On the eve of the 2016 election, Broadway’s brightest gathered at the Dramatists Guild Fund Gala at Gotham Hall in New York, NY for Great Writers Thank Their Lucky Stars: The Presidential Edition.
The evening honored patrons of the arts and philanthropists John Breglio, Georgina Chapman & Keren Craig and Linda G. Levy while fundraising for the the Dramatists Guild Fund, the charitable arm of the Dramatists Guild of America, with an auction.
Performers included Hannah Elless, Christopher Sieber, Mandy Gonzalez, Douglas Sills, Kate Baldwin, Patrick Page and Aaron Tveit.
After they performed, I caught up with the stars to ask them how they were feeling and what they would name a musical about the 2016 election.
Mandy Gonzalez – Hamilton, Wicked, In the Heights
“I read something by Christopher Hayes. [Tonight is like] Christmas Eve and the night before a life-threatening surgery… I think it would be called, ‘I’m With Her!’”
Nell Benjamin – Legally Blonde, The Explorers Club
“We kind of are writing one. My husband and I are writing about a renaissance fair called Huzzah!, and it’s essentially about a very charismatic knight who has a very dark ages mentality that manages to, with his charisma, convince them that we really need to live in the past. And the woman who has been running the fair, trying to do the work, unheralded, not a star, who has to kind of take him on, even though she doesn’t have that star power. She only has hard work, determination and smarts. Sounds strangely familiar?”
Raul Esparza – Company, “Law & Order: SVU,” “Hannibal”
“I don’t know about you but I’ve been a total news junkie. It’s like a heroin fix. I don’t know what I’m going to do after tomorrow. My friends come over and they’re like, ‘You have to turn off the TV. Turn it off. You have to stop.’ And I start flipping back and forth between MSNBC and Fox. I don’t want to be biased. I want to see what the coverage is!… ‘Hit the road, Jack. And don’t you come back no more!’”
Stephen Schwartz – Wicked, “The Prince of Egypt”
“I guess the song for tonight, just because we were – the Sondheim song, ‘I’m Calm,’ from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.”
Kate Baldwin – Big Fish, Finian’s Rainbow
“‘I Want to Hide.’ ‘Wake Me When It’s Over’… It would be, ‘Gotta Buy a Pantsuit!’ for Madam President.”
Aaron Tveit – “Braindead,” “Graceland,” Next to Normal
“I like the one I just sang. ‘Morning Glow’ is nice. It’s about hope and we have so many more great things about this country and the way that we get to live than all the negativity that’s been going on. No matter what happens, we’re going to all push forward together. I try to stay in that space. The lyrics to that song were very poignant. I think it’s going to be OK. I think everyone’s going to be OK.”
Great Writers Thank Their Lucky Stars: The Presidential Edition was directed by Annette Jolles, with a script by Jonathan Tolins and music direction by Charlie Rosen.