Broadway In South Africa: The Concert is a star-studded evening that will feature world-premiere songs created by award-winning Broadway composers, performed by Broadway stars. This benefit concert will raise money for the January 2009 South African initiative of a new, not-for-profit organization called Broadway In South Africa (BSA), and will take place on Monday, October 6, 2008 at 7:30PM in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Peter Norton Symphony Space (2537 Broadway at 95th Street).
BSA commissioned composers Jeff Blumenkrantz, Bobby Cronin, Jonathan Reid Gealt, Adam Gwon, Michael John LaChiusa, Henry Krieger, Steve Marzullo, Bill Russell, Jeremy Schonfeld and Georgia Stitt to create music based on poems, stories and drawings created by African students.
The new works will be performed by Sebastian Arcelus, Stanley Bahorek, Sean Bradford, Tituss Burgess, Eden Espinosa, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Mandy Gonzalez, Frankie James Grande, Adam Kantor, Kendra Kassebaum, Norm Lewis, Julia Murney, Billy Porter, Kate Shindle and Lisa Nicole Wilkerson.
The concert’s opening act features South African performers Bongi Duma, Ron Kunene, Tsidi Manye, S’bu Ngema and Mpume Sikakane, all from The Lion King on Broadway.
The concert will also showcase Broadway dancers Gabriel Croom, Timmothy Erlich, Kenway Kua, Ray Mercer, Brandon O'Neal, Luis Salgado, Rickey Tripp and Phillip Turner performing a powerful modern dance piece with traditional African movement, choreographed by Charles O. Anderson, artistic director and founder of Dance Theater X.
The evening’s director is Jen Bender (The Lion King) and music director is Brad Haak (Mary Poppins).
BroadwayWorld had the great opportunity to chat with the master-minds behind this ambitious concert and project. In conversation were BSA Executive Director Sean Bradford (The Lion King), BSA Concert Director Jen Bender (The Lion King Resident Director), BSA Concert Artist Kate Shindle (Legally Blonde), BSA Production Staff Adam Kantor (Rent), BSA Production Staff Stanley Bahorek (Spelling Bee) and BSA Publicist Lisa Nicole Wilkerson (The Lion King).