In most cases, the name of any person, place or thing can be descriptive to what that person, place or thing is about. In this case, however, there was nothing wicked about the cast of Wicked the musical, coming together to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
For reference, Wicked is the untold story of the witches of Oz, features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (who composed Godspell, Pippin, and is the Academy Award winner for Pocahontas and The Prince of Egypt) and book by Winnie Holzman ("My So Called Life," "Once And Again" and "thirtysomething"), and is based on the best-selling novel by Gregory Maguire. Los Angeles tour cast members came out to support, Gina Starbuck, who is cast as the witches' mother, hosted an event that was in dedication to her father that passed away due to complications with Cancer. Additionally, Michael Urie of Ugly Betty lent his support by co-hosting the evening of song, dance and silent auction.
Held at the artistic venue of Facade-Hollywood, the evening began with casual mingling in the outdoor patio area of the venue. Guests could venture inside where a full bar met you just before venturing to the raised level of ground one where the silent auction was held. On the second floor, there was more space to mingle and another outdoor bar area. The space of Facade with its reminiscent structure of a New York City loft was the perfect setting for the night.
After a few pictures and interviews, Starbuck made her way to the stage to thank guests for coming out and to tell why this event was important to her. Her rendition of tales of her father brought tears to her eyes and to the eyes of many of the guests in the venue. Not wanting to stick to the sad tone of the occasion, Starbuck quickly transitioned over to her excitement about the support from her fellow cast members and the acts that were in store for evening. I can remember feeling an extreme amount of admiration for her strength and dedication to pull this together.
Many of the cast members from MTV's Dance Life came out to show their support through the art of dance. Blake and Nolan who are viewed as archrivals on the dance based reality show didn't let animosity hinder them from showing up under the same roof. I believe I even saw Blake cheering Nolan on as he and his dancer hit the stage for a little one, two step. Other performances featured various cast members singing their hearts out in front of the crowded stage area.
Donations to the American Cancer Society were also being accepted and as a thank you for contributing, donators were given swag bags filled with everything from spa get-away packages to tantalizing treats to eat.
I was thankful that I was afforded the opportunity to help support ACS and the cast members of Wicked!
Published on Dec 31, 1969