Broadway And Ballet’s Finest Perform At The HIV HERO Awards

Rachelle Rak, James Whiteside, and some amazing young dance talent take the stage at the annual fundraiser.

HIV Experience Resources Organization (HERO), in association with Stage 48, hosted its fourth annual Broadway & Ballet HERO Awards, to benefit HERO, an organization that helps newly diagnosed and people living with HIV/AIDS, on October 16. The night was emceed by Matty Maggiacomo and honored Broadway legend Rachelle Rak, American Ballet Theater principal dancer James Whiteside, Wicked star Michael Campayno, and suicide awareness and prevention group The Jed Foundation.

The event honors those organizations and people who’ve been champions of the HIV/AIDS community, and featured stunning performances by Broadway and the ballet world’s established and emerging talent.

If you missed it, fear not. We’ve got clips and performances by Rak, Whiteside, Olympic gold medalist Ioannis Melissanidis, Cassandra Trenary (American Ballet Theatre), Michael-Leon Wooley (Little Shop of Horrors), Michael Cusumano (All Shook Up, Chicago), Patrick Boyd (Grease, The Wizard of Oz), Sean Stewart (American Ballet Theatre), Alina Faye (American Ballet Theatre alumni), Jose Sebastian (American Ballet Theatre), Luis Villabon (A Chorus Line), Morgan Stinnett (Connecticut Ballet, Ajkun Ballet Company), Cristy Candler (Rock of Ages, Chicago), Georgina Pazcoguin (New York City Ballet), Ask la Cour (New York City), Chris Messina (Jersey Boys, A Bronx Tale), Rachel Schur (Jersey Boys), Jesse JP Johnson (Wicked), Neil Starkenberg (Mamma Mia), Travis Nesbitt (Altar Boys), Seeley Stephens (American Idol finalist), Evan Lacombe (The Radio City Christmas Spectacular), Gabrielle Salvatto (Ballet West), Chelsea Keefer (Ballet West), and The Boy Band Project, the dance department of Pace University, featuring Kadin Mestas, Shannon Weir, and Taylor Rosenberger, with an opening number choreographed by Madeline Rodrigue.

HIV HERO’s founder, Michael Cavnaugh, launched the nonprofit organization in 2009, to raise HIV awareness and prevention, and helping provide insurance, housing, and counseling. offers up-to-date resources for HIV/AIDS prevention and healthcare.

You can make a donation to HIV HERO here.

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