Laura Benanti & More Join BROADWAY BATTLES BULLYING Lineup, Set for 4/14
The Michael Morones Foundation today announced additional performers including Laura Benanti for a one-night only benefit concert entitled Broadway Battles Bullying to take place on Monday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. at New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. The benefit and silent auction, which will be hosted by Shakina Nayfack, will raise money for the newly created Michael Morones Foundation, which works to educate communities about youth suicide prevention and the effects of bullying. The benefit concert is presented by an honorary host committee of Broadway, screen, and music veterans including Sir Ian McKellen, Sir Patrick Stewart, Mary-Louise Parker, Paula Cole, Megan Hilty, Jonathan Groff, and Julia Murney, who have all generously donated their support to the Michael Morones Foundation.
Broadway sensation Laura Benanti, who won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress for her performance as Louise in Gypsy, leads the list of performers. Benanti is a veteran of the Broadway stage and was last seen on Broadway in the musical Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Most recently, Benanti performed as the Baroness in the NBC television production of the Sound of Music Live!, which was viewed by more than 18 million people. Two-time Tony Award Nominee and film actor Robin de Jesús (La Cage aux Folles, In The Heights, Rent), Todd Buonopane (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, NBC's 30 Rock, Grease), and Mykal Kilgore (Motown The Musical, Hair) also have joined the lineup. Grammy Award Winning mezzo-soprano and world-renowned Metropolitan Opera star Joyce DiDonato will also perform.
These artists join the previously announced performers including Jill Paice (Matilda, The 39 Steps, The Woman in White), Carrie Manolakos (Mamma! Mia), Jennifer Laura Thompson (Nice Work If You Can Get It, Wicked, Urinetown), Joe Iconis and Family (NBC's Smash, Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits), Lauren Worsham (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder), Aidan Gemme (Waiting for Godot, Mary Poppins), Natalie Joy Johnson (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), Anastacia McCleskey (Violet, The Book of Mormon, Hair), Shakina Nayfack (One Woman Show), Jake Lucas (Newsies), and Sydney Lucas (Fun Home).
Concert tickets, priced $40-$500, can be purchased online at the official Broadway Battles Bullying website:
broadwaybattlesbullying.org. For more information on the Broadway Battles Bullying benefit concert and to learn how to donate to the Michael Morones Foundation, please visit michaelmorones.org.
Michael Morones, an eleven-year-old boy from North Carolina, attempted to hang himself from his bunk bed on January 23. A victim of vicious bullying from classmates because of his love of the My Little Pony television series, Michael was fortunately found in time to save his life, but not soon enough to prevent permanent and severe brain damage. Though it was originally unclear if Michael would make it out of the hospital, he is now undergoing intensive rehab. The potential extent of his recovery remains unclear, but he will need ongoing managed care for the remainder of his life.
The Michael Morones Foundation's mission is to educate communities worldwide on the social development and well-being of our youth. The Foundation works to ensure children that they are loved while providing our youth support and equipping them with the necessary life skills to enjoy a successful life. Broadway Battles Bullying is the first fundraising event of this scale; we hope its success will not only support the Foundation but also spread awareness of Michael's story and inspire more fundraising efforts and donations down the road