VIDEO: Watch Laura Benanti Host Broadway Stands Up For Freedom Gala
Last night, Tony Award-winning actress Laura Benanti hosted and performed at the 17th annual BROADWAY STANDS UP FOR FREEDOM concert. She was joined by Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara (Kiss Me Kate), Tony Award nominees Montego Glover (Memphis), Judy Kuhn (Fun Home), Phillipa Soo (Hamilton), and Eva Noblezada (Hadestown) as well as Broadway performers Krystina Alabado (Mean Girls), Julia Murney (Wicked), Jeannette Bayardelle (Hair), Shoba Narayan (The Great Comet), and Emmy nominee Shaina Taub (Public Works' Twelfth Night), along with Starr Busby (Octet), L Morgan Lee (A Strange Loop), We McDonald (NBC's The Voice), Liana Stampur, and the BROOKLYN YOUTH CHORUS.
"We have never needed the NYCLU more than in this particular moment in time," says Benanti. "My dear friend Celia Keenan-Bolger is a tireless activist who deserves all the accolades and praise (although she requires none of it). I am honored to be a part of this event, and hope that everyone who can will join us for what is sure to be a memorable evening."
With the theme MY BODY, MY BUSINESS, the October 28th event honored Tony Award-winning actress Celia Keenan-Bolger (To Kill A Mockingbird) with the Michael Friedman Freedom Award as well as the Tony Award-winning producer Eva Price (Oklahoma!, Jagged Little Pill) and Tony Award-winning producing company Level Forward (Slave Play, Oklahoma!).
Ms. Keenan-Bolger was the first recipient of the Michael Friedman Freedom Award. As a founding member of the Broadway Stands Up For Freedom planning committee, she has been one of the most active contributors over the years. The NYCLU and ACLU are honoring Celia for living a life and pursuing a career dedicated to social justice. She uses her talent and voice to educate, create dialogue, and catalyze social change both on stage and off. This commitment has shown through in her representation of Scout in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on Broadway, for which she received a Tony Award in 2019.
The NYCLU and the ACLU also honored Eva Price and the founders of Level Forward: Adrienne Becker, Abigail Disney, Rachel Gould, and Angie Wang - a female-led entertainment company, producing outstanding works on Broadway, as well as other mediums. Their commitment to projects spearheaded by female creatives and people of color challenges and inspires all of us to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Additionally, their efforts to level the playing field through innovative revenue sharing partnerships with nonprofits has the power to transform the industry.