It was an out-of-town Broadway show that closed in one night, but those in the audience are likely to remember it for a long time because the show was produced just for them.
It was all part of the high-profile, highly emotional show, "From Broadway with Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook," held Monday night at
The 2-1/2-hour, all-volunteer show, with an orchestra of 40, brought together more than 1,100 family members of the Sandy Hook community who went to the 2,535-seat theater as representatives from the Broadway community — 800 volunteers in all — came together to lift spirits with song, dance, comedy and inspiration. It was an evening that was poignant, joyful, sad, sweet and hopeful. Tears flowed, but there was laughter and plenty of cheers, too.
The show, which was filmed and recorded for a DVD, CD and future broadcast, came together days after the Dec. 14
"It's Broadway people coming in and putting on a show and making people feel good," Mitchell said prior to the show. "It's what we do."
Shaiman, composer of "Hairspray" and the TV series "Smash," said before the show that he would be focused on not losing it emotionally, especially in the number "You Can't Stop the Beat," sung by Blonsky with 75 young dancers from Newtown area schools on stage.
The sold-out benefit opened with "Seasons of Love" from "Rent," featuring Robin de Jesus and Ashley Blanchet, and the Broadway with Love Chorus made up of performers from New York shows. The 40-plus member chorus entered down the aisles and placed 26 lit candles on stage. The lights remained on the foot of the stage for the duration of the concert.
Hartt School alum Philip Boykin (Tony Award nominee for
Composer Brett Boles, who co-conceived the concert with Van Dean, sang a song he composed for the show,
The first act ended with a rousing gospel number, "Raise Your Voice" with members of the Broadway and touring company of "Sister Act." Broadway and touring casts of "Million Dollar Quartet" also tore up the show with some hard rocking in the second act.
Lighter moments during the show included
Schwartz performed "Beautiful City" from his "Godspell," accompanied by slide projections from Newtown.
Appearing in video clips were
The show ended with