Marty Thomas, Mr. Xanadu, was crowned as winner of the 2nd Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant held Monday evening at New World Stages. Daniel Robinson (Mr. Hairspray) was named runner up. The event benefited the Ali Forney Center, which provides shelter to homeless LGBT youth in New York City.
Formerly titled Mr. Broadway, the evening featured male cast members representing their respective Broadway shows. Other contestants included Tommy Berklund (Mr. A Chorus Line), Austin Eyer (Mr. Curtains) and Joe Komara (Mr. Grease). Contestants competed for the title crown through talent, interview and swimsuit competitions. Crowning the winner was special guest Michael Riedel of the New York Post.
Each of the contestants went head to head in front of a panel of celebrity judges, but ultimately, the final vote was the hands of the audience. The judges were Seth Rudetsky (Rhapsody in Seth, Chatterbox, The Ritz), Hunter Bell ([title of show]) and Susan Blackwell ([title of show]). The evening was hosted by original Rent star Anthony Rapp.
Following the coronation, the audience was given the opportunity to make an additional donation to the Ali Forney Center, resulting in over $2,000 in cash raised at the door. Collectively, the event raised $15,000.
The Broadway Beauty Pageant was written and conceived by Jeffery Self and directed by Ryan J. Davis, with musical direction by Jack Aaronson. The pageant included original songs by Lisa Lambert (Tony Award-winner for The Drowsy Chaperone), Glen Kelly (The Producers, The Drowsy Chaperone) and Eric Svejcar (Caligula). The evening was produced by Ryan J. Davis and Jeffery Self in association with Tim Hur.
The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City. They are committed to providing LGBT youth with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met and where they can begin to put their lives back together. The center provides short‑ and long‑term housing in Manhattan and Brooklyn, plus free medical care, HIV testing, mental health services, showers, food, computer access and job training and placement at its drop‑in center in Chelsea. AFC is also dedicated to promoting awareness of the plight of homeless LGBT youth in the United States with the goal of generating responses on local and national levels from government funders, foundations and the LGBT community.