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Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

‘One Starry Night’ Raises 200k For ALS

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Broadway World
Renee Zellweger and More Attend ‘ONE STARRY NIGHT’ Benefit for ALS Association
May 5, 2015

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“One Starry Night: From Broadway to Hollywood,” a one-night-only musical and entertainment extravaganza in benefit of the ALS Association Golden West Chapter, was presented Monday, April 20 at the historic Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA. Thanks to performances and appearances by an exciting gathering of Broadway and Hollywood talent, and the greater Los Angeles community at large, the evening raised nearly $200,000. BWW TV’s Los Angeles Correspondent and Co-Producer Michael Sterling, along with Co-Producer/Videographer Paul Preston of Digital Mind Productions, spoke to the stars as they walked the red carpet prior to the evening’s festivities!

The star-studded event featured a cast which (in alphabetical order) included Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Ed Asner, Broadway’s Brent Barrett (“Silence The Musical”, “Chicago The Musical”), Grammy Award winner and international recording icon Petula Clark, Micky Dolenz (“The Monkees”), Juliana Hansen (Disney musical and concert star; NBC’s “Grease, You’re The One That I Want!”), singer/songwriter Devin Kelly, television and film star Jean Louisa Kelly (“Yes, Dear”; “Mr. Holland’s Opus”), noted television comedienne Wendy Liebman, TV, Film and Theatre star Bethany Joy Lenz, Broadway’s Norm Lewis (Phantom of the Opera), TV and Film star Kate Linder (“The Young and the Restless”), Musical Theatre star Lisa Livesay (“Wicked”), Ben Mankiewicz ((Film critic and Turner Classic Movie Network host), Film and TV star Heather McComb , Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, George Newbern (ABC TV’s “Scandal”), Broadway’s Kerry O’Malley (“White Christmas”, “Annie Get Your Gun”; “Showstoppers”/Wynn Hotel/Las Vegas), Timothy Omundson (ABC TV’s “Galavant”), Reagan Pasternak (Disney Channel’s “In A Heartbeat,”), Illusionist Jonathan Pendragon, Broadway and TV’s Eric Petersen (Shrek and TV’s “Kirstie” starrin Kirstie Alley), Jenna Lea Rosen (Disney TV’s “Sofia the First”), Jason Ritter (NBC’s “Parenthood”), Richard Sherman (Academy Award-winning Composer Disney’s “Mary Poppins”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “The Jungle Book”), Bruce Vilanch (Broadway’s ” Hairspray”), and Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Renee Zellweger.

In addition to the performances, the Chapter’s Essey Awards were presented to notable supporters of the ALS community for their outstanding efforts in public awareness, care services, and research. The Essey Award is the Chapter’s highest honor and given annually in honor of one of the Chapter’s founding members, Richard Essey.

The Golden West Chapter recognized the following honorees for outstanding achievements in the fight against ALS:

THE 2015 SPOTLIGHT AWARD- The Filmmakers of “The Theory of Everything”

The Spotlight Award was presented to individuals and companies who help to raise ALS awareness by educating the public about the experience of living with ALS and the impact the disease has on loved ones and caregivers. The Golden West Chapter proudly presented this year’s Spotlight Award to the filmmakers of the Academy Award-winning film, “The Theory of Everything.” The movie, its cast and crew, the companies behind its production, and its real-life subjects – the Hawking family – have inspired the ALS community.

THE 2015 SPIRIT AWARD- Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland, Writers/Directors of “Still Alice”

The Spirit Award was presented to individuals who have displayed extraordinary determination while living with ALS. Richard Glatzer, who recently lost his battle with ALS, along with his husband Wash Westmoreland, adapted and directed, “Still Alice,” earning Julianne Moore a 2015 Academy Award. Shortly before receiving the green light to begin production on the film, Richard was diagnosed with ALS, yet both he and Wash persevered to complete their work on this acclaimed project. As a part of the Spirit Award’s presentation and tribute to Richard and Wash, the event was pleased to have Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Ed Asner and George Newbern (ABC’s “Scandal”) performing an excerpt from “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

In addition, the Golden West Chapter celebrated Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for having earned the distinguished designation as an ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is the only Certified Treatment Center of Excellence in southern California, and a flagship program in the country. Renee Zellweger presented the Cedars’ team with a plaque recognizing this outstanding achievement and Cedar’s commitment to ALS care and the search for an effective treatment and cure.

Produced by Juliana Hansen, Melissa Verdugo and Jonathan White, the evening was directed by Grammy Award-nominee and distinguished theatre director Bruce Kimmel directed, with musical direction and orchestrations provided by Richard Allen.

Proceeds from the event will provide funding for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s mission critical priorities in care services, public policy and cutting-edge global research toward treatments and cure for ALS. For further information, visit webgw.alsa.org or call (800) 750-2572.


Bruce Vilanch, Renee Zellweger, Richard Sherman & More Set for ONE STARRY NIGHT ALS Benefit at The Pasadena Playhouse

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Bruce Vilanch, Renee Zellweger, Richard Sherman & More Set for ONE STARRY NIGHT ALS Benefit at The Pasadena Playhouse
March 30, 2015
by BWW News Desk

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The ALS Association Golden West Chapter recently announce the honorees for its 2015 Gala – “One Starry Night: From Broadway to Hollywood,”a musical and entertainment extravaganza to be held on Monday, April 20 at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Today, it was announced that the star-studded event will feature (in alphabetical order) Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Ed Asner, Micky Dolenz (“The Monkees”), Juliana Hansen (NBC’s “Grease, You’re The One That I Want!”), Jean Louisa Kelly (“Mr. Holland’s Opus”), Wendy Liebman (“The Aristocrats”), Kate Linder (CBS’ “The Young and the Restless”), Kerry O’Malley (Broadway’s Into The Woods), Timothy Omundson (ABC’s “Galavant”), Reagan Pasternak (Disney Channel’s “In A Heartbeat,”), Jonathan Pendragon (NBC’s “World’s Greatest Magician”), Jason Ritter (NBC’s “Parenthood”), Richard Sherman (Academy Award-winning Composer Disney’s “Mary Poppins”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “The Jungle Book”), Bruce Vilanch (Broadway’s ” Hairspray”), Academy Award-winning actress Renee Zellweger, and more to be announced! Proceeds will provide funding for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s mission critical priorities in care services, public policy, and cutting-edge global research toward treatments and cure for ALS.

This one-night-only benefit features performances and appearances by an exciting gathering of Broadway and Hollywood talent. In addition to the show, the chapter’s The Essey Awards will be presented to notable supporters of the ALS community for their outstanding efforts in public awareness, care services, and research. The Golden West Chapter’s Essey Award is the highest honor and is given annually to esteemed members of the ALS community. It is, named in honor of one of the Chapter’s founding members, Richard Essey.

The Golden West Chapter is proud to recognize the following honorees for outstanding achievements in the fight against ALS:

THE 2015 SPOTLIGHT AWARD- The Filmmakers of “The Theory of Everything”
The Spotlight Award is presented to individuals and companies who help to raise ALS awareness by educating the public about the experience of living with ALS and the impact the disease has on loved ones and caregivers. The Golden West Chapter proudly presents this year’s Spotlight Award to the filmmakers of the Academy Award-winning film, “The Theory of Everything.” The movie, its cast and crew, the companies behind its production, and its real-life subjects – the Hawking family – have inspired the ALS community. – THE 2015 SPIRIT AWARD- Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland, Writers/Directors of “Still Alice”
The Spirit Award is presented to individuals who have displayed extraordinary determination while living with ALS. Richard Glatzer, who recently lost his battle with ALS, along with his husband Wash Westmoreland, adapted and directed, “Still Alice,” earning Julianne Moore a 2015 Academy Award. Shortly before receiving the green light to begin production on the film, Richard was diagnosed with ALS, yet both he and Wash persevered to complete their work on this acclaimed project. As a part of the Spirit Award’s presentation and tribute to Richard and Wash, we are pleased to have Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winner Ed Asner and George Newbern (ABC’s “Scandal”) performing an excerpt from “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

In addition, the Golden West Chapter will celebrate Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for having earned the distinguished designation as an ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is the only Certified Treatment Center of Excellence in southern California, and a flagship program in the country. Academy Award-winning actress Renee Zellweger will participate in presenting the Cedars’ team with a plaque recognizing this outstanding achievement and Cedar’s commitment to ALS care and the search for an effective treatment and cure.

Grammy Award-nominee Bruce Kimmel will direct the production, with musical direction and orchestrations provided by Richard Allen. This star-studded event has a growing cast list which includes (in alphabetical order) Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Ed Asner, Micky Dolenz (“The Monkees”), Juliana Hansen (NBC’s “Grease, You’re The One That I Want!”), Jean Louisa Kelly (“Mr. Holland’s Opus”), Wendy Liebman (“The Aristocrats”), Timothy Omundson (ABC’s “Galavant”), Reagan Pasternak (Disney Channel’s “In A Heartbeat,”), Jason Ritter (NBC’s “Parenthood”), Richard Sherman (Academy Award-winning Composer Disney’s “Mary Poppins”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, “The Jungle Book”), Bruce Vilanch (Broadway’s ” Hairspray”), Academy Award-winning actress Renee Zellweger, and more to be announced. The evening will also include a pre-show silent auction and reception, and post show dessert with a special “meet-and-greet” with the cast. Proceeds will provide funding for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s mission critical priorities in care services, public policy, and cutting-edge global research toward treatments and cure for ALS. For tickets and more information, please visit our website.

For Tickets: Click Here

JQ International honored several successful LGBTQ role models: Bruce Vilanch Was One

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

JQ International honored several successful LGBTQ role models from the arts community as well as a gay religious leader during its annual awards brunch March 8 at the historic Wilson Harding Golf Course Clubhouse at Griffith Park.

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From left: Rabbi Barbara Zacky, Bruce Vilanch, JQ International Executive Director Asher Gellis, Faith Soloway and Andrea Meyerson. Photo courtesy of JQ International

Those being feted were folk musician and writer Faith Soloway (JQ Inspiration Award), who also is a writer for “Transparent,” the show created by her sister Jill Soloway; comedy writer and performer Bruce Vilanch (JQ Trailblazer Award); filmmaker Andrea Meyerson (JQ Visibility Award) and Rabbi Barbara Zacky (JQ Community Leadership Award).

“After I came out, I identified strongly as a Jewish lesbian, but there weren’t many places that honored all of me,” Zacky said in a statement. “JQ has created an open and inclusive community of LGBT Jews and I’m so glad to be a part of that.”

Approximately 165 people turned out for the event.

JQ International describes itself as an inclusive community for LGBTQ Jews that raises awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ community members in the Jewish world.

“We create programs and services that foster a healthy fusion of LGBTQ and Jewish identity, which offer LGBTQ Jews, their friends, families, and loved ones the opportunity to connect with each other while fostering a strong sense of self,” the organization’s website indicates.

Why are Bruce Vilanch, LeAnn Rimes, Adam Lambert, Tim Gunn, Cloris Leachman and a host of other celebrities flipping the bird?

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Windy City Times
Friend Movement combats bullying, builds bridges
by Terri-Lynne Waldron
2013-08-06

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Why are Bruce Vilanch, LeAnn Rimes, Adam Lambert, Tim Gunn, Cloris Leachman and a host of other celebrities flipping the bird?

As the branding image behind the anti-bullying campaign Friend Movement, the photos show celebrities holding their blurred out middle finger up to the camera in an effort to raise awareness about bullying. Out director/activist Elliot London and openly gay actor/model/activist Ronnie Kroell are the creators behind the controversial campaign that was designed to turn the F-word into the new F-word (“friend’).

“We knew going into this that the middle finger has a lot of negative connotations,” explained Kroell, a Chicago native. “But much of what Friend Movement is trying to do is take a negative and turn it into a positive. It was important for us to make a statement and say that this is not a literal campaign, it is very figurative and it’s about empowerment and it’s about your inner monologue.”

Friend Movement was conceived after Kroell and London were introduced to one another by a mutual friend. Both men thought to combine their independent projects and create one anti-bullying campaign.

“I was working on a film project and Ronnie was working on a campaign project and both our projects really needed a lot of love,” said London who is originally from Australia and got his start as an intern on The Jerry Springer Show. “We decided to figure out how to combine forces and that’s how Friend Movement came along.”

Both Kroell and London were bullied as kids. Kroell was called a ‘faggot’ and had his pants pulled down at school and London was also called a ‘faggot’ and was spit on while riding the bus to Harlem High School in Machesney Park, Illinois. London recently went back to his high school to film a narrative short as part of the campaign. The premise of the film is to capture the stories of kids who have been bullied.

“Each student from the school created the anti-bullying film project and we went in and brought a Hollywood crew and gave it the Hollywood feel,” said London of the project they hope to have finished by late July. “It gives the students self-empowerment, it gets the people involved and it is conversation. This is something that we want to add to what Friend Movement is all about, which is going to high schools across the country and even across the world and bringing them the mentors and the help and bringing a voice to these projects.”

On July 1, Friend Movement held a benefit concert celebrating music and friendship with proceeds going towards their campaign. The concert featured the likes of LeAnn Rimes, The Voice contestants Frenchie Davis and Dia Frampton, Abraham Lin (The Glee Project) and singer Austin Brown, who is Michael Jackson’s nephew. Actress Hana Mae Lee, from the film Pitch Perfect, hosted the show.

Friend Movement has reached out to the fundraising website indiegogo.com to raise money for an upcoming cross-country tour that will get the word out about the campaign in an innovative way. The plan is to shoot 10,000 photos in 90 days across 40 cities.

‘’Raising our $99,000 goal on indiegogo.com will allow us to go to these 40 cities and take these photos for free for anyone that shows up,” said Kroell. “Not only take their photo but talk to us about their experiences being bullied and why it’s important for them to be a part of the campaign and be a friend.”

London and Kroell work 24/7 to give the campaign worldwide attention. But the success of the project is of no surprise for two guys who had big imaginations and big ambitions growing up.

“Being an only child is really helpful in a way because we never really had the barriers, so for the both of us we just do what we can do,” said London. “We’re not afraid to reach for the stars and push our limits.”

Kroell is quick to point out that Friend Movement reaches out to people from all communities, no matter their sexual orientation.

“I think one of the things that is important about this campaign is that it’s not just an LGBT campaign,” he clarified. “While we’re finding support and strength from our family and friends in the LGBT community, it’s really important to know that bullying doesn’t discriminate. As Friend Movement continues to move forward the reason why it’s going to be so powerful is that it is all about building bridges and uniting us together to really find answers.”

Bruce Vilanch, Tyne Daly, Sutton Foster And A Host Of Celebrities Head AIDS Fundraiser “Broadway My Way” Tonight

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Frontiers LA
S.T.A.G.E. Fundraiser Comes to SoCal
Posted 4/6/2013 2:05:00 PM

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Who knew one theatre could contain so many celebrities?

Tonight is the 29th annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. This year’s AIDS fundraiser is called “Broadway My Way” and promises an amazing cavalcade of celebrities.

The list includes Longtime Companion’s Patrick Cassidy, former Cagney & Lacey star Tyne Daly, Phantom of the Opera’s Davis Gaines, The Brady Bunch’s Florence Henderson, The Partridge Family’s Shirley Jones, the ‘often mistaken for Kathy Griffin’s stunt double’ News Radio’s Vicki Lewis, Laugh-In legend Joanne Worley, Oscar writer Bruce Vilanch, Tony winner and Bunheads’ star Sutton Foster and The New Normal’s Andrew Rannells.

Rannells will be performing the song “What Kind of Fool Am I” from the musical Stop the World, I Want To Get Off, made famous by Sammy Davis Jr.—a star for which Rannells is often mistaken. Bruce will be doing a number from A Chorus Line but wouldn’t confirm or deny if it is “Dance: Ten, Looks: Three” aka “Tits and Ass.” Don’t worry about Vilanch’s ability to keep up with other performers, as he performed in Hairspray for over two years.

The S.T.A.G.E. performance is the longest-running AIDS benefit event in the world. Bruce told me that when he left rehearsal on Thursday, Florence Henderson was practicing her number, which involved a whip. Now if that doesn’t convince you to go, I bet it’s enough for Barry Williams.


West Coast Broadway, My Way Benefit, With Tyne Daly, Andrew Rannells, Bruce Vilanch, Lillias White, Held April 6

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Playbill
West Coast Broadway, My Way Benefit, With Tyne Daly, Andrew Rannells, Bruce Vilanch, Lillias White, Held April 6
By Michael Gioia
06 Apr 2013

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Tony Award winner Tyne Daly (Gypsy) and The Book of Mormon Tony nominee Andrew Rannells are among the lineup of performers taking part in the 29th annual Southland Theatre Artists Goodwill Event (S.T.A.G.E.), Broadway, My Way, April 6 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

The one-night-only performance benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles, one of the largest non-profit AIDS service organizations in the U.S. that provides bilingual direct services, prevention education and leadership on HIV/AIDS-related policy and legislation.

Scheduled to appear are Rannells (The Book of Mormon, Hairspray), Patrick Cassidy (42nd Street), Carole Cook (42nd Street), Karen Culliver (The Phantom of the Opera), Daly (Master Class), Davis Gaines (The Phantom of the Opera), Florence Henderson (The Girl Who Came to Supper), Shirley Jones (42nd Street), Jane Lanier (Guys and Dolls), Vicki Lewis (Chicago), Kimberly Locke (“American Idol”), Tom Lowe, Pat Marshall (The Pajama Game), Patricia Morison (The King and I), Janis Paige (Mame), Madison Claire Parks, Valarie Pettiford (Fosse), Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray), Jim Bailey, Mary Jo Catlett (The Pajama Game), Joely Fisher (Cabaret), Kathy Garrick, Gordon Goodman (Hear! Hear!), Marsha Kramer (Peter Pan), JoAnne Worley (The Drowsy Chaperone), The MuMos, Alex Newell (“Glee”), Michael Orland, Lisa Vroman (Aspects of Love), Lillias White (The Life) and Terri White (Follies).

George Gray is the celebrity auctioneer. The event is directed by David Galligan with music direction by John McDaniel.

Special guests at Broadway, My Way include Mackenzie Bourg (“The Voice”), Charo, Carolyn Hennesy (“True Blood”), Bret Lockett (NY Jets) and Jack McGee (“Rescue Me”).
The Saban Theatre is located at 8440 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, CA. For more information and tickets, visit StageLA.com or APLA.org/Stage.