Broadway stars unite for “Beautiful” online performance

Cast members and musicians from productions of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” around the world are bringing a special collaboration to online audiences to remind people they are not alone during this period of self-isolation. The performance, which premiered first on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday, features 80 members of the musical and will benefit The Actor’s Fund, a non-profit that helps support actors and others in need.

“This is why we were put on the planet, to connect people,” Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell told CBS News’ Dr. Jon LaPook. 

Mitchell is not only the non-profit’s president, but a recovering COVID-19 patient as well. He pointed out that it was not only the actors that need help while Broadway’s lights have been temporarily shut, but camera operators, writers, producers and “the grips and the gaffers and the sound people.”

“We are all kind of gig workers,” he said.

The performance, which you can watch in full below, features the artists performing “You’ve Got A Friend,” a song written by Carole King and is a part of the musical about her life. The touching idea was first hatched by Grammy Award winner Jason Howland, the show’s music director. 

“So many of us aren’t doctors and nurses and can’t be on the front lines, and want to support those people as much as we can,” Howland said. “And one of the things we know how to do is share our gifts and try to spread a little joy and lift up some hearts.” 

Jessie Mueller, who won a Tony Award for playing King on Broadway and whose new show “The Minutes” closed days before opening night because of the pandemic, said lending her voice to the effort was a “no-brainer moment.”

Howland called the performance a “musical hug from Carole King and the cast of ‘Beautiful'” at a time when many are longing to reconnect with other human beings. 

“I’ve been in quarantine now for 18 days, something like that. I haven’t touched another person. That’s so weird. I know that’s true for all of us,” he said. 

Watch the full performance here:

YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND performed by the worldwide cast of BEAUTIFUL (in quarantine) for The Actors Fund by HMS Media on YouTube

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