Broadway Stars Join to Record "What the World Needs Now Is Love" as Orlando Charity Single
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bernadette Peters, Idina Menzel, Sara Bareilles, Audra McDonald, Gloria Estefan, Kelli O'Hara, Chita Rivera and more will record "What the World Needs Now Is Love" to benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
"Love is love," stressed Lin-Manuel Miranda during his acceptance speech Sunday at the Tony Awards in reference to the horrific Orlando, Fla., shooting that occurred the night before the ceremony.
It's what the world needs — and is going to get, thanks to a new charity recording of "What the World Needs Now Is Love" by a slew of Broadway names.
Created to honor the victims and those wounded in the Orlando shooting massacre at Pulse nightclub and to aid the surrounding community, 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the song will benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida.
Dubbed Broadway for Orlando, the recording of the 1965 song (music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David) will feature Miranda, Bernadette Peters, Carole King, Jane Krakowski, Sara Bareilles, Kristen Bell, Wayne Brady, Matthew Broderick, Gloria Estefan, Sutton Foster, Kimiko Glenn, Whoopi Goldberg, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Sean Hayes, Megan Hilty, Nathan Lane, Andrea Martin, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Rosie O’Donnell, Kelli O’Hara, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie Perez, Bernadette Peters, Tommy Tune, Roger Bart, Andrea Burns, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Len Cariou, Paul Castree, Michael Cerveris, Joshua Colley, Lilla Crawford, Carmen Cusack, Darius de Haas, Fran Drescher, Christopher Fitzgerald, Joel Grey, Heather Headley, Nina Hennessy, James Monroe Iglehart, Bill Irwin, Judy Kuhn, Anika Larsen, Jennifer Lewis, Zachary Levi, Jose Llana, Rebecca Luker, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Donna Murphy, Rory O’Malley, Orfeh, Billy Porter, Alice Ripley, Keala Settle, Kate Shindle, Christopher Sieber, Jennifer Simard, Will Swenson, Rachel Tucker, Tommy Tune, Jonah Verdon, Lillias White, Marissa Jaret Winokur, BD Wong and Tony Yazbeck.
The digital download will be priced at $1.99, available at BroadwayRecords.com on June 20 and on iTunes shortly thereafter. An accompanying music video of the single also will be filmed and produced by Playbill.
The initiative — announced Wednesday by Broadway Records president Van Dean, SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky and producer James Wesley — is being produced in conjunction with Playbill at Avatar Studios.
"The Broadway community was so terribly shaken and devastated by the horrific tragedy in Orlando. Everyone wanted to do something as quickly as possible that would truly make a difference,” said Rudetsky, who will arrange the track's vocals. “On Monday, my husband James woke me up at 7:30 a.m. and suggested we rally our friends and colleagues to do a ‘We Are the World’ type recording and raise money for the victims and their families. We started making calls and suddenly we had tons of theater actors along with an orchestra and the services of a fully staffed recording studio, all willing to donate their time and talent. Our community of artists has banded together as we always do to show we can end this cycle of violence and intolerance. Love WILL prevail!”
The “What the World Needs Now Is Love” 2016 benefit recording is executive produced by Rudetsky, Wesley and Van Dean and produced by Michael J. Moritz Jr., and Michael Croiter. Music direction is by Rudetsky, Steve Marzullo and Marc Shaiman and orchestrations are by Cameron Moncur. Marzullo will conduct the 25-piece orchestra.
The initiative follows the Broadway community's response to the tragedy at the Tony Awards, in which the ceremony was dedicated to its victims and nominees and presenters wore special silver ribbons designed by veteran Broadway costumer William Ivey Long.
One of the theater industry's leading charities, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, donated $150,000 ($50,000 each) on behalf of the Broadway community and its supporters to three service organizations in central Florida committed to providing emergency assistance to the Orlando victims: Equality Florida, the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida in Orlando and the OneOrlando Fund.
Broadway Cares and Miranda also launched a merchandise site Tee-Rico to raise money for the Orlando victims, with proceeds from items including "Love Is Love" tees benefiting Equality Cares in Florida. Nightsweats & T-Cells, a company staffed by HIV employees for over 20 years, is printing the items. "Right now the tragedy in Orlando is more important than everything else. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and we want to help," wrote Miranda on the new website.
June 16, 11:30 a.m. Updated with donation information.