They say it’s better to give than receive. Well, how about doing a little of both with Priscilla Queen of the Desert‘s impossibly buff and impishly charming Nick Adams? Mr. Adams is raising money for this year’s AIDS walk New York by offering himself–as guide for a backstage tour–to anyone who bids $500 or more. There’s probably another couple bawdy jokes to be made about what you get to see on the tour, but I promise to rise above out of respect for the great cause he’s supporting. Judging by the photo, Nick, however, doesn’t seem to need any further support. (Well, that promise lasted half a sentence.)
In fact, from Mr. Adams’s generous offer to Larry Kramer’s pamphlet passing after performances of The Normal Heart ( as well as Broadway Bares fundraisers and Broadway Impact‘s grassroots organizing for marriage equality), there has been a vibrant cross-pollination between the theater world and LGBT activism of late. Two related stories recently caught my attention:
- The 23rd annual Lamda Literary Awards will be honoring three-time Pulitzer winning playwright Edward Albee at an event hosted by Lea DeLaria May 26th in New York City. In addition to Mr. Albee’s Pioneer Award, a full slate of LGBT authors will be toasted in a star-studded night. Get more info on tickets and nominees here.
- A small private foundation, the Mukti Fund, has announced grants totaling $157,800, awarded to thirteen queer youth theaters around the country. In a climate of recent headline-making suicides, these arts organizations provide a much-needed place for LGBT teens to have a voice, as well as forum to educate their peers about the serious consequences of bullying. For example, the groundbreaking About Face Theatre received $13,000 to expand its outreach to Chicago area high schools and community centers.
It’s truly gratifying to see people recognize that theater, with its immediacy and emotional resonance, has the power to communicate (and activate) like few other art forms. Any time I hear pundits bemoaning the death of “The Theatre”, I want to remind them that plays and musicals work their magic every day. Don’t judge the form’s vibrance by the thousands who crowd Broadway houses to see a revival or long-running show; look instead at the wide-eyed and inspired small groups sitting cross-legged on the floor at a local library or lined up to shuffle in to a school assembly. (Now, bring me a ladder; this soap box is higher than I thought.)