Smuggler and Droga5 bring Broadway to your living room with 'Sing Street: Grounded'
Tonight on Facebook Live cast from the musical postponed during the pandemic will perform from around the world in benefit for NYC Mayor's Fund and Broadway Cares
Apr 30, 2020
On March 26, the musical “Sing Street,” the theatrical adaptation of John Carney’s 2016 indie film, was set to make its Broadway debut at New York’s Lyceum theater—until the pandemic shuttered the Great White Way.
But now, production company Smuggler and agency Droga5 are uniting the show’s entire talent lineup from around the globe to bring a taste of the show to the isolated while supporting those hard hit by the pandemic in “Sing Street: Grounded—at Home With the Broadway Cast.”
The event will stream on Facebook Live from 6:30 PM EST as a benefit for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. It will feature all the cast members performing some of the show’s key moments and songs from their own homes across Ireland, Great Britain and eight U.S. states— California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
The original musical, set in 1980s Dublin, tells the story of a teenager Conor (Brenock O’Connor), who sets out to form a band with his friends to win the heart of a girl he has a crush on, Raphina (Zara Devlin). It was directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman with a book by Tony winner Enda Walsh and score from the original film’s director Carney and Gary Clark.
Patrick Milling-Smith and Brian Carmody, co-founders of Smuggler, also served as producers of the show after having seen success with other theatrical productions including the Tony Award-winning “Once” and the stage adaption of Hollywood producer Robert Evans' autobiography “The Kid Stays in the Picture.”
Milling-Smith says that the idea to bring the talent together in tonight’s benefit came from Droga5 Creative Chairman and Founder David Droga.
“I sent David Instagrams of the band posting themselves, and he came back saying, ‘We should do this as a show from their bedrooms.’ That’s where the ‘grounded’ idea came from.”
Tonight's performance will feature the cast, consisting largely of young up-and-comers, singing and playing their instruments together from their far-flung homes—but it won’t attempt to be a full-blown recreation of the stage show.
“It’s not pretending to be the full play," Droga says. "It just wants to be a beautiful evening at home that hopefully raises money for those keeping us safe. Sincerity matters more than perfection.”
“There’s no way you can recreate Rebecca’s show in a Zoom from people’s homes,” adds Milling-Smith.
Instead, Smuggler tapped its veteran director Henry-Alex Rubin to helm the project remotely. The company sent each of the talent production kits consisting of shotgun mics, a simple light and AirPods to ensure consistency and quality of the performances. Also crucial was a technical director, Brett Dicus, to serve as an air traffic controller to drop the talent onto screen at the right moments, as well as a sound engineer.
To promote the event, Droga5 and Smuggler also created blooper-style teasers showing the cast trying to rehearse for the show—only to be interrupted (as many of us are now) by roommates, siblings or pets. There's even a fun plug from '80s heartthrob, Duran Duran bass guitarist John Taylor.
During the Facebook Live stream tonight, the audience will be able to donate directly to beneficiaries the Mayor’s Fund and BC/EFA.
While supporting those helping out and hard hit during the crisis, the benefit also promises a fresh entertainment offering for those who’ve exhausted their binge collections. Moreover, it’s a welcome outlet for the show’s young talents who were ready to make their Broadway debut.
“These kids were like finely-tuned Olympians who were about to do trials—and suddenly it was all on hold,” Milling-Smith says.