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Broadway Goes “Backwards” and Gets “Miscast”

January 30th, 2012

Alan Cumming in "Broadway Backwards 2011". Photo by Peter James Zielinski.

If New York, New York is a town so nice they named it twice, then I like to think that the format for two upcoming benefits, Broadway Backwards and Broadway Miscast, is an idea so zen they thought it again. (I’ll work on that.)

My point is, at first blush, the two events sound remarkably similar. In both cases, popular Broadway stars sing songs that they would never get to sing in a show, all to benefit a great cause. However, on closer inspection, there are a few differences…

Adam Pascal in "Memphis". Photo by Vincent Dilio.

Broadway Backwards (March 5 at the Hirschfeld Theater) is a concert event that will raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and The LGBT Community Center. The twist here is that male singers will sing songs meant for women and vice versa, with a decided romantic spin. If you sense something homoerotic in the air, that’s not Drakkar Noir circa 1993, it’s the intended focus of the event. The gender bending fun will include performances from Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon), Adam Pascal (be still my tight pants in Rent heart), Sierra Boggess (Master Class) and Chita Rivera (um…Chita Rivera!).

Broadway Miscast (March 26 at the Hammerstein Ballroom) is a fundraising gala featuring cocktails, dining and performances to raise money for MCC Theater and their Youth Company. Here, the stars aim for laughs not forbidden kisses, by singing songs from roles that they are absolutely inappropriate for (yes, this is hair splitting legalese). The current talent list includes Tony winners Laura Benanti (Gypsy), Norbert Leo Butz (Catch Me If You Can) and Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon)…plus two stars of the upcoming TV series Smash, Christian Borle and Megan Hitly.

In either case, both events are one-night-only spectaculars featuring can’t-miss performances. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some video from prior editions…


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