Rockers On Broadway 20 Will Honor Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff
By Adam Hetrick
Rockers On Broadway, the benefit concert that features Broadway performers rocking out with a live band, will honor The Who's Tommy collaborators Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff Nov. 11 at (le) Poisson Rouge.
Donnie Kehr, who appeared in the 1993 rock musical The Who's Tommy, created the event that supports various charities at its concerts. The Nov. 11 concert will benefit the ASCAP Foundation's Children Will Listen Program, The Broadway Dreams Foundation and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The organization has raised over $300,000 since its founding 20 years ago.
Tony Award-winning songwriter Townshend and Tony-winning director McAnuff (Jersey Boys; Fetch Clay, Make Man) are being honored as "two visionaries who broke new artistic ground while bridging the gap between Rock & Roll and Broadway."
Talent for the evening will be announced shortly.
Rockers On Broadway 20 will feature "the 20 best songs from the first 20 years," Kehr said in a statement. "This year, for our 20th anniversary, we're honoring Pete Townshend and Des McAnuff because they gave me the idea for the event. Rock & Roll and Broadway were never a mix. They were able to change that."
He continued, "Rockers began because Pete wanted Tommy's cast of Broadway performers to get some experience performing in rock clubs to understand what he did. So our first event actually had rock god Pete Townshend playing backup for Alice Ripley, Norm Lewis, Michael Cerveris, myself and others to help give our Broadway performances a rock n' roll edge. And that spirit has guided 20 years of Rockers On Broadway."
Tickets range $30-$250. To purchase tickets visit rockersonbroadway.com, or phone (212) 505-3474. (le) Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street, NYC.
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