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Jenn Colella, Jay Armstrong Johnson Set for Virtual Broadway Backwards Concert

The annual Broadway Cares event will stream for free in March.

Jenn Colella and Jay Armstrong Johnson
(© Tricia Baron/David Gordon)

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has announced casting for its 2021 Broadway Backwards benefit, streaming for free March 30-April 3.

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 performances and appearances by Matt Bomer, Darren Criss, Ariana DeBose, Robin De Jesús, Cynthia Erivo, Joshua Henry, Cherry Jones, Kelli O'Hara and Jim Parsons. More of this year's special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.

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, Matt Kraus as sound designer and Samantha Rodriguez as costume designer.

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