News Round-Up: April 2, 2021

With the warmer weather finally here, make sure you get out in the sun and enjoy the warmer weather.
With spring finally here, make sure you get out in the sun and enjoy the warmer weather.
Time to get outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather (stock image via Depositphotos)

Some news items you might have missed:

Andrew Christian: With the weather finally warming up, it’s time to get out to the great outdoors for a date that includes some Vitamin D. Check out these ideas for you and your boo to do.

LGBTQ Nation: On March 31, Karine Jean-Pierre, the principal deputy White House Press Secretary, became the first out Black woman to host an official White House Press Brief. She delivered the briefing standing mid-flight aboard Air Force One.

Kenneth-in-the-212: Don’t miss Kenneth’s weekly round-up of the best in LGBTQ publications including the feature in Hot Spots Magazine (below) on LGBTQs and our furry family members.

Hot Spots Magazine covers LGBTQ people and their furry family members
(image via Hot Spots Magazine)

Broadway Cares: The virtual edition of Broadway Backwards delivered an exuberant evening of performances and raised a record $749,555 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. The free online event can now be viewed by clicking here through 11:59 pm Eastern on Saturday, April 3.

Instinct Magazine: Virginia is now the 13th state to ban ‘gay panic’ and ‘trans panic’ legal defenses in cases of violence and murder on LGBTQ people.

Tostitos: The chip maker brings out Emmy Award winners Dan Levy (Schitt’s Creek) and Kate McKinnon (SNL) together for this cute new ad spot where the comic geniuses one-up each other describing the flavor of new Habanero Tostitos. McKinnon thinks the chips are “drama” but Levy says they are “pelvicular.”

‘Broadway Backwards 2021’ A Hopeful Look Forward At Life Post-Pandemic

Broadway Backwards 2021 will take a hopeful, musical look toward life post-pandemic in its first virtual edition set to stream with a bevy of Broadway’s best at 8 pm Eastern on Tuesday, March 30.

This year’s virtual edition of the popular theatre event will blend film and musical stage performances as an exploration of how isolation during this pandemic has particularly affected the LGBTQ community.

That and a healthy dose of musical theater and star power are what you can expect. The videos here are just a few highlights from over the years at Broadway Backwards.

The show will feature Jay Armstrong Johnson as a New Yorker who dreams a fantastical, musical theater journey guided by Jenn Colella as a late night TV host.

New performances will be merged with full numbers from past years to come together in a show that feels distinctly of the moment.

The streaming event will feature a special opening number featuring divas Stephanie J. Block, Deborah Cox and Lea Salonga.

Plus, an all-star finale are almost too good to be true with Amy Adams, Debbie Allen, Matt Bomer, Glenn Close, Loretta Devine, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cheyenne Jackson, Eric McCormack, Ruthie Ann Miles, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jessie Mueller, Javier Muñoz, Kelli O’Hara, Karen Olivo, Jim Parsons, Bernadette Peters and many more.

And then there will be special appearances by Chasten Buttigieg, Anderson Cooper, Ariana DeBose, Don Lemon, Debra Messing, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Robin Roberts, Tony Shalhoub and Ben Vereen?

Make sure you tune in (for free!) for an ultimate un-Zoom theatrical experience at 8 pm Eastern on Tuesday, March 30 at broadwaycares.org/backwards2021. It will be available on demand through 11:59 pm Saturday, April 3.

Of course, donations to Broadway Cares are always welcome 🙂

Broadway Backwards 2017 Raises Over $522K For LGBT Charities

Check out performances from this year’s Broadway Backwards, one of my favorite annual benefit performances in NYC for my favorite, favorite charities – Broadway Cares and the LGBT Community Center in NYC.

Via press release:

Equality, solidarity and warmth filled the Al Hirschfeld Theatre on March 13, 2017, when the biggest stars on Broadway proved gender doesn’t matter, but love does as they explored and embraced the great songs of musical theatre at the 12th annual Broadway Backwards.

This year’s sold-out celebration, where men sing songs intended for women and vice versa without changing pronouns, shattered fundraising records, bringing in an impressive $522,870 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City. The show was produced by Broadway Cares.

The evening was hosted by Tony Award winner and longtime friend of Broadway Cares, Julie White, who brought her signature sass and wit to the stage. The evening featured 19 comedic, poignant and heart-wrenching numbers, backed by a live, 12-piece onstage orchestra, on the Hirschfeld stage, home to the Tony Award-winning Kinky Boots.

Tony winner Cynthia Erivo brought the house down with a gospel-infused rendition of “Make Them Year You” from Ragtime. Her powerful, show-stopping vocals, backed by the Broadway Backwards ensemble, had the audience on its feet cheering for more in a fitting finale to this year’s show.

What began as a small, grassroots concert performed at The Center in 2006 quickly grew into a highly-anticipated event presented in Broadway’s best theatres. In its 12 editions, Broadway Backwards has raised more than $2.9 million for Broadway Cares and The Center.

NYC: 12th Annual “Broadway Backwards” At The Al Hirschfeld Theatre

The Broadway community will come together once again for Broadway Backwards, an annual celebration of unity, equality and love through gender-reversed performances of classic showtunes.

This 12th annual evening is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and benefits Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City.

The star-studded event features performances of quintessential Broadway tunes with a twist: men sing songs originally intended for women, and vice versa. Artists will perform the great songs of musical theatre while freeing themselves of the bounds of gender norms. It’s a show where gender doesn’t matter, but love does.

This exhilarating evening will include one-of-a-kind, unforgettable performances from celebrated stars of stage and screen including Sierra Boggess, Tony winner Len Cariou, Tony nominee Carolee Carmello, Robert Creighton, Ariana DeBose, Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo, Tony nominee Santino Fontana, Lora Lee Gayer, Tony winner John Glover, four-time Grammy Award nominee Josh Groban, Tony winner Cady Huffman, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Rachel Bay Jones, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Tony winner Levi Kreis, Eric Petersen, Tony nominee Andrew Rannells, Megan Sikora, Elizabeth Stanley, Bobby Conte Thornton, two-time Golden Globe winner, Tony nominee and Oscar nominee Kathleen Turner, six-time Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch, Rachel York and Jersey Boys original cast members Dominic Nolfi, Michael Longoria and Daniel Reichard.

Tickets are no longer available online. Additional tickets at various price levels may become available. Sign up for our waiting list to be contacted if more tickets are released.

Creator Robert Bartley will return to direct the show. He will be joined by Mary-Mitchell Campbell as music supervisor and Laura Bergquist as music director. Choreography will be created by Bartley, Christopher Rice and Adam Roberts.

Last year’s inspiring performance raised a record $480,287. It featured a 67-person cast of Broadway and television’s best, backed by a live onstage orchestra.

What began as a small, grassroots concert performed at The Center in 2006 quickly grew into a highly-anticipated event presented in Broadway’s best theatres. In its 11 editions, Broadway Backwards has raised more than $2.8 million for Broadway Cares and The Center.

Monday, March 13, 8 pm
Al Hirschfeld Theatre
302 West 45th Street, NYC

(source)

Broadway Backwards Raises A Record $480,287

The sold-out audience at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre was dazzled Monday, March 21, 2016, by this year’s stirring edition of Broadway Backwards.

The annual celebration, where men sing songs originally written for women and vice versa offering this audience the chance to see LGBT stories told through the great songs of musical theatre, set a new fundraising record.

The evening raised an incredible $480,287 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City.

The evening included performances by Broadway legend Chita Rivera, Finding Neverland‘s Laura Michelle Kelly, Kinky Boot’s Wayne Brady, Wicked‘s Nick Adams, Len Cariou, Eddie Korbich, Treat Williams and many, many more.

Broadway Backwards began as a small, grassroots concert performed at The Center in 2006, quickly grew into an highly anticipated event presented in Broadway’s best theaters.

In its 11 editions, Broadway Backwards has raised more than $2.4 million for Broadway Cares and The Center.


Broadway Backwards: “Cellblock Tango”

Joshua Buscher-West, Marty Lawson, Alfie Parker Jr., Waldemar Quinones-Villanueva, Alex Ringler, and Ryan Steele performed the number “Cellblock Tango” from CHICAGO the Musical at Broadway Backwards 10th Anniversary performance this past Monday in New York City.

And it’s FAB!  I love this!  Highly inventive and danced fantastically.  Bravo, to the choreographer and actors!

Broadway Backwards is an annual celebration where gays and lesbians see their stories told through the songs of musical theater.

The evening benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDs and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. This year’s event raised a recorded $466,717.


Highlights From Broadway Backwards 2015

Broadway Backwards is the annual celebration where gays and lesbians see their stories told through the great songs of musical theatre, sung by their favorite Broadway performers.

The 2015 edition of the event, held March 9, raised a record $466,717 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

The sold-out show included 20 audience-pleasing numbers and multiple standing ovations for Tituss Burgess, Lena Hall, Florence Henderson, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lillias White and more Broadway favorites, as well as a special appearance by 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree Lily Tomlin.

You can watch highlights of this year’s fantastic evening below.

Highlights from 2014 Broadway Backwards

Broadway’s best filled a sold-out Al Hirschfeld Theatre for the ninth annual edition of Broadway Backwards on Monday, March 24, 2014, raising a record-breaking $423,182 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

Broadway Backwards (#bwaybackwards) is an annual celebration where gays and lesbians see their stories told through the great songs of musical theatre with performers offering same-sex or reversed gender renditions sung by their favorite Broadway performers. It is produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and was presented this year in the historic Hirschfeld Theatre.

Check out many of the performances below:

Michael Berresse and Tony Yazbeck

Cass Morgan and Debra Monk

Jonathan Groff

Kyle Dean Massey and Jose Llana

Rachel Bay Jones and Uzo Aduba

2013 Broadway Backwards highlights

Broadway Backwards features show tune standards performed by the opposite gender for whom they were written. From the producers:

Broadway Backwards, the once-a-year celebration of the LGBT community, brought down the house March 18, 2013, while raising a record-setting $347,060 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

The sold-out show left the audience cheering after unforgettable performances by an array of Broadway’s best, including Brian Stokes Mitchell, Karen Ziemba, Josh Young, Stephanie J. Block, Anthony Warlow and Tituss Burgess, who delivered a stirring recreation from Dreamgirls.

Look for this year and previous year’s events on DVD at this link. EAch of the DVDs feature fab and fun performances through the years from different events. (I participated in the 2010 Gypsy of the Year edition).

All funds go to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.