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Broadway Stars Stage Benefit Concert in NYC to Fight North Carolina’s New HB2 Law

Event organizers Laurel Harris and Rob Marnell

NEW YORK, NY – On June 13th at The Cutting Room in New York City, over a dozen native North Carolina Broadway performers will join renowned composers Stephen Schwartz and Jeanine Tesori for Broadway Voices for NC: a concert and fundraiser aimed at combating HB2, North Carolina’s much publicized “Bathroom Law”. The evening will feature an array of proud North Carolinian’s on a mission to celebrate tolerance and acceptance, and prove that #WeAreNotThis.

HB2 Concert (Schwartz, Tesori) LEAVEL, BETH Laurel_Harris_Headshot (1) Marnell_headshot_1

The concert is being organized by Raleigh, NC natives and Broadway performers Laurel Harris (Wicked, Evita) and Rob Marnell (Beautiful – The Carole King Musical). The married couple met in their youth at a production of Cinderella at Raleigh Little Theatre and remain close to their North Carolina roots. Additional producers are Michael McCorry Rose and Tralen Doler, also serving as the director of the event.

“We’ve been outraged and disappointed in our home state for passing this horrendous and insulting bill and wanted to do something about it from our new home in New York City,” organizer Laurel Harris stated. “We hope that by pulling together some of our fellow thespians and composer friends, many of whom are fellow NC natives, we’ll be able to create a stir and get Governor McCrory’s attention. We believe change and forward progress will ultimately win out over oppressive steps backwards, and we’re raising funds for those leading the fight.”

Non-NC Natives but allies against HB2 performing are award-winning composers Jeanine Tesori and Stephen Schwartz. Ms. Tesori (Caroline, or Change, Shrek the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Violet) won the Tony Award last year for Best Score for Fun Home, which also won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Stephen Schwartz has previously spoken out against HB2 and recently revoked performance rights to his musicals in North Carolina in protest of the legislation. The Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer has written eighteen musicals, including Wicked, GodspellPippin, and Children of Eden.

In addition to performances by Ms. Harris and Mr. Marnell, the concert will feature performances by many high-profile North Carolinians, now living and performing in NYC, including; Tony Award-winner Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, Mamma Mia! 42nd Street), Hamilton’s Ariana Debose (Pippin, Motown the Musical) and Daniel Watts (Memphis, In the Heights); Lindsay Northen from Wicked; Melvin Tunstall from Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Tally Sessions from School of Rock and Brandon Ellis from Once.

Trans writer and advocate Vivian Taylor, former Executive Director of Integrity USA and fellow North Carolina native, will serve as the evening’s keynote speaker.

Hosting the event is Geena Rocero, a model, TED speaker, and activist. She is the founder of Gender Proud, an advocacy and aid organization that stands up for the right of transgender people worldwide to “self-identify with the fewest possible barriers”.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Equality North Carolina, an organization dedicated to securing equal rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer North Carolinians. Additional proceeds will go to local LGBTQ centers whose members are affected by the passage of the bill.

For tickets, visit

Ticket costs: $40 General Admission/$75 Premium Seating

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