In 2011, Andrew Forsthoefel decided to walk the 4,000 miles from Pennsylvania to California in order to learn the stories and immerse himself in the communities of his fellow Americans. In 2019, a new musical inspired by his story, Passing Through, premiered at Goodspeed Musicals.
In this moment of isolation due to the outbreak of COVID-19, book writer Eric Ulloa and composer-lyricist Brett Ryback reflected on their summer work and how they could use it to create good. Here, they offer Playbill viewers an exclusive 30-minute concert of selections from Passing Through to benefit The Actors Fund.
“Something about the story of American and the story about human connection within our connection obviously right now is a resounding message. We miss and we crave that connection,” Ulloa says. “We thought, 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could share the messages of Passing Through with the community—and even to go beyond that—because the show is about connection and community, what if we could share the message of Passing Through and also raise money for The Actors Fund, which is trying to help our community during this time when most of us if not all of us are completely out of work?'”
The video features messages from director Igor Goldin, choreographer Marcos Santana, and Forsthoefel himself, plus five songs from the musical (including one freshly orchestrated for this performance). Check it out above and consider donating to The Actors Fund.
“Thank you for listening together,” as Forsthoefel says. “Walk in beauty.”
1. “End of the Road” performed by Max Chernin accompanied by Brett Ryback
2. “Cut You Out” performed by Max Chernin accompanied by Brett Ryback
3. “Stranger on the Side of the Road” performed by Max Chernin and Celeste Rose, accompanied by Brett Ryback and Billy Bivona
4. “De Nuevo” performed by Max Chernin, Ryan Duncan, Linedy Genao, accompanied by Brett Ryback and Billy Bivona
5. “Passing Through” performed by Joan Almedilla, Max Chernin, Mary Jo Mecca, Charles Gray, Garrett Long, Jim Stanek, Linedy, Jennifer Leigh Warren, Reed Armstrong, Celeste Rose, and Ryan Duncan, accompanied by Brett Ryback, Billy Bivona, Andrew Studenski, August Eriksmoen, and Ryan "Drickles" Drickey