Lea Salonga, Deborah Cox, Stephanie J. Block, More Set for Virtual Edition of Broadway Backwards

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Broadway Cares  

Lea Salonga, Deborah Cox, Stephanie J. Block, More Set for Virtual Edition of Broadway Backwards

The annual concert benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

The annual Broadway Backwards concert, featuring gender-reversed and star-studded twists on classic and modern favorites, will be held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus concerns.

The upcoming evening, produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to benefit both Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City, will look toward life post-pandemic and will be streamed for free March 30 at 8 PM ET at BroadwayCares.org/Backwards2021. It will be available on demand through April 3.

Jay Armstrong Johnson


Jay Armstrong Johnson

Joseph Marzullo/WENN


Exploring how the isolation of the pandemic has affected the LGBTQIA+ community, the benefit will feature Jay Armstrong Johnson as an isolated New Yorker who dreams a fantastical journey guided by a late-night television host, portrayed by Jenn Colella. Viewers can also expect an opening number with Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox, and Lea Salonga, plus performances and appearances by Matt Bomer, Darren Criss, Ariana DeBose, Robin De Jesús, Cynthia Erivo, Joshua Henry, Cherry Jones, Kelli O’Hara, and Jim Parsons, with more guests to be announced. (New performances will be mixed in with full numbers from previous editions of Broadway Backwards.)

Creator Robert Bartley returns as writer and director with Mary-Mitchell Campbell as music supervisor, Ted Arthur as music director, and Eamon Foley as director of photography and video editor. Joshua Buscher-West joins as associate director, along with Nick Connors as orchestrator, Benedict Braxton-Smith as music producer and audio engineer, Matt Kraus as sound designer, and Samantha Rodriguez as costume designer.

The 2020 edition of Broadway Backwards was scheduled for March 16 and was canceled just days before the show because of the pandemic. Since its launch in 2006, Broadway Backwards has raised more than $5.3 million for Broadway Cares and The Center.

While the stream is free, donations will be accepted for Broadway Cares and The Center. Every dollar donated will help those affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other critical illnesses receive meals, lifesaving medication, mental health support, and other health and wellness services.

For sponsorship opportunities visit BroadwayCares.org/Backwards2021. To become involved with the event’s Host Committee go to BroadwayCares.org/BackwardsHC.

Look Back at 10 Years of Broadway Backwards With Chita Rivera, Cynthia Erivo, and More

Look Back at 10 Years of Broadway Backwards With Chita Rivera, Cynthia Erivo, and More

50 PHOTOS

Will Nunziata, Mario Cantone and Anthony Nunziata


Will Nunziata, Mario Cantone and Anthony Nunziata, 2010

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Tonya Pinkins


Tonya Pinkins, 2010

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Florence Henderson, 2010


Florence Henderson, 2010

Joseph Marzullo/WENN


Ann Harada


Ann Harada, 2010


Tituss Burgess


Tituss Burgess, 2010


Clay Aiken


Clay Aiken, 2011

Joseph Marzullo/WENN


Debra Monk


Debra Monk, 2011

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Brian Charles Rooney


Brian Charles Rooney, 2011

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Tony Yazbeck


Tony Yazbeck, 2011

Joseph Marzullo/WENN


Lillias White


Lillias White, 2011

Joseph Marzullo/WENN


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