Barmitzvah boy funds Broadway musical on Liberty

By Jennifer Lipman, April 6, 2011
Artwork for "Liberty: The Musical"

Artwork for "Liberty: The Musical"

A barmitzvah boy has found an unusual solution to all the money he was given by guests at his party – he has donated it to the producers of a Broadway musical about immigrants.

New York teenager Jesse Naranjo is to use the more than £1,600 he was given following the ceremony last year to help send "Liberty: The Musical" to a major theatre.

The 13-year-old from New York, whose father grew up in Colombia and moved to America as an adult, said he was inspired to donate the money after seeing an off-Broadway performance of the show.

Jesse told the New York Daily News: "I think [immigrants] go through a lot of prejudice. They work so hard, and they go through a lot of trouble that's not necessary."

Described as "a new musical about a beautiful immigrant's struggle and strife in a new land", the show follows the history of the landmark Statue of Liberty.

It features a song called "Huddled Masses", a phrase used by Jewish immigrant Emma Lazarus in her poem The New Colossus, which was inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

The producers are looking for an additional £740,000 to fund a Broadway version.

Last updated: 5:22pm, April 6 2011