Stars on Stage from Westport Country Playhouse

S1 E3 | FULL EPISODE

Brandon Victor Dixon

Brandon Victor Dixon electrified television audiences with his performances in "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Rent, Live!." In this new special, the Tony, Emmy and Grammy nominee brings his stunning vocals and signature artistry to a soulful celebration of Broadway.

AIRED: January 21, 2022 | 0:54:36
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TRANSCRIPT

-He electrified television audiences

in "Jesus Christ Superstar"

and broke their hearts in "Rent: Live."

-♪ When your heart has expired ♪

-Tonight, the Tony, Emmy, and Grammy nominee

brings his ravishing vocals and signature artistry

to a soulful celebration of Broadway.

-♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Oh, whoa ♪

-Please enjoy "Stars on Stage: Brandon Victor Dixon."

-♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

[ "Heaven on Their Minds" playing ]

♪♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

-♪ My mind is clearer now ♪

♪ At last, all too well ♪

♪ I can see where we all soon will be ♪

♪ If you strip away ♪

♪ The myth from the man ♪

♪ You will see where we all soon will be ♪

♪ Jesus! ♪

♪ You've started to believe ♪

♪ The things they say of you ♪

♪ You really do believe ♪

♪ This talk of God is true ♪

♪ And all the good you've done ♪

♪ Will soon get swept away ♪

♪ You've begun to matter more ♪

♪ Than the things you say ♪

♪ Listen, Jesus, I don't like what I see ♪

♪ All I ask is that you listen to me ♪

♪ And remember ♪

♪ I've been your right hand man all along ♪

♪ You have set them all on fire ♪

♪ They think they've found the new Messiah ♪

♪ And they'll hurt you when they find they're wrong ♪

♪ I remember when this whole thing began ♪

♪ No talk of God then, we called you a man ♪

♪ And believe me ♪

♪ My admiration for you hasn't died ♪

♪ But every word you say today ♪

♪ It gets twisted 'round some other way ♪

♪ And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied ♪

♪ Nazareth, your famous son ♪

♪ Should have stayed a great unknown ♪

♪ Like his father carving wood ♪

♪ He'd have made good ♪

♪ Tables, chairs, and oaken chests ♪

♪ Would have suited Jesus best ♪

♪ He'd have caused nobody harm, no one alarm ♪

♪ Listen, Jesus, do you care for your race? ♪

♪ Don't you see we must keep in our place? ♪

♪ We are occupied ♪

♪ Have you forgotten how put down we are? ♪

♪ And I am frightened by the crowd ♪

♪ For they are getting much too loud ♪

♪ And they'll crush us if we go too far ♪

♪ If we go too far ♪

♪♪♪

♪ Listen, Jesus, to the warning I give ♪

♪ Please remember that I want us to live ♪

♪ But it's sad to see ♪

♪ Our chances weakening with every hour ♪

♪ All your followers are blind ♪

♪ Too much heaven on their minds ♪

♪ It was beautiful, but now it's sour ♪

♪ Yes, it's all gone sour ♪

♪ Listen, Jesus, to the warning I give ♪

♪ Please remember that I want us to live ♪

♪ So, listen, Jesus, to the warning I give ♪

♪ Whoa, oh ♪

♪ I just want us to live ♪

♪ It's all ♪

♪ Gone sour ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you all so very, very, very much.

It is wonderful to be here joining the PBS family

and to be sharing it with this wonderful audience

at the Westport Country Playhouse.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Now, I grew up in school

performing our most celebrated traditional musicals.

You know, "The Music Man," "The Sound of Music."

♪ "Oklahoma!" ♪

But I've come up professionally during an era

where broader genres of popular music

have had a greater impact

on both Broadway writers and audiences alike,

and as a result, I've done shows

with many arrangements or songs by

or that have been based entirely upon the lives

of historical popular musicians.

And it turns out that they are all soul artists.

Artists whose genre of music, it requires a unique connection

to emotional storytelling,

which is what theater and Broadway at its best

is all about.

And so tonight, we are gonna spend some time

with some of these artists,

their music, and the soulful storytelling

through note and lyrics that connects them

to the Great White Way.

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ Heaven help the child who never had a home ♪

♪ Heaven help the girl who walks the streets alone ♪

♪ Heaven help the roses if the bombs begin to fall ♪

♪ Heaven help us all ♪

♪ Mmm ♪

♪ Heaven help the Black man if he struggles one more day ♪

♪ Heaven help the white man if he turns his back away ♪

♪ Heaven help the man who kicks the man who has to crawl ♪

♪ Heaven help us all ♪

♪ Heaven help us all, help us all ♪

♪ Heaven help us all, help us all ♪

♪ Heaven help us, Lord, hear our call ♪

♪ When we fall ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Heaven help the boy who won't reach 21 ♪

♪ Heaven help the man who gave that boy a gun ♪

♪ Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall ♪

♪ Lord, Heaven help us all ♪

♪ Heaven help us, oh, yeah ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, oh Lord ♪

-♪ Heaven help us all ♪ -♪ Oh, whoa, help us all ♪

-♪ Heaven help us all ♪ -♪ Hey, yeah, help us all ♪

♪ Heaven help us all, Lord, hear our call ♪

♪ When we fall ♪

♪ Oh, help us all ♪

♪ Now I lay me down before I go to sleep ♪

♪ In this troubled world, I pray the Lord to keep ♪

♪ Keep hatred from the mighty ♪

♪ And the mighty from the small ♪

-♪ Heaven help us all ♪

-♪ Oh, yeah ♪

-♪ Heaven help us ♪

-♪ Oh, whoa, help us all ♪

-♪ Heaven help us all ♪

-♪ Hey, yeah, help us all ♪

-♪ Heaven help us all ♪

-♪ Lord, hear our call ♪

♪ When we fall ♪

♪ Oh, oh, help us all ♪

♪ Mmm ♪

♪♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ Whoa, ah, mercy, mercy me ♪

♪ Oh, things ain't what they used to be, no, no ♪

♪ Where did all the blue skies go? ♪

♪ Poison is the wind that blows ♪

♪ From the north and south and east ♪

♪ Whoa, mercy, mercy me ♪

♪ Ah, things ain't what they used to be, no, no ♪

♪ Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas ♪

♪ Fish full of mercury ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Oh, mercy, mercy me, ah ♪

♪ Oh, things ain't what they used to be ♪

♪ No, no, no, no, no ♪

♪ Radiation underground and in the sky ♪

♪ Animals and birds who live nearby are dying ♪

♪ Whoa, mercy, mercy me ♪

♪ Oh, things ain't what they used to be ♪

♪ What about this overcrowded land? ♪

♪ How much more abuse from man can she stand? ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Oh, na, na, na, na ♪

[ Vocalizing ]

♪ Mmm, mmm, mmm ♪

You know, I've always been drawn to...

Or rather, I find that the most compelling narratives

are the ones that are about the human condition,

that ask the big questions, hmm?

"Do I or don't I?

Will they or won't they?

How can we? Will we ever?"

One of the reasons I love Andrew Lloyd Webber's

"Jesus Christ Superstar" is because it takes

these mythological, Biblical figures

and grounds them in their humanity.

You know, Judas in "Heaven on Their Minds"

is -- is asking questions of Jesus and His people.

You know, he's asking, "Where are we going as a community?

What are we becoming?"

Questions about faith, community, revolution.

Judas says, "All your followers are blind.

Too much heaven on their minds.

And it's beautiful, but now it's sour."

You know, it's asking the big questions.

You know, "Does God bring us together

or does God tear us apart?"

In "Heaven Help Us All,"

Stevie Wonder's asking that question, as well --

"Can God save us?

Can we save ourselves?"

"Heaven help the boy who won't reach 21.

Heaven help the man who gave that boy a gun.

Heaven help the people with their backs against the wall.

Lord, heaven help us all."

Stevie's is a plea.

And with Marvin Gaye, well,

he had his own struggles with heaven and hell.

He was a deeply sensitive person

who fought with the different sides of himself,

the sins versus the sanctified.

He saw the worst of us

in songs like "What's Going On" and "Mercy, Mercy."

But he also saw the best of us.

He also saw the love, hmm?

♪♪♪

-♪ You're all I need to get by ♪

♪ By ♪ -♪ Mmm ♪

-♪ You're all ♪ -♪ Mmm ♪

-♪ I need ♪ -♪ Mmm ♪

-♪ To get by ♪

♪ By ♪

-♪ Like sweet morning dew ♪

♪ I took one look at you ♪

♪ And it was plain to see ♪

♪ You were my destiny ♪

-♪ With my arms open wide ♪

♪ I threw away my pride ♪

♪ Sacrifice for you ♪

♪ Dedicate my life to you ♪ -♪ Ohhh ♪

-♪ I will go where you lead ♪

♪ Always there in time of need ♪

-♪ There when I lose my will ♪

♪ You'll be there to push me up the hill ♪

-♪ And there's no, no looking back for us ♪

♪ We got love sure enough, that's enough ♪

♪ You're all ♪

♪ You're all I need to get by ♪

-♪ Ah, yeah ♪ -♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

-♪ Mm ♪ -♪ You're all ♪

♪ You're all I need ♪

-♪ Like an eagle protects his nest ♪

♪ For you I'll do my best ♪

♪ Stand by you like a tree ♪

♪ And dare anybody to try and move me ♪

-♪ Darling, in you I found strength where I was torn down ♪

♪ I don't know what's in store ♪

♪ But together we can open any door ♪

♪ Just to do what's good for you ♪

♪ And inspire you a little higher ♪

-♪ I know you can make a man out of a soul ♪

♪ That didn't have a goal ♪

-♪ 'Cause we ♪

♪ We got the right foundation ♪

♪ And with love and determination ♪

♪ You're all ♪

♪ You're all I want to strive for and do a little more ♪

♪ You're all ♪

♪ All the joys under the sun wrapped up into one ♪

♪ You're all ♪

♪ You're all I need ♪

♪ You're all I need ♪

-♪ You're all I need ♪ -♪ Oh! ♪

-♪ To get by ♪

-♪ You're all ♪ -♪ Hey ♪

-♪ You're all, you're all I need ♪

-Take it home, baby.

-♪ Ooooh ♪

-Hey!

-♪ You're all I need ♪

-Come on, now. -♪ You're all I need ♪

-[ Laughs ] Hey.

-♪ All I need to get by ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

-Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Crystal Monee Hall.

[ Cheers and applause ]

And the glorious voices singing alongside her,

Ms. Anastasia Talley.

[ Cheers and applause ]

And Ms. Kristina Nicole Miller.

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

They say that at the soul of every tale

is a love story.

And I suppose that's true.

Love of self, love of a person,

love of a people, of a homeland.

I think to be in love is to ask questions of love,

which perhaps reveals something about me,

but I think that in those questions,

you find discovery.

Not just about who you love but how you love.

And does how you love change?

And if so, what does that say about you,

your integrity, your relationship?

I have always been drawn to writers

who manage to plumb the depths

of love's many shades and maturations

as we pass in through and out the other side.

This next song is from one of musical theater's

most prolific duos.

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ If I loved you ♪

♪ Time and again I would try to say ♪

♪ All I'd want you to know ♪

♪ If I loved you ♪

♪ Words wouldn't come in an easy way ♪

♪ Round in circles I'd go ♪

♪ Longing to tell you ♪

♪ But afraid and shy ♪

♪ I'd let my golden chances pass me by ♪

♪ Soon you'd leave me ♪

♪ Off you would go in the midst of day ♪

♪ Never, never to know ♪

♪ How I loved you ♪

♪ If I loved you ♪

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ Soon you'd leave me ♪

♪ Off you would go in the midst of day ♪

♪ Never, never to know ♪

♪ How I loved you ♪

♪ If I loved you ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ Someone to hold you too close ♪

♪ Someone to hurt you too deep ♪

♪ Someone to sit in your chair ♪

♪ And ruin your sleep ♪

♪ And make you aware ♪

♪ Of being alive ♪

♪ Being alive ♪

♪ Someone to need you too much ♪

♪ Someone to know you too well ♪

♪ Someone to pull you up short ♪

♪ And put you through hell ♪

♪ And give you support ♪

♪ For being alive ♪

♪ Make me alive ♪

♪ Make me alive ♪

♪ Make me confused ♪

♪ Mock me with praise ♪

♪ Let me be used ♪

♪ Vary my days ♪

♪ Someone you have to let in ♪

♪ Someone whose feelings you spare ♪

♪ Someone who, like it or not ♪

♪ Will force you to care ♪

♪ A little, a lot ♪

♪ For being alive ♪

♪ Make me alive ♪

♪ Make me alive ♪

♪ Make me confused ♪

♪ Mock me with praise ♪

♪ Let me be used ♪

♪ Vary my days ♪

♪ But alone is alone ♪

♪ Not alive ♪

♪ Somebody crowd me with love ♪

♪ Somebody force me to care ♪

♪ Somebody make me come through ♪

♪ I'll always be there ♪

♪ As frightened as you ♪

♪ To help us survive ♪

♪ Being alive ♪

♪ Being alive ♪

♪ Being ♪

♪ Alive ♪

♪ Alive ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

Thank you very much.

Thank you very much.

I often feel that Sondheim's "Being Alive"

is almost an extension of Rodgers and Hammerstein's

"If I Loved You."

"If I loved you, you would sit in my chair.

If I loved you, you would ruin my sleep.

But you might also make me aware of being alive."

Which is what we all both dread and long for, hmm?

Someone to vary our days.

For me,

I think that love is very compelling,

but is also very scary

because even when love is at its height,

even when everything all goes well,

everything is glorious and wonderful,

well, nothing can last forever, hmm?

And the loss of love is a truly unique pain.

For me, it is the artist Donny Hathaway

whose haunting tones and melodies

often show us the depths to which love can really take us.

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ I've been so many places in my life and time ♪

♪ I've sung a lot of songs ♪

♪ I've made some bad rhymes ♪

♪ I've acted out my life in stages ♪

♪ With ten thousand people watching ♪

♪ But we're alone now ♪

♪ And I'm singing this song to you ♪

♪ I know your image of me ♪

♪ Is what I hoped to be ♪

♪ I treated you unkindly ♪

♪ But, darling, can't you see? ♪

♪ There's no one more important to me ♪

♪ Baby, can't you see through me? ♪

♪ 'Cause we're alone now ♪

♪ And I'm singing this song to you ♪

♪ You taught me precious secrets ♪

♪ Of a true love with holding nothing ♪

♪ You came out in front ♪

♪ When I was hiding, mm ♪

♪ But now I'm so much better ♪

♪ And if my words don't come together ♪

♪ Listen to the melody ♪

♪ 'Cause my love is in there hiding ♪

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ I love you in a place ♪

♪ Where there's no space or time ♪

♪ I love you for my life ♪

♪ 'Cause you're a friend of mine ♪

♪ And when my life is over ♪

♪ Remember when we were together ♪

♪ We were alone ♪

♪ And I was singing this song to you ♪

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ I love you in a place ♪

♪ Where there's no space or time ♪

♪ I love you for my life ♪

♪ 'Cause you're a friend of mine ♪

♪ And when my life is over ♪

♪ Remember when we were together ♪

♪ We were alone ♪

♪ And I was singing this song to you ♪

♪ We were alone ♪

♪ And I was singing this song to you ♪

♪ We were alone ♪

♪ And I was singing this song ♪

♪ Mm, mm, mm ♪

♪ Singing this song ♪

♪ To you ♪

♪ To you ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

Now, Donny Hathaway didn't actually write that song.

That was written by the great Leon Russell,

but Donny possessed the beautiful

musical and performative ability

to take others' songs and transform them

in moving and startling ways.

And this next artist that I'm going to feature --

one of my favorites -- was also gifted

with that genius ability.

♪♪♪

Come on, now, y'all!

Whoo!

♪ You know the night time, darling ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Is the right time ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ To be ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ With the one you love, now ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Well, now, oh, baby, now ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ When I come home, baby, now ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ I wanna be the one you love, now ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

♪- You know what I'm thinking of ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ I know the night time ♪

-♪ Night and day, oh ♪

-♪ Whoa, is the right time ♪ -♪ Night and day, oh ♪

-♪ To be with the one you love, now ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Be with the one you love ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ You know my mother, now ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Had to die, now ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Mm-hmm, and my father ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Well, he broke down and cry ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪ -♪ Whoa, whoa, baby ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ When I come home, baby, now ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ I want you to hold my hand ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Yeah, tight as you can ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ I know the night time ♪

-♪ Night and day, oh ♪

-♪ Whoa, is the right time ♪

-♪ Night and day, oh ♪

-♪ To be with the one you love ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪ -♪ Be with the one you love ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Whoa, sing your song, Crystal ♪

-♪ Baby ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Baby ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Baby ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Oh, my baby ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Do I love you? ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ No one above you ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Hold me tight, yeah ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ And make everything all right ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ You know the night time ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Oh, is the right time ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ To be with the one you love, yeah ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪ -♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

-♪ I said baby ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Yeah ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Baby ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Whoa, come on, baby, now ♪

♪ Oh, come on, baby ♪ -♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ You know I want you by my side ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ And I want you to keep ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Yeah, keep me satisfied, now ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪ -♪ I know the night time ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪ -♪ Everyday is the right time ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪

-♪ Yeah, to be with the one you love now ♪

-♪ Night and day ♪ -♪ Well, it's all right ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Crystal Monee Hall, ladies and gentlemen.

[ Cheers and applause ]

That's right.

That's right!

[ Cheers and applause ]

You got that, no one above me.

Come on. [ Laughs ]

[ Applause ]

So I had the great pleasure of doing a show

about the life of Ray Charles that never made it to Broadway,

but there was a wonderful line in it

that I thought encapsulated Ray very well,

written by Suzan-Lori Parks.

It's a line he speaks

right before he sings "You Don't Know Me."

And, you know, he says --

he says, "Maybe I was a bit too hard on folks, hmm?

You know, maybe I didn't trust,

but maybe that's 'cause I was alone, hmm?

In the dark.

You know, I -- I had to be tougher than most, y'all,

because -- because I was blue, I was blind,

and I was Black.

You know, I did what I had to do to make it, man."

Ray's ability to see more in music

and somehow more in life

is what made his music and his work so captivating,

and, like Donny, a lot of Ray's most iconic songs

were not his.

But his musicality and the arrangements he applied to them

made them his.

We only identify them with him.

Made them iconic.

Ray's glorious musical ability is featured

in Broadway's "Finian's Rainbow" in 1947

and in Broadway's "Peg" in 1983.

-♪ Mmm, mmm ♪

♪ Mmm ♪

-♪ Every time I sing this song ♪

♪♪♪

♪ It reminds me of ♪

-[ Vocalizing ]

-♪ My Georgia ♪

♪ Georgia ♪

♪ The whole day through ♪

-♪ The whole day through ♪

-♪ Just an old sweet song ♪

♪ Keeps Georgia on my mind ♪

-♪ Georgia on my mind ♪

-♪ I said Georgia ♪

♪ Georgia ♪

♪ A song of you ♪

-♪ A song of you ♪

-♪ Comes as sweet and clear ♪

♪ As moonlight through the pines ♪

♪♪♪

♪ Other arms reach out to me ♪

♪ Other eyes smile tenderly ♪

♪ Still in peaceful dreams I see ♪

♪ The road leads back to you ♪

♪ I said Georgia ♪

♪ Georgia ♪

♪ No peace I find ♪

-♪ No peace I find ♪

-♪ Just an old sweet song ♪

♪ Keeps Georgia on my mind ♪

-♪ Georgia on my mind ♪

-♪ Other arms reach out to me ♪

♪ Other eyes smile tenderly ♪

♪ Still in peaceful dreams I see ♪

♪ The road leads back to you ♪

♪ Whoa, whoa ♪

♪ Whoa, Georgia ♪

♪ No peace ♪

♪ No peace I find ♪

♪ Just an old sweet song ♪

♪ Keeps Georgia on my mind ♪

-♪ Georgia on my mind ♪

-♪ I said just an old sweet song ♪

♪ Keeps Georgia on my mind ♪

♪♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪♪

Come on, y'all.

Here we go. Hey!

Whoo!

♪♪♪

♪ Hey, everybody ♪

♪ Let's have fun ♪

♪ You only live but once ♪

♪ And once you're dead you're done ♪

♪ You better let the good times roll ♪

♪ Oh, baby ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ I don't care if you're old or young ♪

♪ Get yourself together, let the good times roll ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Don't sit there mumbling ♪

♪ Talkin' trash ♪

♪ If you want to have a ball ♪

♪ You better go out and spend some cash ♪

♪ You better let the good times roll, baby ♪

♪ Oh, baby ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ And I don't care if you're old or young ♪

♪ Get yourself together, let the good times roll ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah ♪

Hey!

Come on, now.

Whoo!

Hey!

♪♪♪

Sherrod Barnes, ladies and gentlemen.

♪ Hey, y'all, tell everybody ♪

♪ Brandon Dixon's in town ♪

♪ I got a dollar and a quarter ♪

♪ And I'm just running the clock now ♪

♪ Don't let nobody play me cheap ♪

♪ I got fifty cents more than I am gonna keep ♪

♪ I'm gonna let the good times roll ♪

♪ Oh, baby ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ And I don't care if you're old or young ♪

♪ Get yourself together, let the good times roll ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ No matter whether rainy weather ♪

♪ If you want to have a ball ♪

♪ You better get yourself together, darling ♪

♪ Get yourself under control ♪

♪ Whoa ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Ohh, yeah ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

Whoo!

[ Cheers and applause ]

Whoo! That's all I got. Whoo!

Whoo!

[ Laughs ]

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to take this time

to introduce you to this incredible band.

We have Jaylen Petinaud on the drums.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Andre Cleghorn on the bass.

[ Cheers and applause ]

You just heard the stylings of Sherrod Barnes on the guitar.

[ Cheers and applause ]

And our musical director on piano,

Mr. Michael O. Mitchell.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Tonight has been about storytelling, soul, and love,

and so as we approach the end of our evening,

I wanted to share a song from a show

that I believe truly encapsulates those themes.

♪♪♪

When I talk to people about what "Rent" is about,

I don't tell them the plot.

I tell them what "Rent" is really about,

and "Rent" is about the power of love to transform disease --

the disease of the body,

the disease of hate,

stigma, oppression, zealotry.

Love cannot save everyone, it cannot stop everything,

but it does have the power to transform.

And even in the face of certain loss,

it's still worth pursuing.

♪♪♪

♪ Live in my house ♪

♪ I'll be your shelter ♪

♪ Just pay me back ♪

♪ With one thousand kisses ♪

♪ Be my lover ♪

♪ And I will cover you ♪

♪♪♪

♪ Open your door ♪

♪ I'll be your tenant ♪

♪ Don't got much baggage ♪

♪ To lay at your feet ♪

♪ But sweet kisses I've got to spare ♪

♪ I will be there ♪

♪ And I'll, I will cover you ♪

♪ I think they meant it ♪

♪ When they said you cannot buy love ♪

♪ But I know you can rent it ♪

♪ A new lease you were my love ♪

♪ On life ♪

♪ All my life ♪

♪ I have longed to ♪

♪ To discover ♪

♪ Something as true as this is ♪

-♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

-♪ When you're cold and lonely ♪

-♪ 525,600 moments so dear ♪

-♪ If you've got one nickel only ♪

-♪ I'll cover you ♪

-♪ With a thousand sweet kisses ♪

-♪ When you're, when you're worn and tired ♪

♪ When your heart has expired ♪

-♪ Ooohh ♪ -♪ Whoa, oh ♪

♪ I will cover you ♪

♪ Whoa ♪

♪ Oh, lover ♪

♪ I'll cover you ♪

-♪ 525,600 minutes ♪

-♪ Oh, whoa ♪

-♪ 525,000 seasons ♪

♪ Of ♪

♪ Love ♪

-♪ I will cover you, oh ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

You know, in a world where, in the face of challenge,

so many of us reach for the limitations of fear

instead of the possibility of hope,

so many of us cling to what little we think we have

instead of opening up to all that we could share together,

I hope that you leave this evening

beginning to remember

who we once were, hmm?

And who we could be together again as a community,

as family, as friends, as one people,

striving towards a greater good,

higher ideals.

And I wrote this song in efforts to do just that.

I hope you enjoy it. Thank you.

♪♪♪

-♪ Mmm, mm-mm, mm, mm ♪

♪ Mm, mm, mm, mm ♪

♪ Maybe we'll never find that following what's right ♪

♪ Will always yield much more than leading when you're blind ♪

♪ Maybe we'll never learn that power's only taken ♪

♪ And everything, even when given ♪

♪ Also has a prize ♪

♪ Maybe we'll teach the value of a life ♪

♪ And only show our children once side of the knife ♪

♪ Maybe we'll keep listening to what they say is divine ♪

♪ And never take the time to read ♪

♪ The truth between the lines ♪

♪ But maybe ♪

♪ Maybe ♪

♪ We're gonna make it all right ♪

♪ Maybe not today ♪

♪ But maybe tomorrow night ♪

♪ Yes, maybe ♪

♪ Maybe ♪

♪ We'll close our eyes ♪

♪ And forget about all the hurt we brought about ♪

♪ Before we came to life ♪

♪ Maybe you'll never find the words to make it right ♪

♪ Maybe she'll never learn ♪

♪ That there should be a higher price ♪

♪ It just might be too late to try ♪

♪ But maybe we'll make it all right ♪

♪ Maybe we'll never see who they could truly be ♪

♪ Maybe you'll keep ignoring your inflexibility ♪

♪ We might just keep living the life ♪

♪ But maybe we'll make it all right ♪

♪ And maybe ♪

♪ Maybe ♪

♪ We gonna make it all right ♪

♪ Conjure away ♪

♪ Summon the might ♪

♪ And maybe ♪

♪ Maybe ♪

♪ The only reason we've committed these crimes ♪

♪ Is trying to stand all the pain and senseless blame ♪

♪ Just so we could make it right ♪

-♪ And maybe ♪

-♪ We'll remember we've lost all this before ♪

♪ We've fought the same wars ♪

-♪ Maybe ♪

-♪ We'll make a new choice ♪

♪ Maybe we'll come together ♪

♪ And speak with one voice ♪

-♪ Maybe ♪

-♪ We will realize ♪

♪ There is only now ♪

♪ And there is only this time ♪

♪ Yes, maybe ♪

-♪ Maybe ♪

-♪ Maybe ♪ -♪ Maybe ♪

-♪ We gonna make it all right ♪

♪ Maybe not today ♪

♪ But maybe tomorrow night ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ We'll conjure away ♪

♪ We'll summon the might ♪

♪ We'll compromise and sacrifice ♪

♪ To make it right ♪

♪ Hey ♪

-♪ We'll summon the might ♪ -♪ Hey ♪

-♪ We'll compromise and sacrifice to make it right ♪

-♪ Hey ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Mmm ♪

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much.

I hope you had a wonderful, wonderful evening.

It was a pleasure to be here with you.

A pleasure to join my PBS family to be here

at the Westport Country Playhouse,

and thank you so much.

We really appreciate it.

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪♪♪

♪ Might ♪

♪ We will compromise and sacrifice ♪

♪ And make it right ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Hey, yeah ♪

♪ Ohhh ♪

-♪ We will summon the might ♪

♪ We will compromise and sacrifice and make it right ♪

-♪ Yeah ♪

-♪ We will summon the might ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

[ Cheers and applause ]

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