The New York Civil Liberties Union, the New York state affiliate of the ACLU, has announced the lineup for its 15th annual benefit concert, Broadway Stands Up for Freedom, which will be presented July 17 at 7:30 PM at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts. The event highlights “social injustices and civil rights issues through song and spoken word.”
Twelve songwriting teams and performers have joined forces to present brand-new songs for the evening. The list of performers includes 2017 Tony Award winner Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!), Tony nominee Chris Jackson (Hamilton), three-time Tony nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Peter and the Starcatcher), two-time Tony nominee Brandon Uranowitz (Falsettos), Tony nominee Adrienne Warren (Shuffle Along), Tony nominee Brooks Askmanskas (Martin Short: Fames Becomes Me), Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson), Lindsay Mendez (Significant Other, Wicked), Andréa Burns (On Your Feet!, In the Heights), Susan Blackwell ([title of show]), Jenni Barber (Sunday in the Park with George), Andrew Kober (Sunday in the Park with George), Shaina Taub, and Liana Stampur.
They will be performing original songs written expressly for this concert by the following songwriters and teams: Georgia Stitt (Big Red Sun), Nathan Tysen (Amélie), Kait Kerrigan & Brian Lowdermilk (The Mad Ones), Chris Miller (Tuck Everlasting), Mark “Stew” Stewart, (Twelfth Night), Michael Kooman & Chris Dimond (Dani Girl), Ryan Fielding Garrett, Joe Kinosian & Kellen Blair, Michael R. Jackson, and Clinton Curtis. Several performers have also submitted original songs, including Blackwell, Creel, Friedman, Jackson, and Taub.
Film and recording star Harry Belafonte will be honored with the inaugural Freedom Award for “his contributions as an artist and activist for human rights.”
Susan Blackwell will return as host with co-directors Peter Flynn and Daniel Goldstein. Kurt Crowley, music director of Hamilton, will serve as the music director.
NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman, who created the annual event with a group of aspiring actors, said, “Now, more than ever, we need to come together as a community to fight for the soul of our democracy. Protest music has connected people and sustained movements from the days of slavery through the civil rights and anti-war movements, to the resistance of today. When we ‘lift every voice and sing’ with the Broadway community, we strengthen our bonds, energize the movement for human rights and continue the tradition of music as a force for freedom.”
Proceeds from the show will benefit the NYCLU’s mission of promoting and protecting civil rights and liberties of all New Yorkers.
Lindsay Mendez and Andréa Burns have been special guest performers on Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Cabins are available for Broadway on the Rhine River cruise August 13-20, 2017, featuring Seth Rudetsky, Andréa Burns, Faith Prince, Terrence Mann, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Santino Fontana. Playbill Travel is also booking Broadway on the Danube River with Michael Feinstein for November 3-13, 2017, also featuring Carmen Cusack, Julia Murney, Christopher Fitzgerald, Marc Kudisch, Christopher Sieber, Brandon Uranowitz, and Rudetsky, as well as other exciting talent to be announced. Tickets are also now on sale for Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas July 2018 cruise to Iceland, accompanied by Judy Kuhn, Christine Ebersole, Rob McClure, Jarrod Spector, and Sierra Boggess. Visit PlaybillTravel.com for booking and information.