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    8 Tony Nominees That Have Something In Common

    You’ll be a guaranteed super fan when you learn that these ridiculously talented humans support children and families affected by autism through the annual benefit concert, Arts for Autism. Cue the Rocky theme song. This year's concert will be hosted by Tony nominee Christopher Jackson at the Gershwin Theatre on 6/25. Jackson will deliver an unforgettable night of Broadway's biggest hits performed by 30+ of his Broadway peers and 100 young performing artists from across the country.


    Arts for Autism

    Kelli O'Hara won a Tony Award in 2015 for her performance in The King and I. With five prior Tony nominations for her roles in The Light In The Piazza, Pajama Game, South Pacific, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and Bridges of Madison County it was about time to honor this superwoman.

    Kelli joined Arts for Autism as the show's host in 2016 in support of her childhood best friend, Katie, and her son Finley who is on the autism spectrum. Kelli hosted again in 2017, and brought the audience to their feet as she brought Katie and Finley on stage to honor them both. When asked why she participates in the event, Kelli tells us, "It's time for us to start learning so there's understanding and we're making room for all of us in this world. This is one of the many steps we have to take to start understanding each other. Me and my friends in the Broadway community, we are here tonight to get a deeper understanding of what it is we do, and why we do it.


    Sony Music Entertainment / Via

    This Broadway icon joins the Arts for Autism cast with 43 years of Broadway experience. From her second Broadway role in 1976 starring role as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady to her two Tony Award nominations for On Your Toes and Oklahoma!, Christine is a force of nature that will bring a whole new dimension, class and authority to the Arts for Autism stage. That's not it folks. Christine's TV credits include: Law & Order: SVU, The Cosby Show, PBS' Musical Comedy Tonight, Taylor Benson in Another World, and much more. I may actually kneel when she walks by.


    During the Arts for Autism show, Christine will sing "On A Clear Day" from the hit show On A Clear Day.


    Denée Benton / Via

    Dubbed as Broadway's newest "it" girl, we couldn't agree more! Making her Broadway debut in 2016, she starred as Natasha in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 alongside Josh Groban. The role earned her a Tony nomination and a significant fan following! We have a feeling the future holds a few comedy and tragedy mask medallions for Denée.


    During the Arts for Autism show this year, Denée will sing "Human Heart" from Once On This Island. 

    4. STEPHANIE J. BLOCK (left)

    Arts for Autism

    Best known for her portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked, Stephanie absolutely "defies gravity." She has received two Tony nominations for her roles in Falsettos and The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and has been cast as Cher, the Goddess of Pop and barrier breaker for women in the industry, at the peak of her career. The Cher Show is slated to open on Broadway next year.


    Stephanie's personal connection lead her to join Arts for Autism. She has a niece with autism, and during the 2017 show she sang a rousing "The Wizard and I" that left the crowd cheering and crying all at the same time.


    University of North Carolina / Via

    Max made his Broadway debut in 2000 in Jesus Christ Superstar and hasn’t stopped since with roles in Les Misérables, Dance of the Vampires, An American in Paris, and he is currently starring as Gleb in Anastasia. Max’s stunning tenor voice and Tony nomination for An American in Paris put him quickly on the global map. He comes to us with a diverse background in Broadway, TV, and even the web. Making appearances on shows such as Elementary, Boardwalk Empire, The Good Wife, and more. Max brings that "x factor" to each of his performances and we're more than giddy to have him performing in Arts for Autism.


    Max will be opening the show with a young performer on the spectrum, Jodi DiPiazza, singing "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin. 


    Arts for Autism

    Christopher Jackson is a Tony Award nominated actor as well as a Grammy and Emmy Award winning songwriter/composer best known for starring as George Washington in the critically acclaimed, award-winning musical, Hamilton. Christopher’s Broadway credits include Holler if Ya Hear Me, After Midnight, The Bronx Bombers , In The Heights, and more. Christopher can currently be seen starring in the hit CBS drama Bull, and has also appeared in Person of Interest, A Gifted Man, Fringe, Gossip Girl and more. Any Moana fans? Christopher also recorded an original song written by Lin-Manuel Miranda for the hit Disney film Moana.


    We are honored to have Christopher as the host for the 2018 show, and we're honored he'll educate us and share his experience raising a child on the autism spectrum. Before the 2017 show, Christopher told us, "Anytime you come across a person with autism, you have been blessed."


    Jennifer Laura Thompson

    Jennifer Laura Thompson is currently starring in Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, and was nominated for a Tony in 2002 for Urinetown. She is also well known as the very first replacement for Glinda in Wicked. Jennifer has also shared her talent with television appearing in Elementary, Person of Interest, The Mysteries of Laura, and more.


    Jennifer and Garrett Long performed "Anybody Have A Map" from Dear Evan Hansen in the 2017 Arts for Autism show. 


    Arts for Autism

    Adrienne a soon-to-be global super star was nominated for a Tony for her performance in Shuffle Along. She is currently setting the stage on fire in London as Tina Turner in the new musical Tina, which is expected to open on Broadway next season.

    Adrienne Warren sang a gut-wrenching version of "She Used to Be Mine" from Waitress in the 2017 Arts for Autism concert.