Only one show in town features 14 Tony-Award nominations, including three winners. An array of Broadway stars will come together for a gender-bending concert on Monday, February 26, 2007. Broadway Backwards 2 (BB2) will showcase a line-up of male singers performing songs traditionally performed by female singers, and vice versa, with all proceeds going to support the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Center in New York City. The show will feature such luminaries as Betty Buckley
and Charles Busch
, along with rising stars Constantine Maroulis
(TV's American Idol) and recently added Ana Gasteyer
, TV's Saturday Night Live) and Tituss Burgess
, the Lion in the revival of The Wiz).
The View's Rosie O'Donnell, who will perform "Summer Nights" from Grease in BB2, said, "This is a great event, and it supports a great cause. The Center is a critical part of the LGBT community and the fabric of New York City culture."
"Hearing two women sing 'If I Loved You' or a man croon 'Can't Help Lovin' That Man' brings the kind of freshness, honesty, and intimacy audiences crave," said BB2 Musical Director Mark Janas. "Celebrating the important work of the Center with the songs of musical theatre greats like Rodgers and Hammerstein and Stephen Sondheim seems to be one gay marriage few could find fault with. I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner!"
In addition to Tony-Award winner Buckley, O'Donnell and Maroulis, the star-studded cast of BB2 includes Charles Busch, Richard Kind, Liz Callaway, and Len Cariou and Tony Roberts (who will perform a duet of "Class" from Chicago). The concert was originally conceived and is directed by Robert Bartley and hosted by Seth Rudetsky.
The complete lineup includes Ken Alan (A Chorus Line), Brad Anderson (A Chorus Line), Gary Beach (Tony-Award winner for The Producers), Betty Buckley (Tony-Award winner for Cats), Tituss Burgess (Jersey Boys), Charles Busch (Tony-Award nominee for The Tale of the Allergist's Wife), Liz Callaway (Tony-Award nominee for Baby), Len Cariou (Tony-Award winner for Sweeney Todd), Paul Castree (Movin' Out), Ana Gasteyer (Wicked), Nina Hennessey (Dreamgirls), Megan Jacoby (HBO's All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise), Richard Kind (The Producers), Anika Larsen (Rent), Constantine Maroulis (TV's American Idol), Michael McElroy (Tony-Award nominee for Big River), Rosie O'Donnell (TV's The View), Kate Pazakis (Newsical), Kate Reinders (Wicked), Tony Roberts (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife), Colin Sheehan, Jason Michael Snow, Tony Yazbeck (A Chorus Line).
At last year's inaugural concert, the theatre community showed its support for the LGBT Community Center with this one-night-only, star-studded Broadway benefit concert. The evening featured classic show tunes with a twistóAndrea Burns delivered a tender rendition of "Maria" from West Side Story and Tony-Award nominee Michael McElroy sang "One Night Only" from Dreamgirls. Matt Cavenaugh and Cheyenne Jackson's performance of "We Kiss in a Shadow" was named Best Dynamic Duet of 2006 by Playbill.