Theater-lovers have two great online options to choose from this evening, with a benefit reading of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder and the virtual ceremony of the 12th Jimmy Awards. If you can’t decide and want to do both, they’ll also be available for a limited time on demand, so you can celebrate young theater artists and help put an end to rising anti-Asian racism in our country while being entertained.
Making its debut tonight, July 15, at 7:00 pm, and available on demand through Thursday, July 22, 11:59 pm, is a fundraising and awareness-raising presentation of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder by CollaborAzian – a gathering of Asian American musical theater artists responding to the rise of anti-Asian bias, prejudice, and hate. Based on Roy Horniman’s 1907 novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal, the musical-comedy adaptation by Robert L. Freedman (book and lyrics) and Steven Lutvak (music and lyrics) played on Broadway from 2013-16, and won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Directed by Alan Muraoka (Sesame Street), with music direction by Steven Cuevas (Once On This Island), video editing by Just Bein’ Productions (Nyseli Vega and Bianca DiSarro), and sound engineering by Jonathan Cuevas, tonight’s abridged online concert version stars Cindy Cheung (13 Reasons Why), Karl Josef Co (Pacific Overtures), Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera), Diane Phelan (School of Rock), and Thom Sesma (Sweeney Todd). The powerhouse cast and creative team of Broadway and Hollywood veterans will not only shine a spotlight on Asian excellence and joy, but also on the need to take action against prejudice and hatred.
For tickets, which include a virtual after-party, go online. Donations are welcome, with proceeds from the concert supporting Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit coalition that tracks incidents of anti-AAPI hate and discrimination in the US.
This year’s National High School Musical Theatre Awards – aka The Jimmy Awards, in honor of legendary Broadway producer and theater owner James M. Nederlander – will also be presented entirely online, on Thursday, July 15, beginning at 7:30 pm, on the Jimmys’ Facebook page and YouTube channel. The recording of the special event will then remain available for viewing for 72 hours, through Sunday, July 18.
Hosted by stage and screen star Corbin Bleu (Kiss Me, Kate), with a special appearance from Mandy Gonzalez (In the Heights), the show will feature ensemble and solo performances by the nation’s most talented high school musical theater students. In keeping with pandemic protocol, all coaching, rehearsals, and activities took place online for the 2021 event.
The evening will culminate with two of the students receiving awards for the Best Performance by an Actress and Best Performance by an Actor. In addition, as previously announced, two Inspiring Teacher Awards will be presented to Katelin Ruzzamenti Knight (Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, Utah) and Benjamin Pesenti (Elmont Memorial High School, New York), whose students were the winners in the 2019 ceremony.