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Music of Pride – Broadway

Gay men and showtunes go together like peanut butter and jelly, French fries and ketchup, drag queens and a Pride parade.  They’re simply made for each other.  Everyone has their favorite Broadway melody, and some gay men can sing entire scores by heart… Rogers & Hart.

For the LGBTQ Community, Broadway has long been a place of love, acceptance, and support. Something about musical theatre has always been welcoming, comfortable, and safe to our Community who grew up on the outside, were always picked last, and/or felt alone.  Yet in that darkened theater they knew, “there’s a place for us.”

Theatre actors and artists give life to the writers, composers, and lyricists’ work sharing our stories with the audiences coming to see their lives reflected in the performance. They speak to our struggles, hopes and joys in profound ways, somehow knowing what we’re feeling better than we know ourselves.

For many the ultimate expression of that is a musical, where emotions soar with every great song.  Many of those Broadway showtunes have taken on  deeper meanings in our Community and others have become pop culture anthems of Pride and empowerment.  We’d like to share some of our favorites.

The late, great Stephen Sondheim gave us this inspirational anthem from one of his most beloved shows, Merrily We Roll Along.  The current revival is up for seven Tony Awards including Best Revival.  It’s finale number, “Our Time” reminds us the future, our future, is in our hands and is up to us.

 

At the height of the AIDS crisis in 1992, Falsettos showed the world that love can tell a millions stories as well as the strength of our Community in the face of a plague.  “Here is [Michael Rupert] with Stephen Bogardus, Heather Mac Rae & Carolee Carmello performing “Unlikely Lovers” from the Los Angeles production of FALSETTOS by William Finn & James Lapine.”

 

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning RENT gave us the iconic anthem “Seasons of Love” in 1996 reminding us how precious our time together.

 

Often the deeper resonance of a great Broadway song is heard by us in profound ways which inspires new ways of interpreting them.  In this rendition, Brian Justin Crum and Kyle Dean Massey’s perform “Who Will Love Me As I Am?” from Sideshow, originally sung in the show by conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton.

 

2013’s Tony Award winning Best Musical Kinky Boots became a smash hit on Broadway and around the world for its message of loving yourself for who and what you are and learning to accept others as they are.  It’s finale, here performed by Tony winner and LGBTQ icon Billy Porter, is a jubilant anthem of affirmation.

 

From last year’s Tony nominated musical, Some Like It Hot comes “Fly, Mariposa, Fly.”  It’s sung by one man to another who is just spreading their wings of transformation and discovering they are more than they ever thought.  When later asked by their best friend, “What name should I call you?”  “It doesn’t matter as long as you say it with respect.”

 

As a Community and as individuals, we must tell anyone who would repeal our rights or push us back, we will not be silenced. We will tell our stories.  We will be Proud Out Loud!  This is “Make Them Hear You” from the Tony Award winning, Ragtime, performed by Ramin Karimloo.

 

Read our previous Pride Month 2024 posts:

“Proud Out Loud! – PRIDE 2024”
“Gilbert Baker’s Gift of Pride — The Rainbow Flag” 
“Make Your Voice Heard and Vote with Pride”
“Music of Pride – The Classics” 
“Amber Riley visits “MacArthur Park” for Pride: VIDEO”
“Pulse Massacre 8th Anniversary Remembrance” 
“Lady Bunny is Fired Up for ‘Hot Troll Summer’ Shows”
“Podcast: Pro Wrestler Comes Out, Pride Month TV + More” 

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