A pandemic won't stop the Sanderson Sisters. Jay Armstrong Johnson will headline a virtual edition of his annual I Put a Spell on You concert, inspired by the cult favorite Halloween film Hocus Pocus. The free stream, set for October 29, will rally for donations to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Johnson (On the Town, The Phantom of the Opera) will once again take on the role of head witch Winifred (played on screen by Bette Midler), with Allison Robinson and Amanda Williams Ware joining him as sisters Sarah and Mary, respectively.
The show, subtitled The Sanderson Sisters Break the Internet, follows the trio of witches as they recruit a handful of iconic pop culture villains for their devious plot, with full production numbers along the way. The performance was filmed last month at The Mansion Inn and Home Made Theater in Saratoga Springs, New York, under COVID-19 protocols.
Guests include Nick Rashad Burroughs, Drew Gehling, J. Harrison Ghee, Todrick Hall, Robyn Hurder, Julia Mattison, Eva Noblezada, Ahmad Simmons, and Will Swenson, as well as drag stars Bob The Drag Queen, Kizha Carr, Marti Gould Cummings, Peachez, and Alexis Michelle.
Rounding out the company are Skizzo Arnedillo Arteaga, Brittany Bohn, Hayden Clifton, Tyler Eisenreich, Taurean Everett, AllisonGriffith, Gabriel Hyman, Karma Jenkins, Erin Kei, Sarah Kleist, Kourtni Lind-Watson, Danny Marin, Ilda Mason, Jennifer Reed, Alanna Saunders, Claire Saunders, Heath Saunders, Cassy Surianello, and Michael Sylvester.
Johnson and Simmons co-direct, with the latter also choreographing. The creative team for the filmed presentation also includes music director Emily Marshall, music producer Will Van Dyke, costume designer DW (with additional costumes by Brian Hemesath), wigs and hair designer Bobbie Cliffton Zlotnik, lighting designer Rocky Noel, makeup leader Kyle Krueger of Alcone Company, line producer Katie Rosin of Kampfire Films, and prop designer Alec Addalia. Ling Mai, Juan Roque, and Roberto Araujo serve as directors of photography. Dancers were cast by Jason Styres.
The event, produced by Johnson and Con Limón Productions, will stream at BroadwayCares.org. While the stream is free, VIP packages come with perks including pre- and post-show virtual cocktail parties, merchandise, and more.