A public Thank You to company members of the WICKED Emerald City Tour for raising $33,000 (net) for BC/EFA and Joining Hearts!

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Dear Kevin Beebee, Jason Yarcho, and WICKED company members:

Wow. Wow! On Monday, September 26, 2011, the National Touring Company of WICKED tore it up in Atlanta in OUR WICKED, WICKED WAYS, an evening of cabaret performances to raise money for families and individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. The proceeds of the event were directed to JOINING HEARTS in Atlanta and to BROADWAY CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS (BC/EFA).

The company raised more money in Atlanta than ever before - over $40,000 gross, and $33,000 net after event expenses. Thank you - and congratulations!

The event that WICKED produced, directed, arranged, and delivered far exceeded my expectations on every level. Everyone involved donated a huge amount of time and effort to make this a world-class event that will long be remembered in Atlanta. Please extend my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all those who contributed to this tremendous show.

Photos by Dan Lax and Brent Rence Corcoran/RNZ Photography:

Kevin Beebee, this event landed in your lap after the original event organizer left WICKED to pursue other opportunities. You managed the transition seamlessly and delivered a stunning show. As producer and director, you were responsible for pulling everything together which you did perfectly. In your spare time, you helped market the benefit, and at the event you helped bring in $22,000 in live auction items alone - a record for your company.

Jason Daunter, I didn't have the opportunity to work closely with you, but I had many opportunities to observe your commitment to delivering a tightly run show. Thank you for coordinating all of the technical aspects of the event that made it so successful. Thanks also to stage managers Rolando Linares and Gregg Kirsopp.

In a performance like this, the crucial element for the audience is the music. WICKED's music directors Jason Yarcho and Lou Garrett really delivered. They organized a brilliant ten-piece band that included a strong brass section; the band was larger than many Off-Broadway and even Broadway shows today. Band members included Jason Yarcho: music director / piano; Lou Garrett: music director / guitar / banjo; Matt Doebler: keys; Greg Germann: drums; Mark Miller: bass; Steve Wood: alto sax; Oiver Santana: bari / tenor sax; Lee King: trumpet; Clayton Chastain: trumpet; and Tom Gibson: trombone. My understanding is that Jason was responsible for most if not all of the arrangements; they were wonderful and memorable.

Then we have the twenty-plus singers and dancers. SUCH a talented group. Because many of the singers performed both lead and back-up, some of them performed in nine or more of the 23 numbers presented. Talk about hard work and dedication. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm not going to call out specific performers, because everyone was terrific. They included Justin Brill, Stefanie Brown, Megan Campanile, Rick Desloge, Melanie Field, Luis Augusto Figueroa, Napoleon Gladney, Brenda Hamilton, Ashton Jones, Reneé Lawless-Orsini, Philip Dean Lightstone, Marissa Lupp, Michael Mahany, Alli McGinnis, Kevin McMahon, Steve Quinn, Carla Stickler, Mariand Torres, Brandon Tyler, Shanna Vanderwerker and Mikey Winslow.

Huge kudos to WICKED stars Dee Roscioli (Elphaba) and Amanda Jane Cooper (Glinda) for hosting the VIP reception - and for putting themselves on the auction block. Their efforts brought in $10,000 at the live auction and helped us sell over 100 VIP tickets.

Thanks to event emcees Luis Augusto Figueroa and Philip Dean Lightstone who brought a special brand of humor the show. Thanks also to all the men who bared their chests (and to Reneé Lawless-Orsini who bared her legs) to keep the live auction money flowing!

Special thanks to The Theatre Authority, Actors Equity Association and The American Federation of Musicians for allowing their union members to participate in the show. Thanks also to MOTHERHOOD THE MUSICAL for sharing their stage at the 14th St. Playhouse.

While the WICKED company ran all aspects of the production, many Atlantans contributed to its great success. Special thanks to Patrick McCulley from Joining Hearts for organizing so much of the logistics of the event. Special thanks to Jon Santos From AID Atlanta for his extraordinary efforts to fill the theatre, especially with the big donors who helped make it such a financial success. Thanks to Mark Lenkiewicz from Joining Hearts for developing the ticketing website page and managing the finances for the event. And thanks to all those at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, AID Atlanta, Joining Hearts, Jerusalem House and everyone else in the Atlanta community who donated silent auction items and helped to publicize the event.

While nobody at WICKED needs my help, if there is anything I can ever do for you in return, please don't hesitate to let me know.

All the best,
Kevin Ireland
Atlanta Event Presenter


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