TADA! Youth Theater: Live and Let Live
TADA! Youth Theater, founded in 1984, is a New York City theater company that runs several programs for children and young adults, including original main stage productions and arts education programs. Several TADA! Youth Theater participants of the ensemble have gained publicity since participating in the program, including Amar Ramasar, Josh Peck, Kerry Washington, Azealia Banks, Jordan Peele, Ricki Lake, and Mizuo Peck.
On June 20, 2016, Broadway Sings for Pride premiered its 6th anniversary benefit concert "Ovation" in New York City, at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. This milestone event was filled with singing (from pop to Broadway), stories, special celebrity guests, and more. The show honored Tyler Clementi Foundation and AIDS pioneer and activist Ruth Coker Burks. Broadway Sings for Pride is a multiple award-winning, non-for-profit organization that brings together Broadway talent, activists, and celebrities, to educate the public, raise awareness of the needs of LGBTQ+ youth, and support these young people, so that they may reach their full potential.
Ensemble members of TADA! Youth Theater performed the song "Live and Let Live" during the benefit concert, where Shefik served as Videographer. It is a song from the Off-Broadway musical "Up to You", with book and music by Eric Rockwell, and lyrics by JoAnne Bogart. The musical had its world premiere at TADA! Youth Theater, in 2012. Like all musicals performed by TADA! Youth Theater, "Up to You" is a professionally produced musical performed for kids, by kids — and dealing with topics relevant to kids and their experiences.
"Up to You" takes place in 1977, during elections for the student council at Hamilton High. It examines several relevant issues facing young people today, including peer acceptance, verbal bullying, stereotyping based on activities you take part in, and wanting to be popular. The musical also explores political campaigning: making and keeping promises both pre-election and post-election, as well as corruption.
Through the course of the musical, the narrator Eric is bullied, because of rumors about his sexuality, and because he won't go along with the "in" crowd. Some of his schoolmates feel badly about what is happening, but choose not to become involved. Others hide their own feelings in order to be accepted with the popular kids, and still some choose to risk their own reputations to defend him. The story, loosely based on some of Rockwell's own high school experiences, emphasizes the idea that each individual can make a difference for themselves and the community at large in a fun, entertaining, age-appropriate and approachable way. "Up to You" is recommended for ages 5 and over.
Last Updated: April 23, 2022