Nick Cordero was workshopping a new musical not long before his tragic death from COVID-19 complications.
In exclusive footage, the Broadway star is seen rehearsing the musical The Eyes of the World: From D-Day to VE Day, part of the American History Unbound series. The musical was set to play at Carnegie Hall in June before the COVID-19 health crisis shut down all theater productions in New York City.
Cordero himself became sick in March and spent three months in the ICU before he died on July 5. He was 41.
To treat fans, John Monsky, the creator and narrator of American History Unbound, and actress Kate Rockwell put together footage of Cordero in his last would-be role.
"This is not a video we ever wanted to — or thought — we would make. Nick's loss is still inconceivable, as is the ever-increasing destruction caused by Covid-19," Monsky and Rockwell, who were set to star alongside Cordero, tell PEOPLE. "Nick had a power and presence that came across every time he set foot on stage, be it on Broadway, in a cabaret, or at Carnegie Hall. That magnetism was just who Nick was — all 6' 5" of him."
In the World War II-set musical, Monsky and Rockwell say Cordero played "the role of an ordinary American called upon to do extraordinary things; exactly what he did when he fought Covid-19 till the very end."
"We hope this video inspires ordinary Americans to do an extraordinary thing: pay tribute to Nick's life and legacy by supporting The Actors Fund. Since March 18, their emergency assistance program has provided food, medicine, and other necessities to nearly 15 million out-of-work performers during this unprecedented crisis. We know Nick would be fighting tooth and nail to help this community that he loved so much to survive this dark time. His wife, Amanda, continues this fight in his memory. We are honored to join her to answer the call to help," they say.
To honor Cordero with a donation to The Actors Fund in his name, click here.
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