Tony Award-wining actress Laura Benanti just cheered up theater kids across the country: In a just-posted Instagram video message, the Sound of Music Live! and Nashville star is inviting high school students in canceled shows to post song videos and tag Benanti for what could be a much-viewed social media share.
“Dark times for all,” Benanti writes on her Instagram page (see it below) a day after Broadway and other theaters – including high school auditoriums – went dark due to the coronavirus. “Trying to find some bright spots. If you were meant to perform in your High School musical and it was cancelled please post yourself singing and tag me. I want to be your audience!! Sending all my love and black market toilet paper.”
In her video message, Benanti says, “Hi friends. Well, this is all insane. Very few people are at work. Most of my stuff is being canceled because I’m in the business of being around a lot of people, as most of us are. And this may sound silly but I know that a lot of high schools were going to have their musicals and those musicals got canceled. And that is a bummer because I know for so many of us – I know for me – my high school musical was a lifesaver. So if you would like to sing a song that you are not going to get to sing now, and tag me, I want to see you. I want to hear it.”
Benanti, whose many credits include five Tony-nominated Broadway performances (she won for 2008’s Gypsy), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (as Melania Trump), the 2020 film Worth with Michael Keaton, and the upcoming Billy Crystal comedy Here Today, was immediately cheered on by fellow Broadway and TV performers including Stephanie J. Block, Ashley Park, Jonathan Tucker, Jelani Alladin, Javier Muñoz, Ed Weeks and Carson Kressley, who commented, “I have no feelings and you just made me cry. Thank you for sharing this and doing this. Sending a Pippin number shortly. Let me know what you think.”
Check out Benanti’s video message below – and share with kids who have a song to sing for Benanti and her Broadway pals.
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Dark times for all. Trying to find some bright spots. If you were meant to perform in your High School musical and it was cancelled please post yourself singing, tag me and use the hashtag #SunshineSongs so whoever wants to can be your audience!! Sending all my love and black market toilet paper. 💛