Broadway marks 9/11 anniversary with iconic song

NEW YORK (AP) - Joel Grey, Kara DioGuardi, Bebe Neuwirth, Ben Vereen and Brian Stokes Mitchell _ along with sailors, nuns, drag queens, ballerinas and a Spider-Man _ helped mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks with a full-throated reprise of the song “New York, New York.”

The stars and cast members from musicals like “The Book of Mormon,” “Anything Goes” and “Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical” gathered in Times Square on Friday to belt out the John Kander and Fred Ebb song made famous by Frank Sinatra.

The event was put on to support the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance’s I Will Campaign, which asks people to observe the anniversary by performing good deeds, supporting charitable causes, volunteering and engaging in acts of compassion.

“Each of us has a gift. Each of us has something that we have been given. Each of us has something that we can share with others. That’s part of what today is about: using the gifts that we were given to make the world a better place,” Mitchell said.

The event drew together puppeteers from “War Horse,” singing nuns from “Sister Act,” sailors from “Anything Goes,” crooners from “Jersey Boys,” colorfully-dressed drag queens from “Priscilla Queen of the Desert,” dancing children from “Billy Elliot: The Musical,” Reeve Carney of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” and the four main actors in “The Book of Mormon” _ Andrew Rannells, Josh Gad, Nikki M. James and Rory O’Malley.

Firefighters from a nearby firehouse were saluted and NYPD Officer Daniel Rodriguez also sang an operatic “God Bless America.” As the sun moved away and left the square in darkness, the Broadway singers lifted their voices and arms as they sang the city’s anthem.

The mini-concert was a replay of what the Broadway community sang 10 years ago to promote theater in New York City following 9/11. One newcomer this time was DioGuardi, the songwriter and ex-“American Idol” judge who has begun performances in “Chicago.”

“I think it’s really important that everyone on the day remember to take some time out to remember the people we lost and hopefully help someone in need,” she said.

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Online: http://www.ilovenytheater.com/broadwayunites

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