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Disney Theatricals in Spotlight for Annual Actors Fund Gala

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Disney Theatricals was in the spotlight on Monday night for the annual Actors Fund Gala. NY1's Frank DiLella filed the following report.

From the newsboys in "Newsies" to the company of "The Lion King," and even the originals like "Mary Poppins," "Tarzan" and "The Little Mermaid," they were all present to celebrate 20 years of Disney on Broadway.

The splashy reunion took place at The New Amsterdam Theatre, the home of Broadway's "Aladdin."

The evening featured original Disney stage performers like Ashley Brown, Josh Strickland and Sierra Boggess.

"Disney, for one, it gave me my first big opportunity to grace a big Broadway stage," Strickland says. "And it's really so incredible the work that they do, the diversity of people that they hire. They give so many people jobs."

The benefit also marked a reunion for the original trio from the 2000 Disney musical "Aida," Sherie Rene Scott, Adam Pascal and Tony winner Heather Headley.

"I would do every show on Broadway just to have that moment with them again," Headley says.

The evening was a benefit for the Actors Fund, a not-for-profit that's been giving back to the performing arts community for more than a century. Actors Fund head Joe Benincasa and Disney Theatricals president Thomas Schumacher were also honored for their work for their respective organizations.

At the gala, I found Schumacher and Benincasa singing each other's praises.

"Over the years, I've called on the services of The Actors Fund on our behalf, on behalf of performers and stagehands and musicians, and they've consistently delivered," Schumacher says.

"Tom came to the Actors Fund and said, 'It's 20 years. I could do a big party, spend a lot of money on the party, thank everybody for making Disney Theatricals such a big success, but I think I'll do a gala for the Actors Fund to raise money so the Actors Fund can continue to help people in the community," Benincasa says.

To learn more about the Actors Fund, visit actorsfund.org.

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