Above, two galleries of fun photos
The Center was hard hit by Superstorm Sandy, but director Carl Siciliano told everyone that their new place will actually be even better than what they had before, including being open 24/7.
It seems to be a case of something good coming from something bad. Maybe there is a case to be made for optimism after all.
Carl also told me he'd seen my list of hottest TV actors around a lot and suggested I do one of hottest charity directors. Where do you think he'd fall on that list? (And how long would it be?)
Before the show, I spoke briefly with Queer as Folk gay icon ("People say that and I don't even know what that means," he laughed) Randy Harrison, who was all smiles, and with dashing Max von Essen, currently wowing them in Evita...at least until January. (I actually really like this production, so if you haven't seen it yet, give it a try.)
Randy told me he'd been happy to appear in the (charming) gay romcom Gayby and looks forward to seeing the outtakes of a special dance he performed along with his cameo as a waiter. He's not old by any stretch, but he still appears to be aging in reverse. Looks like a college kid.
Max seems to be in a good place about Evita coming to a close after a successful run:
Can't wait to see (and hear) what's next for him.
The show was a wild mix of talents, sort of a reflection of the kids at the Center, who come from all walks of life, as well as of the LGBT community. The two-hour program included a fun hosting job by drag duo with actual singing voices The Haus of Mimosa, Von Essen's soaring vocals on his number, Andrew Keegan-Bolger (Newsies) doing an adorable love song about a boy named Eduardo whose "name had so many vowels," Harrison whipping out a phenomenal voice out of nowhere (how did I not know he sang?) and a 14-year-old Jersey girl who sweetly peformed Miley Cyrus's "The Climb" (and probably thinks of it as a standard).
It's hard to pick the stand-out, but Christina DeCicco certainly came prepared to win over the crowd—she belted "I Am What I Am."
It was a great evening for a great cause. If you haven't supported Ali Forney yet, consider doing so here.
Full musical set list for the evening
The Haus of Mimosa: "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Waterfalls" (by TLC)
Condola Rashad: 2 originals from her upcoming CD
Andy Mientus: "Lady of the Sea"
Olivia Vantuno: "The Climb" (by Miley Cyrus)
Randy Harrison: "I Hope There's Someone"
Andrew Keegan-Bolger: "Eduardo"
Ari Shapiro & Thomas Lauderdale (of Pink Martini): "Yo Te Quiero Siempre"
Christina DeCicco: "I Am What I Am" (from La Cage aux Folles)
Natalie Hall: "Hallelujah, I Love Her So"
Donna Vivino: "When She Loved Me"
Max von Essen: "When Did I Fall in Love?" (from Fiorello!)
Ali Stroker: "Here's Where I Stand"
Ryann Redmond, Ariana DeBose & Gregory Haney of Bring It On: The Musical: "It Ain't No Thing"
The Haus of Mimosa: "True Colors" (by Cyndi Lauper) & "The Edge of Glory" (by Lady Gaga)