Montclair, NJ – Alex Dreier, three time Broadway Buddy for Vanguard Theater Company and alumni of Broadway’s Finding Neverland and Billy Elliot, as well as Off-Broadway and film work, reached out to some friends for a Thanksgiving weekend concert to benefit Vanguard Theater Company. After telling his friends about his experiences with Vanguard, Finding Neverland stars Matthew Morrison, Carolee Carmello, Laura Michelle Kelly, and good friends Lilla Crawford and Jackson Demott Hill, said yes!
This Friday night at 7PM, these luminaries join Hamilton’s George Washington, Tamar Greene, Hadestown’s Jewelle Blackman and Kimberly Marable, and Lindsay Roberts from Carmen Jones, in concert. Running about two hours, the concert will stream live on YouTube and is free. Here’s the link to reserve your seat for the YouTube livestream:
Dreier is co-hosting and producing the concert with Victoria Ludwig, who recently performed in Vanguard Theater Company’s production of Spring Awakening, in January 2020.
Says Dreier: Vanguard welcomed me into their diverse community 3 ½ years ago, and I’ve seen first-hand how their work reaches beyond their own youth and teen theater programs, working to shape theater as a whole. And theater shapes our perceptions of the world.
Ludwig, who performed opposite Dreier in several Glen Ridge High School shows, adds: Though Spring Awakening was my first show with Vanguard, I learned values that have left a lasting impact on me. Through the cast I learned passion, activism, and pure love for our craft. It was incredible to see so many people of so many backgrounds come together and create art that’s so powerful, and watch each of us grow because of it. Vanguard has harnessed a safe space in the theater community and that is so important for young performers. I couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to work with them again.
Dreier and Ludwig decided to organize the concert because they believe in Vanguard’s mission, and have seen it in action.
On March 1, 2020, the theater company, a not for profit with a mission to change the narrative through theater dedicated to DREAM: Diversity, Reciprocity, Education, Activism and Mentorship, signed a lease on the first space of its own in Montclair. This was a critical step toward creating a community-cultural hub in a highly diverse region. Unfortunately, the timing coincided with the onset of the pandemic, halting renovation plans, and leaving the space empty for months, while earned income stalled and bills accumulated. At a time when the arts are struggling to stay alive and viable, Dreier and Ludwig wanted to support Vanguard’s mission by organizing this special concert.
More information about the livestream can be found at https://gratefulvtc.funraise.org/