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VIDEO: JW3 Presents Virtual and In-Person Event Featuring Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Ben Caplan and More

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Isla van Tricht and Guy Woolf, Julian Hornik and others also took part in the event!

VIDEO: JW3 Presents Virtual and In-Person Event Featuring  Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Ben Caplan and More

Last night, JW3 - the Jewish community centre in London - hosted its first ever hybrid event in partnership with ALP musicals' SIGNAL series.

The event brought together an in-person audience in the fully socially-distanced JW3 theatre, as well as a global audience watching remotely by livestream.

Introducing the show on the JW3 main stage, ALP musicals' Adam Lensman said, "There isn't just the old way for doing theatre, or nothing. There is something else. We are trying with all our heart and might to see another way".

Rachel Grunwald, Director of Programming at JW3 added, "many people know about the immense Jewish contribution to the history of musical theatre. Tonight, we get a glimpse of the contributions of the future".

The show certainly lived up to this billing. A wealth of song-writing talent was on display, as well as an innovative approach to performance with on-stage singers and musicians joined in real-time by performers from across the Atlantic.

The diverse and international line-up included:

Live from Toronto, Irene Sankoff and David Hein - co-writers of hit show Come From Away - performing "Lighting Department", from their latest project currently in the writing stage. Sankoff described how the show will deal with the subject of autism, inspired by experiences in her own family life as well as her training to work with autistic children.

Star of the Lion King, Mary Poppins and Come from Away Jonathan Andrew Hume singing "Only Words", a new song from the upcoming musical Cable Street - A Musical Riot, by Tim Gilfin and Alex Kanefsky.

Writing team Isla van Tricht and Guy Woolf were present in the JW3 theatre for a preview of their song "What would happen if I shot somebody?" from Valerie, a musical they are currently writing about the life of American feminist activist and author Valerie Solanas.

Songwriter Ben Caplan performed his song "Truth doesn't live in a book" live from Canada. The song comes from Old Stock - A Refugee Love Story, a musical recounting the story of Jewish Romanian refugees who left Europe for Canada in 1908.

A trans-Atlantic live performance of Emily Rose Simons's You and Me featuring a live piano track and vocal from performers in New York, accompanied by a quartet on the JW3 stage!

Julian Hornik performed an oratorio live from New York about the real-life drag prodigy Shayna Maidel, written from the perspective of their doting mother.

Landon Braverman - live from Brooklyn, NYC - performed "Cosmic Love" from "Captain Zuke", the musical he's working on with lyricist Anna Jastrzembski. Set in London in the 1970s, the show will be a homage to figures of the Glam Rock era including David Bowie, Elton John and T-Rex.

Joseph Finlay introduced a song from A Rabbi of Many Principles, the show he has co-written with Raphael Smith. Speaking on the JW3 stage, Finlay explained that the show is set in a "somewhat fictionalised" version of the British Jewish community in which the protagonist gets the role of "Supreme Chairman Rabbi of the United Kingdom".

The sound of an audience applauding only added to the emotion of the evening. Describing the importance of live performance in these difficult times, Lensman explained, "When I'm lonely or confused or finding it difficult to process what's going on, music and stories are always where I've turned".

Watch below!

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