UPDATE – The show will go on after all, on Fri., Apr. 17, after being cancelled earlier this week in a labor dispute.
To make a tax-deductible donation, visit BroadwayCares.org/Help2020.
The fund is administered by The Actors Fund already has received more than 5,000 requests in the first two weeks of April for help from onstage, backstage and other behind-the-scenes theater folk.
The show was broadcast originally this past November, and was scheduled to be streamed earlier this week as a fund-raiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, but canceled due to issues with the American Federation of Musicians union, which demanded compensation, while other unions representing performers waived fees.
The original concert featured 79 performers, including- in alphabetical order because that’s the only fair way –
Jelani Alladin (Hercules),
Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, School of Rock),
Christian Borle (Little Shop of Horrors, Mary Poppins),
- photo courtesy Playbill
Kerry Butler (Beetlejuice, Beauty and the Beast),
Lauryn Ciardullo (Aladdin),
Gavin Creel (Hello, Dolly!, Waitress),
Merle Dandridge (Tarzan, Aida),
Lindiwe Dlamini (The Lion King),
Bongi Duma (The Lion King),
Andrew Barth Feldman (Dear Evan Hansen),
Bradley Gibson (The Lion King),
Whoopi Goldberg (The View),
Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton, Aida),
April Holloway (Aladdin),
James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton),
Adam Jacobs (Aladdin),
Ramona Keller (Hercules),
Nina LaFarga (Frozen),
Tamika Lawrence (Hercules, Come From Away),
Norm Lewis (Once on This Island, The Little Mermaid),
Kara Lindsay (Newsies, Beautiful),
Tshidi Manye (The Lion King),
Sbusiso Ngema (The Lion King),
Ashley Park (Mean Girls),
Adam Pascal (Rent, Aida),
Krysta Rodriguez (Hercules),
Michael James Scott (Aladdin),
Sherie Rene Scott (The Little Mermaid, Aida),
Kissy Simmons (The Lion King),
Josh Strickland (Tarzan),
Katie Terza (Aladdin),
Marisha Wallace (Aladdin,
Rema Webb (Hercules, The Lion King),
Alton Fitzgerald White (The Lion King), and
Syndee Winters (Hamilton, The Lion King).
The show also marked a reunion of 18 Newsies from the show’s Broadway and national touring productions and a performance from Broadway Inspirational Voices.
“There is no better news today than that which helps us ensure all in the entertainment industry who are facing the serious challenges of this COVID-19 pandemic can depend on the support of all their colleagues in the industry,” said Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola. “My thanks to the leadership of the American Federation of Musicians. My best wishes and many thanks to AFM Local 802 President Adam Krauthamer and the Local 802 membership who were willing to speak up during this unprecedented time to support the arts community and those in need.”
Background of dispute
The dispute is between the theater world’s largest charity and one of the theater world’s largest unions, the American Federation of Musicians.
Two other labor unions, Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, gave no objection to the fund-raising event.
According to the NY Times, Broadway Cares attempted to appease AFM with a $25,000 donation to a musician’s emergency fund, but their offer was declined.
The original concert was also a fund-raising event that raked in $570,426 for Broadway Cares and cost Disney $200,000 to produce, during which all performers were paid for their work.
The concert was filmed on November 4th, 2019, at the Disney’s New Amsterdam Theater on 42nd St.
Disney Theatrical has raised over $20 million for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS over the past 25-years.
Here are statements by three of the principals involved.
You make up your own mind who is right and who is wrong.
Tom Viola, Broadway Cares Executive Director
“I understand being told no. When that happens — and it does — I can usually see why or understand the extenuating circumstances. It never feels simply meanspirited. This was different and the result, particularly now, is heartbreaking.”
Disney Theatrical Productions:
“Disney wholeheartedly supported the request from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to AFM to waive fees for this fund-raiser, just as many unions and guilds had happily agreed to do. It’s disappointing that in this case, due to AFM’s decision, much-needed funds will not be raised. We are fiercely proud to be advocates for Broadway Cares and will continue to be, especially at a time like this.”
Ray Hair, American Federation of Musicians President:
“Members of the American Federation of Musicians are suffering from the sudden cancellation of all work as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak. During the height of this crisis, Disney Theatrical has come to us asking to stream media content without payment to the musicians involved in the production. Especially now, with zero employment in the entertainment sector, the content producers should care enough about the welfare of those who originally performed the show to see to it that they are fairly compensated when their work is recorded and streamed throughout the world.