Michael Rupert
Michael Rupert
Michael Rupert will play the role of Avram n the World AIDS Day benefit concert presentation of the musical Rags, which will take place at the Nokia Theater in Times Square on Monday, December 11, beginning at 7pm. He replaces Harvey Fierstein, who had to withdraw due to a sudden schedule conflict.

Stafford Arima and Mark Hartman will serve as director and musical director for the performance, which will also feature Carolee Carmello, Gregg Edelman, Lainie Kazan, Eden Espinosa, Lewis Cleale, John Treacy Egan, David A. Austin, Struan Erlenborn, Max von Essen, Stacia Fernandez, Aaron Berk, David Josefberg, Colin Hanlon, Adam Heller, Peter Lockyer, Stuart Marland, John Schiappa, Lisa Jolley, and Anne L. Nathan.

MTV correspondent Sway will host the event. The production team includes Patricia Wilcox (choreographer), Traci Klainer (lighting), Walter Trarbach and Tony Smolenski (sound), David Korins (sets), and Michael Bottari and Ronald Case (costumes).

Rupert will seen in the upcoming Broadway musical Legally Blonde. He won a Tony Award for his performance in Sweet Charity and has also starred in such shows as Falsettos and Elegies: A Song Cycle.

Rags has music by Tony Award winner Charles Strouse, lyrics by Academy Award and Grammy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, and a book by Tony winner Joseph Stein. The musical tells the story of Rebecca, an immigrant who finds herself alone in America with her young son and goes through the "melting pot" experience. Proceeds from the concert will benefit The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation and Camp TLC (Teens Living with a Challenge), a residential summer camp for young people with HIV/AIDS.