Cast and Crew of Teen Musical ‘In Your Dreams’ Congratulates England’s Prince Harry on Launch of New AIDS Charity in Lesotho; Offers NYC Benefit Performance on Sept. 11
New York, NY (PRWEB) May 8, 2006
The cast and crew of the new teen musical “In Your Dreams” issued a statement today congratulating Prince Harry of England on the founding of his new AIDS-related charity in Lesotho, and offered to perform a charity benefit in New York on the evening of Sept. 11th, with all proceeds to go to this new charity.
“Our musical has been offered a number of performance nights this coming September in Manhattan at the prestigious Ars Nova Performance Center, including Sept. 11th, and at this advance point in time it would be a very simple thing for us to add a single additional night to our showcase schedule in order to perform such a benefit,” says Zeke Farrow, the creator and lyricist for the musical. “And we would very much like to do so.”
Prince Harry’s new charity, called Sentebale, is aimed at creating a better life for the thousands of AIDS orphans in the African country of Lesotho, where HIV and Aids has affected at least 30 percent of the 1.8 million population and the infection rate seems to be climbing. There are a minimum of 120,000 orphans, and possibly up to 200,000, currently living in orphanages in that country under severe conditions. Donations to Sentebale can be made at http://www.sentebale.org or by calling, outside of in England, +44 800-458-0835. Charitable contributions to the charity may shortly be accepted via Paypal.com.
Sentebale, which means forget me not, is dedicated to Prince Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, who died in a 1997 car crash. Sentebale will be located at the Mants’ase Children’s Home near Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, a kingdom in southern Africa where 70 people die from AIDS daily.
Twenty-one-year-old Harry and Lesotho Prince Seeiso co-founded the orphanage. Seeiso’s mother died in 2003 and, like Diana, was active in the global fight against AIDS. Harry said the charity will fund small but helpful programs that larger aid groups haven’t been funding.
“Sentebale does mean ‘Forget me not’ and it’s a way that both me and Prince Seeiso can relate to our mothers who were both in sort of the same jobs working with orphaned children,” Prince Harry told a pool of reporters in Lesotho recently.
The Prince became familiar with the country, in southern Africa, and its problem during a gap-year visit between Eton and Sandhurst in 2004. Two years ago a mutual friend put Harry in touch with Prince Seeiso, 40, the younger brother of King Letsie of Lesotho, who is his country’s High Commissioner in London. The two princes came up with the charity idea together.
During his 2004 visit to Lesotho Harry was so struck by the country’s plight that he conceived the idea of a television documentary, knowing that a royal name could attract publicity and money. The one-hour special was broadcast in Britain in late 2004, and helped to raise almost £1 million for the charity.
“Everyone involved here would be happy to donate their time and space for something that is so worthwhile,” says Farrow. “As the world knows, America is far from perfect, but we really do have our hearts in the right place.”
Ars Nova seats only 99 in its theater, so it could not be a huge affair, says Farrow. “But we have lined up a number of top Broadway performers – many of whom are the same performers on our advance CD and one of whom has just been honored with a Drama Desk nomination this past month – whose names have broad recognition and appeal in the New York performance community. And this being New York, we might luck out and be able to find someone like Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, or even Bette Midler to MC the event for a single night. Rosie in particular loves to support such projects.”
As to which deep-pocketed Manhattanites to invite to the space, Farrow says he would leave that up to the prince. “We are imbeciles about such things,” says Farrow. “But we can easily provide the entertainment and the venue here in New York on Sept. 11th. As to the guest list, Prince Harry might have to call on one of our local socialites, or even the Olsen Twins. But there are many, many, many socialites on this island with well-to-do charity guest lists tucked up their sleeves that they might pull out for such a deserving cause. There’s hardly a shortage! So it is hard to imagine this could be a problem.”
In the meanwhile, Farrow urges people on this side of the Atlantic to make individual donations to the new charity at http://www.sentebale.com.
Farrow’s new musical, “In Your Dreams,” which has not previously not been performed, is a large-scale, splashy, teen musical –- with just a dash of political satire. http://myspace.com/inyourdreamsthemusical It centers around Helen, a seventeen-year-old girl who appears in three different incarnations: Black, Pink, and Blue. It opens with the startling introduction of Black Helen, a girl tortured by fellow students Melanie and Jordanna and secretly in love with Jared. We quickly learn that Black Helen is but a dream and as she fades and Pink Helen wakes up, we realize that Pink Helen’s life is a perfect, bubble gum musical. She is popular, she’s dating Jared, she has high hopes for a perfect day. And today is the day to beat all days. It is prom, and Helen is a front runner to win prom queen…until she learns that the “Popular Girls Caucus” has turned against her, and is even stuffing the ballot box to engineer her defeat!
The musical’s 13 ingeniously lyrical songs have been performed on CD by a number of top Broadway singers, including “Trailer Park’s” Drama Desk-nominated Leslie Kritzer, “Wicked’s” Laura Bell Bundy, “Les Miserable’s” Jodie Langel, “Little Shop of Horror’s” Kerry Butler, “Thoroughly Modern Millie’s” Gavin Creel, “Hairspray’s” Jackie Hoffman, “The Full Monty’s” Sloan Just, and Anika Larsen, Danny Rocket and Anthony Rapp from “Rent.” Rhythm and blues artist Shayna Steele is also a contributor.
Performance space Ars Nova opened its doors three years ago in memory of Gabe Wiener with the goal of being a home for artists to develop and perform new works in an intimate audience setting. Since then some of New York’s top writers, directors and performers have walked through their doors with ideas and walked out with projects that were ready to be taken to the next level. Some of those names include Rufus Wainwright, David Cross, Sandra Bernhard, John Cameron Mitchell, Jason Biggs, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Sedaris, Paul Rudd, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, The Wau Wau Sisters, Moises Kaufman, James Lapine, Tony Kushner, Stephen Belber, and Michael Patrick King.
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