Listen to Her Heart: The Life and Music of Laurie Beechman, a documentary about the late, Tony-nominated actor that premiered in 2003, is now available for free viewing on YouTube.
The film about the star of Broadway's Annie, Cats, The Pirates of Penzance, Les Miserables, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat features narration by Emmy-winning talk-show host and actor Rosie O'Donnell.
When Listen to Her Heart premiered in 2003 at the Directors Guild in New York City, Beechman's widower, Neil Mazzella, who spearheaded and executive-produced the film, told Playbill, "When Laurie passed away and I was going through all of her personal effects, I had an enormous number of videos. Not knowing what to do with them, I called [documentary director] Gaylen Ross, a friend of mine, and I said, 'Listen, if we go through this, get rid of the duplicates [and] get the quality stuff, let's put together a documentary on the best [material]. Then, Gaylen had the idea [to] get people to comment on [the clips]...We got up quite a list of people that were willing to come in. We set up video time at the West Bank Cafe, and we made a real documentary out of it. It's been two years in the making."
The stellar list of celebrities who remember their late friend includes composers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Alan Menken; directors Richard Jay-Alexander and Trevor Nunn; producer Cameron Mackintosh; actors Andrea McArdle, Loni Ackerman, Mary Testa, and Sam Harris; musical director/composer David Friedman; agent Jim Wilhelm; and the co-founder of Gilda’s Club, Joanna Bull.
The tribute also includes heartfelt discussions with Mazzella as well as Laurie's mother, Dolly Beechman Schnall, and Laurie’s sisters, Claudia Beechman and Jane Beechman Segal.
Watch the full documentary above.
March 8 will mark 25 years since the passing of Beechman, who possessed a voice that originated from deep in her soul, evoking both the joys and pains of life. She had one of the strongest belts around, but she could also create delicate, softer sounds that moved listeners just as profoundly. To commemorate the occasion, several friends of the late artist will join host Richard Skipper for an online chat. The 5 PM ET March 8 discussion, which will be available by clicking here, will feature documentary-filmmaker Ross, director Jay-Alexander, actor Testa, and Dr. Judi Bloom.