Broadway Backwards, the annual benefit concert celebrating the LGBTQ+ community via songs from musical theatre, returned to Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre, current home of Disney's Aladdin, March 13.
Produced by Broadway Cares, the evening benefited the theatrical nonprofit and New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, raising a record-breaking $765,069. Jenn Colella hosted the in-person event for the third time.
Watch Bonnie Milligan, currently on Broadway in the new musical Kimberly Akimbo, belt out the West Side Story classic "Maria" in the video above. Nick Wilders arranged the Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim classic with orchestrations by Robert Meffe.
The fundraiser also featured the talents of F. Murray Abraham, George Abud, Philippe Arroyo, Corbin Bleu, Wayne Brady, Len Cariou, Bradley Dean, Dormeshia, Eden Espinosa, Robbie Fairchild, Barrett Foa, Adrianna Hicks, Robyn Hurder, Beth Leavel, Ellyn Marie Marsh, Jeigh Madjus, Chris McCarrell, Samantha Pauly, Anthony Rapp, Turner Riley, Lea Salonga, Kyle Scatliffe, A.J. Shively, Alexandra Silber, Ali Stroker, Paulo Szot, and Paul C. Vogt.
The ensemble for the evening included Andrés Acosta, Lawrence Alexander, Alex Aponte, Charles Barksdale, Joe Beauregard, Tiffan Borelli, Marissa Bregande, Randy Castillo, Andrew Cheng, Kate Coffey, Emily Croft, Nicholas Cunningham, Christina Galvis, Henry Gendron, Marshall Hagins, Javier Ignacio, Jaquez, Gabriella Joy, Sarah Kleist, David Lamarr, Kevin Loreque, Sean McGee, Miachael Olarbige, Amma Osei, Lukas Poost, Kevin Reed, Daniell Erin Rhodes, Janelle Farias Sando, Robbie Serrano, Molly Stilliens, Esteban Suero, Alec Varcas, and Mark William.
Broadway Backwards creator Robert Bartley once again directed. Bartley, Lauren Gemelli, Hurder, Mimi Quillin, Adam Roberts, Luis Salgado, and Tony Yazbeck choreographed with musical supervision by Ted Arthur and Mary-Mitchell Campbell. Jeff Brancato served as production stage manager.
The evening also had lighting design by Nyle Farmer, sound design by Maria Renee Foucher, prop design by Jenna Snyder and Alexander Wylie, and costume design by Tyler Carlton Williams, Jess Gersz, and Nicole Zausmer. Binder Casting’s Mark Brandon and Chad Eric Murnane returned as casting consultants.
The event began as a grassroots concert performed at The Center in 2006. Last year, Backwards returned to the New Amsterdam after a two-year pause due to the pandemic. The standing-room-only return raised a record $758,582, besting the previous record set by 2021’s virtual edition. In its 17 editions, Broadway Backwards has raised more than $7 million for Broadway Cares and The Center.