Celebrating Pride Week: Broadway Sings For Pride, Jacqueline Jonee, Terri White!

Of all the marvelous works of God, perhaps the one angels view with the most supreme astonishment, is a proud man.
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Charles Caleb Colton (1780-1832) British clergyman, sportsman and author.

Happy Monday!

I hope and trust that you all had a great weekend...and looking forward to an exciting week.
I actually like Mondays. I think of all the possibilities that lie ahead. This is Gay Pride Week in New York. What a wonderful world this would be if EVERYONE took pride in themselves and WITHOUT taking pride from another in the process. I ask that all who read this write three things that instills pride in you and three things that you are proud of and focus on those three things all this week.
I hope that Marriage Equality goes through in Albany today! Imagine how historic that would be!
Today, I am meeting at THE NETWORK to discuss the direction of my acting career and I am seeing Jacqueline Jonee'. (A little more about Jacqueline a little later in this blog). I hope to have photos and an interview for you tomorrow!
Celebrate all week long! We have a LOT to be proud of!
Whatever your proclivities, don't let the parade pass you by!
The Gay Pride March is an annual march more commonly referred to as the Pride Parade in New York City, traversing southward down Fifth Avenue and ending at Greenwich Village. The March passes by the site of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street, location of the 1969 police raid which launched the modern Gay Rights Movement.

The first NYC Gay Pride March was held in 1970 and is the oldest gay pride parade.

The March has been and will continued to be called a March not a Parade until the organizers believe there is full equality for the LGBTQ community.

The March, PrideFest (the festival) and the Dance on the Pier are the main events of Pride Week in New York City Gay Pride Week. Since 1984, Heritage of Pride (HOP) has been the producer and organizer of Pride Events in New York City.

Performers From Over 15 Broadway Productions To Perform at Charity Event for the LGBT Community Center of New York
Over fifteen Broadway and National Tour performers will join notable personalities on Monday, June 27, 2011 to celebrate New York City's Gay Pride at The LGBT Center in Manhattan.
Broadway Sings for Pride: A Benefit Concert, is being produced by Neal B of NealB.tv and will benefit The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.
Attendees will enjoy the vast array of songs from Lady Gaga
to The Beatles, along with a plethora of Broadway hits. Musical performances will feature cast members from The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Jersey Boys, Rent, Wonderland, Mamma Mia, Anything Goes and many more! Jim Lahti will serve as the evening’s musical director and Carly Jibson (Broadway’s Hairspray and Cry-Baby) will emcee. Musical accompaniment will be provided Jim Lahti on piano, Sean Harkness on acoustic & electric guitar and David Silliman on percussion. Kat Dudina and Mia Grottola, American Sign Language interpreters, will be signing for the hard of hearing and deaf community.
Audiences will also hear first-hand stories of pride from some of New York's famous: Sonja Morgan ("The Real Housewives of New York City"), Reichen Lehmkuhl (“The Amazing Race”, “The A-List: New York”), Randy Jones (multi-platinum recording artist, founding member of Village People), Darius de Haas (Broadway's Kiss of the Spider Woman, Carousel), Marti Cummings (Broadway Speaks OUT) and Matt Martin (Real Housewives of Twitter) will share their stories of pride.
Musical guests currently scheduled to perform are: Rory O'Malley (Broadway's "The Book of Mormon"),(pictured)
Raymond J. Lee (Broadway’s “Anything Goes”, “Mama Mia!”), Athena Reich (Singer/TV Personality, Outmusic Awards’s Best Outstanding Pop Song of 2009), Russell Fischer (Broadway's "Jersey Boys" ), Tracy McDowell (Broadway's Final Cast of "Rent"), Rebecca Larkin (Broadway's "Avenue Q" & "South Pacific"), Matt Leisy (Off Broadway's "The Fantasticks"), King Aswad ("Rent" Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles, "Rent" National Tour), Renee Marino (Broadway’s “West Side Story” “Wonderland”), Antoine L. Smith ("Cats" National Tour, Regional Tour of "Rent"), Luis Villabon (Associate Choreographer "A Chorus Line" National Tour, Off Broadway's "Naked Boys Singing"), Moeisha Mcgill (Broadway's "Rent" and "Mamma Mia"), Heather Parcells (Broadway's "Wonderland" "A Chorus Line", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"), Anthony Lee Medina (National Tour of "Spring Awakening"),(Pictured)
Jenn Furman (National Tour of "Wicked"), Erica Ash (Broadway’s “Baby It’s You”), Derek St. Pierre (Broadway’s “Rock of Ages”), Will Sheridan (Villanova basketball player, musician), Cristy Candler ("Wicked"), Cedric Leiba Jr. ("Miss Saigon" National Tour, "Rent" National Tour), Joshua Min (Singer/Songwriter), Tonya Thompson (Regional Tours of Little Shop of Horrors, Drowsy Chaperone)

The show will begin promptly at 7PM and will consist of speeches, and musical performances.

100% of the event’s proceeds will be given to The LGBT Community Center of New York City, an agency that serves as a focal point for LGBT education, social services, advocacy and community. According to the organization’s website, 6,000 New Yorkers and 300 groups meet at the community center every week. The LGBT Community Center of New York provides an amazing and almost incomprehensible array of services to LGBT New Yorkers.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center is located at 208 West 13th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit http://gaycenter.org/node/6779

This afternoon, I am excited that I get another chance to see Jacqueline Jonee, the world's premier Concert Pianist Drag Diva! It's been much too long!
Jacquline Jonee is the creation of John Nieman. The show today is titled SO FARI SO GOODY! and will be performed with The JouJou Philharmonic Orchestra (Simon Dratfield on Flute , Mark Haddad on bass, Josh Sarpen on Cello, and Jim Tsao on violin)There are two shows today (2:30 and 6PM. I will be at the 2PM show)
Admission is free. at The New York Public Library for The Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium. This is part of the Library's celebration of LGBT Pride month.

Check out Jacqueline Jonee's website.

Not only does she play the piano à la Liberace and Victor Borge mixing classical and popular music selections, she also sings and holds two beauty pageant titles including Mrs. Fire Island and Miss Cherries 1997, and was first runner up in the recent Miss New York City Pageant 1998. She has performed extensively on Fire Island and in New York at Don't Tell Mama, The Triad, The Oaks, Lips and at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. To learn more about the incomparable Jacqueline Jonée, visit the About section of her website!

(seen here with Christopher Collette, Photo credit: George Hedges)

Jacqueline Jonée is honored and thrilled to be invited back by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center for the fourth year in a row to perform at the Bruno Walter Auditorium as part of the Library’s celebration of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride month with her production of “Sofari So Goody.” Ms. Jonée’s previous appearances on this stage include “Jacqueline Jonée Comes Out to Play” (2010), “A Date With Liberace” (2009), and “Liberté, Égalité Jacqueline Jonée in Concert” (2008).
(Photo credit: George Hedges)
Ms. Jonée has appeared in many New York cabaret venues with such shows as “Jacqueline Jonée Comes Out To Play,” “Je m’Appelle Jacqueline,” “A Date with Liberace,” “Born on the 4th of Jonée,” and “Puttin’ On The Titz.” Guest performers have included James Followell and Uptown Express, Our Lady J, Tommy Femia, Bianca Leigh and Natalie Joy Johnson. For the past three years Ms. Jonée performed at Drag Show Video Verité a film by Dr. Joe Jeffries—a collaboration between The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center and New York University Drama Department. She was also part of the All Out Arts Festival and Fresh Fruit Festival Festivities at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Ms. Jonée was deeply honored to perform a concert at the closing ceremonies of World Pride 2006 in Jerusalem.

One of my favorite entertainers is wowing them at The Signature Theatre in Washington DC in FOLLIES. The good news is that show will be transferring to Broadway!

The even better news is that the entertainer I am referring to is Terri White! I have been in love with Terri ever since I saw her in Barnum 32 years ago!
Over the years I've seen her bring down the house at Radio City Music Hall stealing Liza's thunder in Liza's Stepping Out,

Loved Terri in NUNSENSE with my dear departed friend Dody Goodman
(she even spoke at Dody's memorial) and many other times over the years.
(seen here with Rue McClenahan)

Terri, I'm here to publicly tell you how much I love you and how much enjoyment you have given me over the years!

1999 MAC Award
1999 Bistro Award
1999 InTheater Award "Our Life and Times" (Director)
(Terri and Edrie Means Weekly, Photo credit: Edrie Means Weekly)

1997 MAC Award Best Piano Bar Entertainer
1976 Obie Award Distinguished Production "The Club"

Follies Cast, Crew and Orchestra
In this photo: Edrie Means Weekly (photo credit as well), Terri White, Florence Lacey Stella, Colleen Fitzpatrick, Jan Maxwell, Sara Edwards, Lora Lee Gayer, Kirsten Scott, David Quick, Leah Horowitz

(Photo credit Edrie Means Weekly)

Review for Finian's Rainbow - Irish Rep Theatre:
"Of particular note among the ensemble is Terri White, whose low, rafter-rattling alto turns the soulful, sassy "Necessity" into what would register as a show stopper even in Madison Square Garden."

- Ben Brantley, New York Times

God bless Terri White! A little over a year ago, Broadway veteran Terri White was homeless and sleeping in New York City's Washington Square Park.
(seen here with Ruth Warrick)
In 1980, White performed alongside Glenn Close in the Tony-nominated 'Barnum,' but her homeless friends had no idea about her former success.

More than 20 years later, her story of redemption is a true miracle.

White,is bringing down the house in the new revival of 'FOLLIES.' She's found love and is hopeful about her future.

The Kennedy Center's critically acclaimed production of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical Follies, which will transfer to Broadway this summer for a limited engagement at the Marquis Theatre, played its final performance at the Washington, DC, venue yesterday afternoon at 1:30 PM.

According to Andrew Gans at Playbill.com, Broadway casting and ticket information for the New York engagement will be announced soon. The New York Times reported that the New York production will also feature a 28-piece orchestra and will likely run through the winter holidays.

Edrie Means Weekly told me, "She is an amazing woman to cover -- Terri's number in Follies stopped the show every performance!!! Yesterday (the closing performance) the audience gave the number a standing ovation!!"

The starry $7.3 million Kennedy Center production is headed by two-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters as Sally Durant Plummer, four-time Tony nominee Jan Maxwell as Phyllis Rogers Stone, two-time Tony nominee Danny Burstein as Buddy Plummer, Ron Raines as Benjamin Stone and Olivier Award winner Elaine Paige as Carlotta Campion.
Summer is getting a little bit hotter here for us!

In addition to Terri White as Stella Deems, FOLLIES also boasts Terrence Currier as Theodore Whitman, Christian Delcroix as Young Buddy, Rosalind Elias as Heidi Schiller, Colleen Fitzpatrick as Dee Dee West, Lora Lee Gayer as Young Sally, Michael Hayes as Roscoe, Florence Lacey as Sandra Crane, Linda Lavin as Hattie Walker, Régine as Solange LaFitte, David Sabin as Dimitri Weismann, Kirsten Scott as Young Phyllis, Frederick Strother as Max Deems, Nick Verina as Young Ben, and Susan Watson as Emily Whitman.

Rounding out the ensemble are Lawrence Alexander, Brandon Bieber, John Carroll, Sara Edwards, Leslie Flesner (Young Dee Dee), Jenifer Foote (Young Hattie), Leah Horowitz (Young Heidi), Suzanne Hylenski (Young Solange), Danielle Jordan, Joe Kolinski, Amanda Larsen, Brittany Marcin, Edrie Means, Erin Moore (Young Stella), Pamela Otterson (Young Carlotta), Clifton Samuels, Kiira Schmidt (Young Sandra), Brian Shepard, Sam Strasfeld, Amos Wolff and Ashley Yeater.

Signature Theatre artistic director Eric Schaeffer directs the classic musical with choreography by Warren Carlyle (Finian's Rainbow).

James Moore serves as music director and conducts the 28-piece Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra.

The production also features scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Natasha Katz and sound design by Kai Harada. The musical utilizes Jonathan Tunick's original orchestrations.

Follies concerns a group of former "Follies" stars who return to the site of their former glory, the Weismann Theatre, which is about to be demolished. Old wounds resurface as two Follies stars (Phyllis and Sally) and their husbands (Benjamin and Buddy) reassess their lives and what could have been.

When Finnian's Rainbow came along, Terri said, ""I hadn't had a Broadway show in 20 years, and I felt like New York didn't want me," she told BV Newswire. "I stayed here hoping I would get another show, and after 20 years, your hope runs dry. Not only that, but a roof over my head and everything else dried up, too."

White's in-between gig of singing in local piano bars didn't work out after several legendary New York City clubs closed. When she was kicked out of a friend's house after few months of sleeping on the couch, she began sleeping on park benches.

Terri, again, I LOVE YOU and I cannot wait to see you back on Broadway where you belong!


Broadway-Bound Follies Plays Final Performance at Kennedy Center June 19
By Andrew Gans
19 Jun 2011

Terri White: Different Kind of Christmas for Once Homeless Broadway Star
By Bridget Bland on Dec 22nd 2009

Edrie Means Weekly

Here is my friend John Tantillo's take on the recent Anthony Wiener scandal!


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