Karen Akers and Howard McGillin Join Lineup for Night of a Thousand Judys

By Adam Hetrick
08 Jun 2012

Tony Award nominees Karen Akers and Howard McGillin and Silence! The Musical star Jenn Harris are among the latest performers to join the June 18 Night of a Thousand Judys benefit for the Ali Forney Center.



Newly added to the 8 PM event are Akers (Nine, Grand Hotel), McGillin (Anything Goes, Phantom of the Opera) and Harris, as well as Flotilla DeBarge, Murray Hill, Erin Markey, Dan Fishback and Summer & Eve.

The second annual event, a tribute to all things Judy Garland, is a benefit for the Ali Forney Center and its mission to assist LGBT homeless youth. It is a special installment of Justin Sayre's variety show, The Meeting*.

Ben Rimalower (Joy, Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches) directs the evening of tributes, skits and signature Garland songs. Lance Horne is musical director, and Jason Wise is choreographer.

Previously announced to perform are Tony winner Tonya Pinkins (Jelly's Last Jam; Caroline, or Change), Tony nominee Andrea McArdle (Annie, Beauty and the Beast), Jessica Molaskey (Parade, Songs for a New World), Daniel Reichard (Jersey Boys), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Molly Pope (Wonderful Town, Our Hit Parade), recording artist-actress Nellie McKay (Threepenny Opera), writer Michael Musto, Cole Escola ("Jeffery & Cole Casserole"), Frank DeCaro, Colleen McHugh and Bridget Everett.

"The work that the Ali Forney Center is crucial to young LGBT people in New York," Sayre said in a statement. "It enables them to thrive and grow in a healthy and warm environment, where they are celebrated for their identity rather than chastised for it. Life may have dealt you a raw hand, but there are people out there to help you through it. In her film roles and in her personal life, Judy Garland embodied an innocence and a resilience that still thrills young and old alike. She had tragedy in her life and yet she continued to give herself to a public that adored her. If Judy Garland was the comeback kid, The Ali Forney Center is the comeback place. I can't imagine a better combination."

The event is produced by Adam J. Rosen and Dan Fortune.

Ticket are $25 and $60 (which includes a VIP pre-show reception at 6:30 PM). For tickets and more information, visit AliForneyCenter.org.