Pop icon Deborah Cox headlined a star-studded cast featuring performances and presentations by Sandra Thurman, former AIDS Czar under President Bill Clinton and current President and CEO of International AIDS Trust, the cast of FELA!, Dancing With The Stars finalist and N'SYNC star Lance Bass, Tony Award winners Alice Ripley, Chuck Cooper, Melba Moore, and TV stars Graham Phillips (The Good Wife) and Ariana Grande (Nickelodeon's Victorious), for the third annual Broadway in South Africa (BSA) benefit concert last night, October 4. Nearly the entire show featured world-premiere songs, created for the evening, by such composers as Grammy Award winners Desmond Child and Julie Gold. This year's honoree was producer Michael Butler. He is one of the most successful theatrical producers, lauded for bringing HAIR to Broadway in 1968, and an active proponent of youth creating positive global social change.
BroadwayWorld was on hand and brings you photo coverage below.
To support BSA's work, attendees included Andy Cohen, Bravo TV host and Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development; Mark Brashear, Hugo Boss Chairman and CEO, Kevin Harter, Bloomingdales Operating Vice President of Men's Fashion; Patrick Heusinger of Gossip Girls and Broadway's Next Fall; Marc Honaker of ABC; Brendan Monaghan, GQ Executive Director of International Fashion; Stephen Sills of Stephen Sills and Associates; Thomas Roberts, MSNBC Anchor; Dennis Williams of HBO; and representatives from Condé Nast, Harper's BAZAAR, Madison Square Garden, Proctor & Gamble, Vogue and the Wall Street Journal.
Sandra Thurman gave the keynote address, along with special presentations by Lance Bass, Chuck Cooper, Melba Moore and Graham Phillips.
In addition to performances by Deborah Cox (AIDA) and the cast of FELA!, the world premieres songs were performed by Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), Ariana Grande (13), Sean Bradford (The Scottsboro Boys), Tituss Burgess (Little Mermaid), Brandon Victor Dixon (The Color Purple), Frankie James Grande (Mamma Mia!), Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening), Rebecca Naomi Jones (American Idiot), Adam Kantor (Next to Normal), Morgan Karr (Spring Awakening), Jose Llana (Flower Drum Song), Tracy McDowell (Rent), Julia Murney (Wicked), Christopher Spaulding (Curtains), Kate Shindle (Wonderland) and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson (The Lion King).
The event was directed by Jen Bender (The Lion King), choreographed by Shea Sullivan and musical directed by Brad Haak (Mary Poppins).
Along with Desmond Child and Julie Gold, BSA commissioned songwriters Drew Gasparini, Marcy Heisler, Kait Kerrigan, Peter Lerman, Brian Lowdermilk, Kevin Malpass, Jordan Mann, Catherine Porter, Jeremy Schonfeld and Jeff Thomson to create songs. Each piece was based on essays and letters written by children BSA teaching artists instruct during workshops conducted in townships surrounding Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Sponsors of the evening include Hugo Boss, Design Compendium, La Pomme, Madiba Restaurant, Rockin' the Big Apple, and stylist Renessta Olds.
Individual tickets can be purchased for $100 and $25 by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. VIP and sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting BSA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information visit www.broadwayinsouthafrica.org.
Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia
Franke James Grande
Brandon Victor Dixon
Adam Kantor and Emma Hunton
Tracy McDowell, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Morgan Karr
Deborah Cox and Lance Bass
Lance Bass and Andy Cohen
Frankie James Grande
Franki James Grande and Ariana Grande
Michael Butler, Deborah Cox and Melba Moore
Ariana Grande and Deborah Cox
Frankie James Grande, Ariana Grande and Deborah Cox
Frankie James Grande, Alice Ripley and Ariana Grande
Christopher Spaulding, Lisa Nicole Wilkerson, Tracy McDowell, Morgan Karr, Frankie James Grande and Adam Kantor
Adam Kantor, Ward Simmons and Frankie James Grande
Ashley Bouder-New York City Ballet
Opening Number Performers
Rebecca Naomi Jones
Emma Hunton and Adam Kantor
Graham Phillips and Ariana Grande
Lisa Nicole Wilkerson, Deborah Cox, Melba Moore and Frankie James Grande
Deborah Cox and Frankie James Grande
Sandra Thurman and Ward Simmons
Lance Bass and Christopher Spaulding
Ward Simmons and Lance Bass
Melba Moore and Michael Butler
Marti Gould Cummings and Alycia Kaback
Brandon Dixon Victor
Hunter Ryan Herdlicka
Gregory Jbara and Guest
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version