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Theatre Community Commemorates World AIDS Day

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To help commemorate World AIDS Day (Mon., Dec. 1), members of the theatre community will be turning out to pay tribute with various benefits and presentations.

On Dec. 1, an all-star concert of Stephen Schwartz's "Children of Eden" will feature performances by Jai Rodriguez (star of Bravo's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"), Kate Shindle, Norm Lewis, Anthony Rapp, and a 100-member chorus filled with cast members from "Hairspray," "Avenue Q," "Nine," "The Boy From Oz," and a host of other musicals. "Children of Eden," which has never had a full production in New York City, will be performed at Riverside Church (Riverside Drive at 120th Strett, at 7 pm), and will benefit the National AIDS Fund and the York Theatre Company. The latter is a company dedicated to producing new musicals, and preserving neglected notable shows from the past.

Tickets are available by calling 212-868-4444.

Also on Dec. 1, St. Bartholomew's Church (Park Avenue at 51st Street, at 7 pm), will present "Vukani! (Wake Up)," a play about AIDS in South Africa. Written by award-winning writer Sindiwe Magona, "Vukani!" is directed by Shirley Parkinson Wright and features Obie Award-winning veteran actor Arthur French. "Vukani!" takes place in a South African township where a 14-year-old girl is raped by an HIV-positive perpetrator.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at 212-378-0248 or online at www.stbarts.org. Tickets can also be purchased at the box office at the church's main entrance.

On Sat., Dec. 6, at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church (Second Ave. at 10th Street), 12 hours of nonstop dance performances, dubbed "The Remember Project 2003," will be presented to benefit Dancers Responding to AIDS. The performances start at noon and go on until midnight. There will be special appearances by the Tony-nominated choreographer John Carrafa and Christine Dakin, co-director of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Among the confirmed dance companies performing will be the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Chinese Folk Dance Company.

General admission is $50 for an all-day pass or $30 for a two-hour performance block. Tickets will be sold at the door. Tributes in memory or in honor of someone can be purchased online for $5.00 per tribute at www.dradance.org.

On the other side of the Hudson River, in Hoboken, N.J., the Center for the Performing Arts at DeBaun Auditorium (5th and Hudson streets) will be holding its annual World AIDS Day Observance on Wed., Dec. 3 at 8 pm. This year's theme is "Do You Have Time," in support of the National AIDS Trust's World AIDS Day 2003 campaign. The production will be an arts festival featuring performances from the Lesbian and Gay Big Apple Corps and Mile Square Theatre. All proceeds from the festival will go to the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation.

Tickets are $5. For reservations, call the box office at 201-216-8937 or visit www.debaun.org/tickets/html.

On Sun., Dec. 7 at 3 pm, the Center for the Performing Arts at DeBaun Auditorium and the Monroe Center for the Arts will be joining together for a Spoken Word Series in honor of World AIDS Day. The reading, which will take place at the Monroe Center for the Arts (720 Monroe St., Hoboken), will present David Messineo and Jack Wiler as the featured poets.

Admission is free, with a $3 suggested donation.

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