Beautiful things can happen when singers flip the script.
Stars of stage and screen broke musical theater’s gender rules last week at the 12th annual Broadway Backwards. The sold-out event, at which men sing showtunes intended for women and vice versa without changing pronouns, raised $522,870 to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and New York’s LGBT Community Center.
Where else can three Jersey Boys go to harmonize the hell out of “At the Ballet” from A Chorus Line?
Held at the Hirschfeld Theatre and hosted by Tony winner Julie White, the event featured 19 delightfully unexpected numbers celebrating the LGBT community.
Bringing star power and stage presence, Kathleen Turner tackled “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” from My Fair Lady. Girls star Andrew Rannells did Bernadette Peters proud on “Wherever He Ain’t” from Mack & Mabel. Grammy-nominated vocalist Josh Groban, currently starring in Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, put a masculine spin on “Someone Else’s Story” from Chess.
Providing one of the evening’s most adorable moments, Newsies alum Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Quantico’s Jay Armstrong Johnson dueted on “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music.
For the big finale, Cynthia Erivo, a recent Tony winner for The Color Purple, tore the house down with her gospel-blessed rendition of “Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime.
Since 2006, Broadway Backwards has raised more than $2.9 million for BC/EFA and The Center.
Watch more highlights from last week’s event below.