By Matthew Blank
07 May 2013
The Broadway in South Africa 5th Anniversary Celebration included a star-studded concert that featured original music based on essays and letters from South African students who participate in their youth development programs.
Sonny Paladino (Pippin) served as music director, with Tim Drucker and Frankie Grande as co-directors. The event was originally scheduled to play New York City's Prince George Ballroom. Show time is still 8 PM.
Scheduled to perform were Celina Carvajal (Kinky Boots), Lilli Cooper (Wicked, Spring Awakening), Erik Altemus (Pippin, The Fantasticks), Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu), Kelly King (winner of the 2013 Viña Del Mar Festival), Alexa Green (Wicked), Marissa Rosen (My Big Gay Italian Wedding), Tony nominee Dixon (Motown: The Musical, The Scottsboro Boys, The Color Purple), Frankie James Grande (Mamma Mia!), Sean Bradford (The Lion King, The Scottsboro Boys), Christopher Spaulding (The Nutty Professor, Curtains), Emma Hunton (Next to Normal, Spring Awakening), Courtney Reed (Aladdin, In the Heights) and Bean (Wicked, Hairspray).
Jeremy Schonfeld, Grammy Award nominee Ryan Shaw and Joey Contreras were among the evening's contributing composers.
Broadway in South Africa also released a charity single on iTunes in connection with the event. Proceeds from "Babazille Mahlangu," written by composer Jeremy Schonfeld for the very first Broadway in South Africa event and performed by BSA teaching artist Lilli Cooper (Spring Awakening), directly benefit Broadway in South Africa's commitment to youth development in disadvantaged communities.
"A cross cultural exchange between youth in need and artists who seek to use their talents for change," Broadway in South Africa facilitates arts programming to empower youth living amongst violence, poverty and disease in the townships of South Africa.