Celia Keenan-Bolger and Andrew Rannells to Host Waterwell's FLEET WEEK FOLLIES

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Andrew Rannells to Host Waterwell's FLEET WEEK FOLLIES

Waterwell announces the inaugural year of Fleet Week Follies, an annual festival of entertainment for the military community during Fleet Week, to be held on Sunday, May 26, 2019.

This year's festival will feature food, music, and family activities for one day only at Brooklyn's National Sawdust music venue (80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn, 11249). The day will begin with workshops and performances for kids of all ages from 1:00-4:00pm, followed by a happy hour featuring 14th Star Brewing beginning at 5:30pm, and an evening of music hosted by Tony-nominated Broadway stars Celia Keenan-Bolger (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon) beginning at 7:00pm.

Headliner entertainment as well as music artists from the military community will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets to Fleet Week Follies are free to all members of the military community, including Active Duty, Guard, Reserve, veterans, and their families and caregivers. A limited number of tickets will also be available to civilians via a standby line on the day of the event. Registrations are live now at Eventbrite and at waterwell.org.

Fleet Week Follies is inspired by the Stage Door Canteen, a club in the basement of the 44th Street Theater where from 1942-46, the Broadway community put on nightly entertainment for military service members. The stars who volunteered both performed and served food and beverages, all completely free of charge.

"Waterwell is proud to animate a small part of the legacy of the Stage Door Canteen - a truly remarkable effort by many members of the Broadway community in the 1940s to create a space where art and performance could strengthen the sense of connection between the military and civilians in their time," said Waterwell artisticdirector Lee Sunday Evans. "We hope to build on that spirit and create a meaningful, fun annual event where art can continue to be a source of inspiration and community-building between these too-often separate sectors of our society."

Waterwell has worked with New York's military community before. In 2017, Waterwell created Blueprint Specials, a resurrection of WWII musicals produced on the hangar deck of the Intrepid aircraft carrier with a cast of Broadway performers and performers who are military veterans.

"When we did Blueprint Specials, we heard loud and clear that military communities need more opportunities for access to New York's incredible performances," saidArian Moayed, co-founder of Waterwell. "Fleet Week Follies is our way of creating that access and continuing to serve those who serve our country."

The food for Fleet Week Follies will also celebrate service in our communities, and will be created in collaboration with two key partners: Dog Tag Bakery, which trains military veterans in baking and small business skills, and Emma's Torch, a culinary training program for refugees living in the U.S.

A major partner in Waterwell's efforts to deliver Fleet Week Follies to the military community is Blue Star Families, a leading non-profit committed to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors - individuals and organizations - to create vibrant communities of mutual support.

Fleet Week Follies is made possible with the generous support of founding sponsors the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, the Partnership for a New American Economy, the PVH Foundation, A+E Networks, 14th Star Brewing, Dog Tag Bakery, and Ligature Creative.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski



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