From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando brought together some of Broadway’s biggest stars to support the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, Hope and Help Center and Zebra Coalition.
The benefit concert, which sold out within two hours of tickets going on-sale, took place at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
The star-studded line-up included Darren Criss (Emmy-nominee, Broadway’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Glee), Chita Rivera (two-time Tony Award winner), Norbert Leo Butz (two-time Tony Award winner), Kelli O’Hara (Tony Award winner), Jessie Mueller(Tony Award winner, currently in Waitress), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Tony Award Winner, currently in Shuffle Along), Carmen Cusack (Bright Star), Andrea McArdle (original Annie), Lillias White (Tony Award winner), Liz Callaway (Miss Saigon), Josh Henry (Shuffle Along), Keala Settle (Waitress), Anika Larsen (recently seen in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Justin Sargent (Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma Mia!), Lilla Crawford (Disney’s Into the Woods, Annie on Broadway), Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, Rent) and Priscilla Lopez (created Morales in A Chorus Line), as well as SiriusXM Broadway hosts Seth Rudetsky and Christine Pedi. Michael J. Moritz, Jr. (Tony Award Nominee) served as Music Director. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra accompanied the performers.
The two-and-a-half hour concert included rousing performances of “Sugar Daddy” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, performed by Darren Criss; “Sun Is Gonna Shine” from Broadway’s Bright Star, performed by Carmen Cusack; Carole King’s “Beautiful,” performed by Jessie Mueller; “The Wizard and I” from Wicked, performed by Carrie Manolokas; “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha, performed by Brian Stokes Mitchell, “All That Jazz” from Chicago, performed by Chita Rivera, “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” performed by Lillias White; “Slide Some Oil to Me” from The Wiz, performed by Joshua Henry; and ""They Don’t Let You in the Opera If You’re a Country Star," performed by Kelli O’Hara, just to name a few. The entire company united onstage for the final number, singing “What the World Needs Now is Love.”
Local performers included the Orlando Gay Chorus, singing “What a Wonderful World,” and dance troupe VarieTease, sharing a routine to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
In addition to the concert, more than 50 online auction pieces, including autographed posters, playbills, and one-of-a-kind experiences – including sitting on-stage during Darren Criss’ number – were available to benefit the evening’s charitable partners.
The Orlando benefit concert was co-produced by Imagine Orlando, LLC (comprised of Tony Award winner Kenny Howard of Florida Theatrical Assoc., Joyce Arbucias of The Imagination House, Andrea Canny of PerformerStuff.com, Chris Yakubchik of Forster Boughman and Lefkowitz), Seth Rudetsky, James Wesley, Michael J. Moritz, Jr. and Broadway Records (Van Dean, Tony Award-winning/Grammy-nominated producer/co-conceiver of the first From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook).
From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert For Orlando was created by Seth Rudetsky, Kenny Howard and James Wesley; directed by Kenny Howard; written by Michael Wanzie with musical direction by Michael J. Moritz, Jr.
For more information, visit www.frombroadwaywithlove.org.