Posts Categorized: Activism and Charity

Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz

Dear Smithsonian Museums – Why Do You Exclude Broadway?

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Last weekend I went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History with a friend. It was great to see that they had a ton of amazing displays and exhibits like the dresses of the First Ladies and an exhibit for American Films and the movie industry. They even had a singing performance that reminded me of the Scottsboro Boys that you could watch and participate with. The one thing missing was an exhibit about the only art that has ever originated in America which is Musical Theatre.

There were plays in Ancient Greece and there were operas in Italy. You could watch ballet in Russia, but there was absolutely no version of Musical Theatre until the Americans created it and made it famous. Now you can find shows everywhere from the West End in London to Scandinavia, Australia and virtually every modern country. That is why I was shocked that the Smithsonian Museum of American History ignored America’s only original contribution to the fine arts.

Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz

Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz

They did have Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers on display which is a movie musical, but that is part of America’s History with Film and movies, not pure Broadway. They have Archie Bunker’s chair on display which is great because it was such an iconic show that could represent a generation, however only those generations would recognize the name Archie Bunker. When you say Star Spangled Banner, everyone in the US in just about every generation will recognize the name, even if they don’t know it is an actual flag, because of the song written by Francis Scott Key, just like almost everyone in the US would think theatre, singing and dancing when you say Broadway.

Something that is so widely recognized and loved around the world that originated in the USA has been excluded from the Smithsonian Museum of American History and I think it is an absolute shame. Displays and merchandise should be easy to get as well as donations of sets, costumes and even playbills would be fairly easy to acquire. They could have interactive displays to make kids and adults enjoy it like match a note with a famous star and get people to sing, as well as trying to memorize lines and repeat them back. They could play cast recordings, video clips from stage productions and really spark memories from people who have grown up with Broadway and loving Musical Theatre.

I don’t know if there is a reason that they don’t have an exhibit or even mention Broadway in the Smithsonian Museum of American History, but I hope that they choose to create a display, and I would be more than happy to donate my time and energy to helping them build it. Broadway is one of the most important forms of art in the world and the only one that originated in America. There is a great documentary called Broadway, The American Musical that I watch and they have a Matching CD set that is available and I hope that the Smithsonian Museum of American History finds this, watches it and discovers why and how Broadway has been a huge piece of American history and why it deserves to have it’s own exhibit in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Top Ten Broadway Songs for GLBT Youth Bullying

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So I am not going to be able to make it to the You Are Not Alone Benefit in NYC tomorrow night which sucks because the line up and the cause is amazing.  Luckily my friend is probably going to go which also means that she can do a review for us.  Betty Buckley will be performing there and she is one of the only Broadway Stars I haven’t been able to see yet which is why it is a double disappointment that I cannot make it to the show.  At the same time I’ll hopefully be able to get to see her at some point at another show as she is still performing and has not retired.

I highly recommend this show as it is a once in a lifetime event and for a good cause.   You also get to see a ton of amazing performers for only $25.  You cannot beat the price of the event and at the same time when else are you going to find that much talent in one place and for that price?  Anyways, even though I can’t make it to the show, I wanted to share the top ten broadway showtunes that I think would be perfect for the You Are Not Alone Benefit in NYC.

broadway songs about bullying and self esteem

1.  No One Is Alone from Into The Woods.  There is a rumor that this is the song that Betty Buckley will be singing.  Not only is it amazing and may make you cry, but it is perfect for reminding gay teens that life does get better and that they actually are not alone.

2. This next song is called I believe in you from How To Succeed in Business without Ever really trying. Although it sounds funny that this song and show would be on a list for Gay Teens and gay teen suicide, it is a song that teaches you to believe in yourself and to be confident, even when there is a group of bullies out to stop you. Knowing that it gets better and that you are doing your best and being confident in yourself is what can help to make you survive and push through being bullied because you are gay.   That is why this song made it onto this list.

3. Hold On from the Secret Garden. This song always makes me tear up when I hear it. It is a gorgeous song about holding on when things get bad and reminds you to be strong. Being bullied and being gay can be lonely and scary and this song is about holding on and surviving through it. It is not only a gorgeous song but one that you can listen to and understand why it is perfect for this list of the top ten broadway songs for gay teens who are being bullied or thinking about suicide.

4. Not While I’m Around from Sweeny Todd. One of Stephen Sondheim’s greatest shows is Sweeny Todd. We all know it is about killing people but when the young guy finds out that Benjamin is murdering people, he wants to protect his adopted mom. Some gay teens are lucky enough to have a friend or a family member who is there to protect them and because of the security that that adds to their lives, this song made it on the list of the top ten broadway songs for GLBT youth and gay teen suicide.

5. Whose Got Extra Love from Zanna Don’t. So this show never really took off but I didn’t want to have only sappy and sad songs on this list. Zanna Don’t is a show about an alternate reality where everyone is gay and there are two straight people that want to be in love with each other. In their world they aren’t able to be in love or they’ll be made fun of and picked on. It is basically the exact opposite of the real world or the one we live in and it is kind of funny to watch everything in reverse. Although this isn’t one of the songs that would be relevant to gay teen suicide and bullying, it is upbeat and fun. Here is whose got extra love from Zanna Don’t.

6. Three Bedroom House from Bat Boy. The reason I chose this song from Bat Boy the Musical is because it is about Bat Boy finding a way out of being picked on and made fun of. The Mom and Daughter decide to take him and move out of town where they can get a three bedroom house in the country, plastic surgery and live a normal life away from all of the bullies in the city. This seems like a great plan until the mom finds out her daughter is in love with Edgar (Bat Boy). All of the sudden things change but the Mom does start to accept them and still loves Bat Boy because she knows it isn’t his fault.

7. If You Were Gay from Avenue Q.  This song made the list not only because the amazingly talented and very cute John Tartaglia will be performing at the show, but because I wanted to have a few more non sappy and fun songs on the list of the top ten broadway songs for GLBT youth.  I thought that If You Were Gay from Avenue Q is the perfect song to remind gay teens that it is ok to be gay and that there are people out there who don’t care and will love you regardless.

8. Maybe from Annie. How could you not have a song from Annie on this list? Not only were they stuck in an orphanage with Miss Hanagen, but they all wanted something better.  Annie not only toughed it out but she never gave up.  Maybe from Annie is a great song for gay teens to think about when things get tough and to help them remember that if Annie and all of the rest of us can make it through being a gay teen, they can to.

9. On My Own from Les Miserables.  There are a million songs from Les Miserables that are perfect for this list.  I dreamed a dream to Bring him home and Castle on a Cloud and even One Day More are all perfect, but the one that most people would know and that many gay teens can relate to has to be On My Own. Not only do some gay teens feel alone but they can picture themselves walking through the streets alone at night and knowing that other people may not get them or get what they are trying to say.  They just sometimes feel invisible to their families and everyone else thinks less of them or like they are on the outside looking in.  This song not only relates to them but can also let them get some tears out.  Although the character does not survive the show, she never gave up and she fought for what was right and what she believed in.  The point of On My Own being on this list of the top ten broadway songs for gay teens and youth is to show you that just because you feel alone it doesn’t mean you are.  This is one of the most beautiful songs on broadway and one that almost everyone knows and loves.

10. Up There from South Park. This is actually a beautiful song, even though it is from South Park. The whole point of it is to remember that there are better things for you out there and that you just have to be patient.  High school is only 4 years long and not your entire life.  Just be patient and when it is over you can get out and move to a city with more gay people and more people that you can fall in love with or who get and accept you for who you are.  Although it isn’t a show that most people wouldn’t think would be a good fit for this list, Up There from the South Park movie is perfect for the top ten broadway songs for gay teens and gay teen suicide.

There are a million more songs I would have loved to include on this list but I needed to narrow it down to top the top ten broadway songs for gay teens and GLBT youth bullying.  There are songs from Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, Showboat and many more with perfect fits for this list.  If you have one you want to share or that you think would be a good fit, feel free to leave a comment below and I may add it into this list.  Also, if you get a chance to go to the You Are Not Alone Benefit in NYC starring Betty Buckley, Seth Rudetsky, John Tartaglia and many more, go because it is not only for an amazing cause but you will also get to see a ton of amazing performers and Actors.

Seth Rudetsky’s You Are Not Alone Benefit NYC

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This coming week, XM Sirius superhost Seth Rudetsky is hosting a charity even with an incredible all star line up to help bring awareness to gay teen bullying and gay teen suidice called the You Are Not Alone Benefit.   There has been a large rise in gay teen suicide in the last few months, if you remember I did this post on gay teen bullying and gay teen suicide and thought that Louder Than Words from Tick Tick Boom was the perfect song for it, and unfortunately many of these kids have nowhere to turn to and no where to go.  Not only does it feel horrible to be alone, but celebrities left and right have been pitching in their voices and support to help stop gay teen suicide and Seth Rudetsky is doing the same with the You Are Not Alone Benefit.  Here is a brief background from what I can gather about the event from the site, some of the performers and of course where you can buy tickets, etc…

The You Are Not Alone Benefit in NYC to support The Trevor Project.  Buy Tickets Here!

The You Are Not Alone charity benefit for The Trevor Project is a first time event hosted by Seth Rudetsky and some of his amazingly talented friends.  It is a way to help bring awareness for gay teen suicide and to help raise money for the new leading gay teen suicide resource, The Trevor Project.  Seth Rudetsky and other Broadway Stars like Betty Buckley, Aaron Lazar, John Tartaglia and many more are all coming together for a one night for an extremely affordable performance on Monday, November 22 at 8pm sharp.

The address for the Seth Rudetsky You Are Not Alone Benefit is:

St. Paul the Apostle Church

Columbus Avenue @ W. 60 St. in New York City.

The performance starts at 8pm sharp, but cocktails start at 7pm so don’t be late.  Tickets range from $25 to $100 and are more than worth it.  There is also a silent auction with a ton of amazing designer gifts including Tom Ford, Hermes and others.  The Seth Rudetsky You Are Not Alone Benefit is going to be one of the most amazing Broadway charity benefit shows and it is a definite event that you cannot miss.

The performers.

Seth Rudetsky. @SethRudetsky on twitter.

Seth is one of my favorite hosts on Sirius XM radio.  Besides being a broadway host 7 days a week, Seth Rudetsky is an extremely talented piano player who has played for shows including Ragtime, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera.  Seth was not only the music producer and director for the first five annual Actors Fund Fall Concerts, but he is also an accomplished Actor both on and off Broadway.  He is a definite amahhhzing performer.

The talented, Ms. Betty Buckley.  @BettyBuckley on Twitter.

If you don’t know who Betty Buckley is then you need to go back to broadway 101.  Betty Buckley is a Broadway Legend who not only helped to make shows like Cats famous, but she has also appeared in Carrie, Song & Dance and one of my favorite roles ever, Norma Desmond in the incredible Andrew Lloyd Weber show Sunset Boulevard.  She has also played iconic characters like the mom in Gypsy Rose Lee.  Seeing Betty Buckley alone is worth 5 or ten or even a hundred times worth the price of admission to this event.  To see her combined with all of the other performers is priceless.  I don’t know if I heard correctly so I am going to say that it is a rumor that one of the songs you may hear from Betty Buckley at the You Are Not Alone charity event is one of my favorites, No One Is Alone from the Stephen Sondheim show Into The Woods.  Here is Bernadette Peters singing No One Is Alone from Into the Woods.

Mr. Aaron Lazar.

You may remember me mentioning Aaron Lazar in my post about when I went to the Kennedy Center to see Liza Minnelli perform.  Aaron blew us away that night by singing classic showtunes but with an Opera sound.    Not only has he starred in revivals of shows like Les Miserables, but he has also appeared on TV shows like Ugly Betty and The Today Show.  Aaron is an incredible talent and to get to see him with some of the other performers is an added bonus that you will all go crazy for.

John Tartaglia.

Have you ever heard of a small show called Avenue Q.  Enough said.  Tons of talent and an amazing ability to entertain, John Tartaglia is an incredible actor that you will instantly fall in love with.

Seth Rudetsky’s You Are Not Alone charity benefit for The Trevor Project is a must attend event that I highly recommend going to.  You cannot beat the price for the tickets with the talent that will be there, but more importantly it is going to support an incredible cause.

Tick Tick Boom – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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So I was watching a video clip on gay bullying last night and it actually got me to start to cry.   Not only has there been a huge uprising in gay bullying, but there are people out there making it seem like gay  bullying and gay teen suicide which is also on a huge rise is a good thing.  They are saying toughen up and that mainstream media shouldn’t be making a big deal out of it which is something that I 100% disagree with.  I was reading this article on gay teen bullying and gay teen suicide and thought that it is something that is not only worth mentioning but also including in a post here on BroadwayReviewed.com.  It also got me to remember one of my favorite showtunes, Louder Than Words from Tick Tick Boom.

Broadway is the home to many gay people and a ton of talented young men and women who aspire to share their talents with the world.  They can sing, write, dance, act, play a character and take audiences to another time or even another world and to lose even one straight or gay person to bullying is absolutely unacceptable.  Think of all the talented people we lose every year to diseases like Breast Cancer, AIDS, Drugs and everything else.  For someone who could grow up to entertain millions of people, who could be the person who cures any of the diseases above or even someone who can make one person smile when they are down to take their own life because they were being bullied for being gay.

There was this absolutely horrible person I got into a fight on facebook with because in my opinion he was supporting gay teen bullying and justifying gay teen suicide and saying that people shouldn’t be making a big deal about it because they want to push their beliefs on others, I almost lost it.  Instead I said that I’ll be watching him from heaven, and yes Cher will be there when he goes to hell because in reality Christianity is about loving one another and not spreading hate and hurting others.  Anyways, that whole back and forth fight made me remember a song from the Broadway Musical Tick Tick Boom by Jonathan Larson.

Louder Than Words from Tick Tick Boom is not only an amazing song but I think it is the perfect song for people who have grown up and gone through wanting to commit suicide because of being gay bullied or because they know what these kids are going through.  In the article I linked from above, these kids have it much worse than we did when we were in high school trying to make it through the day and the reason I think that Louder Than Words from Tick Tick Boom is the perfect song for these kids is because it makes anyone who grew up and was bullied for being gay would be inspired to help prevent gay teen bullying and help to actually make a difference.  The post goes through some things that you can do and what I like most about it is that it actually brings out a good point, this is one cause where one person can actually make a difference.  Louder Than Words from Tick Tick Boom is not only an amazing song but it is also inspirational.  I highly encourage you to listen to it and play it for other people and then find a way to help your community develop a safe haven or a safety program not only for gay teen youth, but to help stop bullying for all teens and kids in school.

Bullying isn’t just calling people names anymore.  It is posting pictures and videos of them on the internet that can last forever and it is about harassing them 24 hours a day instead of just during school hours.  Gay teen bullying and gay teen suicide from gay teen bullying needs to stop and people need to start taking action to help prevent it.  Below is Louder Than Words from Tick Tick Boom as well as the video that actually got me to cry and also a great clip of Martin Sheen ripping the Christianity argument to shreds.  The article I linked to has the Ellen Video, the Fox news video and I highly recommend the Tim Gunn one as well.  Being gay is not a sin and there is so much more to life than the assholes you may have to deal with when you are younger.  Life gets better and you have to tough it through it.  Being bullied is not fun and eventually you will be able to get away from it.  If you are a gay teen, trust me, life gets better.  You don’t have to stay in your town for your entire life and you will meet thousands of people just like you.  You will have rights and the bullying will end.  Tough it out and remember that life does get better.