Broadway Cares hopes to raise money to support performers and crew members impacted by Broadway's shutdown due to COVID-19

By Ale Russian
April 09, 2020 11:48 AM
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Credit: Deen van Meer

Disney on Broadway is coming to homes around the country for a good cause.

The benefit concert, dubbed Celebrating 25 Magical Years of Disney on Broadway, was originally performed live back in November as the latest annual fundraiser for Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS. The night raised $570,426 as 79 performers from all around Broadway came together to sing hit Disney songs.

Now, as the world reckons with the novel coronavirus pandemic, the fundraiser will be streamed live for everyone to see on Monday, April 13 in hopes of raising money for the organization’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.

Frozen on Broadway performer Ryan McCartan, who plays the villain Hans in the stage adaptation, will host the stream from his family’s basement and interview special guests throughout the night.

According to the Broadway Cares website, the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is being administered by The Actors Fund and is helping those onstage, backstage and behind the scenes impacted by the pandemic.

“The event last November was such an unforgettable evening of Disney on Broadway magic,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola said. “We are so grateful to all our friends at Disney Theatrical Productions for generously joining us in sharing this evening again, supporting our entertainment industry friends and colleagues who are out of work and facing serious health and personal challenges due to this devastating coronavirus pandemic.”

Performers for Disney on Broadway gave a tease of what to expect Monday night when they appeared on Good Morning America to sing Hercules‘ “I Can Go the Distance.”

Broadway shut down on March 12 after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo prohibited gatherings of more than 500 people, with a planned return date on April 13. The live stream will serve as a way to bring the theater community together.

Theaters will now remained closed until June 7, it was announced Wednesday, as New York City battles to contain the virus.

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“Our top priority continues to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatergoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, in a statement. “Broadway will always be at the very heart of the Big Apple, and we join with artists, theatre professionals, and fans in looking forward to the time when we can once again experience live theatre together.”

Playbill reports that these closures marks the first time Broadway theater will shut down for a lengthy period since the stagehand union strike of 2007, when theaters went dark for 19 days.

Watch the Disney on Broadway stream on April 13 at 7 p.m. ET at broadwaycares.org on Broadway Cares’ YouTube or Facebook channels. The stream will also be available through media partners Playbill.com, abc7ny.com and the sites of the ABC Owned Television Stations around the country.