LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some of Broadway's biggest stars are joining together to pay tribute to the late three-time Tony Award-nominated actor Rebecca Luker and raise money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Kristin Chenoweth, Laura Benanti, Sierra Boggess, Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Santino Fontana, Judy Kuhn, Howard McGillin, Norm Lewis, Kelli O’Hara and Sally Wilfert will perform in a show Tuesday night that will feature stories and songs from Luker’s career.
"Such wonderful people are doing it and everything's so carefully thought out in terms of what we're doing. I think it will be quite beautiful. I think she'd be happy to know that we're all gathering for her," Kuhn said.
Luker was a best actress Tony nominee in 1995, playing Magnolia in “Showboat,” a best actress nominee in 2000 for playing Marian in “The Music Man” and a best featured actress nominee in 2007 as Winifred Banks in “Mary Poppins.” She died in December of Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She was 59.
“Becca” will stream online Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern/Pacific and UK). Tickets are $20 with all proceeds and donations benefiting ALS research. The one-night-only event is being organized by the nonprofit Target ALS.
Luker made her Broadway debut in 1988 in “The Phantom of the Opera” first as an understudy to Sarah Brightman and then playing Christine opposite the legendary Michael Crawford. “I’ll never forget it. It was an out-of-body experience. He was so kind, though, and I’ll never forget that,” she told Playbill in 2016.
She had Broadway roles in the “The Sound of Music” and as the original Lily in “The Secret Garden.” She was a replacement in “Nine” in 2003 opposite Antonio Banderas, “Fun Home” in 2016 and in “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” in 2013-14.
Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits