Friday, February 27, 2009

Bless you, Bootleggers

So it has taken me a few days to gather my thoughts, try to figure out how no to bore all three of you to death as I tell you how wonderful it was to be at the Defying Inequality benefit on Monday night in NYC. So if you get bored, don't give up just take a break, grab a snack, do some jumping jacks and come back because I think there are some really great clips and moments that you may find fun and interesting.
First let's talk about what a big girl I am for going to the city all by myself! What?! I know! Granted, I was only there for a grand total of less than 24 hours, but I navigated myself to eat and the show without getting lost or kidnapped! I say that is to be commended. Thank you to my lovely for perfect walking directions to our favorite eating establishment, Zen Palate, from the hotel. You amaze me with your sense of direction.
I also have to pat myself on the back for not getting treated like a tourist while on the street. I am happy to say that not once did I get asked to take a tour, take free comedy club tickets, buy discounted theatre tickets, or would I buy a CD. People, I looked like I belonged! The key is: dress in black, put your head down and don't make eye contact, cross the road against the cross-walk signs when possible and talk fast (Southern readers: dispense with the niceties. Be polite, but brief) I got a gold star!

Ok, so onto the show. If you are not up to speed on what I'm talking about, now would be a great time to make this jump and watch this clip:

The event was held at the beautiful Gershwin Theatre, currently the home of Wicked, and the sets were used throughout the production to add flair so that was nice. I never get tired of seeing the Time Dragon Clock.

The show opened with Prop 8: The Musical reenacted almost identically to the actual production that spread across the web last year. The poster for this video did a great job of splicing rehearsal right into the actual show footage. Take a look at this hysterical production that sets the stage and tone for the evening:

After a short comedy routine by Judy Gold and Carson Kressly, my BFF Stephanie J. Block came out to perform a beautiful song:

Unfortunately the person filming this didn't get a shot of the jumbo screens to the side showing a slideshow of Stephanie in her brother's actual wedding to his partner, and photos of her wedding recently to Sebastian. At the end during the applause when she points at the screen she proudly exclaimed, "That's my brother!" OK-I was blubbering!

After that the show began a series of musical numbers, speeches, dances and comedy routines that all centered around the theme of marriage equality. Because I am a total geek and I love to know what is happening on Broadway at all times, I was excited and overjoyed when anyone was announced. I found myself saying "wow" a lot as participants were announced. Broadway greats like Carole Shelley, Kerry Butler, Gavin Creel, Capathia Jenkins, Billy Porter, Malcolm Gets, Phyllis Newman, Chris Sieber, Tyne Daly, Marc Shaiman, David Hyde Perce, Jonathan Groff, John Gallagher, Jr., Nathan Lane and the wonderful, eloquent, and proud, Harvey Fierstein. Just to be in the room as Harvey read the letter he wrote to Barack Obama and mailed that very morning, asking him to step forth and be an example for the nation and help end prejudice and hate of all kinds was truly an experience. I just love Harvey and his beautiful mind.

There were also scads of television and movie celebrities on hand to share support and outrage: Jane Fonda, Cyndi Lauper, Allison Janney, Sally Struthers, Rue McClanahan, Mark Indelicato, Lynda Carter and...wait for it...Keith Olbermann who recited a portion of his rant heard round the world from last November:

Other great performances included:
Cast of the revival of "Hair"

Jane Fonda inspiring, cheering and supporting:
Cast of Spring Awakening with a twist on the song Totally Fucked:

Hysterical Seth Rudetsky doing what he does best---deconstructing:

As I mentioned in this week's Wowee Wednesday, Cyndi Lauper was on hand to lend support as only she can do and does quite regularly. One of our greatest allies in the straight world is Cyndi. Enjoy her contribution:

Bebe Neuwirth performs All That Jazz Mad Lib style:

Purple Haze from The Color Purple touring group brought the house down with this boy-friendly rendition of Single Ladies:

I hope you have enjoyed seeing just a taste of the show I was so honored to see. The cause is right. The intention is positive. The hearts are willing. The money is flowing in. This portion of the effort raised $400,000 Monday night. Is that the Bridal March I hear in the not too distant future?

1 comment:

Bren said...

WOW!!! I am so glad you had the opportunity to attend this amazing event. It makes me happy to see so many famous people take the time to show their support. Equal rights, man, that's all I'm askin'....