AFWP on Broadway 4 at Joe’s Pub in NY, October 5, 2014
Twenty-one Broadway stars each gave a stellar performance for “Artists For World Peace On Broadway 4,” held at Joe’s Pub in the Public Theater, New York City, on October 5th. This is the fourth year that actor Sharone Sayegh produced the show in which a group of Broadway performers donate their time, talent, spirit, love and energy to benefit the Middletown-based 501-c(3) organization founded by international jewelry designer Wendy Black-Nasta.
“It was an amazing outpouring of support,” says Black-Nasta. “The energy in the room was a true celebration of peace and love. AFWP on Broadway is a night that proves that a song can build a health center; a dance can educate a child…”
Hosted by twins Paul and Robbie Rescigno, and featuring musical director Sonny Paladino, the performances this year will go toward supporting our ongoing work, which includes the care and education of eighteen orphans at the Good Hope Trust Orphanage in Kibosho-Umbwe, in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Highlighting each artists’ commitment to Black-Nasta’s vision of peace through the arts, each artist wore the International Peace Belt during his or her performance. It was this belt, created by Black-Nasta and her jewelry apprentices in 2003, that had initially provided the organization’s link to Good Hope Trust.
In previous years, funds from the Broadway events were used to help complete the construction of the health center. Now complete, the clinic opened this summer with a two-week eye clinic, staffed by eye care professionals from Connecticut. Raymond Dennis, who heads the Ophthalmic Design Program at Middlesex Community College, filled prescriptions and fit frames for all the patients with vision impairment. Tanzanian eye surgeon Christian Mlundwa was on hand to see patients alongside Carol Gordon, O.D, from Madison, Connecticut, and Ana Marie Gomes, O.D., from Milford, Connecticut. Black-Nasta introduced her eleven-member travel team and thanked all those who performed and attended this show.
Photographer Claudia Hehr Paul, also a member of the traveling team, was there to photograph and videotape the show. Sound was provided by Robert Nasta. Additionally, four artists from the Fashion Institute of Technology each stood at a canvas to paint during the show, recording their impressions in their medium of choice. The finished works were part of the auction held after the show to support ongoing eye care in Kibosho Umbwe, Tanzania.
Photographs by Monica Concetta Soluri
Thank you to all of our past performers. Here’s what we did together.
AFWP on Broadway 1: Raised funds to install electricity in the community health center in Tanzania.
AFWP on Broadway 2: Helped complete the construction of the health center, and also raised money to start the Cluck Cluck Club.
AFWP on Broadway 3: Helped pay for the shipping of our container to Tanzania that transfered hospital beds, 500 pairs of shoes, bikes, eye glasses, and other items. A total of $160,000 in-kind donations were made to the village and health center.
AFWP on Broadway 4: You can only imagine what we will do next!
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Our AFWP on Broadway 4 Family
A Virginia native Justin’s credits include Chaplin the Musical on Broadway, Encores! (On Your Toes) as well as Paper Mill Playhouse (Hero, A Funny Thing…Forum), Goodspeed Musicals (Mickey, Hello! My Baby), Stages St. Louis (Tom Sawyer, Big River!), Yale Institute for Music Theatre, NYMF, as well as CBS’ My Broadway Debut. Justin holds a BM in Music Theatre from Florida State University.
Joseph Dellger is so pleased to be part of the Artists For World Peace Benefit. He just finished playing Mr. Banks in Marry Poppins at Westchester Theater. On Broadway, he played Father in Ragtime, Magnus in Lestat, William Randolph Hurst in Scandalous and the Coroner in Porgy and Bess. Tours: 101 Dalmatians, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Les Miz, Regional Theater: The Visit @ The Goodman, Jacques Brel @ Alliance, Christmas Carol @ Arvada Ctr., The Full Monty @ Ogunquit, Nerds @ Philadelphia Theater Co., Camelot @ Northshore, Man of La Mancha @ Goodspeed and a bunch of others.
Currently Stacia is in Mamma Mia on Broadway. She is starring in, and the co writer of, Middle (ST)age on STAGE17.tv and is also blogging for Huffington Post. Her most recent television appearance was on Season 3 of Homeland in the small but mighty role of Lynn Carras. Other Broadway credits include THE DROWSY CHAPERONE, SWING, TOM SAWYER, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. She has toured the country in national tours and has appeared in theatre regionally, most recently in NEXT to NORMAL . @fernandezstacia, @marinalippon, www.staciafernandez.com.
This is Natalie’s third year with AFWP and she is so grateful to be back once again. Natalie most recently played the role of Monica Lewinsky in Clinton, The Musical at NYMF and can be seen this holiday season in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular! She has performed in the Broadway and national touring companies of both Jersey Boys (Mary Delgado) and Mamma Mia! For more info, check out www.nataliegallo.com
Albert Guerzon made his Broadway debut in Mamma Mia and later joined its national tour. Other favorite credits include: Ghost the Musical on Bway, the world premier of The Times They Are A-Changin by Twyla Tharp, and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and The Wiz at La Jolla Playhouse. Al will be in the upcoming Bway production of Honeymoon in Vegas. Thank you Sharone and Artists for World Peace! ONE LOVE.
Liana Hunt originally hails from the lovely hills of Vermont. She most recently finished her run as Katherine Plumber in the Broadway cast of Newsies. After receiving her BFA from NYU (CAP21) she toured the country as Sophie in the national tour of Mamma Mia! and made her Broadway debut playing the role of Sophie. Other favorite roles include: Eponine in Les Miserables, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Toffee in Zombie Prom, Hope in Urinetown and Catherine in Pippin.
Aaron is currently playing Artthur Millburn in the Broadway production of The Last Ship, created by Sting, John Logan, Brian Yorkey and Steven Hoggett, and directed by Joe Mantello. He has appeared on Broadway in the world premiere of Impressionism, oppostie Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen; as Carl-Magnus in the first Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s, A Little Night Music; opposite Catherine Zeta-Jnes, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, and Elaine Stritch; the first Broadway revival of Les Miserables as Enjoiras (Drama Desk Award nomination), and the global hit Mama Mia! as Sam Carmichael. Aaron also played Fabrizio in the Tony Award winning, The Light in the Piazza, at Lincoln Center, and broadcast ‘Live From Lincoln Center’ on PBS. Recent film: Sawn Levy’s, This is Where I leave You; Martin Scorcese’s, The Wolf of Wall Street; Clint Eastwood’s, J. Edgar; and the DVD of Sondheim’s Company (Director Lonny Price) with Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks, Stephen Colbert, Patti Lupone, and more. TV: The Blacklist, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Following, The Onion News Network, A Gifted Man, and Ugly Betty.
Nathan Lucrezio is currently a featured ensemble member in the Broadway production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, understudying two principal characters: Jean-Michel and Lord Pinklekton. He recently released his original songs/music videos, ‘Crazy Girl’ and ‘Walk Out the Door,’ on iTunes and all online music stores. Find his videos on YouTube! Other favorite credits include, TV/Film: Smash. Tour: A Chorus Line (Alan DeLuca). NYC: Children of God (MITF, Nominated ‘Outstanding Actor’), One For My Baby (New 42), and Ordinary Days (The York). Nathan received a B.F.A. In Musical Theater from Penn State University. Also, he was a medal recipient at the 2005 World Irish Dancing Championships as well awarded the Emerging Talent Award at the 2011 Lotte Lenya Competition. Keep up with Nathan at www.nathanlucrezio.com, and Insta/Tweet him @nathanlucrezio.
Alison is thrilled to be a part of Artists for World Peace! You can currently see her in Broadway’s, Matilda as Ms. Honey. She has spent the last year starring as Elphaba in the 1st national tour of Wicked. Her original Broadway credits include: Scandalous and GHOST the Musical. Alison was also part of the Broadway and national tour company of Mamma Mia! She has received a Denver Post Ovation award for Best Supporting Actress in a musical for her portrayal as Olive in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, at Theatre Aspen.
Christopher is honored to be performing for the first time with AFWP. He is currently playing Joe Pesci and understudying Frankie Valli in the Broadway company of Jersey Boys. He can also be seen in the Jersey Boys film as “Dancer/Frankie-Stand-In.”
“Happiness is wanting what you have.”
Broadway: Violet (Original Company, Flick standby). Off-Broadway: Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (Original Company). New York: Central Avenue Breakdown (NYMF), Hadestown (workshop, director. Rachel Chavkin), Broken Bride (Cutting Room). Regional: Guthrie Theater, NJPAC, New Harmony Theatre, Cortland Repertory Theatre. Film: HairBrained. BFA, Drama from NYU Tisch. A foremost thanks to God. Love also to his amazing family and Brisa. www.azudi.net
Steve Rosen is an actor, writer and composer/lyricist. He co-wrote and starred in both The Other Josh Cohen (with David Rossmer) which was nominated for 6 Drama Desk Awards and Don’t Quit Your Night Job (with Rossmer, Dan Lipton and Sarah Saltzberg). Don’t Quit will next be seen 12/11 at 54 Below. He has performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in films and on television. Upcoming Films: Barry Levinson’s The Humbling and Rain Li’s Beijing/New York. Twitter: @sweetrosen www.azudi.net
Sarah made her Broadway debut starring as Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a role which she originated with improvisational comedy troupe The Farm. She most recently starred in and produced the improv and sketch comedy show Don’t Quit Your Night Job at the Ha! Comedy Club in New York, and appeared in the movie City Island as the casting director. Sarah also co-wrote the off-Broadway comedy Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating, and Marriage, with Ken Davenport. She has appeared off-Broadway as Helen in The Donkey Show, Cherry in Sinfully Rich, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in her one-woman show Dear Diary (Broadway Spotlight Series, Ars Nova), and throughout NYC in long-form improv comedy with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. She is a native of Needham, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Boston University
Sharone recently finished a 3 year run in the Broadway company of Mamma Mia! after she closed the Las Vegas production. Her other theater credits include: Vidya, in the west coast premier of Disconnect, at San Jose Rep (Bay Area Critics Circle Nom.), Hadia, in Bengal Tiger, at the Baghdad Zoo (The Lark), Damn Yankees (Reprise!, Los Angeles), and Cats (Hangar Theater). Her film credits include: Black Dog/Red Dog, F*ck New York, Men Are Dogs, and Ex Marks The Plan. You can also see her on various commercials for Vonage, Rolos, OSN, and Toys R Us. Her next project will be playing Vicki on a new HULU original series called Don’t Know Jack. She is a proud AEA and SAG/AFTRA member and earned a BFA from Syracuse University. @sharonesayegh, www.sharonesayegh.com.
Rashidra Scott, a native of Virginia Beach, VA, and graduate of Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA). Rashidra can be seen on Broadway in “Beautiful: the Carole King Musical” and has previously been in “Sister Act,” “Hair,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” and “Avenue Q.” Rashidra is excited to be a part of tonight’s AFWP event. Follow her on Twitter @RashidraScott and on Facebook Facebook.com/RashidraScott.
Allison Strong was most recently seen in the 2014 NBC Diversity Scene Showcase directed by Jason Eagan. Broadway: Mamma Mia! and Bye Bye Birdie. Other NY: Under My Skin, Volleygirls, Carmen & A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Met Opera. An alumna of the Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project, Allison released her debut album, March Towards The Sun, in August to a packed house at New Jersey’s Bergen PAC. Proud graduate of Montclair State University’s Musical Theatre department.
Daniel J. Watts
Daniel J. Watts is thrilled to be a part of AFWP on Broadway 4. The poet/actor/singer/dancer has appeared on Broadway in seven shows including: The Color Purple, Memphis, In The Heights, and After Midnight. He is currently reprising his role as Eddie Holland in Motown the Musical. With his production company WattsWords Production, Watts uses spoken word, music, dance and various forms of multimedia to provoke thought and challenge communities to focus on social similarities as opposed to differences. One of WattsWords Productions more successful projects is a one-man performance series called ‘The Jam: Spoken Word Preserves’, which has played to sold-out houses at Canal Room, The Clark Studio Theatre at Lincoln Center, and The Helen Mills Spotlight Theatre. A graduate of Elon University’s BFA Music Theatre program and a 2010 Young Alumnus Award Recipient, Watts believes storytelling has the power to saves lives. www.wattswords.com @dwattswords
A proud native of Portage, Michigan, Blake was named NY-1’s Pick Of The Week for his Smash Show at Joe’ Pub last August, 2013. Blake recently produced his own 1st Annual Music Festival collaborating with 6 choreographers, a string quartet, and a jazz sextet creating a unique fusion of music and dance at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. He has performed at Lincoln Center’s Josie Robertson Plaza, Rockwood Music Hall, The Cutting Room, Highline Ballroom, The Living Room, Sullivan Hall, Bowery Electric, and the NYSE Tree Lighting Ceremony, to name a few. He was also recently chosen to be a part of the Johnny Mercer Songwriting Project at Northwestern University. Blake’s Debut Album “More Like Myself” has garnered much critical acclaim. Check out his newest single “Let Me Fly” on iTunes. blakewhyte.com
Hosts: Paul and Robbie Rescigno
Paul Rescigno writes and performs his award-winning comedy show The Rescignos, with his twin brother, regularly at The Duplex. Most recently, Paul appeared in the season finale of ABC’s Black Box. He has a B.F.A. in Acting from Syracuse University and currently works as an audience coordinator and freelance monologue joke writer at the Late Show with David Letterman. www.TheRescignos.com
Robbie Rescigno and his brother write and star in The Rescignos, an award winning comedy show regularly performed in New York City. He received a B.F.A. in Acting from Syracuse University and has studied at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. www.TheRescignos.com
Musical Director: Sonny Paladino
Sonny currently serves as Associate Conductor and Keyboard player for the Broadway revival of Pippin, and will be the Associate Conductor on The Last Ship (written by Sting), which opens on Broadway in November. Recently Sonny served as Music Supervisor for the critically acclaimed, off-Broadway hit, Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Other Broadway credits (Assistant Conductor/Keys): Jesus Christ Superstar, Billy Elliot, Grease, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Keyboards: Guys and Dolls, Mama Mia!, Promises, Promises; Addams Family, Women on the Verge. Music Supervisor for Disney’s High School Musical (Milan/Italy tour.) 1st National Tours: Disney’s High School Musical, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Grease. Work with Alicia Keys, Ke$ha, Matthew Morrison. As a composer: The Return of the Blue Cat (with poet F.D. Reeve.) Music supervisor for the upcoming new musicals The Happy Embalmer and Street Lights. TV: The X-Factor (Australia), The Next Big Thing. B.F.A. in Jazz Piano from CUNY City College. www.sonnypaladino.com