More than 3,000 miles and three time zones couldn’t keep the stars of ABC Daytime from their fans at The 6th Annual ABC DAYTIME & SOAPnet SALUTE BROADWAY CARES, which sold out New York’s historic Town Hall on Sunday, March 21. Six editions of this fan-driven event have raised $1,605,000 through ticket sales, auction bids and online fundraising donations!
Directed by John Dietrich, with musical direction by Steven Freeman and Shawn Gough, this annual reunion of stars and fans featured performers from ABC Daytime’s Emmy® Award-winning shows All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital, with a special guest appearance by Sherri Shepard from The View, thrilling fans with an all-singing and dancing tribute to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Coast to Coast
Over the past several years, two of ABC’s three daytime dramas have relocated to Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop these performers from flying cross-country to entertain their most loyal fans.
All My Children’s Cameron Mathison was back to host this year and was joined by AMC costars Brittany Allen, Bobbie Eakes, Natalie Hall, Adam Mayfield, Cornelius Smith, Jr. and Walt Willey. One Life to Live was represented by Kristen Alderson, Melissa Archer, Brandon Buddy, Kassie DePaiva, David Gregory, Mark Lawson, Kelley Missal, Jason Tam and Bree Williamson, while General Hospital offered fan favorites Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash, Anthony Geary, Jonathan Jackson and Nathan Parsons.
Singing and Dancing Sensations
The show opened with Kristen Alderson, Brandon Barash, Kassie DePaiva, Bobbie Eakes, David Gregory, Natalie Hall, Mark Lawson, Jason Tam, Melissa Archer and our singing, dancing ensemble performing “9 to 5.”
Cheers and shrieks greeted Mathison (#1), who entered wearing only a white bathrobe. “My alarm didn’t go off, I swear,” said the charming host, who shared his hosting duties with Lee Cummings (#2), who won the opportunity to co-host through a competitive online auction, showed impressive poise on stage.
The evening’s first soloist was Cornelius Smith, Jr. (#3), performing “Let It Sing” from the off-Broadway musical Violet, followed by Brittany Allen (#4) with Thoroughly Modern Millie’s “Gimme Gimme.” Brandon Barash, Anthony Geary and Nathan Parsons (#5) showed their sexy and slightly sinister sides donned in suits and fedoras for “Dirty Rotten Number” from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Troubadour Walt Willey (#6) reworked Chuck Segar’s “Key to the Highway” as “Key to Pine Valley,” while Adam Mayfield (#7), another tall charmer, sang “I Slept with Someone (Who Slept with Lyle Lovett)” from High Fidelity.
Though her appearance at this year’s event was well-promoted, actress/comedienne and co-host of The View Sherri Shepherd surprised the crowd with a full-on, Ike-and-Tina style performance of “Proud Mary (#8, #9).”
Jeff Johnson-Doherty created a number of eye-catching costumes for the evening’s performance, including Shepherd’s bangley, spangley, purple Tina Turner dress, an orange and kelly green Miss Saigon-esque pimp outfit for Anthony Geary(#10) who stopped the show with “The American Dream,” and a bustier-licious Bavarian number for Bobbie Eakes (#11) who kicked off the Second Act with a rousing “He Vas My Boyfriend” from Young Frankenstein.
Kristen Alderson serenaded TV boyfriend Brandon Buddy (#12) with “Honey, Honey” from Mamma Mia! while, in a more serious vein, Jason Tam (#13) joined Alderson with the Spring Awakening duet “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind.” Mark Lawson(#14) offered “What Is It About Her” from off-Broadway’s The Wild Party. Barash (#15) performed “What Am I Doing?” fromCloser Than Ever, while Rent was represented by Nathalie Hall’s (#16) solo rendition of “Take Me or Leave Me” and Nathan Parsons’ (#17) “Your Eyes.” Bradford Anderson (#18) described the “perfect, perfect girl” in the humorous “That’s All” by Fred Ebb Award winners Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich.
Bree Williamson and BethAnn Bonner (#19) dueted on “For Good” from Wicked, while pale and broodingly handsome Jonathan Jackson (#20) drew cheers from and thunderous applause from fans for a haunting rendition of “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera.
Another auction winner appearing onstage was the lovely Melanie Butler (#21) – looking a lot like a daytime star herself – happily joining daytime hunks Barash, Gregory and Mayfield in a daytime send-up of The Wizard of Oz called “There’s No Place Like Home.”
Serenaded by the cast and audience at the end of the evening, birthday girl Kassie DePaiva – in her fifth Town Hall appearance – delighted with the anthem for put upon women, “You Can Always Count on Me” (#22) from City of Angels. The evening ended with Tam (#23), who in addition to One Life to Live, recently starred in the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, leading the sexy Cole Porter show-stopping production number, “Too Darn Hot.”
In addition to “Too Darn Hot,” there were a half dozen other numbers that featured a stellar singing and dancing ensemble including Cole Burden, Kelly Carpenter, JD Daw, Nina Hudson, James Jackson, Christine LaDuca, Mary Catherine McDonald, Tim McGarrigal, Jackie Meyers, Cody Smith and Jill Wolins.
A Family Affair
Each year the response to our online merchandise and experiential auctions, as well as our Soap-a-thon contest, grows, and this year’s auxiliary fundraising leading up to the event raised over $65,000.
2010’s Soap-a-thon fans raised funds as extended members of their favorite ABC clans (The Kanes, Spencers, Buchannans, etc.). This year’s winners included Second Runner-up Jesse Jenkins of Raleigh, North Carolina representing Team Tessica of the Lord/Banks Family Tree from OLTL; First runner-up Susanne Frische of Long Island, NY, representing Team Laura Spencer of the Spencer Family Tree from GH; and Grand Prize winner Janice Napier representing Team Slater of the Kane Family Tree from AMC, earning roundtrip travel, hotel and VIP tickets to The 6th Annual ABC DAYTIME & SOAPnet SALUTE BROADWAY CARES. The 2010 Top Family Tree went to the Kane Family of AMC.
During the weeks leading up to the event, fans could bid online on original wedding gowns worn by the fabulous female characters of All My Children, autographed headshots and DVDs of your favorite soap stars, authentic set pieces, autographed show scripts, and even some of Susan Lucci’s designer outfits worn on the show.
Auctions on the highly popular “Charity Buzz” site included walk-on roles on All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital, a day on the set of 30 Rock with Alec Baldwin and many other exciting packages.
After the event, the stars joined their most loyal fans at the Marriott Marquis’ Broadway Lounge for a VIP reception and a few photos.
The 6th Annual ABC DAYTIME & SOAPnet SALUTE BROADWAY CARES was produced by Trisha Doss and Scott Tucker.
A special thank you to Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group, Kevin Brockman, Executive Vice President Global Communications, Disney/ABC Television Group and all of our friends at ABC for their tremendous support and friendship. So many people were instrumental in making The 6th Annual ABC DAYTIME & SOAPnet SALUTE BROADWAY CARES a success, particularly longtime friends to BC/EFA Michael Cohen, Yvonne Graham, Lauri L. Hogan, Mitch Messinger, Karl T. Nilsson, Adam Rockmore and Erin Weir.
The 6th Annual ABC DAYTIME & SOAPnet SALUTE BROADWAY CARES was made possible through generous corporate sponsorships from The New York Times and Continental Airlines.
Download photos from The 6th Annual ABC DAYTIME & SOAPnet SALUTE BROADWAY CARES
Peter James Zielinski
#2, #4, #5, #7, #8. #10, #11, #13, #15, #17, #18, #19, #21, #22, #23
#1, #3, #6, #9, #12, #14, #16, #20
After party/press photos by Steve Fenn/ABC and Linda Lenzi