Broadway’s biggest stars united to raise their voices in support of the victims and those wounded in the Orlando shooting massacre, the worst in U.S. history, that took place at Pulse nightclub June 12—an act that targeted LGBTQ individuals and their allies.
The new benefit single, a recording of Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” which is produced in conjunction with Playbill at Avatar Studios, can now be downloaded at BroadwayRecords.com. It will be released on iTunes shortly.
All proceeds from the sale of the song will benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida. Broadway Records President Van Dean, musical director/media personality Seth Rudetsky and producer James Wesley spearhead the charitable initiative Broadway for Orlando.
“The Broadway community was so terribly shaken and devastated by the horrific tragedy in Orlando. Everyone wanted to do something as quickly as possible that would truly make a difference,” Rudetsky said in a statement. “On Monday, my husband James woke me up at 7:30 AM and suggested we rally our friends and colleagues to do a ‘We Are the World’ type recording and raise money for the victims and their families. We started making calls and suddenly we had tons of theatre actors along with an orchestra and the services of a fully-staffed recording studio, all willing to donating their time and talent. Our community of artists has banded together as we always do to show we can end this cycle of violence and intolerance. Love WILL prevail!”
Raising their voices in song are Sara Bareilles, Kristen Bell, Wayne Brady, Matthew Broderick, Andréa Burns, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Len Cariou, Paul Castree, Michael Cerveris, Joshua Colley, Lilla Crawford, Carmen Cusack, Darius de Haas, Fran Drescher, Gloria Estefan, Christopher Fitzgerald, Kimiko Glenn, Whoopi Goldberg, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Joel Grey, Sean Hayes, Heather Headley, Nina Hennessy, Megan Hilty, James Monroe Iglehart, Bill Irwin, Carole King, Judy Kuhn, Nathan Lane, Anika Larsen, Jennifer Lewis, Zachary Levi, Jose Llana, Rebecca Luker, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Janet Metz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Donna Murphy, Rosie O’Donnell, Kelli O’Hara, Rory O’Malley, Orfeh, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Alice Ripley, Chita Rivera, Keala Settle, Kate Shindle, Jennifer Simard, Will Swenson, Rachel Tucker, Tommy Tune, Jonah Verdon, Lillias White, Marissa Jaret Winokur, B.D. Wong and Tony Yazbeck.
“What the World Needs Now is Love” was originally written by Bacharach with original lyrics by Hal David. The benefit recording is executive produced by Rudetsky, Wesley and Dean and produced by Michael J. Moritz Jr. and Michael Croiter. It has music direction by Rudetsky, orchestrations by Rudetsky and Cameron Moncur, and vocal arrangements by Michael McElroy.
Rudestsky, accompanying on piano, also conducts the 22-piece orchestra, which includes: Jorge Avila, Ashley Horne, Justin Smith and Mike Roth (violin), Eddy Malave and JJ Johnson (viola), Mairi Dorman-Phaneuf and Carlo Pellettieri (cello), Grace Paradise (harp), Janet Axelrod (flute), Boris Baev (oboe), David Riekenberg (clarinet), Gili Sharett (cassoon), Bud Burridge and Scott Wendholt (trumpets), Charles Gordon and Jennifer Wharton (trombones), Eric Davis (French horn), Scott Kuney (guitar), Marc Schmied (bass), Ray Marchica (drums) and Bill Hayes (percussion).