Nick Cordero’s former “Waitress” co-stars got together virtually to perform Cordero’s original song, “Live Your Life,” in support of the Broadway actor who’s been battling severe complications from COVID-19. Sara Bareilles, Keala Settle and Jessie Mueller are among the performers in the tribute.
Cordero’s wife, Amanda Kloots, cried as she expressed gratitude for the emotional and heartfelt video to everyone involved on her Instagram Stories Sunday.
Cordero, 41, had to have a temporary pacemaker implanted to address an “irregular” heart rate, Kloots announced last week. “He is doing really well with the pacemaker,” she said on Saturday on Instagram Stories. “His heart rate has been under control.” If the next few days go well, she explained, doctors might be able to remove the ventilator he’s on and put in a trach.
The new surgery came about a week after Corero’s.
“We got some difficult news,” Kloots said on her Instagram Stories on April 18. “Basically, we’ve had issues in his right leg, withand getting blood down to his toes. And it just isn’t happening with surgery and everything.” She explained the star was on blood thinners for the clotting, but as it caused “other issues,” he was taken off the medicine.
Kloots, a former Broadway dancer and current fitness trainer, stays in close contact with Cordero’s medical team since she is unable to see him in person while he’s treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Both of their parents are unable to travel to be nearby as well.
Kloots stands outside the hospital everyday at 3 p.m. Pacific Time blasting “Live Your Life” from her phone, hoping the music reaches him.
“We all put on the music and we start jamming,” said Cordero’s close friend, Richard H. Blake. In a show of solidarity and support for his recovery, people all over the world are also playing his song, including on the radio. Many are posting videos of it using the hashtag #WakeUpNick.
“It’s a way to get out the energy and let it all get there to him. It’s just like, ‘come on, dude, you got this!'” Blake said.
Blake and Cordero starred in “A Bronx Tale” on Broadway together in 2016. Since they shared a small dressing room, the two became close buddies off stage and remain friends even though they now live on opposite sides of the country.
“He’s one of a kind,” Blake said of his friend’s personality. “He really is a special person.”
Blake stays in communication with Kloots and constantly reports back updates to the “A Bronx Tale” family. Cast members from Broadway and touring productions recently reunited on Zoom to hold a prayer circle for Cordero. Director Jerry Zaks and choreographer Sergio Trujillo also joined in.
Blake is amazed by how upbeat Kloots remains during this difficult time. “How she’s handling all of this with the positivity that she has maintained — I mean, she has a strength of no one that I’ve ever seen before.”
On Instagram, Kloots regularly posts livestreams of her jump-rope workouts and exercises with a smile. She also shares videos of her dancing for the couple’s 10-month-old son, Elvis, and stories about her and Nick’s courtship.
“She wants positive energy and that’s what she’s believing,” explained Blake. “That’s what we’re all clinging on to — the positive energy is what’s going to wake him up.”
The couple recently moved from New York City to Los Angeles so Cordero could perform in the musical “Rock of Ages.” Cordero previously starred on Broadway in the musical adaptation of Woody Allen’s film “Bullets Over Broadway” in 2014, which earned him a Tony nomination. That’s where they met.
Kloots recently shared on Instagram that Cordero has aspirations of becoming a rock star, which is one of the reasons he was working on his own music in Los Angeles. Kloots said when Cordero wakes up from the medicall- induced coma that he will soon learn he is one. A GoFundMe page set up by three of Kloot’s friends has grown to raise more than $440,000 to help offset medical expenses and rehabilitation therapy.
As for returning to Broadway, Blake says while Cordero’s new way of living is “going to be a shock to him,” he’s confident it could happen even with an amputated leg.
“Fortunately it’s below the knee,” he said. “Fortunately, science has come a long way and fortunately, casting has come a long way. You know, there are many roles out there that are being adjusted for the right person, whether it’s a non-traditional casting or disability casting.”
Blake recalled the couple’s 2017 wedding at the Skylark in Manhattan where the newlyweds performed an epic first-dance routine.
“He’s gonna do that wedding dance again at their five year anniversary. That’s what I predict.”
Leigh Scheps is senior reporter for InsideEdition.com and Broadway contributor for CBS Interactive.