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Brian Stokes Mitchell: Simply Broadway…for Sandy

November 8, 2012

We’d like to take a moment to thank our fantastic – and always generous – Chariman, Brian Stokes Mitchell! Last night, he lit up Alice Tully Hall for a gala benefit for The Actors Fund and Lincoln Center, which was the first of his Give Service benefit concerts, a five city tour that will raise funds for The Fund and each of the theatres hosting the concerts. We thank Stokes for his amazing gift of music in this especially difficult time in the Tri-State area.

Last night, in light of recent events, Stokes decided to highlight the work The Fund is doing to help everyone in entertainment who’s been affected by Superstorm Sandy. The Actors Fund continues to work non-stop to make its services available to those whose lives have been torn apart because of this tragic event – as of today, we’ve received more than 400 calls for help. If you need assistance – or know someone in the business who does – tell them to contact us! We know it’s going to take months for things to recover.

In the midst of the snowy nor’easter, Stokes welcomed the audience with, “Good evening, you intrepid theatre-goers!,” and talked about how he was happy to be part of an event that couldn’t be stopped by the extreme weather, which was a special alliance two of his two favorite organizations.  Stokes himself couldn’t be stopped, performing in socks because he had a “slight altercation with a chair” in his apartment, which broke his toe.  “You should see the chair,” he said!

Marvin Laird was the musical director for the evening, which comprised a wonderfully rich setlist:
1/ Feeling Good, from The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd
2/ The title song from Man of La Mancha
3/ C’est Moi, Camelot
4/ How to Handle a Woman, Camelot
5/ Stars, Les Miz
6/ If I Were a Rich Man, Fiddler on the Roof
7/ Soliloquy, Carousel
8/ Finishing the Hat, Sunday in the Park with George
9/ What Kind of Fool Am I, Stop The World – I Want To Get Off
10/ A Woman is a Sometime Thing, Porgy & Bess
11/ It Ain’t Necessarily So, Porgy & Bess
12/ Sorry, Grateful, Company
13/ Some Enchanted Evening, South Pacific
Encore #1/ Impossible Dream, Man of La Mancha (which he sang especially for Lincoln Center Trustee Adrienne Arsht, whose generous support of Lincoln Center helped to fund Alice Tully Hall’s brand new Adrienne Arsht Stage)
Encore #2/ Some Other Time, On the Town

Stokes, Adrienne Arsht, & David Hasselhoff

And we’re so proud of Stokes, and incredibly grateful for everything he continues to do for The Fund and the entertainment and performing arts community. We’re also incredibly pleased that he’s getting great press, not only for this benefit project, but also for the Simply Broadway album itself! Check out the NY Daily News story on the project (view the pdf here), and one of the cuts from the record made USA Today‘s Playlist this week.

We especially thank the wonderful Lincoln Center staff, and the fabulous audience, which braved the height of the big nor’easter to come out and support The Actors Fund and Lincoln Center!

Brian Stokes Mitchell’s new Simply Broadway album is available now! You can download it from iTunes, order it from Amazon, or support The Fund by buying Collectors Edition benefit copies from The Actors Fund Store for $15, or copies autographed by Stokes for $25!

To stay up-to-date on Stokes’ news and for information on his upcoming Give Service concerts as they’re announced, visit his website, follow him on Twitter, and like him on Facebook.

All photos by Jay Brady Photography.

Stokes & Musical Director Marvin Laird take a bow.

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