Broadway types really know how to get into the Christmas spirit. To wit, look no further than “Carols for a Cure.” The enthusiasm of Main Stem casts has helped sustain 15 years of wassailing for a good cause, raising more than $3 million to date to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
“I get emails in April and May from cast members saying, ‘We’re ready! We have our song!’ ” says Lynn Pinto, the founder and exec producer of the charitable initiative.
This year’s CD, released Oct. 28 in time for the kickoff of BC/EFA’s annual, six-week Gypsy of the Year fund-raising drive, includes original “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” topliner Reeve Carney singing “A Savior Is Born”; Billy Porter and Harvey Fierstein of “Kinky Boots” (pictured) crooning a “Carol of the Bells” redux called “Carol of the Boots”; and, no kidding, Perez Hilton’s original track “Perez’s 2013 Holiday Dishlist.”
Some 20,000-25,000 discs are stamped every year, and mostly sold to Broadway audiences (at $23 a pop) after each show. (They’re also on sale at the Broadway Cares website.)
It’s not just the enthusiasm of the Broadway casts that have kept the annual Christmas CD going 15 years after it started as a Yuletide lark recorded in a church. The longevity of “Carols for a Cure” is also thanks to the ardor of legit fans who collect boxed sets, and can’t wait to get their hands on the next year’s edition.
Pinto, for one, understands the strong response. “If I were in Iowa and a theater geek,” she enthuses, “I would be all over this sort of thing!”