Broadway Stands Up For Freedom With NYCLU Fundraiser

by | Jul 18, 2017 | Culture, Theater

Last night, Broadway took a stand.

In an evening of music, art and protest, the Broadway community came together to rally for the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The NYCLU (a vital branch of the American Civil Liberties Union) hosted the 15th Annual Broadway Stands Up for Freedom concert at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on the NYU campus.

A studded lineup of Broadway talent attended and performed in the show, with Kurt Crowley, who worked in musical direction on “Hamilton: An American Musical,” serving as the music director of the program.

This year’s concert was particularly special, as all of last night’s music was written specifically for the concert. Each song was created exclusively for the show to bring attention to a different civil liberties issue. Such is the case with protest art, the creative songs are sure to live on beyond last night’s performance.

Last night, the NYCLU honored Harry Belafonte, civil rights activist and actor, with the first ever Freedom Award for his contributions.

Also featured in the show was 2017 Tony Award-winner Gavin Creel. You know him for his role in “Hello Dolly!” He wrote a song for the program, which he performed on the piano while his “Hello Dolly!” cast mate Taylor Trensch sang lyrics. A total of 13 songwriting teams and performers brought to light social injustices on stage.

Other performers included host Susan Blackwell, actress Andrea Burns and musician William Darling.

Tony-nominated actress Celia Keenan-Bolger attended and performed, saying the Broadway community is an encouraging and supportive one.

“The Broadway community is a creative and inclusive family,” she said. “It is a safe space and the embodiment of tolerance to be whoever you want to be. A family of artists that are passionate activists and leaders that work together to inspire what it means to live a diverse life. Broadway and the NYCLU brings life to untold struggles and speaks truth to power in storytelling.”

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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