Amanda Kloots and the Broadway community honored the late Nick Cordero on Sunday, Sept. 6 with a virtual memorial.
The service was streamed via Broadway On Demand and featured tributes from Cordero's family members, castmates and more stars.
"Nick would want this memorial to be a celebration," Kloots said at the beginning of the service. "Something that makes people smile, that makes people sing, that makes people remember his life in a beautiful way. Nick always felt so blessed. He always said that to me, 'I'm so blessed. We live such a blessed life.' So, I want to thank you for joining me tonight and in this celebration of his life."
There were several touching moments throughout the service. For instance, the cast of A Bronx Tale—a musical Cordero starred in from 2016 to 2018—sang the number "One of the Great Ones" in a virtual arrangement. Cordero's mom, Lesley, and his siblings, Amanda and Matt, also shared a few words.
"He was larger than life," Lesley said at one point, "but at the same time, he had the amazing ability to create and maintain really close connections with people. You could be talking to him in a crowded room, and he would make you feel like you were the only person there."
Several of Cordero's friends also spoke, as did a few of his teachers and professors. Robert de Niro, a producer of A Bronx Tale, offered his condolences, as well.
"Amanda, Elvis, the Cordero family, I feel just so sad about what's happened to Nick," the 77-year-old actor said. "It shouldn't have happened. I don't know what I can say except that you have all my love and support and condolences and sympathy and whatever. It just for me is an unimaginable thing that happened. Nick was a wonderful guy, great guy. I loved working with him, and we'll all meet up there one day. But he left way, way, way too soon. My deepest condolences and love to the family, to Amanda, to Elvis and whoever else I'm missing."
The tribute also looked back at Cordero's performance as Cheech in Bullets Over Broadway, a role that earned him a Tony nomination. Not only was a clip of his number played but Kloots also spoke about the influence the show had on Cordero's life.
"Bullets Over Broadway, Nick would say changed his life and it truly did," she said. "He was about to give up on performing. He was taking real estate courses because he just didn't think he was going to make it. When he booked Bullets Over Broadway, I was standing next to him after the reading and I was in awe of my husband-to-be. He worked so hard at this role, and he earned a Tony nomination for it and it truly did become a show that changed his life. He met some of his best friends and loved performing on the stage at the St. James Theater. Nick and I met during Bullets Over Broadway, fell in love and then got married. It was a pretty good showmance if you ask me."
Throughout the celebration of life, personal videos and photos were shared, including footage from Cordero and Kloots' wedding, clips of them singing and dancing together and videos of their son Elvis.
"Nick would always say that we were very different. That we shouldn't be together, or that 'I can't believe that we're together,'" Kloots recalled. "But I truly believe that it was our differences that made us a perfect match. We got married in 2017 on the rooftop of a beautiful building right off Times Square with 80 of our friends. it was perfect. And [we] had Elvis a couple years later who is just, you know, the most beautiful little boy and I'm so grateful that I have him because he's just a little spitting image of Nick. But I love my husband so much, and I am so proud of the fight that he did, that I watched every single day as he fought for his life. My husband, he was a dreamer; he was everybody's friend; he was an incredible husband, an amazing father, brother, son, best friend. He was just the kind of guy that everybody liked to have around."
Cordero died in July after suffering complications caused by coronavirus. He was 41 years old. Throughout Cordero's journey, Kloots continued to keep fans updated on his health and asked them to sing and dance to his song "Live Your Life."
"I hope that we can all remember Nick's words," Kloots concluded. "to live our life."