Brooke Shields, the internationally-acclaimed model and film, television and Broadway star, headlined the Broadway in South Africa (BSA) charity event last night, October 28, in New York City. Shields, a constant supporter of children's causes, joined a host of Broadway and New York City artists in donating their time and talents to support BSA's efforts toward providing children, from South Africa's neediest communities, with necessary life skills through arts education. The event took place at The Box and featured an evening of songs, dance and many surprise, vaudeville-style variety acts, typical of late-night shows produced at the lower east side hotspot.
BSA's mission is to provide cross-cultural exchange between youth in need and artists who seek to use their talents for positive, global change. Since its inception in 2008, artists of all types, many high-profile, have joined in to support the cause. Kristofer Buckle, world-renown celebrity make-up artist, will be on hand at The Box donating his time to glam up the performers.
Along with Shields, performers included Sean Bradford (The Scottsboro Boys), Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening), Adam Kantor (Next To Normal), recording artist Kelly King, Tracy McDowell (Rent), singer/songwriter Jeremy Schonfeld, Selloane Nkhela (The Lion King), recording artist and The Box weekly host Raven O., Christopher Spaulding (Curtains), recording artist Yasmeen Sulieman, singer/songwriter Katie Thompson and Donna Vivino (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me).
Dancers Allyson Carr (Mamma Mia!), Ven Daniel (Legally Blonde), Adam Hart (Mamma Mia!), Kaitana Magno, and Whitney Osentoski (Tarzan) performed an electric contemporary piece choreographed by Isaac Calpito (West Side Story). Choreographer Shea Sullivan also showcased an original tap piece.
Frankie James Grande (producer, La Bête) was the evening's co-producer and host. Trapper Felides provided music direction.
Broadway in South Africa believes that all children deserve to have the opportunity to explore their creative potential, and build life skills necessary to develop productive futures. Through arts education, BSA works to empower its students with self-confidence, self-respect, self- awareness, public speaking skills, the opportunity to create through collaboration with others and the ability to dream.
BSA has worked with over 1,000 children and young adults from a rural area and more than eight townships outside of South Africa's three major cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Many of the workshop participants have been directly affected by HIV/AIDS, violence and/or poverty.