2 min

Toronto gets a taste of Broadway

Big names and bigger voices at Fife House’s 2015 Spotlight Benefit

Andrea McArdle and Seth Rudetsky are headliners at this year’s Spotlight fundraiser.

Music lovers, get out your wallets.

Fife House’s annual Spotlight Benefit is back and you won’t want to miss this impressive showcase of Broadway talent. The annual fundraiser is an intimate event bringing in Broadway stars to celebrate music and raise funds for Canada’s largest provider of housing for people living with HIV.

This year’s fundraiser features two performers with impressive repertoires: Andrea McArdle, Broadway’s original Annie, and Sirius radio host Seth Rudetsky.

“They’ll do probably some of the best known songs from a variety of shows, and probably throw in a few other things, more contemporary as well,” says David Currah, director of development and communications at Fife House.

“So it’ll be a good night of entertainment for sure.”

In 1977, McArdle became the youngest ever Tony nominee for her breakout role in Annie. Since then her illustrious career has seen her perform in everything from Grease, to Cabaret and most recently Hello, Dolly!

Emmy-nominated Rudetsky is a man of many talents. He’s been an actor, director, author and has played as pianist for over a dozen Broadway shows. He’s also known for being the afternoon host of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s On Broadway, and Seth Speaks. Seth is returning to Spotlight after a hugely successful performance at last year’s sold-out event.

Spotlight, which had traditionally seen local talent performing, has gone through an evolution over recent years. Last year’s event went all out to bring in Broadway’s Megan Hilty, and was a huge success. The change has made the event much more expensive to run, but the investment is paying off.

“Last year was sold out completely and sold out well in advance, so it was really worth the effort and we raised more money than we ever have at the event.”

The benefit is a key fundraiser for Fife House, and the organization’s operating budget relies on Spotlight to bring in a large amount of money each year. Proceeds are used to provide housing services to roughly 200 people living with HIV, and to fund Fife House’s homeless outreach program which works with 350–400 people a year.

Currah notes that the event is special because unlike a typical large Broadway show, this night is much more intimate. With a smaller setting, the event attracts a wide audience, both core Fife House supporters and music fans alike. “They just really like having an opportunity to network with people, but mainly it’s just to have a really good time,” Currah says.

In addition to the show, VIP ticket holders are invited to a pre-show reception. Doors open at 7:30pm for general ticket holders and the evening ends with a silent auction and catered post-show reception.