In a private memorial service Saturday for Nick Cordero, his wife told friends and family that the Tony Award-nominated actor would have wanted "a celebration. Let’s try to laugh, share great stories and sing for him and to his memory." Cordero died July 5 after contracting the coronavirus in March. He was 41.
"He would have loved it," fitness trainer Amanda Kloots said on Instagram of her husband of nearly three years, with whom she had a son, Elvis, 1. "It was beautiful and perfect. His spirit was definitely there."
The service included the song "I'm Here" from the Broadway musical "The Color Purple." "Nick and I saw this show on Broadway years ago and we left the theater in tears, speechless. As it was being played last night the lyrics in the second half of the song hit me hard," Kloots said of the song by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, which includes, "I'm thankful for every day that I'm given / Both the easy and hard ones I'm livin'."
"Truly, I am scared," the former Rockette dancer continued. "Scared of my new normal, of the pain, the loss and being strong enough to get through it. But, I know Nick is up above ... [rooting] for me, believing in me and hoping for me. He wants me to LIVE this new life and he wants me to be the best version of myself for our son. I promised him in the hospital that I would try to do that. So, when I heard these lyrics yesterday I thought, 'Ok. When I'm doubting if I can get through this, I'm playing this song. It will be my motto.' "
Kloots posted the lyrics and suggested, "Do yourself a favor by listening to @cynthiaerivo sing it." Erivo, who won Tony, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards for her Broadway-debut lead role in the 2015 revival, commented, "I love you for this, for sharing what must be a most difficult experience. … I am honored to be a vessel for a song that is larger than I ever can be. Here for you with music whenever you and Elvito need it. All love."
"This is a long journey ahead and a down road I never thought I'd be on," wrote Kloots. "No one can tell me how to do it, I have to do it. I may do things right, I may do them wrong. There isn't a perfect way. One day, one step at a time. I have faith that God is leading the way and that Nick is our angel."
Cordero had received a Tony nomination for his featured role as a 1920s gangster with unexpected theater savvy in the 2014 musical "Bullets Over Broadway," based on Woody Allen's film of the same name. His other Broadway roles include originating the title character's abusive husband in "Waitress" in 2016, and the lead in "A Bronx Tale: The Musical," from 2016 to 2018.