Carolines on Broadway
On July 15, 2014, NYWICI members and their friends gathered for a night of laughter to support NYWICI foundation scholarships. The 8th annual Ladies Who Laugh event was held at the iconic Carolines on Broadway, located in the heart of Times Square.
The event began with remarks from NYWICI Foundation president, Judith Harrison, who gave recognition to this year’s brilliant scholarship winners. The NYWICI Foundation issues the largest number of communications scholarships in the tri-state area, and this year's Ladies Who Laugh raised more than $10,000.
Once the night was underway, there was not a quiet seat in the house. Emcee Amanda Seales opened the show with classic situations that any woman could relate to. Seales joked about everything from career issues, to relationship problems and everything in-between.
In addition to Seales, the audience was kept laughing throughout the night by Drama Desk Award Nominated Actress, Singer and Impressionist Christina Bianco; dynamic actress, comedian and writer Rain Pryor; hilarious comedian, actress and host Emma Willmann; and professional standup comedian and writer, Maysoon Zayid.
The evening concluded with a raffle featuring fabulous prizes such as tickets to the new Broadway musical If/Then, gift cards worth $400 from Ann Taylor, a FOX gift bag complete with a behind-the-scenes tour, Beats by DRE Headphones, 1-year memberships to Lucille Roberts Gym, and more! As an added bonus, all attendees of Ladies Who Laugh received a gift bag and a credit to travel home in style from Gett, the transportation app of the future. All beverages consumed throughout the night were graciously sponsored by MORE Uncorked.
It was evident by the noise level in the room that the audience loved each and every one of the acts. The 8th annual Ladies Who Laugh was a tremendous success, and furthered the already dynamic relationship of the NYWICI foundation, its members and their guests. Proceeds of the evening will help young women to pursue successful careers in communications.
Drama Desk Award Nominated Actress, Singer and Impressionist Christina Bianco has become a worldwide YouTube sensation with her diva impression videos going viral. Christina’s rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and “Let It Go” got the attention of millions, immediately leading to appearances performing on The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Queen Latifah Show.
Christina frequently performs in concert as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as well as other US and Canadian symphonies. She has sung with R&B star Deborah Cox, guest starred on The Jerry Lewis Telethon and performed on NBC's The Today Show. Christina can be seen on SoulPancake’s web series The Impression Guys and on VH1’s I Love The 2000’s. Christina has recently been interviewed by and performed for the following entertainment news media outlets: The Paul O’Grady Show, HuffPost Live, ABC, NPR, CBS, Hallmark’s Home & Family, Pix 11 and Fox News.com. Follow her @XtinaBianco1! Click HERE for a sneak peak!
Rain Pryor is a director, producer, writer, actor, stand up comedian, activist, dynamic speaker and mother. Pryor is also a headlining comic, bringing her own style and not trying to fill her fathers shoes. Rain can be seen headlining across the country, Florida Improv with Bob Nelson, and with Artie Fletcher in the Jokes On You Comedy Tour, Joke Factory in Rochester NY. She opened for Tracey Morgan along with Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton at Carolines On Broadway.
Rain made her TV debut on the ABC hit series Head of The Class, playing the tough talking TJ; a role she created at her audition. Pryor also starred opposite Sherilyn Fenn and Lynn Redgrave as Jackie, the lipstick lesbian drug addict on the Showtime series Rude Awakening. She has appeared numerous times on Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson. Follow her @RainPryor! Click HERE for a sneak peak!
Amanda Seales has built a global following as a charismatic host, gifted speaker, engaging performer and prolific creative for using humor, wit, honesty, music and media to create quality content across multiple platforms of web, television and stage that provide social commentary and opinion leadership from the Black/female perspective.
Her stand-up and her acclaimed blog/web show, “Things I Learned this Week” exemplify that, taking on all things politics and pop culture, the latter with the tag line “They make the news. WE make it funny!" Fearless and electric, along with her own projects, she is a mainstay speaking/blogging on politics, pop culture and everything in between for major outlets VH1, HLN, CNN, MTV, BET, AOL, Huffington Post and more. Follow her @AmandaSeales! Click HERE for a sneak peak!
Originally from a tiny town in Maine, Emma Willmann exploded onto the Boston comedy scene in 2010. In 2011 she won first place in the Boston Comedy Riots and was featured in The 2011 and 2012 Boston Women in Comedy Festival. From there she brought her high energy, deeply personal and observational act to NYC, where she has quickly been moving through the comedy ranks - making her national TV debut on Axis TV's Live at Gotham in 2014.
Willmann has also appeared in The 2014 New York Comedy Festival, hosted The 2013 Hoboken Comedy Festival, appeared on ComedyTimeTV, opened for Louie Anderson, appeared with Aziz Ansari and Donald Glover, and will be starring in two upcoming episodes of the popular TV show Deadly Affairs on the Investigation Discovery Network, as well as a T - Mobile commercial airing this Fall. Follow her @EmmaWillmann! Click HERE for a sneak peak!
Maysoon Zayid is an actress, professional standup comedian, and writer. She received a BA in Acting from Arizona State University. She is the co-founder and co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival. Maysoon was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and has most recently appeared on The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and Huffington Post Live. Maysoon is a recurring columnist at The Daily Beast and was a speaker at TEDWomen 2013.
Maysoon has appeared on Comedy Central's The Watch List, PBS's America at a Crossroads: Muslim Comics Stand Up, CNN, HBO, As the World Turns, MTV, 20/20, BBC's The Doha Debates, and had a feature role in Adam Sandler's You Don't Mess With the Zohan. As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs, and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She is a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour.
Maysoon's screenplay, LAW, was chosen for the Sundance Middle Eastern Screenwriters Lab. She was a delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and named one of 21 leaders of the 21st century by Women's Enews. She is the founder of Maysoon's Kids, a scholarship and wellness program for disabled and wounded refugee children and was delighted to be a 2013 honoree of United Cerebral Palsy NYC's Women Who Care Awards. Follow her @maysoonzayid. Click HERE for a sneak peak!
Slideshow images: Jan Goldstoff