President Obama to use 'Sister Act' for fundraiser
(Updated 2:12 p.m.)
President Obama has been an avid supporter of theater and the arts, but on Thursday night, theater will be supporting him with a special performance of Broadway's "Sister Act" that will be a fundraiser for his 2012 reelection campaign.
Ticket prices range from $100 to $10,000.
Security is in place at the Broadway Theatre, home to "Sister Act," the musical based on the popular film that starred Whoopi Goldberg. On hand will be Goldberg, a supporter of Obama and a producer of the musical, which took a long journey from Pasadena via Atlanta and London before arriving on Broadway this spring.
Obama will show up for at least part of the performance, according to an official with the Democratic National Committee.
This wouldn't be the first time the president has seen a Broadway play since his election -- in 2009 he and First Lady Michelle Obama caught the revival of August Wilson's "Joe Turner’s Come and Gone" at Lincoln Center, drawing criticism from Republicans about the expense of his trip. The government will be covering a part of the travel expenses for this trip because it includes an address and visit with the troops at Ft. Drum in upstate New York. A DNC official said the Obama Victory Fund will reimburse travel to the fundraisers per federal regulations.
Obama's visit to New York is also scheduled to include a fundraising dinner that will court the gay, lesbian and transgender community, with Neil Patrick Harris and Jane Lynch on hand. Obama has not always been popular with that group given his history on gay marriage and "don't ask, don't tell." Ticket prices start at $1,250.
A third NYC fundraiser will be a dinner with Wall Street executives at a posh restaurant where ticket prices are set at $35,800 per person.
Until now, the boldface names who have seen "Sister Act" have included Lea Michele, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Brooke Shields, Adam Lambert, Gayle King, Joan Rivers and Sylvester Stallone, as well as Goldberg's costars on "The View." Obama appeared on that show with Goldberg and Barbara Walters last year.
-- Sherry Stern
Upper photo: The cast of "Sister Act" performs during the Tony Awards ceremony. Credit: Gary Hershorn / Reuters
Lower photo: Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters with President Obama on the set of "The View." Credit: Steve Fenn / ABC