An online revival of the celebrated series of songs and monologues Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, starring a bevy of Broadway, television and film favorites, is set to stream on World AIDS Day – Tuesday, December 1, 2020. The virtual production, featuring 50 performers, will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is a celebration of the lives lost to AIDS told in free-verse monologues with a blues, jazz and rock score.
The stream is set to include performances from Brooks Ashmanskas (The Prom), Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde), Robin de Jesús (The Boys in the Band), Stephanie Gibson(Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Lana Gordon (Chicago), Alan H. Green (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Jayne Houdyshell (The Music Man), Famke Janssen (X-Men), Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera), Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play), Tari Kelly (Groundhog Day), Nathan Lane (The Producers), Norm Lewis (Once on This Island), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Andrea Macasaet (Six the Musical), Kevin McHale (TV’s “Glee”), Jessie Mueller (Carousel), Royina Patel, Anthony Rapp (Rent), Jeffery Roberson (Funny Girl), Krysta Rodriguez (Hercules), SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky, JK Simmons (Whiplash, TV’s “Law & Order”), Robin Lord Taylor (TV’s “Gotham”), Alysha Umphress (Scotland, PA), Anna Uzele (Six the Musical), Marisha Wallace (Waitress) and Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”). More stars will be announced later this month.
Created in the face of one pandemic and revived in another, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens features a book and lyrics by Bill Russell and music by Janet Hood. It premiered in 1989 as the AIDS crisis ravaged the country. Each monologue is written from the perspective of a character who died from AIDS. The songs represent the feelings of friends and family members dealing with the loss. It’s a show where “joy and hope and love seeps from its every pore,” as one reviewed noted. This stirring piece of theater history, shared this year on World AIDS Day, takes on new meaning amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The streaming of Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is being directed by Bill Russell and Justin Ross Cohen and produced by Jim Kierstead and Broadway Virtual, Jim Head, Sainty & Eric Nelsen, Rusty & Molly Reid, The Worx Productions LTD, Linda Karn and Ann Moore / Jane Furse, in association with The Abingdon Theatre Company. Musical direction is by Janet Hood and casting is by Stephen DeAngelis.
The stream is free and donations will be accepted for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at broadwaycares.org/elegies2020. Every dollar donated will help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism.
Watch the free stream at broadwaycares.org/elegies beginning at 5 p.m. ET on World AIDS Day, December 1. The show will be available through Saturday, December 5.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS has raised more than $300 million for essential services for people affected by HIV/ AIDS, COVID-19 and other critical illnesses across the United States.
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Samuel J. Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway Cares also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., providing lifesaving medication, healthy meals, counseling and emergency assistance.