NY4OK Benefit Concert, With Derek Klena, Kate Rockwell, Nick Blaemire, George Salazar and More, Held June 17 in NYC
By Michael Gioia
NY4OK, a benefit concert to raise funds for the public school arts programs devastated by the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, is held June 17 at (le) Poisson Rouge. Derek Klena (Wicked) and Kate Rockwell (Rock of Ages) are among the evening's performers.
The 9:30 PM concert also features Becca Tobin ("Glee"), Chris Barron (Spin Doctors), Nick Blaemire and The Hustle, Matt DeAngelis (Hair), Ariana DeBose (Motown, Bring It On), Brian Charles Johnson (Spring Awakening), Sean McDermott (Silence!, Miss Saigon, Falsettos, Jekyll and Hyde, Grease), Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones), Kat Nejat (West Side Story, Lysistrata Jones), Gabrielle Ruiz (Evita, In The Heights), George Salazar (Godspell), Jennifer Sanchez (Ghost), Ben Thompson (Matilda) and Jeremy Woodard (Rock of Ages).
NY4OK also includes a silent auction and raffle prizes. All proceeds will go to rebuilding the Oklahoma school arts programs devastated by the May tornadoes.
Daniel Vosovic of "Project Runway" is the evening's special guest presenter.
"The national coverage of the destruction has touched us all," said Oklahoma native and NY4OK artistic producer Rebecca McBee in a statement. "Images such as the seventh grader standing in the rubble of her school and wistfully pointing to where her choir room used to be are just heartbreaking. We, as artists, understand at such a deep level that expression through art can educate, enlighten and heal. Just as the first grade teacher in Moore, OK, had her children singing and playing as loud as they could to drown out the sound and comfort them during the tornado, fine arts programs can help children process what happened and be excited about going back to school in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, we all know far too well that arts programs will be amongst the last to be rebuilt. However, this benefit and the support of New York City can do something to change that."
Music direction is by Joshua Stephen Kartes with musical supervision and artistic direction by Eli Zoller.
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