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Vanessa Williams & Friends: Thankful for Christmas

A Benefit for The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture

Monday, November 18, 2019 @ 7:30PM

Vanessa Williams
Norm Lewis
Michael Urie
Bernie Williams

and a special appearance by His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan



Actress, singer, dancer, author, entrepreneur and Sheen Center board member 

Vanessa Williams
headlines a benefit evening of music for The Sheen Center with some of her famous friends.

The evening will be introduced by
His Eminence
Timothy Cardinal Dolan
 Archbishop of New York
        Norm Lewis (NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” Phantom of the Opera)
      Michael Urie (Broadway’s How to Succeed in Business, TV’s “Ugly Betty,” “Younger”)
            Bernie Williams (New York Yankees four-time World Series Champion, five-time All Star and musician)

We are thankful for any level of donation. If you cannot give at the above levels:

Donations of $500 or more will be listed in the printed program for the event.

For more information, please contact MaryLou Pagano via email at mlpagano@sheencenter.org or by phone at 212-219-3132 x1378.

We are thankful to our angels!





Bill and Marleny Farrell


Rev. A.R. Bernard 
David Fontanilla
Terence Greene
Rabbi Joseph Potasnik

Become an Angel Sponsor!

$15,000 SERAPHIM

  • Ten (10) tickets to Vanessa Williams & Friends
  • Featured billing on title page of printed event program
  • Name prominently listed on all printed and electronic materials
  • Ten (10) Backstage Passes
  • Ten (10) tickets post-show cast party with talent


$10,000 CHERUBIM

  • Six (6) tickets to Vanessa Williams & Friends
  • Name listed on all electronic materials
  • Six (6) Backstage Passes
  • Six (6) tickets post-show cast party with talent 



  • Four (4) tickets to Vanessa Williams & Friends
  • Name listed on all electronic materials
  • Four (4) Backstage Passes
  • Four (4) tickets to post-show cast party with talent



  • Two (2) tickets to Vanessa Williams & Friends
  • Name listed on electronic materials
  • Two (2) Backstage Passes
  • Two (2) tickets to post-show cast party with talent


Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today as well as a Sheen Center board member. Her critically acclaimed work in film, television, recording, and on the Broadway stage has been recognized by every major industry award affiliation, including 4 Emmy nominations, 17 Grammy nominations (of which 11 were for her individually), a Tony nomination, 3 SAG Award nominations, 6 NAACP Image Awards, 3 Satellite Awards and ultimately a Golden Globe, Grammy and an Oscar for Best Original Song for her platinum single “Colors of the Wind” from the Disney film Pocahontas. Ms. Williams has sold over 25 million records worldwide and achieved a career pinnacle with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her autobiography, You Have No Idea, co-written with her mother Helen Williams, was a New York Times Best Seller in 2012. Ms. Williams most recently starred on Broadway alongside Cicely Tyson and Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Trip To Bountiful. She is the mother of four – Melanie, Jillian, Devin and Sasha – and divides her time between homes in Los Angeles and New York. Her charitable endeavors are many and varied, embracing and supporting Special Olympics, Dress for Success, fight against HIV/AIDS and several other organizations.

Norm Lewis was recently seen in the NBC television special, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” alongside John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Alice Cooper. He recently appeared in the Broadway revival of Once on This Island and as Sweeney Todd in the Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Barrow Street Theatre, receiving the AUDELCO Award for his performance.  In May of 2014, he made history as The Phantom of the Opera’s first African American Phantom on Broadway. He has been seen on PBS in the Live From Lincoln Center productions ofShowboat with Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis: Who Am I?, and New Year’s Eve: A Gershwin Celebration with Diane Reeves, as well as American Voices with Renée Fleming and the PBS Special First You Dream – The Music of Kander & Ebb.

Michael Urie reprises his role of Arnold in Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song, having starred in the role in the off-Broadway production. He has also appeared on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. His off-Broadway credits Buyer & Cellar (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, L.A. Drama Critics Awards);The Government Inspector; Homos, or Everyone in America (Obie Award); Shows For DaysThe Cherry Orchard; Angels in America; The Temperamentals (Lortel, Drama Desk, Theatre World awards) and Bright Colors and Bold Patterns (director). Regional theatre includes Hamlet for Michael Kahn at The Shakespeare Theatre. He’s been seen on film in He’s Way More Famous Than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director), WTC View, Decoy Bride, Petunia, Such Good People, The Hyperglot and on TV in Younger, The Good Wife, Modern Family, Hot in Cleveland and Ugly Betty.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, Bernie Williams discovered his love for baseball and music at the age of eight. The young student-athlete excelled in both pursuits, attending a famous performing arts school at 13 and signing a contract with the New York Yankees at 17. In his 16-year career with the Yankees, Williams was a four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All Star. Throughout his Yankees years, his passion for music never waned. In 2003, he released his first album, The Journey Within, which featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of his heritage. It was met with strong critical praise and instant chart success. Williams raised his game further with his second album, Moving Forward, featuring guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Secada, Dave Koz, and an all-star cast of studio musicians. The album was nominated for a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album.



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