“Orphaned Songs for Orphaned Starfish” – a concert of composer Stephen Schwartz (Monday, November 19 at The Cutting Room), was an evening of unsung/cut songs from Wicked, Pippin, Working, and Children of Eden along with a new duet from the stage production of The Prince of Egypt. The concert also included some favorites from The Bakers Wife, Magic Show, Pippin, Pocahontas, Wicked and his opera Séance On a Wet Afternoon. The benefit evening for The Orphaned Starfish Foundation raised over $60,000.
Andy Stein, Founder and Executive Chairman, stated: “There are not enough words to say how thankful we are to the legendary Stephen Schwartz for his incredible support of the children of the Orphaned Starfish Foundation, to Michael Lavine, Paul Kreppel and Carol De Giere who made this a reality, and to all the wonderful Broadway stars who donated their performances that made tonight so very special. This night exceeded our expectations in all ways and raised much needed funding,for the programs of the Orphaned Starfish Foundation. The funds raised at the event will support computer teachers across the world to make a difference in the future of more than 13,000 lives of orphans, survivors of abuse and trafficking, indigenous peoples and at-risk youth. Tonight made more of a difference than we could have ever imagined to support our initiative in developing computer training centers in Native American Reservations.”
The evening featured a tribute to Godspell with cast members from the 1970s on and off Broadway productions with legendary musical director Paul Shaffer at the piano. The Godspell group included Peggy Gordon (original cast and “By My Side” composer), Lucia Giannetta (2000 Godspell revival, The Bronx Tale), Paul Kreppel (Wicked), Patti Mariano (42nd Street), Nancy McCall, (Nine, Godspell), Mark Planner (Jesus Christ Superstar),and Don Scardino (original Broadway Jesus & Emmy winning producer/ director).
The show also featured performances by Stephen Schwartz, along with Ben Vereen, the Tony Award-winning star of the original Broadway Pippin, Tony-winners, American Idol singers, and others. Lilly ‘Ogichidaa Ikwenzens’ Linden, from the White Earth Reservation, sang “Colors Of The Wind.” Other performers included Tony winner Alice Ripley (Side Show, Next To Normal), Tony winner Daisey Eagan (The Secret Garden), Robbie Berson (A Connecticut Christmas Carol), Margot Bingham (Rent, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), Jacob Dickey (Aladdin, The Prince of Egypt), Jenn Gambatese (Wicked, School of Rock), Justin Guarini (Wicked, American Idol), Laurel Harris (Wicked, Beautiful), Adam Jacobs (Aladdin, The Lion King), Blaine Krauss (The Cher Show, Kinky Boots), Constantine Maroulis (Rock of Ages, American Idol), Georgina Pazcoguin (New York City Ballet, Cats), Christine Pedi (Sirius XM Radio, Forbidden Broadway)! The concert was hosted by Scott Coulter with musical direction by Michael Lavine and direction by Paul Kreppel. It also celebrated the updated second edition of the Stephen Schwartz biography Defying Gravity updated by Carol de Giere.
THE ORPHANED STARFISH FOUNDATION is dedicated to helping orphans, victims of abuse, survivors of trafficking, indigenous children and at-risk youth break their cycles of abuse and poverty through computer based education, job training and job placement assistance. Since the beginning in 2001, ORPHANED STARFISH programs address the challenges facing orphans, victims of abuse, survivors of trafficking, indigenous children and at-risk youth by providing them with technology training. OSF funds the construction and operation of vocational training facilities, including funding for furnishings, purchasing required equipment, teacher salaries, job placement services and scholarships for higher education. OSF also provides English language software & classes, a Life-Skills Program, Scholarships & helps with job placement whenever possible. They make a difference in the lives of over 13,000 children in their 60 programs in 27 countries! Information at http://www.osf.org/events
Stephen Schwartz is an American musical theatre lyricist and composer. In a career spanning over four decades, he has written such hit musicals as Godspell, Pippin and Wicked, as well as The Magic Show, The Bakers Wife, Working, Rags and Children of Eden. He has contributed lyrics for a number of successful films, including Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Prince of Egypt (& music) and Enchanted.