Nothing Like A Dame

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS presented the Ninth Annual NOTHING LIKE A DAME on Monday, March 1 at the St. James Theatre to benefit The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative of The Actors Fund. At the end of the show a check for $250,000 was presented by Nathan Lane and Zoe Caldwell to The Actors’ Fund’s executive director Joe Benincasa, Phyllis Newman and Maria Di Dia.

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In 1996, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative (PNWHI) was created by The Actors’ Fund with the help of an initial grant from Broadway Cares. In addition to producing the annual NOTHING LIKE A DAME benefit, BC/EFA has provided now over $1.4 million to The Women’s Health Initiative and remains the program’s largest single funder.

In 2003, PNWHI saw 433 clients who received social services ranging from case management, individual counseling, assistance in applying for benefis and coordinating child care to providing $223,075 in essential financial assistance. Last year 334 mammograms and 142 gynecological exams were provided to women in “the business” without adequate health insurance and at no charge at The Actors’ Fund’s Hirschfeld Free Clinic at The Aurora on W. 57th Street and Tenth Avenue.

“The women in our community have been the mainstay of our fundraising efforts for years. From our earliest days when we were strictly funding AIDS services at The Actors’ Fund, scores of women working on and off Broadway have generously jumped in to make BC/EFA’s work possible,” said BC/EFA executive director, Tom Viola. “When The Actors’ Fund came to us with the idea of creating a Women’s Health Initiative, there was no question that we would be involved and respond as generously as possible. It’s only fair and right.”

NOTHING LIKE A DAME 2004 was produced by Maria Di Dia, Denise Roberts Hurlin, Carol Ingram, Phyllis Newman and Ariadne Villarreal with production supervisors Sam Ellis and Nathan Hurlin, musical supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell and a script by Raymond Shelton – all under the expert direction of Donna Drake.