You may recall that our very own Dominick LaRuffa Jr (The Broadway Consortium) was the producer of “From Broadway With Love”, the benefit for the families and victims of the Sandy Hook, Connecticut shooting in December 2012. Now, that star-studded fundraising event is coming to your televison.
The Cast and Crew
Photo by Darren Wagner
“From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Sandy Hook”, which took place on January 28, 2013, at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut, will soon be airing on select public television stations throughout the tri-state area. An hour-long version of the concert will premiere Thursday, July 18 at 10 p.m on WLIW21, Friday, July 26 at 10 p.m. on THIRTEEN and CPTV, and Tuesday, July 30 at 10 p.m. on NJTV. “From Broadway With Love” was a concert of healing for the Newtown community where composers, musicians and more than 100 stars of Broadway came together with over 300 students from several Newtown dance groups, the Sandy Hook Elementary School 3rd and 4th grades and the Newtown High School Chamber Choir.
100% of the profits go to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation.
This commercial-free broadcast version of the concert features renowned Broadway performers including Brian Stokes Mitchell (Tony Award winner: Kiss Me Kate, 3-time Tony Award nominee), Linda Eder (Jekyll & Hyde), Stephen Schwartz (6-time Tony Award nominee including Wicked, Pippin and Godspell), Micky Dolenz (Aida, member of The Monkees), Marc Shaiman (Tony Award winner: Hairspray, TV’s SMASH), Michael Cerveris (Tony Award winner: Assassins, 4-time Tony Award nominee including Evita and Sweeney Todd), Frank Wildhorn (Tony Award nominee: Bonnie & Clyde and Civil War, Jekyll & Hyde), Nikki Blonsky (Golden Globe nominee: Hairspray movie), Alan Muraoka (Pacific Overtures, TV’s Sesame Street), Robin de Jesus (Tony Award nominee: La Cage Aux Folles and In The Heights), Ashley Blanchet (Annie, Memphis), Capathia Jenkins (Newsies, Caroline, Or Change) along with Muppets and cast members from Sesame Street.
Nikki Blonsky and Newtown Girls (L to R: Hailey Avari, Lauren Smiley, Lauren Jacobs, Devyn Reilly and Meghan Bailey)
Photo by Grace Rainer Long
Brett Boles, author of the musical Foreverman, and Broadway producer Van Dean, both from the Newtown area, are the original conceivers of the benefit concert. It all started with a Facebook message on December 16th, 2 days after the tragedy, from Brett, the emerging musical theater writer, to Van, the Tony Award-winning producer, after meeting at a theater industry event. “After Brett suggested the notion of a benefit concert to me, I immediately posted a note on my Facebook page looking for volunteers. Within a few hours I had 100 responses and knew that this would become something very special,” noted Dean. Six weeks and seven hundred volunteers later, the concert took place at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT thanks to the generosity of the volunteers and sponsors who provided the theater, transportation, lighting and sound equipment, set elements, food and the majority of the other resources needed to put on the show. “The outpouring of love and support from the Broadway community was 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 provided them with the perfect outlet to do so.”
Michael Kostel (Emmy Award winner) and The Broadway Consortium (Tony Award winner) are executive producers of the broadcast. Bob Conover (Emmy Award winner) directed it. John Servidio (Emmy Award Winner) is the Executive in Charge for WLIW21. Jeffrey McLaughlin, of Chelsea Post, edited the program and Michael Croiter, of Yellow Sound Label, mixed the concert and is producing the CD. In September, the CD, BluRay and DVD of the two-hour concert will be released by Broadway Records. All proceeds will go to support the Newtown-Sandy Hook community via the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation.
Additional principal performers on the full version of the concert include Christine Ebersole (Tony Award winner: Grey Gardens), Paul Scott Goodman (Rooms, Bright Lights Big City), Philip Boykin (Tony Award nominee: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), Richard Kind (The Producers, TV’s Mad About You), Mary Testa (Guys and Dolls, Xanadu), Julia Murney (Wicked, Lennon), Janet Metz (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Falsettoland) as well as members from various casts of Million Dollar Quartet: Lance Guest, Erik Hayden, Randy Redd, Dan Mills, Victoria Matlock, featuring Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats and members of the Broadway and touring casts of Sister Act.
The concert event also featured a stellar Broadway ensemble consisting of Krystle Adams, Lindsay Aster, Rachel Baker, Leslie Becker, Mimi Bessette, Brett Boles, Katie Branden, Corey Brunish, Billy Casey, Mark Chmiel, Andrew Clark, Aaron James Darr, Willie Dee, Hannah Rose DeFlumeri, Demi Fragale, Brian Golub, Carly Robyn Green, Curtis Howard, Anthony Johnson, Missy Keene, Richard Koons, Kyshawn Lane, Tony Lawson, K.C. Leiber, Danny Lindgren, Jaygee Macapugay, Rhyn McLemore, Mark Bradley Miller, Thomas Ortiz, Allie Parris, Annie Pasqua, Jenna Pasqua, Jennifer Prescott, Aaron Riesebeck, Emma Ritchie, Brian Charles Rooney, Gabrielle Ruiz, Roland Rusinek, Krista Severeid, Cory Stonebrook, Erin Sullivan, Stewart Tabler, Tiffany Trainer, Price Waldman, Jamie Westberry and Chris Woods as well as Pas de Deux dancers: K.C. Fredericks and Shanna Heverly.
The benefit concert was directed by Michael Unger (A Christmas Carol – McCarter Theatre) and was produced by Van Dean and Kenny Howard of the Broadway Consortium, Jennifer Isaacson, Ken Mahoney, Sarahbeth Grossman, Bethney Ruggiero, Michael A. Alden, Rob Hinderliter, Yvette Kojic, Dale Badway, Mike Kostel, Dominick LaRuffa Jr and Meredith Lucio. Jeffrey Saver (End Of The Rainbow, Sister Act, Chicago) is music director and conducted a 40 piece orchestra consisting of many top Broadway musicians. Librettist David Thompson (The Scottsboro Boys, Steel Pier, Chicago) helped the creative team shape the evening. Cindi Rush Casting acted as Casting Consultant. Tom Bussey served as Technical Supervisor, Tom McPhillips and Mike Rhoads are Scenic Designers, David Agress is Lighting Designer, Kristin Fiebig is Costume Designer, John Petrafesa is Sound Designer and David Bengali is Projection Designer. Zoya Kachadurian served as Production Stage Manager.