenant Wright, Barbara Rosenblat as Mrs. Medlock, Reshma Shetty as the Ayah, Nehal Joshi as the Fakir, Struan Erlenborn as Colin Craven and Jaclyn Neidenthal as Mary Lennox.

The evening will also feature a 70-person choir, a 35-piece orchestra and a children's choir. The latter will include youngsters from Rosie's Broadway Kids.

Artistic producer Jamie McGonnigal and producers Brad Bauner, Adam Caldwell, Josh Fiedler, Ryan Hill and Erica Lynn Schwartz, in association with The Storm Theatre, present the one-night-only event. The creative team for the concert includes musical direction by Michael Kosarin (Little Shop of Horrors), orchestrations by William David Brohn (Wicked, Ragtime), set consultation by Lauren Helpern (Underneath the Lintel) and lighting design by Traci Klainer (MTC's Four). Stephen DeAngelis is the casting director.

The Secret Garden opened at the St. James Theatre in April 1991, playing 709 performances before closing in January 1993. The musical, based on the famed novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, features a book and lyrics by Marsha Norman and music by Lucy Simon. The original Broadway cast featured Alison Fraser, Howard McGillin, Rebecca Luker, Mandy Patinkin, John Cameron Mitchell and Daisy Eagan, who won a Tony Award for her performance as Mary Lennox. Tickets are scaled from $50-$150 and are available by calling at (212) 279-4200, or in person at the Ticket Central offices, located at 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth and Tenth Avenues).

The Manhattan Center Studios Grand Ballroom is located at 311 W. 34th Street.


All ticket holders are invited to attend a pre-show Silent Auction. The auction will begin at 6:30 PM in the Grand Ballroom. If you are interested in providing an item to be auctioned, please contact Erica Lynn Schwartz at [email protected]


The World AIDS Day Concerts were founded in 2003 by Kate Shindle and Jamie McGonnigal "to help raise awareness of the health holiday and to celebrate the lives of those lost and those still fighting the ever-present disease." The inaugural concert, the New York Professional Premiere of Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden, sold-out the majestic Riverside Cathedral on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The 2004 sold-out concert presentation of Pippin featured performances from Rosie O'Donnell, and a return to his Tony-Award Winning role by Ben Vereen.

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