The November 2019 Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway concert, which was scheduled to be streamed April 13 but rescheduled due to issues with the American Federation of Musicians union, streamed April 17 at 7 PM ET. The evening raised money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.
The stream is available in the video below and on BroadwayCares.org.
Ryan McCartan (Frozen, Liv and Maddie) hosts the event from his family’s basement, conducting interviews with Disney on Broadway stars from their respective homes.
The concert features 79 performers, including Jelani Alladin (Hercules), Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, School of Rock), Christian Borle (Little Shop of Horrors, Mary Poppins), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Kerry Butler (Beetlejuice, Beauty and the Beast), Lauryn Ciardullo (Aladdin), Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, Waitress), Merle Dandridge (Tarzan, Aida), Lindiwe Dlamini (The Lion King), Bongi Duma (The Lion King), Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast), Andrew Barth Feldman (Dear Evan Hansen), Bradley Gibson (The Lion King), Whoopi Goldberg (The View), Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton, Aida), April Holloway (Aladdin), James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton), Adam Jacobs (Aladdin), Ramona Keller (Hercules), Nina LaFarga (Frozen), Tamika Lawrence (Hercules, Come From Away), Norm Lewis (Once on This Island, The Little Mermaid), Kara Lindsay (Newsies, Beautiful), Tshidi Manye (The Lion King), Sbusiso Ngema (The Lion King), Ashley Park (Mean Girls), Adam Pascal (Rent, Aida), Krysta Rodriguez (Hercules), Michael James Scott (Aladdin), Sherie Rene Scott (The Little Mermaid, Aida), Kissy Simmons (The Lion King), Josh Strickland (Tarzan), Katie Terza (Aladdin), Marisha Wallace (Aladdin, Something Rotten!), Rema Webb (Hercules, The Lion King), Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), and Syndee Winters (Hamilton, The Lion King).
The show also marked a reunion of 18 Newsies from the show’s Broadway and national touring productions, and a performance from Broadway Inspirational Voices.
On April 11, Broadway Cares announced it had been unable to reach an agreement with the leadership of the American Federation of Musicians to permit the stream of the previously recorded concert. Disney Theatrical Productions, SAG-AFTRA, and Actors’ Equity Association had all previously granted the necessary permissions for the online fundraiser to go forward without additional fees.
The event's musicians and orchestra contractor launched a petition expressing their intent to waive additional fees for the charity stream, and the union subsequently reversed its decision. American Federation of Musicians President Ray Hair said in a statement, “We stand in solidarity with our fellow entertainment workers in Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA. We believe all musicians should be fairly compensated for their work all of the time, but we also believe that we must do everything possible to support entertainment workers hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. We fully support the union musicians who have graciously offered to forgo all required payments to allow this charity event to move forward.”
“There is no better news today than that which helps us ensure all in the entertainment industry who are facing the serious challenges of this COVID-19 pandemic can depend on the support of all their colleagues in the industry,” said Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola in a recent statement. “My thanks to the leadership of the American Federation of Musicians. My best wishes and many thanks to AFM Local 802 President Adam Krauthamer and the Local 802 membership who were willing to speak up during this unprecedented time to support the arts community and those in need.”
Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway was held at the New Amsterdam Theatre and raised $570,426 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, which is being administered by The Actors Fund, is providing those onstage, backstage, in the orchestra pit, and behind the scenes urgent health care and immediate financial support during this pandemic. Donations can be made at BroadwayCares.org/help2020.
See Whoopi Goldberg, Gavin Creel, and More at the Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway Benefit Concert
(Updated April 17, 2020)