Broadway star Laura Benanti couldn’t imagine a world without high school musicals after coronavirus caused many theater productions to close their curtains. So she put a call out to kids to virtually perform their #SunshineSongs because, as they say in theater, the show must go on.
“Dark times for all. Trying to find some bright spots. If you were meant to perform in your High School musical and it was cancelled please post yourself singing and tag me,” she wrote on Twitter last Friday (March 13). “I want to be your audience!! Sending all my love and black market toilet paper.”
Rehearsal footage and home videos flooded Benanti’s replies to the delight of her star-studded online crowd, featuring fellow Tony award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda who promised high schoolers all over the country, “I’m watching too” and Jennifer Garner who started the complementary #heyjenlookatme tag on Instagram dedicated “to the Elsas and Matildas; to the Willy Lomans and Romeos.” Frozen and Coco songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez announced on Twitter the Oscar award-winning couple was also “jumping on the bandwagon.”
Seniors prepped for weeks, months, even years on end to bring Broadway musicals like The Jungle Book, Hairspray, The Little Mermaid and more to life only to be forced to forgo their final shows. But Cavan Kyle Hendron said it best when he posted his collegiate cast’s final dress rehearsal for The Drowsy Chaperone: “If this show taught me one thing, it’s that a little positivity can change someone’s world.”
Watch these kids’ best #SunshineSongs below.