Despite the coronavirus shutdown of Broadway, theater-lovers can still enjoy new works and stellar performances by favorites from The Great White Way via the upswing in offerings on digital media. Tonight’s virtual presentations include a benefit streaming of a 2009 concert by three-time Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters and the premiere of an original indie film set in New York and featuring actors and creators from the Broadway stage.
Bernadette Peters: A Special Concert – First presented and filmed at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre in 2009, as a benefit for Broadway Barks (an annual pet adoption event co-founded by Peters and the late Mary Tyler Moore), the special concert will be revisited this evening beginning at 8 pm, when it streams on Playbill, to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. In addition to the central performance by Peters, singing songs from her hit shows Into the Woods, Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, Sweeney Todd, South Pacific, and more, the concert also features appearances by Moore and an assortment of pets in need, who were then available for adoption. A watch party for the stream, directed by Richard Hester (who served as production stage manager for the original show), includes a remote conversation with stage and screen star Michael Urie reminiscing with Peters about her acclaimed career. Viewing is free to everyone, but voluntary donations are welcome and VIP opportunities are available for exclusive virtual interactions with the star. All of the funds raised will be used to provide meals, medication, and emergency assistance for people affected by, and whose needs are heightened by, the COVID-19 crisis. To view, visit Playbill online, or click on the arrow below:
Ode to Passion – A new Broadway-inspired musical drama with eighteen original pop-rock songs makes its debut today on Amazon Prime Video, with other platforms to follow later in the summer. The indie film, shot prior to the coronavirus quarantine (and initially scheduled for its world premiere in the cancelled Queens World Film Festival in March), follows a young writer in New York, whose belief in true love is put to the test by a beautiful girl struggling with addiction. Written, composed, directed, and produced by Jack Danini, the semi-autobiographical narrative is advanced by the music and uniquely interspersed with dialogue spoken purely in verse, which complements the melodic rhythm and pace of the songs, even when no music is present. Broadway veteran Giuseppe Bausilio (Billy Elliot, Cats, Hamilton) and newcomer Julia Nightingale (The Ferryman) star, award-winning cinematographer Darren Joe leads viewers through the beauty and grit of the streets of New York, and Yoo Soo Kim provides an elegant original score and music production for the songs. The movie’s soundtrack is currently available on Amazon and other platforms (including Spotify, iTunes, and Google). To stream the film, go online, and you can watch the trailer here: