Ukulele Kids Club and Broadway Stars Unite for Virtual Cabaret Benefit Event

Ukulele Kids Club and Broadway Stars Unite for Virtual Cabaret Benefit Event

by BWW News Desk | Apr. 4, 2021

Performers joining the lineup include Laura Benanti, DeMarius R. Copes, Stephanie Torns, Daniel Quadrino, and more!

A chorus of contemporary Broadway stars is teaming up for a performance of epically charitable proportions to benefit the Ukulele Kids Club (UKC), the nonprofit that supports the healthcare of medically fragile children through music therapy and donations of ukuleles.

Following the cue of UKC Advisor and UKC Broadway program director Abby Jaros (“Hamilton,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”), a talented troupe of performers from such major productions as “Gypsy,” “Hamilton,” “Wicked,” “Newsies,” and “Mean Girls” will perform crowd-favorite numbers, live online.

Helping to ease the isolation of Broadway fans everywhere, the “virtual cabaret” will take place on April 8, 2021 at 7 PM ET, with tickets priced as “pay what you can,” or a $50 donation suggested. The event is capped with a live raffle for a custom ukulele, signed by the cast of Broadway’s “Mean Girls.”

“As music therapy advocates, we at UKC are committed to increase awareness of music therapy as an essential part of a child’s medical treatment plan,” said Marlén Rodriguez-Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer, UKC. “We are so grateful for these hardworking Broadway artists, who believe in our mission so much that they’re sharing their star power to support instruments and music therapy for the kids.”

The UKC virtual cabaret will feature a series of solo performances by a who’s-who of current Broadway performers and artists including:

  • Laura Benanti (“Gypsy”)
  • Jerusha Cavazos (“The Prom”)
  • DeMarius R. Copes (“Mean Girls”)
  • David R. Gordon (“Charlie & the Chocolate Factory”)
  • Shoba Narayan (“Wicked”)
  • Fergie L. Philippe (“Hamilton”)
  • Daniel Quadrino (“Newsies”)
  • Stephanie Torns (“Waitress”) and
  • Joshua Turchin (“Forbidden Broadway”).

Ms. Jaros will host and introduce the performances. In 2020, Ms. Jaros quickly became an important ambassador for the Ukulele Kids Club. She spearheaded the UKC Broadway (“#UKCBroadway”) initiative, which has connected the charity with Broadway artists. True to its moment in time, #UKCBroadway has featured online performances by these professionals, providing world-class entertainment for Broadway fans stuck in coronavirus isolation, while raising awareness and donations for UKC.

“I knew from the moment I first heard about UKC that their important work would strike a chord with virtually every music professional, especially my Broadway colleagues,” added Ms. Jaros. “Many of us are ukulele players ourselves, so we instantly recognize how the uke is a simple key to unlocking the feelings and emotions of hospitalized kids. I’m so proud to have a role in creating this event to benefit UKC.”

As a special incentive for attendees of the UKC Broadway cabaret, audience members will be eligible to win one ukulele, signed by the cast of “Mean Girls” on Broadway. The ukulele will be raffled off – live and online – to one lucky winner at the UKC Broadway Cabaret, April 8th at 7pm EST. For event tickets please visit www.theukc.org/broadway. The entire event, including all recorded performances, will be available at www.theukc.org for 72 hours after the live webcast.

Founded in 2013, UKC has donated more than 9,500 ukuleles to music therapy programs at children’s hospitals in the U.S. and internationally. The UKC has expanded its support of hospital-based music therapy programs through a growing network of more than 200 hospitals, including such leading children’s hospitals as Boston Children’s Hospital, Mattel UCLA Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, Texas Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Riley Children’s Health in Indianapolis, and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Working under the guidance of board-certified music therapists, children use the ukuleles as part of their therapy during their hospitalizations, and may keep the instruments when they return home. Once back home, children can use the ukulele to pursue a love of music as well as long-term therapy goals. Music therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions. Board-certified music therapists create therapy plans designed for each patient, based on individualized needs and goals. Among the goals of music therapy interventions are: engaging in wellness habits, stress management, pain reduction, physical rehabilitation, enhanced cognition, and many other therapeutic goals.

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