Tony Award winner BD Wong and his husband Richert Schnorr, a videographer, re-imagined the one-man theatrical show Songs from an Unmade Bed into a pandemic-inspired series of imaginative and artistic music videos benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Presented as a stream for four days beginning August 10, 2020, the event raised $111,159 for the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.
Songs from an Unmade Bed explores the inner musings and romantic life of a gay man living in New York City.
Though the piece premiered in 2005 at New York Theatre Workshop as a reflection of life during the early days of the AIDS crisis, Wong and Schnorr, who are married, gave it new meaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
From longing for a simple night out on the town to missing the New York we once knew, the lyrics resonate today in new, unexpected ways. Each song was presented through a music video, which were filmed in Wong and Schnorr’s New York City apartment as they lived in self-quarantine. Schnorr, who also edited the videos, used innovative special effects to create an immersive and unique evening.
Special guests made delightfully irreverent appearances throughout the stream, including Saturday Night Live‘s Bowen Yang and a bevy of Asian Broadway performers – plus the man pursuing them all – in the socially distanced, cyber-dating romp “The Other Other Woman.” The video featured Aaron J. Albano, Mike Bulatao, Grant Chang, Marc delaCruz, Daniel K. Isaac, Kennedy Kanagawa, Darren Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Telly Leung, Jose Llana, Orville Mendoza, Jeffrey Omura, Matt Rogers, James Seol, Hansel Tan and Alex Wong.
30 Rock‘s Maulik Pancholy played a thespian consumed by himself on a digital date gone wrong in “Exit Right,” and renowned cellist Dave Eggar wooed Wong with his musical ability in “He Plays the Cello.”
Special guest hosts Awkwafina, John Lithgow, John Cameron Mitchell, Billy Porter and Keala Settle encouraged donations by sharing stories of the importance of Broadway Cares’ work.
The special guests and performers all created their contributions separately from their own homes.
Wong and Schnorr enlisted music director Wayne Barker in San Francisco and recording engineer Jim Morgan in New York to help with the production of the score. Musicians David Michael Garry, Orville Mendoza, Dave Philips, Joshua Samuels and Doug Vannoni all contributed to the score from their respective home studios.
Songs from an Unmade Bed was created by Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award-winning lyricist and librettist Mark Campbell with 18 composers.
Below is the complete list of composers and track list:
“Here In My Bed” (Music by Jenny Giering)
“An Admission” (Music by Joseph Thalken)
“Spring” (Music by Gihieh Lee)
“The Man in the Starched White Shirt” (Music by Lance Horne)
“Perfect, Finite” (Music by Chris Miller)
“The Other Other Woman” (Music by Jake Heggie)
“Oh, to Be Stupid Again” (Music by Duncan Sheik)
“Exit Right” (Music by Steven Lutvak)
“He Plays the Cello” (Music by Jeffrey Stock)
“Funny Gesture” (Music by Greg Pliska)
“I Want to Go Out Tonight” (Music by Brendan Milburn)
“He Never Did That Before” (Music by Debra Barsha)
“A Dinner Party” (Music by Mark Bennett)
“I Miss New York” (Music by Peter Golub)
“Florence” (Music by Kim D. Sherman)
“Our Separate Ways” (Music by Stephen Hoffman)
“To Sing” (Music by Peter Foley)
“The Night You Decided to Stay” (Music by Steve Marzullo)
The premiere production featured Michael Winther in the solo role with direction by David Schweizer and music direction by Kimberly Grigsby. The original cast recording is on Ghostlight Records.
BD Wong – Broadway: M. Butterfly (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent, Theater World Awards), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Pacific Overtures. Authored the critically-acclaimed memoir Following Foo (Harper Entertainment). Directed and co-wrote Alice Chan (La Jolla Playhouse POP Tour, co-written with Robert Lee), The Yellow Wood (NYMF) and Speak Up Connie (All For One Festival). Off-Broadway: As Thousands Cheer, Shanghai Moon, A Language of Their Own. Television: Mr. Robot (Emmy and Critics Choice nominations), Something’s Killing Me, Gotham, American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Law & Order: SVU (eleven seasons), Oz, All-American Girl, Awkwafina is Nora From Queens. Film: Bird Box, Focus, The Salton Sea, Mulan, Seven Years in Tibet, Father of the Bride. Principal photography for Jurassic World 3 (his fourth of the “Jurassic” franchise) begins in 2020. Currently directing the ongoing workshop of Mr. Holland’s Opus, the musical adaptation that he co-wrote with composer Wayne Barker, at the Wilson Center of Performing Arts in Wilmington, NC. He sits on the Boards of Trustees of Rosie’s Theater Kids and the Actor’s Fund of America.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has already provided more than $7 million to The Actors Fund since the pandemic started – $6 million from the Broadway Cares’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund and $1 million as a launch gift for Every Artist Insured. That help is ensuring thousands who typically work in theater and the performing arts receive essential medications, housing, food, utilities and guidance on insurance.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., providing lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency assistance.
SONGS FROM AN UNMADE BED, Re-Conceived by Tony Award Winner BD Wong and Videographer Richert Schnorr will Feature Awkwafina, John Lithgow, John Cameron Mitchell, Billy Porter, Keala Settle, Maulik Pancholy, Bowen Yang, Aaron Albano, Mike Bulatao, Grant Chang, Marc delaCruz, Daniel K. Isaac, Kennedy Kanagawa, Darren Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Telly Leung, Jose Llana, Orville Mendoza, Jeffrey Omura, Matt Rogers, James Seol, Hansel Tan, Alex Wong and Dave Eggar, to Benefit BC/EFA
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.
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