“The Anti-Defamation League & Broadway: Side by Side Against Hate for 100 Years”, ADL New York’s Centennial concert, brought together some of theatre’s brightest stars to commemorate 100 years of ADL accomplishments through the songs of Broadway. The event, held at the historic Hudson Theatre, entertained and challenged the audience of over 450 ADL supporters, Broadway veterans, local educators, students and community partners to help create a world without hate.
Honored at the event were three Broadway big wigs; producer Harriet Newman Leve (Beautiful, War Horse) presented with ADL’s Distinguished Leadership Award; producer Adam Blanshay (Twelfth Night, Kinky Boots) presented with The Future of Broadway Award; and legendary lyricist Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, The Rothschilds) presented with ADL’s Lifetime Achievment Award. Recognized for their contribution to creating theatre that challenges bias and prejudice, each honoree acknowledged the connection between the work they do and the mission of the ADL.
The show, produced by long time ADL supporter Carol Ostrow and directed by Ted Sperling (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza), was written by Jonathan Tolins (Buyer & Cellar, The Twilight of the Golds) and featured Jason Robert Brown, Mike Burstyn, Carolee Carmello, Robert Cuccioli, Stephen DeRosa, André DeShields, Eden Espinosa, Randy Graff, Sheldon Harnick, Jesse Manocherian, and Michael McElroy. The Mark Stuart Dance Theatre also performed an excerpt of their upcoming show Standard Time which features the challenges of unconditional love in a world where hate exists.
One of the highlights of the evening was a set by comedian Paul Rodriguez. By sharing personal stories, Mr. Rodriguez was able to not only make the audience laugh, but reflect on the importance of ADL’s work.
The event also featured the world premiere of “Breaking the Chain,” an original song written by composer Anna K. Jacobs and lyricist Bill Nelson to commemorate ADL’s Centennial. The song was sung by Eden Espinosa and the New York City Youth Pride Chorus and left the audience inspired to break the chain of hate through self reflection and new friendships.
“This is the kind of event that reminds us that we each, individually, have the power to make a difference,” said New York Regional Director Evan Berstein. “With that said, it is crucial to create allies in the fight against hate and we in the New York Region are proud to commemorate ADL’s Cenntenial with the Broadway community, one of our biggest allies in exposing and challenging hate in all of its forms.”