By Trent Straube (Deputy Editor)
Theaters of the Great White Way may be dark because of COVID-19 shutdowns, but as any Broadway hoofer can tells ya: The show must go on! So it’s no surprise that Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA) has taken its fundraising efforts from the live stage to online screens.
Skits & tunes & drama, in honor of your mama! Join @KelliOHara, a long list of #Broadway stars & their families for an afternoon of singing, comedy & lots of surprises. Help raise money for @BCEFA & thank our moms for raising us! #BroadwayMothersDay https://t.co/5cMHVELwmM pic.twitter.com/PkEoJtZDuy— Broadway Cares (@BCEFA) May 8, 2020
On May 6, the organization launched Emergency Grants for Pandemic Relief, a one-week fundraising bonanza with the goal of providing $2 million in grants to organizations that assist people in need. These lifesaving groups are especially strapped and challenged because of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the BroadwayCares.org pandemic relief donation page, you can even stipulate that your donation goes to covering antiretroviral meds, paying utilities for a family in need, providing meals to a soup kitchen or ensuring that someone struggling with an AIDS diagnosis can get home care.
For one week, pharma giant Gilead Sciences will match donations up to $500,000. Gilead also donated an additional $500,000 to kickstart the campaign. MAC Viva Glam Fund, ViiV Healthcare and the P. Austin Family Foundation have also donated big bucks to the cause.
For more about the fundraising effort, click on the video above this article to watch a message from Hamilton star Javier Muñoz, who is living with HIV and who appeared on the cover of POZ (read that Q&A here).
Be sure to follow BCEFA on social media to learn of upcoming concerts and special fundraising events broadcast online. For example, tune in this Sunday, May 10, for Broadway Does Mother’s Day featuring the casts of Ain’t Too Proud to Beg, Beetlejuice, Chicago, Company, Dear Evan Hansen, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Mrs. Doubtfire and more.
Bummed you missed @MichaelUrie reprising his acclaimed performance in BUYER & CELLAR last evening? You’re in luck! You can still catch the show until 10pm ET tonight. All donations benefit @BCEFA’s COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. #BuyerCellarLIVEhttps://t.co/xv0wNYw8Ya— broadway.com (@broadwaycom) April 20, 2020
Last month, I caught Michael Urie’s delightful one-man show Buyer & Cellar, from the comfort of my couch. Urie played Alex, the sole employee of Barbra Streisand’s underground private shopping mall—yes, it’s as insane as it sounds—and he did the whole show from his apartment. The performance felt oddly relevant to our claustrophobic stay-at-home moment in history; plus, it was fun and raised $209,262.
As you can see in the embedded tweets, BCEFA’s fundraising and entertaining efforts deserve the spotlight. Some of these shows may no longer be available to watch, but stay connected to BCEFA because the curtain on another show will be going up soon—and you can score a front row seat on opening night.
Last night, the theater community came together for a big watch party of Celebrating 25 Magical Years of @disneybroadway. In the spirit of helping those onstage, backstage and behind the scenes, you raised $609,479 for our COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund. Thank you! pic.twitter.com/bIQGzM4w82— Broadway Cares (@BCEFA) April 18, 2020
In related news, be sure to check out fellow POZ blogger Richard JMV, who is recounting his (scantily clad) experiences with Broadway Bares, the phenomenal one-night-only burlesque. You won’t be disappointed.