Songs for New Alternatives

Heather • June 27, 2016 • Comments (0)

 

This past Thursday, Michael Longoria was joined onstage by a few dozen NYC and Broadway talents to present a concert benefitting New Alternatives, an organization that helps homeless LGBT youth in New York. Michael and his very funny co-host, Ashley Austin Morris (The Electric Company) had an easy chemistry and kept the show moving, telling jokes and introducing each singer.

It was an absolutely electric evening, with each performer delivering heartfelt performances. The atmosphere was relaxed and intimate, with a vibe of friendship, love and support.

 

 

 

 

Michael and his co-host, Ashley Austin Morris

Michael opened the show with a really beautiful acappella version of “Imagine” by the Beatles. It set the perfect tone for an evening devoted to the homeless youth of New Alternatives. He then introduced Ashley, who got the audience laughing and ready to have a good time.

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Reichard singing "Put a Little Love in your Heart"

 

As advertised, the vocalists were talented beyond belief. With each performer, it seemed, the audience’s collective jaw dropped even lower. Songs were eclectic, from many genres, including pop, jazz, rock, and Broadway. There were even a few singer/songwriters who performed original work. I really enjoyed being introduced to some new artists that I hadn’t heard before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alice Ripley

As the evening went on, instead of waning, the energy actually increased. The final few performers were very well known to the audience, including Diana DeGarmo and Constantine Maroulis of American Idol fame, as well as Felicia Finley (Broadway) and Christina Bianco (Impressionist, Off-Broadway). We were all waiting for the “Broadway Diva” who would be making a special, unadvertised appearance at the concert. When Tony Award winner Alice Ripley (Sideshow, Next to Normal) took the stage, the cheers were deafening. She sang a song from Next to Normal (“I Miss the Mountains”) and then paused to speak a bit about the way the Broadway community has responded to the recent act of violence in Orlando against the LGBT community. As I’m sure many of you know, Broadway for Orlando released an All-Star charity single benefitting the LGBT Center of Central Florida. With special permission from the song’s creators, Alice sang a solo version of that song for us, and brought the house down.

 

Michael and Daniel

Although many of us may have initially chosen to attend the concert for a variety of reasons, whether to support Michael, or hear some great music, the real reason we were there was always at the forefront. Coming together in solidarity to benefit those that the larger society may cast aside – the LGBT community in general, and the homeless LGBT youth of NYC in particular – was a powerful part of the evening. Thanks to Michael and his whole team for putting on a very fun and memorable event.

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