Bryan Batt
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
Bryan Batt
(Photo © Joseph Marzullo)
The New York theater community is continuing to rally around the victims of Hurricane Katrina, with a variety of benefit performances and donations to help those affected by the storm. Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has already donated $350,000 to a variety of organizations, including the American Red Cross, The Actors' Fund-Hurricane Relief Fund, the Humane Society, and 17 AIDS and family service organizations in five states.

On Sunday, September 18, NY Loves Nola will take place at both Ace of Clubs and the Culture Project. More than 60 of downtown theater's biggest names, including Charles Busch, John Cameron Mitchell and Penny Arcade plus the casts of Joy and Rooms, will participate. All proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross, and both venues will also donate all bar receipts. The minimum donation for attendance is $25, which includes a buffet dinner at Ace of Clubs. The event is scheduled to run from 5pm to midnight.

Uptown that same evening, one can also support the Red Cross by attending Guilty Pleasures at Makor (35 West 67th Street). Presented by Sabrina Gordon as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, the show will feature such performers as Ryan Link, Sara Kramer, Brandon Wardell, Julie Garnye, and Emmy nominee Ilene Kristen performing some of their favorite rock songs. The performance will begin at 8pm, and tickets are priced at $20.

Dozens of Broadway's biggest stars, including Ben Vereen and Liza Minnelli, will take to the stage of the Gershwin Theater at 8:30pm on September 25 for Broadway's Celebrity Benefit for Hurricane Relief, a special concert with proceeds earmarked for America's Second Harvest and Quilts for Kids. Tickets are priced at $100 and $300; they can be purchased at the Gershwin box office or by calling 212-307-4100.

Through September 30, The Ark, a new musical that will begin previews on October 14, is giving away a total of 1,000 tickets to help Katrina's victims. Anyone who donates $100 to either the American Red Cross or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will receive one free ticket to any performance of the show from October 14 through 30.

On Monday, October 3 at 7pm, there will be a reprise performance at Birdland of Avenue Q Swings!, starring Ann Harada, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Sally Mayes, and Christine Pedi. Proceeds will be donated to the Jazz Foundation of America and the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic. Admission is $25, and there is a $10 food and drink minimum.

On the following Monday, October 10, a special performance at The Triad of Cirque Jacqueline -- the acclaimed one-woman play starring Andrea Reese as Jacqueline Onassis -- will benefit the American Red Cross. A contribution of $40 is suggested, payable at the door.

Finally, on October 23 at 9:30pm, New Orleans resident Bryan Batt will be joined by more than a dozen Broadway stars for With Love, From Broadway to the Bayou at Joe's Pub. All of the event's proceeds will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, an organization that works to acquire and distribute food in partnership with agencies serving people in need. Tickets are priced at $50 and can be purchased at the Public Theater box office or by calling 212-239-6200.