This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

29Mar/21

BROADWAY BACKWARDS 2021

Who: Chasten Buttigieg, Ariana DeBose, Debra Messing, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tony Shalhoub, Ben Vereen, Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox, Lea Salonga, Amy Adams, Debbie Allen, Matt Bomer, Brenda Braxton, Len Cariou, Glenn Close, Loretta Devine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, James Monroe Iglehart, Cheyenne Jackson, Cherry Jones, L Morgan Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Aasif Mandvi, Eric McCormack, Michael McElroy, Debra Messing, Ruthie Ann Miles, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Javier Muñoz, Kelli O’Hara, Karen Olivo, Jim Parsons, Bernadette Peters, Eve Plumb, Roslyn Ruff, Sis, Elizabeth Stanley, Tony Yazbeck, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, Robin Roberts, Robert Creighton, Danyel Fulton, Eileen Galindo, Sam Gravitte, Sheldon Henry, Diana Huey, Aaron Libby, Nathan Lucrezio, Melinda Porto, Shelby Ringdahl, Vishal Vaidya, Blake Zolfo
What: Benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Where: Broadway Cares and YouTube
When: Tuesday, March 30, free, 8:00 (available on demand through April 3)
Why: Mayor DeBlasio has announced that he expects Broadway to reopen in September, but that doesn’t mean the forty-one official theaters will be hosting shows come the fall. In the meantime, we have to keep quenching our thirst with Zoom readings, filmed stagings, and virtual gala celebrations. Next up is “Broadway Backwards,” premiering March 30 at 8:00 and available on demand through April 3. The benefit for Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City, which honors gender diversity and love, began in 2006, raising $7,325, rising each year until it reached $704,491 in 2019; the 2020 edition, scheduled for March 16, was canceled because of the coronavirus.

It has now returned with a vengeance, featuring clips from previous shows (Tituss Burgess, Len Cariou, Carolee Carmello, Darren Criss, Cynthia Erivo, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Debra Monk, Andrew Rannells, Chita Rivera, Lillias White, more), appeals from Chasten Buttigieg, Ariana DeBose, Debra Messing, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tony Shalhoub, and Ben Vereen, and new performances from such major names as Stephanie J. Block, Amy Adams, Debbie Allen, Glenn Close, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cheyenne Jackson, Cherry Jones, Eric McCormack, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Kelli O’Hara, Karen Olivo, Jim Parsons, and Bernadette Peters. This year’s edition is centered around Jay Armstrong Johnson portraying a lonely New Yorker navigating the Covid-19-riddled city with the help of a late-night TV host played by Jenn Colella. The show is written and directed by event creator Robert Bartley, with Mary-Mitchell Campbell as music supervisor, Ted Arthur as music director, and Eamon Foley as director of photography and video editor. It’s free to watch, but donations will be accepted to help members of the LGBTQ community and others who have been significantly impacted by the health crisis and pandemic lockdown.

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