Hosted by Erich Bergen ("Madam Secretary," Jersey Boys), the 11 PM concert featured performances by Corey Cott (Newsies), Ellyn Marie Marsh (Kinky Boots), Tom Souhrada (Mary Poppins), Kyle Dean Massey (Pippin), Paige Faure (Cinderella), Nikka Graff Lanzarone (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Jessica Grové (A Little Night Music), Lesli Margherita (Matilda), Nic Rouleau (The Book of Mormon), Keala Settle (Les Misérables), Stephen Wallem ("Nurse Jackie") and more.
Broadway Gets #Blessed! Corey Cott, Kyle Dean Massey, Lesli Margherita, Keala Settle, Nic Rouleau Join @Actor_Friend @54Below
Music direction was by Chris Rayis.
Members of the cast (including Annoying Actor Friend) recently shared their worst audition story and the song they performed — and offered a video clip of a more successful performance — as part of Playbill.com's Playbill Playlist.
Presented like a drinking game set within an audition room, @Actor_Friend @54_Below, according to 54 Below, "tells the story of the modern day working (or non-working) actor living in New York. From college and pounding the pavement, all the way to Broadway and back on Funemployment, several actors will share their unique stories from their experiences in the business, paired with songs. It’s like A Chorus Line, without the serious stuff or the 1970s." Additionally, "#SOBLESSED: the audiobook," a project benefiting BC/EFA, will debut in October and feature the voice talents of Brian Dennehy, Alan Cumming, Megan Hilty, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Julia Murney, Keala Settle, Will Swenson, Krysta Rodriguez and more.
Annoying Actor Friend began as a parody Twitter account (@Actor_Friend) spoofing social media behavior and later went on to publish "#SOBLESSED," a satirical tell-all describing the life of the modern-day actor in New York City. "#SOBLESSED" became the Amazon #1 best-selling theatre book on its first day of sale.
The 54 Below concert is inspired by "#SOBLESSED" and promises performances and stories associated with experiences in college, pounding the pavement, on tour, Broadway and on unemployment.
"The Broadway community has embraced this social media experiment with grace, and I would love nothing more than to give back by throwing a big-ass party benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS," Actor Friend told Playbill.com via email. "The vision for the concert is a master class/audition set in a drinking game. It's the book on stage, as told through the individual experiences of the various incredible performers in the concert. At this moment, I can neither confirm nor deny that I will be there, but more exciting announcements are soon to follow regarding another purpose for this event."