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BROADWAY'S BEST FOR BREAST CANCER! Series Continues With Brian Stokes Mitchell, Telly Leung and More

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BROADWAY'S BEST FOR BREAST CANCER! Series Continues With Brian Stokes Mitchell, Telly Leung and More

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan will continue its free, smash hit virtual health and wellness series -Broadway's Best for Breast Cancer!-with co-hosts Hamilton star Mandy Gonzalez and JCC senior director of health and wellness programming Caroline Kohles, on Mondays June 22 and 29 at 6 p.m. During the final two episodes of the five-part series, the co-hosts will welcome special guests Telly Leung, Javier Muñoz, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Allyson Tucker of Broadway, plus health and wellness experts Chef AJ, Ericka Clinton, and Jamie Lopez. The series is free, but guests must register online in advance for the June 22 and June 29 episodes.

Under the guidance of Dr. Alison Estabrook, renowned breast surgeon and co-founder of Breastlink New York each episode provides an opportunity for viewers to engage with the co-hosts and guests, as well as pose questions to healthcare experts.

The series is part of JCC's cancer care partnership with Breastlink New York, an initiative that offers complementary care to those living with breast cancer through a range of classes, lectures, and events focusing on self-care through movement, massage, yoga, Nia, and Moving for Life-all to boost healing, increase vitality, and help manage any side effects of cancer treatment.

"People living with cancer right now are anxious and afraid," Kohles said. "They are going to be sheltering in place for much longer than the rest of us because their immune systems are so compromised. They need practices and tools to help with the fear and anxiety and a bit of entertainment to distract them and keep them focused and positive."

"Together we will laugh, cry, and learn-while boosting our health. Along the way, I will share my personal journey with cancer. I will also share how my theater skills and loved ones got me through some tough times," added Gonzalez.

Currently starring as Angelica Schuyler in the megahit Hamilton (until the Broadway shutdown in March), Gonzalez also originated and starred as Nina Rosario in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights, for which she received a Drama Desk Award. She has starred as Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked, for which she was honored with a Award for Best Replacement. She also appeared on Broadway in Aida, Lennon, and Dance of the Vampires, and Off-Broadway in Eli's Comin', for which she received an Obie Award.

Throughout the series, Gonzalez-the daughter of Jewish-Mexican parents, and a mother of one-will candidly discuss her journey and treatment for breast cancer. Her bubbe's love for Ethel Merman and her grandfather's love for Elvis Presley propelled her to sing and eventually take voice lessons. Gonzalez attended Hebrew school and was bat mitzvahed in Los Angeles, going to the local Jewish theater to watch performances, and eventually making her own debut public performance there.

The live virtual series kicked off Monday, June 1, and has featured some of Gonzalez's Broadway colleagues as well as health experts offering guidance to those facing cancer during the pandemic. Previous episodes have featured Krysta Rodriguez (Spring Awakening, The Addams Family, In the Heights), Kerry Butler (Mean Girls, Xanadu, Hairspray); James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin); positive psychologist Maria Sirois; international best-selling author and research psychologist Kelly McGonigal; and Kathy Washburn, founder of Carved by Cancer, a support network for cancer survivors.

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