Though Jason Robert Brown’s artistic residency at downtown’s SubCulture has been put on hold due to shutdowns from coronavirus concerns, the Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist, along with SubCulture co-founder Marc Kaplan, will present the April engagement as a free virtual concert April 27 at 8PM ET. Brown will welcome (from their homes) his longtime band, plus special guests Ariana Grande and Shoshana Bean.
Grande and Brown have been close ever since Grande made her Broadway debut in Brown’s musical 13 (prior to her pop stardom). Over the years, the pair have maintained a friendship; Brown wrote the tribute to Grande when she was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2016. Bean, whose first concert with Brown at SubCulture inspired the idea for the ongoing residency, returns for the fifth time.
The digital event marks the 58th concert of the residency, which has also included the special fundraiser presentations of The Last Five Years starring Joshua Henry and Cynthia Erivo and Jason Robert Brown with Stephen Sondheim—both at Town Hall and both fundraisers for the Brady Campaign to end gun violence.
The April 27 concert is free and available on Vimeo Live Stream as well as SubCulture’s Facebook Page, but Brown encourages donations to the SubCulture Relief Fund to sustain the venue, its staff, and musicians through the shutdown.
“What I have missed and mourned the most over these last extraordinary weeks has been my ability to connect with music—to play and sing with other musicians, and to feel the audience responding,” Brown said in a statement. “Every month for the past five years, I’ve been able to do just that at SubCulture, working with the best musicians and singers I know to make music together for a smart, involved and joyful audience in a place that’s come to feel like a second home.
“Sitting here watching the news go by, I had to do something; I had to figure out some way to let these notes and words in my head come out and be shared with my collaborators and my audience, and so, here we are. All of us in our homes, making music however and whenever we can, with an amazing team to help pull it all together, and two of the greatest singers on the planet Earth: the patron saint of the SubCulture Residency, Shoshana Bean, and Grammy-winner, icon, and total theatre nerd Ariana Grande. We’ve put together a show about what we’ve lost, what we’ve discovered and what we’re grateful for, and I can’t wait to share it with you.”
Click here to donate to the SubCulture Relief Fund.