The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (MMJCCM) announces the initial lineup for Broadway’s Best for Parkinson’s: Navigating Medical Care with PD, a free virtual event on Wednesday, March 8, featuring a panel of experts on how to find the best resources to navigate Parkinson’s. The conversation, beginning at 6:00 PM, will be followed by musical performances. 

The 75-minute free event, supported by a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation, will feature co-hosts Alessandro Di Rocco, M.D., Director of Neurology, Parkinson’s, and Movement Disorders at Northwell Health and Caroline Kohles, MMJCCM Senior Program Director, Health + Wellness, leading a conversation on the medical implications of Parkinson’s Disease, the economics of medicine influence care, and making the most of doctor’s visits. 

The program will also feature Broadway musical director, actor, and author David Loud (Vocal Arrangements: New York, New York), who is living with Parkinson’s, who will share his journey in navigating medical care and how his Broadway career continues to inspire him. Rebecca GilbertM.D., Chief Scientific Officer, American Parkinson’s Disease Association (APDA), will join the conversation as a movement disorder specialist, discussing strategies and resources for navigating Parkinson’s medical care. The event will culminate with musical guests to be announced, using music and song as tools to uplift the community. 

“Due to a shortage of neurologists and an increase in the aging population, the gap in care is widening,” says MMJCCM Senior Program Director of Health + Wellness Caroline Kohles. “If people living with PD are lucky enough to have a neurologist, often they will only get one 20 minute visit a year. We intend to show how to make the most of those precious 20 minutes in an annual visit, as well as discuss what an individual can do in between visits to stay as vibrant and healthy as possible.”

The virtual event is part of a ground-breaking JCC program founded 15 years ago to improve the lives of those impacted by Parkinson’s. The event begins at 6:00 PM EDT and is free, though prior registration is required. Register at Broadway’s Best for Parkinson’s. Registrants will receive a Zoom link to attend and will be able to engage with participants and submit questions during the event.

Bios of Co-Hosts and Participants (in alphabetical order)

Alessandro Di Rocco, MD, Director of Neurology, Parkinson’s, and Movement Disorders at Northwell Health; Professor of Neurology at Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra Northwell; and Medical Advisor to the Parkinson’s Wellness program at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan As a world-renowned leader in the field of Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, Alessandro Di Rocco, M.D., has been the principal and co-investigator of numerous research studies, including National Institutes of Health and major national and international foundation-sponsored studies, having been awarded nearly two dozen grants to support his research efforts. Dr. Di Rocco sits on the Parkinson’s Foundation Board of Directors and the Melvin Yahr International Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, where he served as president for over eight years. Dr. Di Rocco also serves on many advisory boards and committees, including the World Federation of Neurology Congress on Parkinson’s Disease. He has authored over 90 articles, 12 books and book chapters, over 125 abstracts, and other publications. 

Rebecca Gilbert, MD is the Chief Scientific Officer at American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA). She is responsible for overseeing APDA’s research portfolio in conjunction with APDA’s Scientific Advisory Board, and provides medical and clinical expertise to support APDA programming, web content and publications. Dr. Gilbert received her MD degree at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and PhD in Cell Biology and Genetics at the Weill Graduate School of Medical Sciences. She then completed her Neurology Residency training as well as Movement Disorders Fellowship training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She continues to provide patient care one day a week at Bellevue Hospital Center. Prior to joining APDA, she was an Associate Professor of Neurology at the Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, NYU Langone Medical Center where she saw Movement disorders patients at both NYU and Bellevue Hospital Center, initiated and directed the NYU Movement Disorders Fellowship, participated in clinical trials and other research initiatives

Caroline Kohles is the Senior Director of Health and Wellness Programming at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. In her 19 years at the MMJCCM, she has spearheaded a progressive slate of fitness programming, creating 100+ group fitness class schedules and health and wellness programs for populations ranging from tweens/teens to prenatal/postnatal moms and seniors. Her signature work includes developing a range of cancer care programs in partnership first with Mount Sinai Hospital and with Alison Estabrook, M.D., a nationally recognized breast cancer surgeon. A health and wellness professional for over 25 years, Kohles is co-founder of Nia New York, a holistic lifestyle and fitness practice. She also designed the nationally and internationally recognized Edmond J. Safra Parkinson’s program at the JCC, now in its 15th year, in partnership first with The Fresco Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center and now with Northwell Health. 

David Loud is one of Broadway’s most respected music directors and vocal arrangers, David also has the distinction of having originated three roles on Broadway as an actor. He served as music director for The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and Roger Rees; other Broadway credits include The Scottsboro Boys, Sondheim on Sondheim, Curtains, Ragtime, A Class Act, Steel Pier, and revivals of Porgy and Bess, She Loves Me, Company, and Sweeney Todd. He originated the role of Manny in Terrence McNally’s Master Class (starring Zoe Caldwell and Audra McDonald) and he played Sasha (the conductor) in Curtains. He made his Broadway debut in Harold Prince’s original 1981 production of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. 

Off-Broadway, David created the vocal and dance arrangements for Kander and Ebb’s And the World Goes ‘Round.  At the Vineyard Theatre, he was the music supervisor for three world premieres: Kid Victory, The Landing, and The Beast in the Jungle, all with music by John Kander. He conducted the incidental music for Mike Nichols’ revival of Death of a Salesman and collaborated with Wynton Marsalis and John Doyle on A Bed and a Chair, a jazz interpretation of Sondheim’s music. He is a favorite at Lyrics and Lyricists, the long-running series at 92NY.

David is a graduate of Yale University and has been on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama and Fordham University. He is the music director of Manhattan School of Music’s new musical theater program, which he helped found in 2017. His book, Facing the Music, a Broadway memoir, was recently published by Regan Arts, a division of Simon & Schuster.

BROADWAY’S BEST FOR PARKINSONS is supported by a community grant from the Parkinson’s Foundation. Broadway’s Best for Parkinson’s is part of the Northwell Health Edmond J. Safra Wellness Initiative at the MMJCCM. The initiative helps improve the lives of those impacted by Parkinson’s. Through education, exercise, and other programs, and in collaboration with the medical and local communities, people impacted by Parkinson’s remain active, connected, and empowered.


Together with its community, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan creates opportunities for people to connect, grow, and learn within an ever-changing Jewish landscape. Located on 76th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, the JCC is a vibrant non-profit community center on the Upper West Side. It also presents a robust slate of virtual programming, serving an even wider community. The JCC serves over 30,000 people annually through 1,200 programs each season that educate, inspire, and transform participants’ minds, bodies, and spirits. Since its inception, the JCC has been committed to serving the community by offering programs, classes, and events that reach beyond neighborhood boundaries, reaching people at all stages of their lives. Learn more at