S.T.A.G.E. Concert, Saluting Sondheim, Raises Thousands; Huffman Is Surprise Guest | Playbill

News S.T.A.G.E. Concert, Saluting Sondheim, Raises Thousands; Huffman Is Surprise Guest
Emmy Award-winning "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman — who also boasts an impressive array of New York stage credits — was a surprise guest at By Side By Side By Side By Side by Stephen Sondheim, the 23rd Annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.), which was presented March 10 and 11 at the Wilshire Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Huffman, according to a spokesperson for the annual event, joined "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry for a performance of Stephen Sondheim's "Franklin Shepherd Inc." Huffman played the interviewer in the show-stopping song from Merrily We Roll Along.

The two-day event, which was directed by David Galligan, raised over $300,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

The starry line-up for the concerts, which saluted the work of Sondheim, included Len Cariou, Wilson Cruz, Nancy Dussault, Sally Ann Howes, Alice Ripley, Betty Garrett, Jamie Anderson, Ann Hampton Callaway, Carole Cook, Veanne Cox, Kevin Earley, Randy Graff, Sean Cassidy, Patrick Cassidy, Ronobir Lahiri, Pat Marshall, Sean McDermott, Linda Michele, Michele Nicastro, Michael Nouri, Valarie Pettiford, Charlotte Rae, Joan Ryan, Andrew Samonsky, Kevin Spirtas, KT Sullivan, Rip Taylor and Lisa Vroman.

The song list follows.
"Sorry/Grateful" (Anderson/Cruz/Spirtas)
"Agony" (Cassidys)
"In Buddy's Eyes" (Dussault)
"Broadway Baby" (Garrett)
"Losing My Mind" (Graff)
"Lovely" (Marshall)
"Ladies Who Lunch" (Cook)
"Not a Day Goes By"/"Loving You" (McDermott)
"Good Thing Going" (Nicastro)
"So Many People" (Nouri)
"With So Little to Be Sure Of" (Pettiford)
"Another Hundred People" (Ryan)
"Being Alive" (Samonsky)
"Children Will Listen" (Rae & Ensemble)
Night Music/Company/Loveland (Michelle & Ensemble)
"Me and My Town" (Ripley)
"Invocations/Instructions to the Audience" (Lahiri)
"Franklin Shepherd Inc." (Cherry)
"Anyone Can Whistle" (Cariou)
"You Must Meet My Wife" (Cariou/Howe)
"Send in the Clowns" (Howe)
"Marry Me a Little" (Early)
"Getting Married Today" (Cox)
"There Won't Be Trumpets" (Sullivan)
"The Glamorous Life" (Vroman)
"No One Is Alone" (Callaway)
"Bounce" (Taylor)

* The first S.T.A.G.E. benefit took place in October 1984, honoring the music of Leonard Bernstein. Subsequent presentations have paid tribute to Stephen Sondheim (1985, 1987, 1996), Jule Styne (1988), Jerry Herman (1989), John Kander and Fred Ebb (1990), Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein (1991), Irving Berlin (1992), George and Ira Gershwin (1993), Harold Arlen (1995), Cole Porter (1997), Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe and Burton Lane (1998), Richard Adler, Jerry Bock and Cy Coleman (1999), Charles Strouse, Arthur Schwartz and Stephen Schwartz (2000), Jerome Kern (2001), Johnny Mercer (2002), Frank Loesser (2003), Andrew Lloyd Webber (2004), Marvin Hamlisch and Harry Warren (2005) and Betty Comden and Adolph Green (2006).

The S.T.A.G.E. concerts are the longest continuously running AIDS benefit in the world.

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