by Brian Scott Lipton
No one throws a benefit like MCC Theater, which scored another home run with this year’s Miscast benefit at the Hammerstein Ballroom. In addition to honoring MCC alum, Oscar winner Marisa Tomei, and raising $1 million for the company’s educational programs, the benefit provided the opportunity for its lucky guests to hear some of Broadway and television’s finest voices sing (brilliantly) the most unexpected songs.
Among the many highlights were two duets from Rent, “I’ll Cover You” (brought to full life by Ana Villafane and Shanice Williams) and “Take Me or Leave Me” (performed with sass and sex appeal by Aaron Tveit and Gavin Creel), and a very unusual rendition of “The Schuyler Sisters” from Hamilton.
The evening’s ladies were truly on fire: Lea Salonga offered up a soaring rendition of “Why God Why” from Miss Saigon –admitting that she had never sung the tune before the dress rehearsal. The amazing Cynthia Erivo, from The Color Purple, was astonishing in tackling “A Piece of Sky” (from Yentl); TV favorite Beth Behrs was delightful in her rendition of “Wig in a Box” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Keala Settle brought the audience to its feet with her magnificent rendition of “The Impossible Dream,” and surprise guest Tina Fey almost literally stole the show, coming out of the audience to duet with TV co-star Tituss Burgess on “You’re Nothing Without Me” (from City of Angels).
Before the show, TheaterPizzazz chatted with many of these fine talents on the Red Carpet. Take a peek.
Interviews: Brian Scott Lipton
Video: Sandi Durell