Jonathan Groff, Julia Murney, Derek Klena, Lindsay Mendez and More Will Sing Backstage for Christmas Benefit Dec. 17

By Adam Hetrick
06 Dec 2012

Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff
Photo by Mark A. Lee of Great Exposures

ASTEP/Artists Striving to End Poverty will present an intimate and starry holiday concert — featuring Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls), Jonathan Groff ("Glee," Spring Awakening), Derek Klena (Carrie, Dogfight), Lindsay Mendez (Dogfight, Godspell), Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party), Ali Stroker ("The Glee Project") and more — at a unique Broadway space Dec. 17.

Access to the 6:30 PM show, dubbed Backstage for Christmas: A Holiday Cabaret, is through the Stage Door entrance of Broadway's Foxwoods Theatre at 214 West 43rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenue). The door leads to a performance space in the theatre.

The cabaret — which is said to have extremely limited availability — is a hot ticket for people who like musical-theatre stars, holidays songs and a unique behind-the-scenes theatrical experience. "Expect your favorite holiday songs, and some musical surprises," according to ASTEP. Additional stars will be announced.

Backstage for Christmas: A Holiday Cabaret is produced and music-directed by Drama Desk Award-winning orchestrator Mary-Mitchell Campbell, who is also the founder and executive director of ASTEP. Appearing with pianist Campbell will be Damien Bassman (drums/percussion).



The new 2012 concert builds on the foundation of the popular ASTEP New York City Christmas benefit concerts created by Lynne Shankel (Bare, Altar Boyz, Cry-Baby, Summer of '42, Paper Mill's Once On This Island) and preserved on CD by Ghostlight/Sh-K-Boom. This year, there's a different set of songs and celebrations — plus a few hits from the New York City Christmas album, which will be available for purchase at the event.

General admission is $75. For a $100 ticket, you'll also get a free copy of the New York City Christmas album.

All proceeds from tickets to the show and album sales go to supporting ASTEP's mission "to connect performing and visual artists with underserved youth in the U.S. and around the world to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty."

Space is extremely limited. Tickets available by purchase online through Eventbrite at aholidaycabaret.eventbrite.com.

For more information about ASTEP visit asteponline.org.

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"New York City Christmas: A Benefit Album for ASTEP," on the Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight label, is a special labor of love created by music director, orchestrator and arranger Lynne Shankel. Over the years, in several venues in Manhattan, she brought together some of the best musicians and singers in the Broadway community, including "American Idol" star Constantine Maroulis, Little Mermaid star Sierra Boggess, and Tony nominees Raul Esparza and Orfeh, plus more. The album is available for purchase through iTunes, Amazon.com, and sh-k-boom.com.

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ASTEP was conceived by Broadway music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students "to transform the lives of youth using the most powerful tool they had — their art." Today, ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth in the U.S. and around the world "to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty."