Taking up the hashtag and motto “Wake up Nick!,” former cast members of the Broadway musical “Waitress” — including Sara Bareilles, Keala Settle and Jessie Mueller — have recorded a tribute to another alumnus, Nick Cordero, who remains in a medically induced coma as he struggles with severe COVID-19 complications.
They banded together from their homes to perform a song composed by Cordero himself, “Live Your Life.” More than 30 actors participated in recording the tune, which starts out, naturally, with score composer (and occasional leading lady) Bareilles getting the first line, before moving on to an array of faces that ranges from the show’s child actors to stage veteran Dakin Matthews.
Mueller, the most famous of the actors to take the lead role in the hit show on Broadway, receives production manager credit for the video, which also includes a six-piece band rocking out from outside the pit.
The cast members hold up signs reading “Team Earl” — after his character in “Waitress” — as well as “Wake up Nick!”
The video asks viewers to contribute to a GoFundMe that was set up April 18 to support Cordero, his wife, Amanda Kloots, and their 10-month-old son Elvis. With a boost from the cast video, the fund drive just surpassed its $450,000 goal, with contributions from 7,800 donors.
Of the new video, Kloots wrote, “Wow! Thank you @waitressthemusical for this beautiful video covering Nicks song!! Nick loved his Waitress family very much! I remember how excited he was when he got this job too. Working with this cast and crew was a dream come true for him. When you’re in a Broadway show, your cast becomes your family. Even after a show closes, the family stays open. This video is such a beautiful example of that. Love you guys.”
Kloots has kept supporters updated about her husband’s health setbacks on her Instagram page. Cordero had his leg amputated as a result of blood clots and has had a temporary pacemaker inserted.
On Tuesday morning, Kloots shared that her husband “had kind of a bit of a rough day yesterday. Nick ended up getting an infection in his lungs that went into his blood, so he went into a little bit of a septic shock. The cause of that was some infection in his lungs, so they went in and completely cleaned out his lungs, which was great. They gave him some blood pressure medication to help his blood pressure come back up.”
Cordero was impressing audiences in a Los Angeles production of “Rock of Ages” when the coronavirus pandemic struck.