As a young actor, my first big break was being cast as the ‘Magical Mr. Mistoffelees’ in a brand new national touring company of the blockbuster Broadway musical CATS.
While I was ‘living a dream’ over those years back in the 1980s, a nightmare called HIV/AIDS was taking thousands of lives from us. As a company, we wanted to do ‘something.’
So in 1987, we organized one of the first large-scale benefits performances by a touring company to help those affected by HIV. Amazingly, we raised over $36K in one night.
Fast forward to today, and another viral pandemic is here. A few months ago, one of my former CATS castmates reached out to say, “Anyone want to do another fundraiser?”
And so, we did.
“With Love, Now and Forever! Cats4CovidRelief” premiered on October 23 and will be available until October 28. At this writing, combining donations at Broadway Cares and YouTube, we’ve raised over $20,000 and counting
Today, I’m talking to two of my closest CATS castmates, Grammy Award-winner Leslie Ellis and two-time OutMusic Award-winner Matt Zarley, about this recent company reunion.
Hit the play button to hear us chat on this recent collaboration, reminisce about life on the road as young actors, and laugh a bit about the life-changing experience that was CATS.
While our streaming event is scheduled to be removed from Broadway Cares website at the end of October 28, the video is still up at this writing on BC/EFA’s YouTube channel on an unlisted page here.
Plus, you can see Matt’s gorgeous segment featuring Leslie singing “Memory” here.