The stars turned out for the Family Equality Council’s Los Angeles Awards Dinner at Universal Studios Hollywood Saturday night, where Glee’s Darren Criss showed off his Broadway chops with “Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors.
Although not an official host, Criss took to the stage multiple times to get attendees to loosen their purse strings—including an offer of a Glee set visit and private lunch. “Parents, ask yourselves, what is it worth to you to be considered the best parent in the world? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so don’t fuck up and miss it!” the ally actor said before adding: “Are there kids here?”
Honoree Jennifer Tyrrell brought tears to our eyes as she accepted an award for helping get the Boy Scouts to open its roster to gay scouts. Peter Paige and Bradley Bradley Bredeweg, creators of ABC Family’s The Fosters, were honored for their work increasing the visibility of gay families on television.
Criss wasn’t the only Gleek to take the stage: Adam Lambert performed “Mad World,” one of his American Idol stand-out numbers, and Amber Riley’s moving performance of Jesse J’s “Who You Are” got the crowd to its feet for a standing ovation. As a special treat Criss gathered donors around a piano after the event was over, dueting with Glee c0-star Alex Newell on “Say My Name” and offering a solo version of “Teenage Dream.”
Comedian Alec Mapa called his family, “Vladimir Putin’s worst nightmare,” before addressing anti-gay bias in America: “I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear that religious people are coming for me and my family, the one thing I can think is: Shouldn’t you be reading to the blind? Aren’t there homeless people in your area who could benefit from a kind word or a hot meal?”
Surprise guest Melissa Etheridge sang “Uprising of Love,” her new anthem supporting Russia’s LGBT community.
Also seen: Laura Prepon, Ryan Murphy, Alec Mapa, Aisha Tyler, George Takei, Tim Allen, Tony Goldwyn, Scott Foley, Jake T. Austin, Danny Nucci, Pauley Perrette, Kathleen Robertson, Dan Bucatinsky and Busy Phillips.