‘Into the Woods’ star Krysta Rodriguez to perform free virtual 54 Below concert for breast cancer awareness

'Into the Woods' star Krysta Rodriguez to perform free virtual 54 Below concert for breast cancer awareness


Like Cinderella, Krysta Rodriguez’s wishes have come true.

The actress and singer, a breast cancer survivor, is starring as Cinderella in Broadway’s “Into the Woods” revival and will host a breast cancer benefit concert on Sept. 12.

“It feels great … I have waited a long time because I wanted to [have] the right project and this just felt like the right project. So it really does feel really exciting to join the cast,” said Rodriguez, who dazzled audiences last year as Liza Minnelli in Netflix’s limited series “Halston.”

Rodriguez last appeared on Broadway in the 2015 revival of coming-of-age rock musical “Spring Awakening.” She’s also appeared in TV series “Quantico,” the American-Spanish comedy film “Bakery in Brooklyn” and RuPaul’s 2021 holiday romp “The Bitch Who Stole Christmas.”

The 37-year-old Orange County, Calif., native also made her cabaret debut with a string of sold-out shows at midtown supper club 54 Below in 2019.

On Sept. 12, Rodriguez will return to the stage for “A Night In with ABCD,” a virtual concert that will stream live from the tony New York City venue located below Studio 54 on W. 54th St.

The one-hour event is designed to raise awareness and funds for nonprofit ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, which provides customized, one-to-one emotional support to anyone impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis.

Rodriguez said the organization’s mission hits home for her as she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 at age 30.

“At the time, I felt [like] I was young … I had no history of breast cancer in my family, I had no genetic mutation or anything like that,” she shared. “So it was a real shock to get it, and at the time I felt like I was alone. I really think the exact words out of my mouth were ‘I must be the only 30 year old that’s ever had breast cancer.’”

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Krysta Rodriguez

The Milwaukee-based nonprofit specializes in matching professionally trained volunteers and breast cancer survivors who not only share a similar diagnosis and treatment plans, but also have common interests, ages and family dynamics.

“When I put my story out there, I started to hear from so many people who are going through it and people who came out of the woodwork to mentor me,” the “Smash” alum added. “It was so important for me to have somebody that had been through it that could tell me what to worry about, what not to worry about, because your brain is going a mile a minute, and you’re making so many decisions all the time.”

Now cancer-free, Rodriguez said she’s grateful to have made it to the other side and celebrates it every opportunity she can.

“I’m going to sing a little bit of some of my hits,” she said about the free Sept. 12 show. “I talk a lot about my breast cancer diagnosis. So we’re going to weave some of that story in there to kind of educate people on what I went through, and they’re going to be Q&A portion as well.

“We will keep it uplifting, fun, some musical theater, some jazz, some pop and a little bit of storytelling throughout.”

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Audiences may also be in for some Minnelli.

“Liza’s numbers work very well for an uplifting and energetic evening,” Rodriguez said, adding that the final lineup of songs is still being decided.

The “In the Heights” star has the stage pedigree to back it up.

Rodriguez performed in the original company of “Spring Awakening” a decade before handling a lead role in the Deaf West revival, which saw the musical being performed simultaneously in English and American Sign Language. Her other Broadway credits include “First Date,” “The Addams Family” and 2006′s “A Chorus Line.”

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As for her latest Broadway turn, she described the James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim-created musical as a rock concert that people are excited to experience every night.

She said she was wowed while watching the star-studded Lear deBessonet-helmed production alongside live audiences during her rehearsal process.

“I was watching the show the other day and this woman in front of me turned around and she said, ‘Do you know why everybody loves the show so much, like how did all these young people come to it?’ And I really think that the PBS recording of the original production was so important for people at my age … I think that it really connected with people young and old.”

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