The Actors Fund’s annual gala on April 28 raised a record-breaking $1.6 million, as a sold-out audience at the New Amsterdam Theatre witnessed stars of 20 years of Disney on Broadway in highlights from the producing powerhouse’s history of award-winning shows.
The evening honored the creative collaborators and staff members of Disney Theatrical Productions with The Fund's Medal of Honor. The entertainment community celebrated with a benefit concert, donated by Disney to The Actors Fund and reuniting a bevy of Disney headliners.
Fund CEO Joseph P. Benincasa also received The Fund’s Medal of Honor for 25 years of service to the creative community (presented to Joe by Chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell and Broadway's original Mary Poppins and Bert - Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee - in a new version of "Its a Jolly Holiday with Mary" with special lyrics by trustee and Tony Award winner Rick Elice. Photo: Heidi Gutman.
Stars gathered before the show for private sponsor reception, and a post-show cast party at the Marriott Marquis New York. Joe and Nancy Benincasa welcomed sponsors and very special guests including Tony nominee James Monroe Iglehart and Courtney Reed (Aladdin), Merle Dandridge (Tarzan), Ashely Brown (Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins), Josh Strickland (Tarzan) and Adam Jacobs (Aladdin).
Additional Disney headliners included Heather Headley (The Lion King) reunited with her Aida co-stars Sherie Rene Scott and Adam Pascal and Aida's musical director Paul Bogaev. Guests and Disney cast members mingled at the party, and Heather even met the "next generation" of current Lion King cast members. Photos: Anita and Steve Shevett. For more photos, visit us on Facebook!
Special thanks to Title Sponsor Disney Theatrical Productions, Presenting Sponsors Flemington Car & Truck Country, the Nederlander Organization and the Somerset Patriots, as well as more than 1,600 donors at the sold-out benefit night and more than 950 donors and guests who attended the private cast party.
Thanks to our Official New York City Hotel the Marriott Marquis New York, Official Airline United Airlines and Gala Media Sponsor the New York Times.