‘Broadway Belts for PFF!’ Set to Take Stage April 29 Live and Virtually

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by Mary Chapman |

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Organizers say that just a few tickets are still available for this year’s rendition of the Broadway Belts for PFF! fundraiser, benefitting the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF).

The annual event, slated for April 29 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, again will bring together an array of Broadway luminaries and other stars of the entertainment industry for a night of music, comedy, and performance.

The host for the evening is Julie Halston, a comedienne and Tony Award-winning actress who most recently appeared in the off-Broadway production of “Fairycakes” in 2021. She was the 2020 winner of the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award.

The fundraiser kicks off at 5:30 p.m. ET and may be attended in-person or virtually. For in-person guests, the soirée will include a cocktail reception, a four-course dinner, an open bar, and an after-party that runs through 10:30 p.m. ET.

Virtual attendees will experience a fully interactive program that will include a pre-show mixology class during which guests will learn how to craft mocktail and cocktail iterations of Broadway-themed beverages. Following that, there will be live-streamed Broadway Belts for PFF! performances.

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“Broadway Belts for PFF! has become one of Broadway’s hottest tickets for both in-person and virtual attendees,” Halston said in a press release.

“Our celebrity talent is proud to help the PFF drive research and support patients living with this devastating lung disease,” she added.

Among the evening’s participants will be Derrick Davis, who held roles in “The Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King,” “A Christmas Story” (the film), and “Can a Song Save Your Life,” and Arielle Jacobs, who was featured in “Aladdin,” “Wicked,” “Between the Lines,” and “In the Heights.” Telly Leung, who was part of “Aladdin,” “Rent,” television’s “Glee,” and “Allegiance,” will take part, as will Tony Award-winners and nominees Beth Leavel and Lillias White. 

Tom Viola will receive the Ralph Howard Legacy Award this year for his work at Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which he has led as executive director since 1997.

That award is named for Halston’s late husband, a New York area broadcaster who lived with pulmonary fibrosis for a decade before his death in 2018. Howard was diagnosed in 2008 and underwent a lung transplant.

He and Halston, a longtime stage actress who appeared in “Tootsie” and “Anything Goes,” among other productions, created the PFF fundraiser in 2010 to honor Michael Kuchwara, an Associated Press theater critic, Kuchwara died from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Tickets for the Edison Ballroom are $500 for each individual main floor seat. Virtual tickets are $50 each. Some sponsorships are still available.

“Thanks to Julie Halston and her stellar production and talent team, Broadway Belts for PFF! is a celebration like no other,” said William T. Schmidt, president and CEO of the PFF. “This event generates not only crucial funding but also much-needed joy for everyone in our community.”

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