Hosted by Seth Rudetsky, the Feb. 26 concert at 37 Arts features direction by Robert Bartley with musical direction by Mark Janas. In addition to Buckley, Cariou and Beach, the evening will also boast the talents of Rosie O'Donnell, Constantine Maroulis, Kate Reinders, Charles Busch, Richard Kind, Liz Callaway, Tony Roberts, Jose Llana, Ken Alan, Brad Anderson, Paul Castree, Lauren Kennedy, Anika Larsen, Marilyn Maye, Michael McElroy, Tony Yazbeck, Ana Gasteyer, Tituss Burgess, Nina Hennessey, Megan Jacoby, Kate Pazakis and Jason Michael Snow. Show time is 8 PM.
O'Donnell, who will join Larsen for a performance of Grease's "Summer Nights," recently said, "This is a great event, and it supports a great cause. The Center is a critical part of the LGBT community and the fabric of New York City culture." And, event creator and director Bartley added, "The rehearsals have been amazing — these great stars of stage and screen are so generous with their talent and time. Watching Broadway's original Sweeney Todd and Grizabella let loose and sing these gender-reversed songs is a sight to behold!"
A few of the other treats that concertgoers can expect to hear at the one-night-only event: Broadway veterans Len Cariou and Tony Roberts will lend their voices to Chicago's "Class," while "American Idol" finalist and Jacques Brel star Constantine Maroulis will wrap his soaring tenor around Andrew Lloyd Webber's "I Don't Know How to Love Him." Charles Busch will belt out Hello, Dolly!'s "Before the Parade Passes By," and three of the male stars of A Chorus Line will offer a song usually performed in that Tony-winning musical by three women. Also, expect Richard Kind to sing a tune from Mel Brooks' Tony-winning Producers score.
The inaugural Broadway Backwards concert — held June 5, 2006 — featured the talents of Matt Cavenaugh, Cheyenne Jackson, Karen Mason, Andrea McArdle, Michael McElroy, Pamela Myers and Christine Pedi, among others.
37 Arts is located in Manhattan at 450 West 37th Street. Tickets, priced $35-$5,000, are available by visiting Ticketmaster.com or by calling (212) 307-4100. For more information visit www.gaycenter.org.