Sunrise, Florida (CNN) Drama students past and present shared the stage Monday night for a benefit concert featuring stars and survivors of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
Sunrise, Florida (CNN) Drama students past and present shared the stage Monday night for a benefit concert featuring stars and survivors of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, USA” featured a star-studded roster of Broadway and television entertainers, including “Glee” actor Matthew Morrison, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” star Rachel Bloom and award-winning recording artist Deborah Cox.
More than 4,700 people attended the concert at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, organizers said. The celebrity entertainers performed with Stoneman Douglas students and local arts groups, including the Student Choir of Broward and Dance Theatre of Broward, on a program that ranged from upbeat and inspirational to reflective and moving to fun and silly.
Despite the circumstances that brought them together, Bloom said the chemistry among the performers was instantly palpable. After all, the celebrity performers were once theater kids, she said.
“Tonight is about them and I’m happy to be here and support them. The kids from Marjory Stoneman Douglas are doing what the arts are supposed to do — they are channeling their intense feelings and rage and thoughts into their art, which is a way to communicate with people and make the world better,” Bloom said in an interview before the show.
“This is an example of why theater and the arts in schools is so important,” she said. “It makes me proud to be a fellow theater kid seeing what all these people are doing with theater and music.”
‘A healing night’
The concert opened with a stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” sung by “Mamma Mia!” actress Carrie Manolakos and a choir of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students.Former “American Idol” contestant Justin Guarini performed a song written by a Stoneman Douglas student.
Deborah Cox crooned “I Will Always Love You” as images of the 17 victims flashed behind her. The dance group that victim Jaime Guttenberg belonged to staged an emotional performance that elicited cheers of “We love you, Jaime” as the dancers left the spotlight.
Moments of levity punctuated the somber tone, such as Bloom’s rendition of “F—ton of Cats” and Erich Bergen’s performance of “Man in the Mirror,” all with backup from Stoneman Douglas students. “Glee” star Matthew Morrison and Stoneman Douglas senior Kali Clougherty nearly stole the show with a duet performance of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Stoneman Douglas sophomore Tanzil Philip, who hit the high note near the end of “Seasons of Love,” said performing in the show was difficult during the memorial parts. “But by the end, the whole thing felt healing,” he said. “It was a healing night.”
‘Everything we’re doing is for them’
Working with the teen performers made the February 14 shooting feel all the more real, Broadway performer Donna Lynne Champlin said. But in the frenzied excitement of rehearsals, it was easy to momentarily forget why they were there, the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” actress said.
“We’re sort of looking at our younger selves and going, ‘When we were your age we were writing songs about rainy days and broken hearts, and here you are writing songs about losing numerous friends.’ I think they’re extraordinary” she said. “I can’t even imagine what their reality is like.”
The concert was the culmination of weeks of intense preparation, Stoneman Douglas junior Sawyer Garrity said before the concert. But she never forgot what brought everyone together.
“There’s been some really awesome moments because of this, but it’s hard to feel excited or happy about them because you realize what happened and why we’re getting all these opportunities,” she said.
With the help of composer Duncan Sheik, she and another student composed a song based on a poem written by shooting victim Alex Schachter. His parents asked them to write the song after their first performance at a town hall after the shooting, she said.
“This song is for him. He’s going to live on through this song and through this poem he wrote,” she said.
“In the end, everything that we’re doing is for them and everything that we’re doing is so that they’ll be remembered — all the 17, and even the ones who were injured and anyone hurt by gun violence.”
Matthew visits “My Fair Lady” on Broadway at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theatre on April 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photos by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, USA will feature performances and special appearances from Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe nominee Matthew Morrison (Glee, Finding Neverland), Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), award-winning recording artist Deborah Cox (The Bodyguard), Wayne Brady (Kinky Boots, Hamilton), Kirsten Maldonado (Pentatonix), Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals, Dear Evan Hansen), Justin Guarini (American Idol, In Transit), Vincent Rodriguez III (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Ephraim Sykes (Hamilton, Hairspray Live), Erich Bergen (Madam Secretary), Christy Altomare (Anastasia), Laura Bell Bundy (Anger Management, Legally Blonde), Telly Leung (Aladdin), Jordan Donica (My Fair Lady, Hamilton), Donna Lynne Champlin (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Gabrielle Ruiz (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, If/Then), Etai Benson (The Band’s Visit), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia), George Salazar (Godspell, The Lightning Thief), Bryan Fenkhart (Waitress, Memphis), Charity Angel Dawson (Waitress, Side Show), Jessica Vosk (Wicked), Brandon Shapiro, and Jake Wildhorn.
The performers will be accompanied by the South Florida Symphony. Some of the songs that will be performed were written by the Stoneman Douglas students in collaboration with composers Joe Iconis, Bobby Cronin, Zoe Sarnak, Drew Gasparini, and others.
There will also be a performance by Jamie Guttenberg’s dance troupe in honor of her memory. Several Stoneman Douglas students will speak at the event as well.
Approximately 10,000 tickets have been donated to the families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and staff.
The performance line-up is subject to change and additional performers will be announced in the coming weeks.
Stars of the stage and screen will unite April 16 for From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, a one-night-only concert to benefit the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund and Shine MSD, which is working to promote arts advocacy in the community in the wake of the February 14 tragedy at the Florida high school. The concert will be held at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
Tickets are available online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling (800) 345-7000 or at the BB&T Center Box Office.
Matthew Morrison, Adrienne Warren and more to join Roundabout Theatre Company’s Damn Yankees benefit
POSTED ON Nov 18, 2017 BY Valentina INNews
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) has just announced that Matthew Morrison “Joe Hardy,” Stephen Bogardus“Joe Boyd,” Annie Golden “Doris,” Julie Halston“Sister” and Adrienne Warren “Gloria Thorpe” have joined the Benefit Concert Reading of Damn Yankees, the Tony award-winning musical comedy by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop with music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The evening will bring these beloved stars of stage and screen back to the Broadway stage for one night only with Whoopi Goldberg as “Applegate,” Maggie Gyllenhaal as “Lola,” Danny Burstein as “Van Buren” and Victoria Clark as “Meg Boyd.”
Roundabout’s Associate Artist Kathleen Marshall will direct this one-night only special event. Roundabout welcomes back Kathleen following her Tony Award winning work directing and choregraphing Anything Goes and prior to that, her Tony- winning choreography for another Adler and Ross musical comedy – The Pajama Game (Tony Award, Best Revival). Ms. Gyllenhaal returns following her acclaimed Broadway debut in The Real Thing, Matthew Morrison was last at Roundabout in A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Danny Burstein returns following his Tony nominated performance in Cabaret and before that Talley’s Folly, Victoria Clark returns following her starring role in The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Annie Golden returns after the Tony-nominated musical Violet and Julie Halston was last with Roundabout for Anything Goes and On the Twentieth Century. Roundabout is thrilled to welcome legendary Ms. Goldberg and Adrienne Warren into the family of Roundabout artists.
The Benefit Concert Reading will take place on Monday, December 11, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.
Would you do ANYTHING to help your favorite baseball team win the pennant? In the Faustian baseball musical, Damn Yankees, Joe Boyd sells his soul to the devil to be the home run hitter that will guide his favorite team, the Washington Senators, to a win against those “Damn Yankees.” Featuring the classical musical theatre standards, “Heart,” “Two Lost Souls” and “Whatever Lola Wants”, follow Joe in his quest to save his team…and his soul.
Proceeds from the Benefit Concert Reading of Damn Yankees support Roundabout Theatre Company‘s many programs and initiatives, including Education at Roundabout.
VIP, Benefactor and Producer tickets include admission to an exclusive cast party following the performance. Additional cast members and creative team will be announced soon. Generous underwriting support is provided by Roxanne and Scott Bok, Michael T. Cohen, Colliers International NY LLC, Kiendl and John Gordon, Tom and Kitty Patterson Kempner, and Diane and Tom Tuft. Damn Yankees is sponsored by Google. Golden Ram Imports is the wine sponsor for the evening.
The Steamy Way Hairspray’s Marissa Jaret Winokur Helped Make Matthew Morrison a Star
POSTED ON Nov 19, 2016 BY Valentina INNews
“We went out of town to start doing the show and our Link Larkin got a movie and left us cold,” says Marissa Jaret Winokur, who is featured in the current issue of PEOPLE.
Winokur, who starred as plus-size optimist Tracy Turnblad in the musical based on the 1988 John Waters film of the same name, says she decided to get involved in the casting process.
“Matt Morrison was the hot chorus boy and I kept saying to them, ‘Matt Morrison is really hot. He should do it’ – only because I thought he was hot,” she says of the Gleestar. “I didn’t know if he was talented or anything. He was just that cute boy with the big curly hair. I said, ‘That’s my Link.’ But the joke is on us. He blew up and is everywhere.”
Of course, being costars meant making out in eight shows a week.
“My boyfriend at the time, who is now my husband, would come visit and I would be, like, ‘I like the way Matt kisses better,’ ” jokes Winokur, who wed TV producer Judah Miller in 2006.
Now, Winokur will cameo in NBC’s TV event based on the Broadway musical inspired by Waters’ 1988 film, Hairspray Live!
“I said, ‘Even if there’s something fun for us to do backstage, I just want to be a part of it,’ ” she says.
Hairspray Live! airs Dec. 7 on NBC.
Matthew Morrison Slated for BROADWAY UP CLOSE Series at Kimmel Center
POSTED ON Nov 16, 2016 BY Valentina INNews
After a successful first season, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has announced the 2016-17 lineup for Broadway Up Close, hosted by Sirius XM Radio Star Seth Rudetsky. Formerly known as the Seth Rudetsky Broadway Concert Series, the Broadway Up Close concert series will consist of four performances featuring renowned actors from the stage and screen.
This season’s lineup will include Tony Award winners Chita Rivera and Alice Ripley, the Tony, Emmy & Golden Globe nominated star of Glee, Matthew Morrison, and Grammy, Tony & Emmy nominated star Vanessa Williams. Broadway Up Close is presented in association with Mark Cortale Productions.
“This new season of Broadway Up Close adds another layer to our fabulous Broadway programming by providing access to the best of Broadway in our intimate Perelman Theater,” said Anne Ewers, President and CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “These cabaret-style performances, hosted by the incomparable Seth Rudetsky, give audiences an opportunity to experience Broadway as the title implies, up close, through song and stories from their favorite artists.”
In a new BuzzFeed quiz, fans can determine which of the stars they identify with, based on the roles that made each famous. The quiz can be accessed here.
The 2016-17 Broadway Up Close season will consist of the following performances: Matthew Morrison on Saturday, December 17, 2016; Vanessa Williams on Saturday, January 21, 2017; Alice Ripley on Saturday, May 6, 2017; and Chita Rivera on Saturday, June 3, 2017. All performances in the Broadway Up Close season will take place in the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts with the exception of Chita Rivera, which will take place at the Merriam Theater. A full schedule of dates and venues follows.
BROADWAY UP CLOSE:
Hosted by Seth Rudetsky
December 17, 2016
The Actors Fund Presents A Benefit Reading Of Proud Of Us And Other Short Plays By Wesley Taylor
POSTED ON Nov 15, 2016 BY Valentina INGallery
Matthew takes part to a Benefit Reading of “Proud Of Us” and other short plays by Wesley Taylor at the New World Stages in NYC on November 14, 2016.
Matthew visits “Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway”
POSTED ON Nov 14, 2016 BY Valentina INGallery
Matthew and Renee pose with Kristin Chenoweth, Andy Karl and Orfeh backstage at the last performance of “Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway” at the Lunt Fontanne Theatre on November 13, 2016 in NYC.
All the pictures: “Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway” (November 13)
Matthew Morrison, Billy Porter to Helm Wesley Taylor’s Starry ‘PROUD OF US’ Benefit for The Actors Fund
POSTED ON Oct 18, 2016 BY Valentina INNews
Leslie Kritzer will host the benefit performance which will be presented for one night only on Monday, November 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street). West End star, Summer Strallen will read the stage directions.
The cast for Proud of Us… will include Tony Award-winner Denis O’Hare, “Glee” and Broadway star Matthew Morrison, and “Difficult People” creator / star Julie Klausner, along with Sylar Astin, Carolee Carmello, Jack Griffo, Noah Hinsdale, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Julie Klausner, Kevin McHale, Terrence Mann, Maulik Pancholy, Bryce Pinkham, Alexandrea Socha, Will Swenson, Raven Symoné, Mary Testa, Michael Urie, and Samantha Ware. All cast is subject to change.
Tickets for Proud of Us… are $75, $150, $250 and are now on sale at www.actorsfund.org or by calling 212.221.7300 ext. 133. Tickets that include a post-performance cast party will be available for a donation of $500. For details, visit www.actorsfund.org.
TONY AWARDS CONCERT IN TOKYO Stars Matthew Morrison, Kelli O’Hara and Yoshio Inoue
POSTED ON Oct 06, 2016 BY Valentina INNews
WOWOW, Japan’s leading premium pay TV broadcaster, announced today that Matthew Morrison (“Finding Neverland” “South Pacific,” “Hairspray”), Kelli O’Hara (“The King and I”) and well-known Japanese actor Yoshio Inoue have signed on as headline performers for WOWOW’s highly anticipated “Tony Awards Concert In Tokyo,” which will take place on March 18th, 2017.
Morrison, who most recently starred as “J.M Barrie” in the Harvey Weinstein musical “Finding Neverland,” and was nominated for a Tony Award for his role in “The Light in the Piazza,” and O’Hara, the 2015 Tony-Award winner for “The King and I,” will bring cherished Broadway hits to life and recreate the magic for the Japanese audience. WOWOW will broadcast the concert from the Tokyo International Forum, which seats over 5,000 people.
Kayo Washio, who runs WOWOW’s Los Angeles office, and is producing the concert event for WOWOW, said, “These performers have instilled in me a passion for theater over the years. Matthew’s reputation on Broadway precedes him. And Kelli’s voice takes me to another time and place. Yoshio has established himself as the foremost musical actor in Japan and I can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to our stage. I’m so honored to have them all on board for our special concert.”
“It’s an honor to have been invited to participate in this special event, and to bring Broadway’s rich tradition to the beautiful people of Japan,” said Morrison. “I look forward to sharing some of what I consider the most important music in performing arts history, and to commemorate the productions that originally brought these songs to life.”
O’Hara added “After spending over a year working with my brilliant leading man, Ken Watanabe, in ‘The King and I,’ nothing excites me more than traveling to his beloved homeland for the very first time to perform with another of my favorite leading men, Matthew Morrison!”
The premium musical concert has official recognition from the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League. An increase in Broadway musical fandom in Japan has led to aspirations for this concert to become an annual event, with WOWOW to continue to produce alongside a variety of major stage show programs such as straight plays, musicals, ballets, traditional Japanese theatre, and opera (WOWOW is official broadcaster of New York’s’ famed Metropolitan Opera “The Met”).
WOWOW has an agreement to broadcast the Tony Awards that see the annual show broadcast live in Japan, exclusively on WOWOW. The American Theatre Wing‘s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
The concert set list will consist of renowned Broadway musical songs and memorable performances from the Tony Awards.
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