The New Amsterdam Theatre – 214 W. 42 nd Street
(home of Broadway’s THE LION KING)
Monday, February 6, 2006 / 7:30pm
On Monday, February 6th, cast members from ABC’s top-rated daytime dramas, All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital , along with special guests Meredith Vieira and Star Jones Reynolds from The View, came together in a gala evening of comedy, song and dance at Disney’s legendary New Amsterdam Theatre to salute Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
From our first days in the late 1980s, the Daytime community has supported BC/EFA in its fundraising efforts on behalf of people with AIDS and their families with extraordinary enthusiasm and generosity. “The stars of daytime have been great friends,” said Executive Director Tom Viola. “Many have appeared at the celebrity booth of The Broadway Flea Market since its earliest days – not to mention “moonlighting” nights on Broadway, starring in numerous musicals, as Susan Lucci most recently did, appearing as Annie in the recent hit revival of Annie Get Your Gun. We always enjoy working with them and look forward to their participation in BC/EFA events.”
Last year, ABC Daytime and BC/EFA joined forces to present the All My Children’s 35 th Anniversary Concert at NYC’s Town Hall. The event was such a sold-out success that plans were soon made for this year’s special expanded show – ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Cavalcade of Stars
This year’s stars included All My Children’s Susan Lucci, David Canary, Bobbie Eakes, Vincent Irizarry, Jill Larsen, Cady McClain, Sydney Penny, Aiden Turner, Walt Willey and Jacob Young; Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser, Kristen Alderson, Kathy Brier, Kerry Butler, Kassie DePaiva, Renee Goldsberry, Catherine Hickland, Matt Metzger and Trevor St. John representedOne Life to Live. General Hospital stars Scott Clifton, Rick Hearst and Kimberly McCollough flew in from Los Angeles especially for the event.
With director John Dietrich, music director and conductor Shawn Gough and associate music director Steven Freeman at the helm, the all star evening included Susan Lucci’s smoldering renditions of “Fever” and “That Old Black Magic”; Robin Strasser’s playful rendition of The Beatle’s classic “I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends,” featuring surprise appearances by Ilene Kristen and Nathaniel; two original songs “Fairy Tales and Nightingales” and “Inside Out” written and performed by Matt Metzger and Scott Clifton; Jill Larson’s “Younger Men Have Started to Catch My Eye”; Bobbie Eakes scorching version of “Georgia Rain” and Catherine Hickland’s sexy “Sleepy Man”.
Meredith Vieira joined AMC’s Walt Willey in a delightful version of Sondheim’s “The Little Things You Do Together Just Because.” Jacob Young closed the first act with a smooth 50s version of the Bobby Darin classic “Beyond the Sea”
A Fundraising Success
Following the finale – a rendition of “Old Friends” which featured the entire cast of over 24 – the evening closed with a very special auction, featuring BC/EFA’s favorite auctioneer, Lorna Kelly. Susan Lucci, Walt Willey, David Canary and Kassie DePaiva joined Lorna in auctioning a beautiful bejeweled mask (recently worn in AMC’s masquerade ball) for $700 and Erica Kane’s “engagement ring” for $1,000.
Kwiat Diamonds very generously donated the “Kwiat Star,” a shining one-carat diamond set in platinum on a platinum pendant, which Kassie DePaiva wore throughout the show. As Kassie stepped forward to model the diamond, bidding was so furious that it sold “3 times” – with Kwiat donating another on the spot for auction and the first bidder donating it back for it to be sold to a 3rd bidder, raising a total of $28,000 in this one auction lot.
All told, thanks to the extraordinary talents of the ABC Daytime stars and the support of daytime’s fans from across the country, over $200,000 was raised for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
“Broadway Cares is such a special organization”, said Jacob Young, “so we’re all honored to rally behind it. Plus it’s such a great opportunity to see all these people you work with every day in a different setting. It’s great to discover all this hidden talent!”