Four-time Tony nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Tovah Feldshuh hosted the sixth annual Broadway Beauty Pageant raising $75,000 which took place on March 19th, @ Symphony Space in NYC benefitting The Ali Forney Center. which provides shelter to homeless LGBT youth in NYC.
Photography: Barry Gordin
Jackie Hoffman (The Addams Family), pop culture columnist Michael Musto, and Tonya Pinkins (Caroline, or Change) judged the incredible lineup of talented contestants which included Andrew Chappelle (Mamma Mia!), Wilkie Ferguson III (Porgy and Bess), Corey Mach (Godspell), Jesse Swimm (Mary Poppins), and Anthony Wayne (Priscilla Queen of the Desert). Brent Barrett (Chicago) and past Pageant winners Frankie James Grande (Mamma Mia!), Michael Cusumano (Chicago) and Anthony Hollock (Hair) wowed the sold out crowd.. As previously announced, four-time Tony nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning actress Tovah Feldshuh will host.
The Broadway Beauty Pageant featured Chappelle, Ferguson, Mach, Swimm, and Wayne as they represented their respective Broadway shows, competing for the title crown through talent, interview, and swimsuit competitions. The contestants went head to head in front of the panel of celebrity judges, but ultimately, the final vote was in the audience’s hands. Past judges have included Bruce Vilanch, Carson Kressley, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Michael Musto, Christine Ebersole, Beth Leavel, Charles Busch, and Seth Rudetsky.
The Broadway Beauty Pageant was written and conceived by Jeffery Self and directed by Ryan J. Davis, with musical direction by Christopher Denny. The evening was presented by Time Warner NYC, HBO and The Corcoran Group, and produced by Ryan J. Davis, Wil Fisher, and Matthew Oberstein. The casting was by Daryl Eisenberg, lighting design by Brian Tovar, and choreography by Erin Porvaznika.
The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City. They have grown quickly to become the nation’s largest and most comprehensive organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youth. They are committed to providing LGBT youth with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met and where they can begin to put their lives back together. The center provides short and long term housing in Manhattan and Brooklyn, plus free medical care, HIV testing, mental health services, showers, food, computer access and job training and placement at its drop-in centers in Chelsea and Brooklyn.