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Tony Awards 2019: ‘Boys in the Band,’ ‘The Cher Show’ pick up wins

‘Hadestown’ leads with triumphs for eight categories

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The cast of ‘The Boys in the Band’ at the 2019 Tony Awards. (Screenshot via YouTube)

“The Boys in the Band” received the award for Best Revival of a Play at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday making 83-year-old playwright Mart Crowley the oldest playwright to win the award.

The play tells the story of a group of gay friends who gather together to celebrate a friend’s birthday in pre-Stonewall New York City. It opened off-Broadway in 1968. For the play’s 50th anniversary, the production was revived in 2018 with co-producer Ryan Murphy and director Joe Mantello.

The openly gay revival cast included Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Tuc Watkins and Michael Benjamin Washington.

Murphy is also planning a film adaptation for Netflix featuring the Broadway cast.

Crowley dedicated the award to the original cast in his acceptance speech.

“I’d like to dedicate the award to the original cast of nine brave men, who did not listen to their agents when they were told that their careers would be finished if they did this play,” Crowley said. “They did it, and here I am.”

“Hadestown” was the big winner of the evening, which was hosted by James Corden, coming in with eight wins.

Bisexual actress Ali Stoker, also known for her work on “The Glee Project,” won Best Featured Actress in a Musical for portraying Ado Annie in the “Oklahoma!” revival.

Stephanie J. Block won Best Actress in a Musical for playing Cher in “The Cher Show.” Legendary costume designer Bob Mackie and longtime Cher collaborator also won Best Costume Design in a Musical for “The Cher Show.” Cher celebrated the multiple wins with an emotional tweet.

Gay winners continued to dominate the night with Robert Horn winning Best Book of a Musical for “Tootsie,” Sergio Trujillo winning Best Choreography for The Temptations musical “Ain’t Too Proud” and André DeShields winning Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Broadway hit “Hadestown.”

The Tonys included some starring looks including Billy Porter who rocked the rainbow-backdropped red carpet, which honored World Pride, with a Celestino Couture created from the velvet curtains of “Kinky Boots.” Porter won a Tony Award for starring in the musical in 2013. The outfit is reportedly meant to resemble women’s reproductive organs in a stand for abortion rights.

“The Prom” cast also performed and included the kiss that made history at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for being the first same-sex kiss to air on the televised parade.

Check out the list of winners below.

Best Play
“Choir Boy”
“Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
“Ink”
“The Ferryman”
“What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best Musical
“Ain’t Too Proud”
“Beetlejuice”
“Hadestown”
“The Prom”
“Tootsie”

Best Revival of a Play
“All My Sons”
“Burn This”
“The Boys in the Band”
“The Waverly Gallery”
“Torch Song”

Best Revival of a Musical
Kiss Me, Kate
“Oklahoma!”

Best Book of a Musical
“Ain’t Too Proud” by Dominique Morisseau
“Beetlejuice” by Scott Brown and Anthony King
“Hadestown” by Anaïs Mitchell
“The Prom” by Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin
“Tootsie” by Robert Horn

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
“Be More Chill” by Joe Iconis
“Beetlejuice” by Eddie Perfect
“Hadestown” by Anaïs Mitchell
“The Prom” by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Adam Guettel
“Tootsie” by David Yazbek

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Paddy Considine, “The Ferryman”
Bryan Cranston, “Network”
Jeff Daniels, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Adam Driver, “Burn This”
Jeremy Pope, “Choir Boy”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Annette Bening, “All My Sons”
Laura Donnelly, “The Ferryman”
Elaine May, “The Waverly Gallery”
Laurie Metcalf, “Hillary and Clinton”
Janet McTeer, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”
Heidi Schreck, “What the Constitution Means to Me”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, “The Prom”
Derrick Baskin, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Alex Brightman, “Beetlejuice”
Damon Daunno, “Oklahoma!”
Santino Fontana, “Tootsie”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, “The Cher Show”
Caitlin Kinnunen, “The Prom”
Beth Leavel, “The Prom”
Eva Noblezada, “Hadestown”
Kelli O’Hara, “Kiss Me, Kate”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Bertie Carvel, “Ink”
Robin De Jesús, “The Boys in the Band”
Gideon Glick, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Brandon Uranowitz, “Burn This”
Benjamin Walker, “All My Sons”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Fionnula Flanagan, “The Ferryman”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Kristine Nielsen, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Julie White, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Ruth Wilson, “King Lear”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
André De Shields, “Hadestown”
Andy Grotelueschen, “Tootsie”
Patrick Page, “Hadestown”
Jeremy Pope, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Ephraim Sykes, “Ain’t Too Proud”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lilli Cooper, “Tootsie”
Amber Gray, “Hadestown”
Sarah Stiles, “Tootsie”
Ali Stroker, “Oklahoma!”
Mary Testa, “Oklahoma!”

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Bunny Christie, “Ink”
Rob Howell, “The Ferryman”
Santo Loquasto, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Jan Versweyveld, “Network”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Peter England, “King Kong”
Rachel Hauck, “Hadestown”
Laura Jellinek, “Oklahoma!”
David Korins, “Beetlejuice”

Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, “The Ferryman”
Toni-Leslie James, “Bernhardt/Hamlet”
Clint Ramos, “Torch Song”
Ann Roth, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Ann Roth, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Michael Krass, “Hadestown”
William Ivey Long, “Beetlejuice”
William Ivey Long, “Tootsie”
Bob Mackie, “The Cher Show”
Paul Tazewell, “Ain’t Too Proud”

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, “Ink”
Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”
Peter Mumford, “The Ferryman”
Jennifer Tipton, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, “Network”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, “The Cher Show”
Howell Binkley, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Bradley King, “Hadestown”
Peter Mumford, “King Kong”
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, “Beetlejuice”

Best Sound Design of a Play
Adam Cork, “Ink”
Scott Lehrer, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Fitz Patton, “Choir Boy”
Nick Powell, “The Ferryman”
Eric Sleichim, “Network”

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, “Beetlejuice”
Peter Hylenski, “King Kong”
Steve Canyon Kennedy, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Drew Levy, “Oklahoma!”
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, “Hadestown”

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, “Ink”
Sam Mendes, “The Ferryman”
Bartlett Sher, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
Ivo van Hove, “Network”
George C. Wolfe, “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus”

Best Direction of a Musical
Rachel Chavkin, “Hadestown”
Scott Ellis, “Tootsie”
Daniel Fish, “Oklahoma!”
Des McAnuff, “Ain’t Too Proud”
Casey Nicholaw, “The Prom”

Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, “Choir Boy”
Warren Carlyle, “Kiss Me, Kate”
Denis Jones, “Tootsie”
David Neumann, “Hadestown”
Sergio Trujillo, “Ain’t Too Proud”

Best Orchestrations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, “Hadestown”
Simon Hale, “Tootsie”
Larry Hochman, “Kiss Me, Kate”
Daniel Kluger, “Oklahoma!”
Harold Wheeler, “Ain’t Too Proud”

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Photos

PHOTOS: Miss Gay Maryland 2022

Amethyst Diamond crowned pageant winner

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Amethyst Diamond is crowned Miss Gay Maryland 2022 on Oct. 1 at the Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Md. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The winners and alternates of Miss Glamour Girl, Miss Gay Freestate and Miss Gay Western Maryland competed for the title of Miss Gay Maryland America 2022 at Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore, Md. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Special guest performers included Miss Gay Maryland 2021 Maranda Rights and Miss Gay America 2022 Dextaci.

Amethyst Diamond was crowned the winner with Dezi Minaj designated the first alternate. Both are eligible to compete in the Miss Gay America pageant in Little Rock, Ark. in January, 2023.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Sports

Scottish pro Zander Murray inspires fellow soccer player to come out as gay

Murray, 30, came out during an interview posted on the website of his club, saying “the weight of the world is now off my shoulders”

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Screenshot/YouTube

Two weeks after making headlines as the first-ever senior Scottish pro soccer player to come out as gay, Zander Murray is revealing the impact his courageous decision has had on at least one closeted player. Murray tweeted a message he received that shows the difference an athlete coming out can make. 

“I just wanted to tell you that you’ve been a massive inspiration for me to come out to teammates and family,” the anonymous player told Murray, according to the tweet. 

“As a young footballer I find it difficult to be myself as it is but being gay and keeping it secret was so challenging. It felt amazing when I told my teammates, they were super supportive.” 

Murray shared the message with a heart emoji and the words: “Makes it all worthwhile young man.”

Murray, 30, came out during an interview posted on the website of his club, the Gala Fairydean Rovers, on September 16, explaining “the weight of the world is now off my shoulders.”

Screenshot/YouTube

As the Los Angeles Blade has reported, Jake Daniels of Blackpool came out as gay in May, the first U.K. male pro soccer player to come out in more than 30 years. Justin Fashanu was the first in Britain men’s soccer to come out back in 1990. Homophobic and racist media reports drove Fashanu to suicide eight years later. 

Reaction to Murray’s coming out last month has been “incredible,” he’s told reporters. One of those reaching out to congratulate him was Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley. The U.K. diver sent him a DM, Murray told a British interviewer. 

“He messaged me while I was on my way back from football training in a car with four boys. I had tears in my eyes seeing his direct message, and I messaged him back.

“I said, ‘Look I am in a car on the way back from football with four boys and I’ve got tears in my eyes and I don’t even care.’”

Prior to coming out, Murray had been “living in fear 24/7,” he told Sky Sports. “I can’t explain it. You’re hiding your phone in case you get messages from friends, constantly double-checking if you have a team night out, you’re cautious with what you’re saying.

“It’s very hard, especially for myself, I’m a character in that dressing room. I’m not quiet in that dressing room, I like to have the banter and to get stuck in, so very challenging.”

But Murray said he couldn’t have decided to come out “at a better time, at a better club.” So why now? He posted the answer on Instagram with several bullet points, including:

  • “Gay male footballers in the UK need role models. 
  • Majority are terrified to come out to friends/family/teammates (trust me a few have reached out already!).”

STV Weekend News Sunday, September 18, 2022 Zander Murray

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Movies

Celebrate Judy Garland’s centennial by watching her movies

The dazzling force of nature made 34 films

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‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ is one of Judy Garland’s iconic film roles.

When the world ends, aficionados will still be watching their favorite Judy Garland movies.

Queer icon Garland was born 100 years ago this year (on June 10, 1922).

Everyone knows how tragic much of Garland’s life was. MGM feeding her uppers and downers when she was a child. Bad luck with husbands. Getting fired from movies because of her addiction issues. Her death at age 47.

You can’t deny that Garland’s life was often a mess. Yet, it’s too easy to encase Garland into a box of victimhood.

Contrary to the misperception of her as a sad figure, Garland wasn’t a morbid person. She was a fabulous comedian and clown, John Fricke, author of “The Wonderful World of Oz: An Illustrated History of the American Classic,” told the Blade in 2019. Lucille Ball said Garland was the funniest woman in Hollywood, Fricke said. “‘She made me look like a mortician,’ Lucy said,” he added.

In the midst of the sentimentality and morbidity shrouding her legacy, you can readily forget Garland’s prodigious talent and productivity.

Garland was a consummate, multi-faceted, out-of-this-world talented performer. She (deservedly) received more awards than most performers would even dream of: two Grammy Awards for her album “Judy at Carnegie Hall,” a special Tony for her long-running concert at the Palace Theatre and a special Academy Juvenile Award. Garland was nominated for an Emmy for her TV series “The Judy Garland Show” and for Best Supporting Oscar for her performance in “Judgment at Nuremberg.”

Garland, a dazzling, force of nature on screen, made 34 films. There’s no better way to celebrate Garland’s centennial than to watch her movies.

Garland was renowned for connecting so intimately with audiences when she sang. She’s remembered for her legendary musicals — from “The Wizard of Oz” to “Meet Me in St. Louis” to “A Star is Born.”

But if you watch, or re-watch, her movies, you’ll see that Garland wasn’t just a singer who sang songs, and sometimes danced, in production numbers in movie musicals.

Garland was a talented actor. She wasn’t appearing on screen as herself – Judy Garland singing to her fans.

Whether she’s tearing at your heartstrings as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz,” performing brilliant physical comedy with Gene Kelly in the “The Pirate,” breaking your heart with “The Man that Got Away” in “A Star is Born” or unrecognizable as Irene Hoffmann in “Judgment at Nuremberg,” Garland is acting. Her performance etches these characters onto your DNA.

Picking Garland’s best movies is like deciding which five of your 20 puppies should go on an outing. But, if you’re cast away on a desert island, take these Garland movies with you:

“Meet Me in St. Louis”: This luminous 1944 musical, directed by Vincente Minnelli, has it all: Garland in top form, the Trolley song, Margaret O’Brien, along with a stellar cast, and the best Christmas song ever.

“The Clock”: This 1945 movie, also directed by Minnelli, showcases Garland as a gifted dramatic actress. Shot in stunning black-and-white near the end of World-War II, the movie is the story, set in New York City, of a young woman (Garland) and a soldier on leave (Robert Walker) who fall in love.

“Easter Parade”: Sure, this 1948 picture, directed by Charles Walters, is thought of as a light musical by some. But, who cares? It’s in Technicolor, and Judy’s in peak form – dancing with Fred Astaire.

“A Star is Born”: If you don’t know the story of this 1954 film, directed by George Cukor, starring Garland and James Mason, you’re not a member of queer nation. There have been other versions of “A Star is Born,” some quite good, but this is still the best. Garland should have gotten an Oscar for this one.

“Judgment at Nuremberg”: This 1961 film, directed by Stanley Kramer, will never be a date night movie. It’s long (3 hours, 6 minutes), grim (about Nazi crimes) and Garland is only in it for about seven minutes. But the story is gripping and Garland’s performance is mesmerizing. When you watch her as Irene, you won’t be thinking that’s Judy Garland.

Happy centennial, Judy! 

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