Monday night I attended Broadway Backwards, the annual benefit show by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which was wonderfully led by Tony Sheldon and my pal Jim Brochu, who played lonely older gay men looking for love in a world where most of their peers are gone due to AIDS. (Brochu was really looking, Sheldon was in denial and still mourning his late partner from 20 years earlier.) Broadway Backwards features show tune standards performed by the opposite gender for whom they were written. From the producers:
Broadway Backwards, the once-a-year celebration of the LGBT community, brought down the house March 18, 2013, while raising a record-setting $347,060 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center. The sold-out show left the audience cheering after unforgettable performances by an array of Broadway’s best, including Brian Stokes Mitchell, Karen Ziemba, Josh Young, Stephanie J. Block, Anthony Warlow and Tituss Burgess, who delivered a stirring recreation from Dreamgirls. This year’s show included a recurring story about a man on a personal journey, ultimately finding love in an unexpected place. Featured throughout the show were Tony nominee Tony Sheldon and Jim Brochu.
The running gag between Sheldon and Brochu was in their greetings to each other in every scene. Eve. Margot. Endora. Hagatha. And so on. Tituss Burgess (30 Rock’s D’Fwan and The Little Mermaid’s original Sebastian) indeed brought down the house with his Effie White and I was lucky enough to gush to him in person after the show. The full show should be available soon on DVD and I’ll let you know when. The previous three years of Broadway Backwards are on sale here.