Cancer affects millions of men, women, and children. I have personally known several people affected and taken away by cancer, so when the opportunity came to give some coverage to "Spotlight on St. Jude" by interviewing co-produers Carolyn Chamberlain and Tiffany Schleigh about this wonderful benefit, I jumped at it!
On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, the Broadway community is coming together for "Spotlight on St. Jude," a unique musical theater experience, showcasing some of New York’s top Broadway stars as they perform to raise awareness and funds for children battling cancer and other deadly diseases. This wonderful and exciting evening will feature an unforgettable show (along with cocktails and a dessert reception) that celebrates the generosity of the Broadway community and shines a spotlight on the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
"Spotlight on St. Jude" will take place on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 from 6pm-10pm at New World Stages in NYC (340 West 50th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenue). Click here for tickets! (tickets will NOT be sold at the door). Cocktail or business attire is suggested.
Performers include Shoshana Bean ("Hair," "Wicked," "Hairspray"), Mallory Bechtel ("Home the Musical"), Ato Blankson-Wood ("Lysistrata Jones," "Hair"), Carole J. Bufford ("Tribute to Judy Garland," "Broadway By The Year"), Laura Bell Bundy ("Legally Blonde,"" Wicked,""Hairspray"), Martha Byrne (Emmy-winning actress, numerous television shows including "As the World Turns" and "General Hospital"), Mario Cantone ("Sex and the City," "Assassins," "The Violet Hour," "The Tempest"), Jenn Furman ("Wicked"), Jenna Leigh Green ("Wicked"), Autumn Hurlbert ("MTV's Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods," "Legally Blonde"), Michael Imperioli (Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, numerous movies and television shows including "The Lovely Bones" and "The Sopranos"), Carol Kane ("Sly Fox," "Wicked," "The Princess Bride," "Scrooged," numerous television appearances), Katie Kiyan ("Hair"), Andrew Kober ("Hair"), Luke Perry ("Oz," "8 Seconds," "Beverly Hills 90210"), Alice Ripley ("Next to Normal,"" Little Shop of Horrors," "Dreamgirls," "Side Show," "Sunset Boulevard," "The Who’s Tommy," "Les Miserables"), Bryce Ryness ("Hair," "Legally Blonde"), LaQuet Sharnell ("Lysistrata Jones," "Memphis," "The Lion King," "Sweet Charity"), Amy Spanger ("Elf," "Rock of Ages," "The Wedding Singer," "Urinetown," "Kiss Me Kate," "Chicago," "Sunset Boulevard"), Matthew Stocke ("Rock of Ages," "The Wedding Singer," "The Boy From Oz," "Titanic"), Caren Tackett ("Rent","Hair", "High Fidelity", "The Times They are A-Changin'", "Brooklyn"), Brett Teresa ("Till Death Do Us Part"), and Melissa van der Schyff ("Bonnie and Clyde").
*All performers are subject to change.
For more on St. Jude be sure to visit http://www.stjude.org.
1. You are co-producing the benefit "Spotlight on St. Jude." Why did you want to get involved with this event and help produce it?
Carolyn: Throughout the year, there are several fundraising events in Manhattan to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Many Broadway shows donate tickets for the auctions at these events and they are always coveted. We felt we needed to create a show that gives all of Broadway the chance to lend their support. When Marlo Thomas was cast in "Relatively Speaking" last Fall, we knew the timing was right.
Tiffany: It is the most beautiful opportunity- broadway and St Jude, together for the first time? I get to spend time working on a show with all of my favorite people to raise money for such amazing, deserving children. How could I possibly turn that down?
2. What can attendees expect from the evening?
Carolyn: St. Jude and Broadway have something wonderful in common, they both create magic. There will be some wonderful guest presenters, some wonderful surprises, and a concert full to the brim with incredible voices and a lot of heart.
Tiffany: Outstanding talent, abounding love, and an evening you will never forget!
3. How did you decide which performers you wanted for this event?
Carolyn: This was the easy part. When we set the date and venue, we spread the word of what was happening and we were overwhelmed with performers who wanted to be a part of this. The show has almost written itself!
Tiffany: I've learned through this experience that the Broadway community has some of the biggest hearts. Even performers who can't be there still offered to help in any way they could.
4. What do you hope people come away with after attending this benefit?
Carolyn: Gratitude. Our lives are blessed and it's easy to forget that sometimes. The children at St. Jude are brave and full of light. This show is not focused on sadness for the ones we've lost; it's full of inspiration for all that we can do.
Tiffany: Love and light. It's easy to get caught up in life's hardships, but at an event like this, you can't deny the GOOD in the world. The children at St. Jude's are so inspiring- you can't meet them or hear their stories and NOT love them. They are truly amazing.
5. What have you learned about yourself from helping put this benefit together?
Carolyn: There will always be people who try to take advantage of others to benefit themselves. We've really learned how to stand our ground and protect the simple message of this show, that we are coming together in support of these kids.
Tiffany: I have learned that it IS a lot of work to make something like this happen, and people and obstacles will definitely attempt to get in the way, but it is so worth it in the end- because this is something I LOVE to do. And I know everyone who attends will love every second, too.