Justin Guarini, now starring as Fiyero in Broadway's Wicked, and two-time Tony nominee Mary Testa (Disaster!) will cohost Imagine: A Concert of Hope on Monday, September 8, at Le Poisson Rouge. Proceeds from the benefit event will be donated to the Brian Werbel Memorial Fund at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center to benefit cancer research.
The concert will feature performances from members of the Broadway community including Adinah Alexander (Kinky Boots), Jenni Barber (The Nance), Kelli Barrett (Wicked), Richard H. Blake (Jersey Boys), Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys), Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Lisa Howard (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Marcus Paul James (Motown The Musical), Tamika Lawrence (If/Then), Tony nominee Jarrod Spector (Beautiful — The Carole King Musical), Betsy Werbel (Wicked), as well as cohosts Guarini and Testa. Joe Ricci will direct the evening of performances, with musical direction by Jodie Moore.
The Brian Werbel Memorial Fund was established to honor the memory of Brian — brother of one of the evening's performers Betsy Werbel — who passed away on May 7, 2007, at the age of 29. The mission of the fund is to advance clinical research on cancer-related initiatives, an area in which Brian was deeply involved.
"After losing my brother in 2007, I realized that life is too short and you have to make every day truly count," said Werbel. "I get to live my dream every night on Broadway. My brother had a dream to find a cure for cancer. Please join us for this celebration of hope and help me make my brother's dream a reality."