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On Monday night, the Edison Ballroom became a celebration of inclusion. That's when Theatre Development Fund held its gala celebrating the 35th anniversary of TDF Accessibility Programs (TAP), which make live performances available to a wide variety of patron with disabilities and special needs. (Keep reading for exclusive photos) The event also honored Juliette, Alana, and Nicole Feld---Executive Vice Presidents and Producers of Feld Entertainment, Inc.---who will soon be partnering with TDF on an autism-friendly performance of Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure.
Feld Entertainment also presents Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, and appropriately enough, there was a circus theme to much of the evening. During the cocktail hour, guests could pose for photos with ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson, as well as other Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performers. (There were even circus-themed cocktails, including a cotton candy martini.) The theme continued during the gala's main program., when the hand-balancing act Duo Fusion (pictured above) wowed the crowd with their gravity-defying performance.
But that wasn't all. The evening was hosted by Broadway star Tovah Feldshuh, who recently appeared in Broadway revival of Pippin and is a long-time friend of the Felds. She showed a flair for stand-up comedy as she chatted up the crowd, and even better, she wrote her own jokes!
There was also a performance from the handsome lads of Well-Strung, a singing string quartet. Their set featured everything from Mozart to Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone."
To close the event, which was directed by Donna Drake, Broadway diva Melissa Errico sang songs from Working, The Baker's Wife, and Sweeney Todd.
Scroll down for more photos and information on this special celebration of TAP and the people it serves.
The money raised at the gala will provide crucial funds for TAP. Proceeds will support the following programs and services: Access for Young Audiences (AYA), Autism Theatre Initiative (ATI), TAP Plus, Accessible Seating, Audio Description, Open Captioning, Sign Language Interpreting, and our National Theatre Accessibility Programs which consist of National Open Captioning Initiative and National Autism Advisory Partnerships.