Broadway Stars Releasing Song to Benefit Orlando


On Sunday, just a few short hours after the nation’s deadliest shooting took place at Orlando’s gay club Pulse, the theater community came together for the Tony Awards with a dedication to the victims and a promise of support for the community. The sentiment was reinforced during the ceremony in speeches by Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda and The Father‘s Frank Langella.

Now the Broadway community is coming together again to raise their voices in support by doing what they do best. Nearly 100 theater professionals are collaborating to record a benefit single, Burt Bacharach’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”

The single will come from the newly formed Broadway for Orlando initiative created by Disaster!‘s Seth Rudetsky, Broadway Records president Van Dean, and producer James Wesley. All proceeds from the single will go to benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida.

In addition to many from the Broadway world who are donating their time and talents as orchestra musicians and recording studio staff, nearly 70 actors are scheduled to record vocals for the song in New York at Avatar Studios and remotely from Los Angeles and Miami, including (so far):

Sara Bareilles, Roger Bart, Kristen Bell, Wayne Brady, Matthew Broderick, Andréa Burns, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Len Cariou, Paul Castree, Michael Cerveris, Joshua Colley, Lilla Crawford, Carmen Cusack, Darius de Haas, Gloria Estefan, Christopher Fitzgerald, Sutton Foster, Kimiko Glenn, Whoopi Goldberg, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Joel Grey, Sean Hayes, Heather Headley, Nina Hennessy, Megan Hilty, James Monroe Iglehart, Bill Irwin, Carole King, Jane Krakowski, Judy Kuhn, Nathan Lane, Anika Larsen, Jennifer Lewis, Zachary Levi, Jose Llana, Rebecca Luker, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Donna Murphy, Rosie O’Donnell, Kelli O’Hara, Rory O’Malley, Orfeh, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Bernadette Peters, Billy Porter, Alice Ripley, Chita Rivera, Keala Settle, Kate Shindle, Christopher Sieber, Jennifer Simard, Will Swenson, Rachel Tucker, Tommy Tune, Jonah Verdon, James Wesley, Juli Wesley, Lillias White, Marissa Jaret Winokur, B.D. Wong, and Tony Yazbeck.

The song, originally written by Burt Bacharach with lyrics by Hal David, will have new orchestrations by Cameron Moncur and a new vocal arrangement by Rudetsky. Rudetsky shares music direction duties with Marc Shaiman and Steve Marzullo, who will also conduct the 25 piece orchestra.

“What the World Needs Now is Love” will be available for $1.99 on June 20 on, followed by iTunes at a later (unannounced) date. A music video will also be released by Playbill, who co-produced the project.

Recording has already begun and, as usual, we can always count on Lin-Manuel Miranda to be the first one to update us.