THE SCREENING ROOM: Adam Chanler-Berat, Jason Gotay, Emma Hunton and More Sing Broadway Charity Songs (Video)
By Michael Gioia
Broadway Gives Back presented Broadway Charity Songs, featuring new material by established and emerging musical theatre composers, March 25 at (le) Poisson Rouge in New York City. Here are highlights from the evening.
The concert, hosted by Laurence O'Keefe, featured songs by Tony nominee Jeff Blumenkrantz (Urban Cowboy), Richard Rodgers Award winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (A Christmas Story, Dogfight), Jonathan Larson Award winner Joshua H. Cohen, Jerry Bock Award winner Andy Monroe, Jonathan Reid Gealt, Noel Carey, Andre Catrini, Rob DelGaudio, J Sebastian Fabal, Blake Pfeil and Zoe Sarnak.
Broadway Charity Songs, according to press notes, "paired a group of award-winning musical theatre composers with a group of outstanding charities and tasked them with composing an original piece that each prospective charity could use for fundraising purposes. The result is a group of songs gifted to the charities – with the hope that the songs 'go viral' while increasing awareness for these outstanding organizations."
Performers included Adam Chanler-Berat (Next to Normal, Peter and the Starcatcher), Blumenkrantz, Alysha Umphress (American Idiot, On A Clear Day…), Nick Cearley (All Shook Up, The Skivvies), Jason Gotay (F*cking Up Everything, Bring It On), Nic Dromard (Mary Poppins), Tommy McDowell (American Idiot national tour), Shawna M. Hamic (Les Misérables national tour), Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening, Off-Broadway's Rent), Natalie Gallo (Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys), Morgan McCann (Oklahoma! national tour), Marc Winski (Grease national tour), Brian Walters (Titanic national tour), James Bullard, Sally Eidman and Kevin Reed.
The concert was directed by Tom Wojtunik with musical direction by Jonathan Pollack Breit.
All of the proceeds from the concert benefited the charity organizations Ben Affleck's Eastern Congo Initiative, Dress for Success, Make a Wish, Clay Aiken's National Inclusion Project, GLAAD, the ASPCA, The Soldiers Project, Seeds of Peace, Candlelighters NYC, Charity: Water and the Ryan Waldheger Research Memorial.
"Stand Out," written for Dress For Success by Zoe Sarnak and performed by Emma Hunton:
"To Life," written for Make-A-Wish by Blake Pfeil and performed by Jason Gotay:
"I Will Listen," written for Seeds of Peace by Joshua H. Cohen and performed by Natalie Gallo and Sally Eidman:
"Charlie," written for the ASPCA by J Sebastian Fabal and performed by Nicolas Dromard:
"Simple," written for charity: water by Jonathan Reid Gealt and performed by Alysha Umphress:
"Back Again," written for The Soldier's Project by Noel Carey and performed by Tommy McDowell:
"March Hair," performed and written by Jeff Blumenkrantz for St. Baldrick's and NYC Candlelighters:
"Learning," written for the Eastern Congo Initiative by Andre Catrini and performed by Shawna Hamic:
"Let's All Play," written for the National Inclusion Project by Rob DelGaudio and David Alan Thornton, and performed by Kevin Reed, Marc Winski, James Bullard, Brian Walters and Morgan McCann:
"22," written for the Ryan Waldheger Research Memorial by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and performed by Adam Chanler-Berat:
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