Thursday, May 13, 2004

Broadway Reaches Out, Raises Record Sum for Ailing Club

In an unprecedented event, Tony Award winning stars joined forces with the Coaster Preservation Organization (formerly Club) for the first annual "Broadway Cares About Coasters" extravaganza, held at the American Airlines Theater last week.

“When Lee [Coaster] contacted me about the plight of abused roller coasters, I knew that I could do something positive to help,” said Stephen Sondheim in an exclusive ARN&R interview. “Through catchy hooks and peppy dance numbers, and with a dash of Bernadette Peters’s talent, we could raise money for this noble cause.”

After months of collaboration between some of today’s hottest Broadway composers, directors, choreographers and stars, “Oh, Knoebels!” was born. “To be honest, I really wanted something that would more accurately reflect Coaster Enthusiasm than last year’s Theme Park Diva.” said Marc Shaiman, who contributed to the score with the show-stopping number “Anything You Can Ride I can Ride Longer.” Nathan Lane, a longtime fan of the coasters found in his native New Jersey, added, “Finally, a show I can be proud of –- for a cause that affects the entire Broadway community -– or at least me, and that guy over there.”

The show, which was a one-night-only event, raised a total of $12.95 after the extravagant costs associated with the production, which included a working replica of the Phoenix Flyers designed by Tony nominated designer Eugene Lee for the Act I finale “Fugue for ACERs.” “It’s the most money we’ve ever walked away with,” said Lee Coaster, who plans to use the money to play some DDR later.

--MMS