Broadway Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook Planned for January 28

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Brian Stokes Mitchell

Broadway stars are coming out for From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook, which will be held at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut on January 28 at 7:00pm. This special event will put performers from the New York theater world alongside students from Newtown based dance groups and choirs.

The Broadway actors and singers scheduled to participate in From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook include Brian Stokes Mitchell, Linda Eder, Michael Cerveris, Christine Ebersole, Richard Kind, Andrea McArdle, Nikki Blonsky, Robin de Jesus, Julia Murney, Micky Dolenz, and Seth Rudetsky, along with Wicked composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz, Jekyll & Hyde composer Frank Wildhorn, Hairspray composer Marc Shaiman, and members from the casts of former Broadway show Million Dollar Quartet.

The idea of a Broadway benefit concert for Sandy Hook was conceived by Broadway producer Van Dean and Foreverman author Brett Boles, who both come from the Newtown area. Dean stated that “The outpouring of love and support from the Broadway community has been incredibly heartwarming, and everyone was looking for a way they could use their talents to bring something positive to the community. From Broadway With Love provides them with the perfect outlet to do so.”

The Palace Theater, which seats more than 2,500 people, will be filled mostly with impacted families, members of the Sandy Hook Elementary community, and first responders, who are invited to enjoy this night of entertainment for free. But there will also be a limited number of tickets sold for $50-$250. Visit www.FromBroadwayWithLove.org for more information.

Broadway’s Wicked Makes It Into the Smithsonian Museum

Wicked Broadway MusicalIf there was any doubt that the Broadway musical Wicked has made an indelible mark on American culture, that doubt should disappear with the news that the iconic Elphaba witch costume, hat, and broom from the hit musical have been inducted into the Smithsonian’s popular Washington D.C.-based National Museum of American History.

The induction ceremony took place on December 17, and the costume’s designer, Tony winner Susan Hilferty, was there to sign the deed of gift.  Donna Vivino and Tiffany Haas, current cast members from the Broadway production of Wicked, were there to sing a number from Stephen Schwartz’s popular score to the show.

National Museum of American History acting director Marc Pachter stated that, “This donation is a significant addition to the museum’s entertainment collection and shows the enduring cultural contribution of Broadway hits to American life.”  Current and former musicals The Lion King, Rent, and The King and I are among the other chosen few Broadway musicals to be represented at the Smithsonian museum.

Godspell Announces June 24th Closing

The first post-Tony Award casualty, Godspell has announced that it will be concluding its run on June 24. The cast of the energetic Broadway revival performed on the Tony Awards telecast on June 10, but presumably the television exposure was not enough to boost ticket sales. The insertion of Corbin Bleu into the production and the failure to get any Tony nominations didn’t help, so the show went into the Tony’s against the wind.

When the production closes, it will have played nearly 300 performances at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Although the New Testament-based musical, featuring songs by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), is leaving Broadway, Godspell will soon hit the road in 2013 for a U.S. national tour.

This production of Godspell was Ken Davenport’s grand experiment that received its funding from over 100 separate small investors, a true example of crowd-funding. It’s been nearly 40 years since Godspell made its ground-breaking debut on Broadway, so it was fitting that it would come back to Broadway in a revolutionary way. No word yet on whether the production broke even, but the very thought of that misses the point.