Laura Benanti helps high school theater kids after musicals were canceled due to coronavirus
In the midst of production being shut down on television shows and films, sports getting canceled, and everyone practicing social distancing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Laura Benanti is helping shine a light on all the high school musical productions that have also taken a hit.
On Friday, the Tony-winning Broadway star put out a call on Instagram and Twitter for any high school theater kids to share videos of their canceled high school musical performances due to the fallout from COVID-19.
"Well, this is all insane. Very few people are at work. Most of my stuff is being canceled because I’m in the business of being around a lot of people, as most of us are," Benanti says in her video. "And this may sound silly but I know that a lot of high schools were going to have their musicals and those musicals got canceled. And that is a bummer because I know for so many of us – I know for me – my high school musical was a lifesaver. So if you would like to sing a song that you are not going to get to sing now, and tag me, I want to see you. I want to hear it."
What started as a nice gesture with the hashtag "#sunshinesongs" turned into a totally uplifting and heartwarming viral moment on social media, as her tweet resulted in tens of thousands of responses from high schoolers all over. Plus, fellow Broadway and TV stars chimed in too, from Lin Manuel Miranda to Jonathan Tucker to Ed Weeks and more. Scroll through the replies to see tons of talented high school musical performances to brighten your day.
And Benanti isn't the only celebrity using her platform to help others during the coronavirus pandemic. Miranda shared a never-before-heard cut song from Hamilton to help pass the time in social distanced isolation. Rita Wilson shared a "quarantunes" playlist while in quarantine with her husband Tom Hanks. And Lizzo shared a guided meditation to help alleviate her fans' anxiety during the growing crisis.