By: James Ackerman
Why is Broadway Sings for Pride so important?
Being a young person identifying as gay was extremely difficult for me growing up, I felt like I didn’t fit in and I would never have a place where I could be who I am and be accepted. Broadway Sings for Pride is a group of artists that says it’s okay, it is okay to be proud of who you are. Broadway Sings for Pride performances are a celebration, a coming together of the community to celebrate who we are and who we’ve become. I know personally I have come a long way in accepting who I am from where I was just a few years ago.How did you get connected with the organization?While working on the Off-Broadway Revival of Let My People Come, Neal Bennington (Founder and Producer of Broadway Sings for Pride) connected with our producer John Forslund about doing a few appearances with Broadway Sings for Pride as a cast to help promote the show. Neal gave the men of LMPC the opportunity to appear in a performance at The Iguana Room, I remember walking into the technical rehearsal and feeling such a buzz of creative, electric energy. I got the chance to meet incredible artists like Recording Artist: Rachel Lorin, The Lion King’s Chondra Profit and American Idol’s Kimberley Locke. After having the chance to speak with and connect with these artists who are not only incredible performers, but incredible humans as well changed my whole outlook on the industry. It really is an amazing feeling getting to celebrate and play with these talented performers who have become close friends.What are you performing in the concert?
I am planning on revisiting a production that I worked on when I first moved to NYC: Avenue Q. I am going to be performing Princeton’s song “Purpose” the song is about not knowing what the future holds and where your place is in this incredible and challenging life that we live. Performing this piece is very nostalgic for me, Avenue Q was one of my first shows I got to work on when I moved to NYC fresh from graduating from college. When I did the production I got the chance to play several different roles my favorite of which was the looney Bad Idea Bear. I’m excited to have the chance to brush up my puppeteering skills and work with a puppet again! It is such an intricate craft, I remember being surprised that the subtlest little finger quiver can change the whole emotion of the puppet from the audience’s prospective.

What are you working on currently?Currently I’m working on a new musical revue show in Sarasota, Florida called Icons. The show was conceived and written by Jeffery Kin and Berry Ayers, and directed by Dennis Clark. The show is a whirlwind of energy and fun. I have the opportunity to play Cosmo Brown from Singing in the Rain, perform one of my favorite Elvis tunes, Jailhouse Rock and a bunch of other throwback iconic performances.

Tell us a little bit more about the concert that is coming up here in NYC.The concert is going to be June 22nd at 8PM at the JCC of Manhattan. This concert is extra special because it is the 5th year anniversary, and is during LGBT pride!