Tony Award winner BD Wong and his husband, videographer Richert Schnorr, join forces for an August 10 presentation of the 2005 theatrical song cycle Songs from an Unmade Bed, re-conceived to reflect life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Special guest hosts include Awkwafina, John Lithgow, John Cameron Mitchell, Billy Porter, and Keala Settle, along with appearances by Maulik Pancholy, Aaron Albano, Mike Bulatao, Grant Chang, Marc delaCruz, Daniel K. Isaac, Kennedy Kanagawa, Darren Lee, Raymond J. Lee, Telly Leung, Jose Llana, Orville Mendoza, Jeffrey Omura, Matt Rogers, James Seol, Hansel Tan, Alex Wong, and cellist Dave Eggar.
Songs from an Unmade Bed, initially produced by New York Theatre Workshop, explores the musings and romantic life of a gay man living in New York City. The song cycle was created by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy-winning lyricist and librettist Mark Campbell with 18 composers: Debra Barsha, Mark Bennett, Peter Foley, Jenny Giering, Peter Golub, Jake Heggie, Stephen Hoffman, Lance Horne, Gihieh Lee, Steven Lutvak, Steve Marzullo, Brendan Milburn, Chris Miller, Greg Pliska, Duncan Sheik, Kim D. Sherman, Jeffrey Stock, and Joseph Thalken.
Wong and Schnorr, who were married in 2018, created the videos in their apartment as they lived in self-quarantine.
The creative team also includes music director Wayne Barker, recording engineer Jim Morgan, and musicians David Michael Garry, Orville Mendoza, Dave Philips, Joshua Samuels, and Doug Vannoni.
“I heard this song cycle in my head back in March when we started isolating,” Wong said. “It’s from the point of view of a gay New Yorker ruminating about his romantic past and seeking connection, and it has a 'parallel vibe' to what we’re experiencing now. I wanted to make a film. I was in such a creativity drought and then I realized I was married to a videographer! When I introduced Richert to Songs from an Unmade Bed, he lit up. As we exercise the communication and give-and-take that collaborating with your partner requires, we notice it actually personifies our marriage vows. We’re sure Songs from an Unmade Bed will remind people everywhere of our own scrappy resilience and leave them with hope that everything will be OK, ‘cause that’s what it did for us."
“The brilliant quarantined creativity that BD and Richert have brought to each of these fabulous song stories is unique, delightful, and incredibly thoughtful,” Broadway Cares Executive Director Tom Viola added. “Mark’s lyrics and the work of the 18 composers are as resonant today as when Songs from an Unmade Bed was first performed 15 years ago. We’re honored they’ve chosen to reimagine this work to benefit their colleagues in the theatre and entertainment industries who are facing illness and financial challenges during this pandemic and unprecedented work shutdown.”
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has already provided more than $7 million to The Actors Fund since the pandemic started: $6 million from the Broadway Cares’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund and $1 million as a launch gift for Every Artist Insured.
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(Updated August 10, 2020)