From the Heart for South Africa
The Box has become
New York's trendiest night spot with its nightly
menu of food, drink and bottomless burlesque.
It has also, conversely, become host to charity
events in the hours before the club transforms
at 11PM and the trannies, burlesque mammas and
naked dancing boys throw caution and everything
else to the wind.
On tax day, April
15, 2010, The Box was host to "Cocktails
for a Cause," a cocktail party and musical
show benefiting Broadway in South Africa, a non-profit
organization that brings Broadway artists to South
Africa to work with children whose lives have
been affected by poverty and AIDS.
Here is a quote from the press
release about the evening: "Broadway in South
Africa is a non-profit organization that aims
to develop a cross-cultural exchange between youth
who are in need and artists who seek to use their
talents for change. BSA conducts workshops at
schools, orphanages and child crisis centers in
townships around Johannesburg, Cape Town, and
Durban, South Africa. Many of the sites are funded
by Keep A Child Alive (KACA), a charitable organization
founded by singer-songwriter-actress Alicia Keys,
that provides medication for children and their
families living with HIV/AIDS. A portion of the
proceeds from BSA’s fundraising efforts
in South Africa went directly to KACA."
The Cocktail event was hosted by Frankie James
Grande of Mamma Mia fame. Frankie and
his friend, Adam Kantor, attended Northwestern
University together and then moved to New York
where Adam was cast in Rent and Frankie
in Mamma. Adam and Frankie took a trip
to South Africa and while there, saw the townships
and were inspired to help.
During the first part of the
evening's entertainment, we were shown a short
film that showcased the work that Broadway in
South Africa does with the children in the townships.
Then it was on to the entertainment.
Here is a list of the triple-threat
performers who entertained the audience: Tiffany;
Adam Kantor (Rent); Sean Bradford (The
Lion King); Tracy McDowell (Rent);
Carly Gibson (Hairspray); Lili Cooper
(Spring Awakening); musician and composer,
Jonathan Schonfeld; comedy sensation Miranda Sings;
an original dance piece choreographed by Shea
Sullivan and performed by Tommy Scrivens and Lauren
Strigari; and singer/songwriter Katie Thompson.
Also performing were some of the box performers
but by Box publicity philosophy, will remain anonymous.
You will have to be BeBoxed to see them.
The entertainers were incredibly
talented (they all survived Broadway auditions)
and they rocked the theater with their performances.
So if you hear that Broadway in South Africa is
hosting another benefit, be sure to check it out.
For more information,
Frankie James Grande,
Tracy McDowell and Adam Kantor