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Ariana DeBose, Debra Messing, and More Join Broadway Backwards Concert

The annual Broadway Cares event will premiere on March 30.

Ariana DeBose will participate in this year's virtual Broadway Backwards benefit event.
(© David Gordon)

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has announced additional cast members set to appear at its 2021 Broadway Backwards benefit, streaming for free March 30-April 3.

Chasten Buttigieg, Ariana DeBose, Debra Messing, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tony Shalhoub, and Ben Vereen will offer special appeals at the event's premiere on Tuesday, March 30. Afterwards, the stream will be available to view for free here.

In this virtual production, Jay Armstrong Johnson will star as an isolated New Yorker who dreams a fantastical journey guided by a late-night television host, portrayed by Jenn Colella. New performances will be merged with full numbers from previous editions of Broadway Backwards to create a Broadway Backwards that feels distinctly of the moment.

This year's streaming event also includes a special opening number featuring Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox, and Lea Salonga, plus new appearances by Amy Adams, Debbie Allen, Matt Bomer, Brenda Braxton, Len Cariou, Glenn Close, Loretta Devine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, James Monroe Iglehart, Cheyenne Jackson, Cherry Jones, L Morgan Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Aasif Mandvi, Eric McCormack, Michael McElroy, Debra Messing, Ruthie Ann Miles, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Javier Muñoz, Kelli O'Hara, Karen Olivo, Jim Parsons, Bernadette Peters, Eve Plumb, Roslyn Ruff, Sis, Elizabeth Stanley and Tony Yazbeck, as well as journalists Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, and Robin Roberts.

The show also includes beloved performances from previous editions of Broadway Backwards by Ward Billeisen, Charl Brown, Tituss Burgess, Joshua Buscher-West, Len Cariou, Carolee Carmello, Jamie Cepero, Bryan Terrell Clark, Darren Criss, Steven Cutts, Ariana DeBose, Cynthia Erivo, Garlen Gilliland, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Andy Kelso, Eddie Korbich, Marty Lawson, Michael McElroy, Bonnie Milligan, Debra Monk, Alfie Parker Jr., Brandon Pearson, Eric Petersen, Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, Andrew Rannells, Alex Ringler, Chita Rivera, Michael James Scott, Ryan Steele, Dennis Stowe, Lillias White, Curtis Wiley, and Tony Yazbeck.

The stream's full company of performers also includes Robert Creighton, Danyel Fulton, Eileen Galindo, Sam Gravitte, Sheldon Henry, Diana Huey, Aaron Libby, Nathan Lucrezio, Melinda Porto, Shelby Ringdahl, Vishal Vaidya, and Blake Zolfo.

Creator Robert Bartley will return as writer and director for this virtual version of the show. He will be joined by Mary-Mitchell Campbell as music supervisor, Ted Arthur as music director and Eamon Foley as director of photography and video editor. Joshua Buscher-West joins as associate director, Nick Connors as orchestrator, Benedict Braxton-Smith as music producer and audio engineer, Tyler Milliron as VFX designer, Matt Kraus as sound designer, and Samantha Rodriguez as costume designer.

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