The power of a ruthless dragging! As previously reported, Dreamgirls and The Color Purple star Jennifer Holliday had confirmed that she’d perform at the Presidential Inauguration “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” of The Color Orange on January 19th, claiming to do it “for the people.”
However, we’ve just received word that the Tony winner has opted to pull her performance after facing heavy backlash from the LGBT-community. Several members of the Broadway theatre community, including her former co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph, met the news with confusion and distress.
In a letter provided to The Wrap, Holliday apologized for being uneducated and “causing such dismay and heartbreak to [her] fans.” She further explained that she changed her mind after reading a story from The Daily Beast: “Jennifer Holliday Will Perform at Trump’s Inauguration, Which Is Heartbreaking to Gay Fans.”
We commend her for making the right choice. (read full letter below)
Previous performers who’ve announced their decision to drop out include Paul Anka and Andrea Bocelli. As of now,
Court Jester King Louie and his team are still struggling to snatch up any performer who might need a paycheck.
Confirmed artists include 3 Doors Down, Lee Greenwood, The Piano Guys, Toby Keith, The Radio City Rockettes, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and The Talladega Marching Tornados.
Ch’, some line-up.
Read Holliday’s full letter below:
TO MY BELOVED LGBT COMMUNITY:
Please allow me this opportunity to speak to you directly and to explain why I originally made my decision to perform at the inauguration which was what I had thought would be my simply keeping in my tradition of being a “bi-partisan songbird” having sung for Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush.
I was asked to sing a song for what was presented to me as the “Welcome Concert For The People”– in my mind I was reflecting on the past times of being asked to sing for presidents and I only focused on the phrase “For The People”… I thought, For America!
I was honestly just thinking that I wanted my voice to be a healing and unifying force for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country… Regretfully, I did not take into consideration that my performing for the concert would actually instead be taken as a political act against my own personal beliefs and be mistaken for support of Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I WILL NOT PERFORM FOR THE WELCOME CONCERT OR FOR ANY OF THE INAUGURATION FESTIVITIES!
I sincerely apologize for my lapse of judgement, for being uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.
Please know that I HEAR YOU and I feel your pain. The LGBT Community was mostly responsible for birthing my career and I am deeply indebted to you… You have loved me faithfully and unconditionally and for so many years you provided me with work even though my star had long since faded.
Thank you for communicating with me, I had no idea that I still meant so much to all of you.
Thank you for your posted comments both the good supportive ones as well as the ugly hurtful ones.
With LOVE & Appreciation,
“The Original DreamGirl”
Broadway said “What Blackout?!” and Took Their Talents Outside
The power went clean out in most of Manhattan on Saturday night. The Broadway League released a statement saying most of the shows were canceled and that the power should be restored before the following Sunday matinee. That did end up happening but right after the blackout happened casts of Broadway shows took to the streets to offer up their voices in song to the delight of the many people in the streets who were evacuated from the Broadway houses and neighboring establishments.
Take a look at what shows popped off in the streets of midtown Manhattan!
- Of course, Tony Award Winner André De Shields snaps off with the cast of Hadestown at the Walter Kerr Theatre
— Kimberly Marable (@misskimizzo) July 14, 2019
— Joe Harrell (@JoeHarrellNYC) July 14, 2019
2. The cast of Aint Too Proud singing Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” to someone in the crowd from their dressing room windows at the Imperial Theatre. The tweet with the video it’s the cast of Hamilton but twitter did its thing and they quickly corrected them. It was an honest mistake, Hamilton is right next door.)
— Antony (@lemonfuzz) July 14, 2019
3. The cast of Come From Away:
— Chad Kimball (@chadkimball1) July 14, 2019
— Billy Recce (@BillyRecce) July 13, 2019
4. The cast of Waitress:
— Dave Quinn (@NineDaves) July 14, 2019
5. The cast of Frozen:
— Robert Creighton (@RCreightonNYC) July 14, 2019
— Patti Murin (@PattiMurin) July 14, 2019
West Side Story’s Cool Reimagined by Los York Studios And It’s Pretty… Cool!
As described in their mission statement, Los York is “an integrated production company that executes live action, design, and experimental projects.” An older project of the company resurfaced recently, a reimagined rendition of West Side Story‘s “Cool” scene, is now circulating throughout the internet. The Emmy Award winner and director of the video, Seth Epstein has brilliantly captured the story of rivalry within two different ethnic groups, but this time with more melanin!
The electrifying footwork, where pirouettes are replaced with pop locking and break dancing in the place of battements, provides hope for bridging racial gaps and relieving tensions. This style is more interpretive, with urban based movements that add an extra layer to some of the barriers printed in the original 1957 production.One thing that I appreciate about the classic musical West Side Story is its transcendent nature and ability to comfortably conform to whatever generation of interest.
Above all else, West Side Story is a love story, a modernized interpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The timelessness in the modernized story–tension between two lovers of opposite gangs–reveals past and present issues found in American society however old and reoccurring they may be. The Los York video demonstrates that flexibility and once again creates an even bigger space for a fabulous classic.
Watch for yourself!
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