A concert supporting Black Lives Matter, planned for Sunday, September 11, at 7 and 9:30 PM at Feinstein’s/54 Below, just north of Times Square, under the direction of Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins, was canceled due to “conflicting viewpoints on the social issue,” Playbill reported this week.
An email the club owners sent ticket buyers reads, “The owners and managers … strongly believe in and support the general thrust of the goals and objectives of BLM. However, since announcing the benefit they’ve become aware of a recent addition to the BLM platform that accuses Israel of genocide and endorses a range of boycott and sanction actions.
“Feinstein’s/54 Below would have preferred to hold the concert in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, without endorsing or appearing to endorse the entirety of the Black Lives Matter organization and its platform, but we’ve found that a distinction impossible for us to effect.
“As we can’t support these positions, we’ve accordingly decided to cancel the concert.
“We’re sorry about this unfortunate situation which has not dimmed our commitment to supporting social justice.”
According to Playbill, the evening was organized by Felicia Fitzpatrick, Michael R. Jackson and Jennifer Ashley Tepper, with consultation by Frank Leon Roberts and Adrienne Warren for the Broadway for Black Lives Matter Collective. Participants included Lilli Cooper, Eisa Davis, Andre DeShields, Michael R. Jackson, Marcus Scott, Darius Smith and Brynn Williams, as well as the AAPF-Say Her Name Organization and a representative from the New York chapter of Black Lives Matter.
Feinstein’s/54 Below opened in 2012 as a supper club. In 2015, through a creative partnership with Michael Feinstein, the Ambassador of the American Songbook, 54 Below was renamed Feinstein’s/54 Below.