When the York Theatre on Lexington Avenue and 54th Street got flooded back in January, staff rushed to salvage what they could, including lighting, props, costumes and scripts.
"It was heartbreaking. There was a letter from Stephen Sondheim that was just soaked, and we were trying to like peel it away from the paper," said Associate Artistic Director Gerry McIntyre.
The theater's plight caught the attention of directors Tom and Michael D'Angora.
"We were devastated because the York has played such a huge role in the landscape of New York musical theater," Tom D'Angora said.
"We put on our thinking caps and one of the biggest shows to come out of the York Theatre is The Musical of Musicals: The Musical. We thought why don't we do an all-star gala virtual benefit?" said Michael D'Angora.
They launched the "Rebuild the York" campaign, pulling together top talent to launch the virtual show Sunday night.
"Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, André De Shields, Betty Buckley, Lillias White," Tom D'Angora said.
"We have over 30 actors in the show and not one of them was ever in the same room with one another, and we are playing up just that kind of ridiculous green screen Zoom theater," Michael said.
The D'Angoras also set up a GoFundMe page for the York Theatre that has now reached over $200,000. An anonymous donor even stepped up to match donations up to $50,000.
"I always say that we're 'homeless, but hopeful.' We're going to make it through," McIntyre said.
There are still months of repairs, but theater management is hoping to be back in the fall, just in time for the reopening of Broadway and off-Broadway.
The online show is free and airs Sunday at 7 p.m. For more information, CLICK HERE.
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