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Broadway’s finest performed at last year's Broadway Stands Up for Freedom:
Honorary host: Tony Kushner Keynote: Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home)
Celia Keenan-Bolger (The Glass Menagerie)
Susan Blackwell (title of show)
Andréa Burns (In the Heights)
Christina Bianco (Application Pending)
Steve Boyer (Hand to God)
Joseph Carroll (Cinderella)
Michael Cerveris (Fun Home) & Loose Cattle
Kate Ferber (Ghost Brothers of Darkland County)
Montego Glover (It Shoulda Been You)
Judy Kuhn (Fun Home)
Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould (Creators of Invisible Thread)
Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I)
Ashley Park (The King and I)
Sarah Stiles (Hand to God)
Shaina Taub (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812)
Grace McLean (Brooklynite)
Brandon Uranowitz (An American in Paris)
Rachel Resheff (Fish in the Dark)
Seth Rudetsky (Disaster!)
Liana Stampur (founding performer) and Clinton Curtis
Peter Flynn, director
Paul Staroba (Gentleman's Guide), musical director
In addition to some of Broadway’s hottest rising talent, the evening will showcase the teenage winners of the NYCLU’s Freedom of Expression contest, which invites New York City public schools students to speak their minds on important civil liberties issues in their lives.
SUSAN BLACKWELL (host) is on a mission to free people’s self-expression. Most notably, she created and played a character based on herself in the original Broadway musical [title of show] and the Off Broadway musical NOW. HERE. THIS. She created and hosts the freewheeling chat show Side by Side by Susan Blackwell on Broadway.com. Her television credits include Crime, Untitled Aziz Ansari Project, and SMASH. Her film credits include Margin Call, P.S.: I Love You and Birdman. As the founder of Susan Blackwell & Co, she partners with likeminded, compassionate artists and thought leaders to deliver inspiring entertainment and educational offerings aimed at freeing people’s creative self-expression.
ANDRÉA BURNS, winner of a Drama Desk Award, created the role of Daniela, the saucy hairdresser in the Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights. She will return to Broadway this fall in the new Gloria Estefan musical, On Your Feet. Her other Broadway credits include The Nance, Beauty and the Beast, The Full Monty and The Ritz. Her Off Broadway credits include Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World and Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night. Her television credits include Violet, Rescue Me, The Electric Company and Law & Order: SVU. Her film credits include The Prince and Akron.
CHRISTINA BIANCO has become a worldwide YouTube sensation with her impression videos gaining over 21 million views, leading to appearances performing on The Ellen Degeneres Show and The Today Show. Her Off Broadway credits include Application Pending (Drama Desk Award nomination), NEWSical The Musical, and Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab (Drama Desk Award nomination). As a cabaret artist, she has performed her celebrated solo shows to sold out crowds across the U.S. and at London’s famed Hippodrome and Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room. On television, Christina plays Bianca on POPTV’s new sitcom Impress Me.
STEVEN BOYER’s Broadway credits include Hand to God (Tony Award nomination) and I’m Not Rappaport. His recent Off Broadway credits include King Lear (The Public), Hand to God (OBIE Award and Lucille Lortel Award; Ensemble Studio Theatre), >em>The Explorers Club (MTC) and Trevor (Lesser America). His television credits include Orange is the New Black, The Crazy Ones and Louie. His film credits include The Wolf of Wall Street, Listen Up Philip and the upcoming Steven Spielberg project Bridge of Spies. He is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
JOSEPH CARROLL’s Broadway credits include Cinderella (as Prince Topher), Romeo and Juliet (opposite Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad) and Once (Tony Award-winner for Best Musical). His upcoming performances include the world premiere of Bandstand at Papermill Playhouse. His New York City readings include August Rush, An Incident at Vichy, Michael John LaChuisa and Graciela Daniele’s The Nine Fathers of Ariel and Fly By Night. His favorite regional credits include The Full Monty, Avenue Q and Chess (Anatoly). His television credits include The Carrie Diaries and All My Children. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
MICHAEL CERVERIS AND LOOSE CATTLE Loose Cattle was named after a country road sign, and sounds that way. Co-founders Michael Cerveris and Kimberly Kaye began the band with a few of their more unruly musician friends as a way to pass the time when not at their day jobs (Broadway and television acting for Cerveris, playwriting and theater journalism for Kaye). Intended for gigs in honkytonks and living rooms, the Cattle has found itself appearing at Lincoln Center, Jazz Fest, Mountain Stage, this year's OBIE Awards and on tour from Louisiana to New York City, picking up fans and free drinks along the way. Their debut live album, North of Houston, is available on iTunes and amazon.com. Loose Cattle is proud to stand up in support of the NYCLU.
KATE FERBER is a singer, songwriter and actress. Most recently she toured nationally with John Mellencamp and Stephen King's musical thriller Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, with musical direction by T Bone Burnett. Along with performing her material with her band (upcoming show August 9th at Rockwood Music Hall), and singing back-up for many New York-based artists, she also has an upcoming run of her one-woman original show One Child Born: The Music of Laura Nyro at Boston's American Repertory Theater this winter.
MONTEGO GLOVER is a Tony Award nominee, Drama Desk Award Winner, Outer Critics Circle Award Winner and Drama League Award Nominee for her performance in Memphis. Her Broadway include It Shoulda Been You and The Color Purple. Her other theatre honors include an IRNE Award (Aida), Helen Hayes Award nomination (Once on This Island) and a Craig Noel Award nomination (The Royale). Her television and film credits include Alone, Black Box, The Following, Hostages, Smash, The Good Wife and White Collar. She has served as a member of the Artist’s Committee for the Kennedy Center Honors and is a PopsEd Ambassador to the New York Pops. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
CELIA KEENAN-BOLGER is participating for her eighth year in Broadway Stands Up For Freedom. Her Broadway credits include Glass Menagerie (Tony Award Nomination, Dorothy Loudon Award, Drama Desk Award), Peter And The Starcatcher, (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination, Drama League nomination) Les Miserables (Drama Desk Award nomination) and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble, Theatre World Award). Her Off Broadway credits include The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center Theater), Merrily We Roll Along (City Center Encores), A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons), Bachelorette (2econd Stage), Saved (Playwrights Horizons), Juno (City Center Encores) and Little Fish (Second Stage). Celia graduated from the University of Michigan.
JUDY KUHN is currently appearing in Fun Home on Broadway, for which she received her fourth Tony Award nomination. Her other Broadway appearances include She Loves Me (Tony Award nomination), Chess (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination), Les Miserables (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination) and Rags (Drama Desk Award nomination). Most recently she appeared as Fosca in Stephen Sondheim and James Laipine’s Passion at the Classic Stage Company. She was the singing voice of Disney’s Pocahontas and has just released her fourth solo album celebrating the music of Richard Rodgers, Mary Rodgers and Adam Guettel.
GRACE MCLEAN’s credits include Brooklynite (The Vineyard), Bedbugs!!!, The World is Round (BAM), Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, Sleep No More, La MaMa Cantata, From The Fire (recipient of the MTM:UK Award for Best New Musical at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival), The Last Goodbye (WTF 2010), Twelve Ophelias (Woodshed Collective) and Grace McLean Lives in Concert. Grace McLean and Them Apples opened the 2015 Lincoln Center “American Songbook” season and in April traveled to Pakistan on a U.S. State Department sponsored tour.
GRIFFIN MATTHEWS AND MATT GOULD are the young creators of the new musical Invisible Thread, which will premiere in New York this fall at Second Stage. The show’s world premiere was at the American Repertory Theater in 2014 under the direction of Tony Award-winner Diane Paulus. Invisible Thread is the winner of the 2012 and 2014 Richard Rodgers Award, and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Dean Kay and Harold Adamson awards. Inspired by true events, Invisible Thread grapples with the complexity of trying to change the world and examines themes related to sexuality, religion and race in America and abroad.
DR. MALCOLM J. MERRIWEATHER is a professional baritone, conductor and teacher. He is the choral associate at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. He has had solo engagements with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, New York Choral Society, Norfolk Chamber Choir, Gregory Kunde Chorale, Music Sacra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Bach Vespers Choir and Orchestra. He has received fellowships with the festivals at Norfolk, Connecticut and Tanglewood Music Center. He has earned degrees from Syracuse University, Eastman School of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
RUTHIE ANN MILES is currently playing Lady Thiang in the Tony Award-winning revival of The King And I at Lincoln Center Theater. Other recent Off Broadway credits include Here Lies Love at the Public Theater, where she created the role of Imelda Marcos, as well as Avenue Q at New World Stages and Two By Two and ...Greasepaint at York Theatre. She received her Masters degree from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.
ASHLEY PARK is thrilled to support the NYCLU. Currently she can be seen as Tuptim in Lincoln Center’s Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of The King and I and heard on The King and I (2015 Original Broadway Cast Recording) album. Her other Broadway credits include Mamma Mia! Her national tours include Gabrielle in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Her regional credits include the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and the Musical Theater of Wichita. She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan (B.F.A. Musical Theatre), where she co-founded the Michigan Performance Outreach Workshop and worked as a passionate member of the Prison Creative Arts Project.
RACHEL RESHEFF, age 15, currently plays Jessica Drexel in Larry David's hit play Fish in the Dark, her fifth Broadway show. Her Broadway credits include The People in the Picture, Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot and Shrek the Musical. She will soon appear on film in The Boat Builder co-starring Christopher Lloyd, The New Weapon and The Escort. On television she has played young Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) in Netflix's acclaimed series Orange is the New Black. A student at LaGuardia Arts High School, she will catalogue her journey as a young performer in Unwrangled, her one-woman show debut at 54 Below on July 26th.
SETH RUDETSKY has worked as the music director or pianist for some of Broadway’s biggest stars, including Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Idina Menzel and Patti LuPone. He spent years as a pianist on Broadway, playing shows including Les Misérables, The Producers and Ragtime, and currently divides his time between being the afternoon deejay on the SiriusXM Broadway channel as the host of Seth Speaks, and touring his show Deconstructing Broadway. He co-wrote Disaster! which is headed to Broadway this season. His newest novel, The Rise and Fall of a Theater Geek, was recently published by Random House.
LIANA STAMPUR is a teacher/singer/songwriter/ mom and the proud founder of the NYCLU's Broadway Stands Up For Freedom annual benefit concert. She holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. She gives her special thanks to the Broadway Stands Up For Freedom organizing committee, and kudos to Donna Lieberman and all of the wonderful folks at the NYCLU who have used their voices to stand up for freedom.
SARAH STILES is currently in Hand to God on Broadway, for which she received a Tony Award nomination for her role as Jessica. Her other favorite credits include Little Red Riding Hood in Shakespeare in the Park's Into the Woods and Annelle in Judith Ivey's production of Steel Magnolias at the Alliance Theater. Her Broadway credits include On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Avenue Q and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Sarah is voice of Spider in Pasek and Paul's James and the Giant Peach and lead vocalist in Gary Lucas's “Fleischerei” project.
SHAINA TAUB is the winner of the 2014 Jonathan Larson Grant and was Ars Nova's 2012 Composer-in-Residence. She is currently developing Robin, a musical commissioned by Ars Nova. She earned a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for her portrayal of Princess Mary in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. She recently starred in and wrote the songs for Bill Irwin and David Shiner's Old Hats, which will run at the Signature Theatre in 2016. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Yaddo Colony and the Sundance Institute.
BRANDON URANOWITZ is a 2015 Tony Award nominee for his featured performance in An American in Paris. He is also known for his leading role in Baby It's You!, the Broadway musical which tells the story of singer Florence Greenberg. Prior to Baby, It's You!, Uranowitz had the role of Mark on the national tour of Rent. He has also performed in the cast of many Off Broadway productions, including Evita at the Papermill Playhouse, Richard III and All's Well That Ends Well at Classical Studio, Galileo at The Skirball Center, Only Children at The Abe Burrows Theatre, Twelfth Night at the Kirk Theatre and Brighton Beach Memoirs / Broadway Bound at the Old Globe.