New York City Is Almost Like the Fifth Character in This Star-Studded Music Video

Musical-theater people know that the truest way to express your love for something or someone is to do it through song. By that standard, these celebrities and artists must really, really love New York City. In a new video meant to “encourage the city’s recovery from the pandemic and drive civic engagement,” a group of NYC-based entertainment figures including Stephen Colbert, Peppermint, Sara Bareilles, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Andy Cohen came together to film an achingly sincere music video in which they perform Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind.” Joel himself doesn’t make an appearance, but his daughter Alexa Ray Joel does. Filmed across all five boroughs, with glamour shots of iconic milieus like Russ & Daughters to the Wonder Wheel, the artists appear in locations of significance to them. For Cautious Clay, it’s the Brooklyn Museum. For Kelli O’Hara, that means the Steinway piano factory in Queens. For Idina Menzel, it’s an empty, blank, white room. Watch the video and ask yourself if Lin-Manuel Miranda is also watching it somewhere in this great big city, wondering why he wasn’t in this, biting his lip.

Watch Idina Menzel, Stephen Colbert, and More Serenade NYC