You aren’t likely to find any Broadway stars taking part in Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration festivities, especially now that Jennifer Holliday has backed out of performing following protests from her fan base. However, many of them will be taking part in a counterprogramming concert event on Friday afternoon.
“Concert for America: Stand Up, Sing Out!” is a benefit concert that will be held at Town Hall and will include appearances and performances from numerous musical theater performers, such as Rosie O’Donnell, Chita Rivera, Betty Buckley, Kelli O’Hara, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Bebe Neuwirth and Jessie Mueller.
According to the website for the event, it will celebrate “the diversity and hope that is America at its best.” It is also hoped that the concert will serve as the launch of a monthly series.
The proceeds will be distributed to Planned Parenthood, the NAACP, Sierra Club Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center and National Immigration Law Center.
It is being produced by musical theater know-it-all and radio host Seth Rudetsky and his producer husband James Wesley.
In July, many Broadway performers, including Rudetsky, performed “What the World Needs Now Is Love” at the Democratic National Convention. Like that event, Wesley says the pair quickly enlisted a lineup of Broadway stars by texting and calling friends.
“There seems to be a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness in this country among those who believe in social justice,” Wesley said. “We felt there is going to be an ongoing need for support of these five nonprofits we picked, as well as a need to keep people’s spirits up. We are hoping these monthly concerts will raise funds, awareness, and spirits ... and showcase some amazing singing!”
As to whether Holliday may or may not perform, Rudetsky says he’s already reached out to the singer, having worked with her on the Tony Awards. “It would be wonderful!!! Cross fingers!” he said.
Tickets range from $25 to $50 but the concert is currently sold out. Luckily, it will be livestreamed on Facebook.