Third Annual Broadway Celebrates Earth Day Concert

By Amanda Moses

Times Square became the “Great Green Way” for the Third Annual Broadway Celebrates Earth Day concert on April 20th.

For the third year, the Times Square Alliance partnered with the Broadway Green Alliance and NYC DOT to promote a car free Earth Day to help spread the word on reducing carbon emissions.

It was a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon between 45th and 46th Streets and Broadway, where hundreds of spectators watched all-star performers sing hits from Tony Award winning shows such as Hamilton, Wicked, Sweeny Todd, The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, and more. Hosted by Broadway’s Ben Cameron and featured Ruthie Ann Miles, Anika Larsen, Jelani Remy, and more the concert rang the alarm on the current climate emergency and provided information on steps toward creating a sustainable future.

According to the Times Square Alliance, “This event underscores the Broadway community’s commitment to raise awareness about the climate emergency and inspire actionable steps towards a more sustainable future. The concert will be simultaneously live-streamed, offering audiences around the world the opportunity to join this musical celebration of sustainability.”

Alexandra Socha plays Glinda in Wicked and shared that she has been trying to lead a low-waste life since 2016.  Socha also previously served as a Green Captain, which is an advocate in the theater department who tries to implement environmentally friendly practices.

“I am far from perfect, but it has really enriched my life and showed me all that is possible when we make small changes in our every day. It’s been very exciting to see the world at large start to recognize how important those small steps are,” Socha said.

“As a former Green Captain, I love the Broadway Green Alliance. I love what they represent and are trying to do within our community because the fact of the matter is theater isn’t always a sustainable business. There’s trash and there’s lots of like textiles that are you know, I, I go through multiple pairs of tights every week and things like that, the buildings are huge and use a lot of electricity there’s, so I just think, but I just feel that they’ve done a really good job at implementing things without making people feel intimidated or, or ashamed.

Socha wowed tourists and New Yorkers alike as she performed Stephen Schwartz’s “Popular,” with her outstanding vocals and bright demeanor. She was joined by her colleague Lissa deGuzman plays Elphaba, who sang “The Wizard and I.”   

For deGuzman, who is no stranger to being green as she dons the face paint for Elphaba, shares that she enjoys taking part in Broadway’s Earth Day Concert because of the comradery.

“It’s a great event to get people together to, spread joy number one, and then to remind them how important it is to keep our Earth healthy,” deGuzman said smiling.

Referring to her colleague, Socha’s remarks on the stage after their performance, she echoed the same sentiment that being green is a team effort.

“[Socha] had a great quote about how it’s not about one person saving the Earth perfectly. It’s about all of us doing it imperfectly. And so, it’s just a really good excuse to gather people to spread joy and just remind us to keep working to be green,” deGuzman said.

Tony Award winning performers were not the only ones who took the stage. Members of various programs such as Cassie Okenka Voice Studio, EPIC Players, NYU Steinhardt, Perkiomen Valley High School, R.Evolución Latina, and Wolf Performing Arts Center belted out Broadway hits.

Additionally, there were guest speakers from Arts & Climate Initiative, Earthjustice, Final Strike Collective, HeadCount, IATSE Green Committee, New York League of Conservation Voters, and Scenery who shared how attendees can make a difference in creating a more “green friendly” world.

The concert was also presented in partnership with iHeartRadio Broadway and additional support from NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), Creative Goods, Cup Zero, Le Botaniste, and theatreMAMA.

Photos by Amanda Moses

Amanda Moses