PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: "Glee" Star Alex Newell, Christine Dwyer, Robin De Jesus and 25 More Share Songs of Pride

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22 Jun 2014

Bryan Campione and Harold Lewter will present Broadway Celebrates Pride Week, a concert kicking off New York City Pride week that will benefit the Hetrick-Martin Institute, June 23 at 54 Below. In anticipation of the evening, the cast picks songs of pride as part of this week's Playbill Playlist

The 9:30 PM concert will feature performances by "Glee" actor Alex Newell, two-time Tony nominee Robin De Jesus (In the Heights, La Cage aux Folles), Bryan Terrell Clark (Motown), composer Scott Alan, Christine Dwyer (Wicked), composer Bobby Cronin, Tracy McDowell (Motown), Mykal Kilgore (Motown), Bethany Moore (Pippin), Robert Pendilla (Kinky Boots), composer Joey Contreras, Russell Fischer (Jersey Boys), Gerard Salvador (Mamma Mia!), Dimitri Moïse (The Book of Mormon), Alan Shaw (national tour of Les Misérables), Kat Hennessey (Wicked in Japan), Corey Desjardins (Independents), Talia Thiesfield (Fox's "The Following") and Elizabeth Urbanzyck.

#SheHasHadIt creator Jarvis Derrell will make a special appearance, and a song composed by composers Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar will be performed.

Here's how the evening is billed: "Oh, what a night this will be, when all the colors of the rainbow unite in support of the LGBTQ Broadway Community for this Pride extravaganza! Featuring many of Broadway's best and brightest performing songs from Broadway, pop, rock, soul, country, and beyond, a portion of the evening's proceeds will also go to support the Hetrick-Martin Institute."

Michael McAssey will provide music direction.

As previously announced, Playbill celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month by altering its iconic logo to rainbow, providing our readers with "30 Days of Pride" feature stories and more.

The Hetrick-Martin Institute is a leading professional provider of social support and programming for at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth. HMI youth members, ranging in age from 12 to 24, come from over 300 zip codes throughout all of New York City and the surrounding metropolitan area.

54 Below is located at 254 West 54th Street. There is a $25-$35 cover charge plus a $25 food and beverage minimum. For more information and tickets, call (646) 476-3551 or visit 54Below.com.

Alex Newell: "Listen" (Beyoncé). I feel like so many people told me what I should do growing up — how I should sing, how I should act and dance — that it really took a toll on me, and I realized that I had to really listen to what I wanted and how I wanted to do it!

Robin De Jesus: "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" (Rozalla). This song always puts me in a good mood, but it was when I heard it in Baz Luhrman's "Romeo and Juliet" that I really learned what the song was about — coming together and knowing as a group that happiness is on its way.

Bryan Terrell Clark: "Be Grateful" (Kim Burrell). When I'm down, Gospel Music (my personal roots in music) always lifts me! As someone who is always thinking about what's next, Gospel DIVA Kim Burrell reminds me to be present and to "BE GRATEFUL"!

Christine Dwyer: "Man in the Mirror" (Michael Jackson). This song lifts me up while also making me cry! "If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change." I love this song because it reminds me to always stand up for what's right, stand up against injustice and stand up for equal rights for all! I love the message, and Michael Jackson's voice is so full of emotion in this song. It doesn't get any better.

Russell Fischer: "Happy" (Pharrell Williams). We can't help but feel pride when we are living out the truest, happiest version ourselves!

Mykal Kilgore: "Flawless" (George Michael). My best friend, Greg "Pooks" Woodruff, and I used to bump this in our Nashville home when we felt…less than fierce. George Michael always had a way of reminding us that we were truly "like no other" and ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS!!!!!

Janet Krupin: My perfect song for the Playbill Pride Playlist is a song nobody has heard yet! It's called "Battle Scars," and it's inspired by my little bro, Noah Hunt. His apartment was broken into and all his guitars stolen. He felt so defeated — it was like they took his soul. I wanted to comfort him, so I wrote lyrics with the intent that a soul who was feeling beaten down and alone would instead feel determination and love. I'm proud of Noah for pushing onward (he's working on his second album now!), and I'm proud of the finished song. The "Aurora" EP will be on iTunes in July.

Listen to "Bandit" from Krupin's upcoming EP:

Joey Contreras: "Crazy In Love" (Beyoncé). Nothing makes me want to let loose, be free and strut it out more than "Crazy In Love" by the Queen Bey herself. I am being loud and proud whenever this song comes on and not apologizing for it. The original is flawless, of course, but this live performance is a must watch.

Scott Alan: "Strength, Courage and Wisdom" (India.Arie). It's a song that reminds me of what it takes to succeed in this world. Talent only gets you so far, but having strength, courage and wisdom fills me with a sense of pride that I continue to try and secure within myself on a daily basis.

Bobby Cronin: "Wheels of a Dream" (Ragtime). This song swells my heart, stirs my soul and ignites a fire within me. It's about family. Dreams. Love. Goodness. Hope. Pride. — Many of the things I'm proud to believe in.

Tracy McDowell: "Shelter" (Ray LaMontagne). This song heals my heart. I would like to be someone's shelter, and wouldn't we all want someone to fight for us!

Gerard Salvadpr: "Harder We Fall" (Jessie J). LBGorT, we have all been knocked down to see we are only stronger once we get back up.

Elizabeth Urbanczyk: "Just Fine." (Mary J. Blige). This song is an instant mood-lifter for me. If I ever feel down, Mary J. reminds me how to love myself and to "still wear a smile if it's raining."

Jarvis Derrell: "I Want It All" (Karmin). This is my good-mood, going-out, ready-to-slay kinda song! Pride (to me, anyway) is freedom — freedom breeds love, love opens us up to a whole world of endless possibilities! And, kids "I Want It All" for me, and for you!!!

Dimitri Moïse: "The Man" (Aloe Blacc). This song reminds me to be strong when I'm feeling weak, when I can't go on, when it's hard to love myself. I can regain a true sense of self-worth and self-LOVE, and as Ms. RuPaul would say, "If you can't love yourself, how the HELL you gonna love somebody else?" Can I get an AMEN?!

Bethany Moore: "Born This Way" (Lady Gaga). "Don't hide yourself in regret/Just love yourself and you're set." You can't help but to strut your stuff while saying, "Don't be a drag, just be a queen." This is a power song. It has a great message while making you feel like you can conquer the world!

Terren Wooten: "Who You Are" (Jessie J). This song reminds me that I'm allowed to just be me. I'm proud of my individuality, flaws and all.

Marissa Rosen: "Love Conquers All" (Marty Thomas). This is a song that my dear friend wrote and another recorded. It absolutely embodies everything that I believe in. "Love Conquers All." No matter what happens to you in this world, there is always someone who loves you, who thinks about you and couldn't possibly imagine life without you. Lead with love, and everything else will fall into place.

Corey Desjardins: "I Want To Break Free" (Queen). I became obsessed with Queen and Freddie Mercury when I was growing up...they were such a huge inspiration, and I always listened to them when I needed a boost. It's so important to celebrate other amazing openly gay artists and break free from any limitations set by others. Be the Queen you were meant to be!

Alan Shaw: "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" (Daft Punk). This song is my go-to when I need an instant pick me up. I'm obsessed with the beat, and the message of the song is "Work it Harder, Make it Better, Do it Faster, Make us Stronger." How can that not get you pumped up? The video I posted is also awesome.

Alexa Green: "Same Love" (Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert). I love the vibe and message of this song. "Love is patient, love is kind." Life is so beautiful, and we are all so lucky to be here to experience this journey together. Love each other and yourself, follow your heart and be happy!

Michael McAssey: "I Am What I Am" (La Cage aux Folles). An anthem if ever there was one (one of the first), at a time when our community needed it most. We were scared and losing friends and co-workers right and left, but through it all, defiant and PROUD!

Kat Hennessey: "Little Bird" (Annie Lennox). I discovered Annie Lennox as a teenager, and this song to date is still in my top ten favorite songs of life. It talks about limitations, fearing what we could become, letting go of the things that weigh us down, and finding the courage to spread our wings and become who we're meant to be. I put this song on when I need a jolt of energy to get up and go… From the first "Ahhs," I get the chills, and when that beat kicks in, a smile spreads across my face. I wanna dance, I wanna run, and I get the strength to go after anything.

They always said that you knew best
But this little bird's fallen out of that nest now
I've got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I've just got to put these wings to test

Harold Lewter: "Everyday" (Hex Hector and Kim English). Hex Hector was the first DJ I fell in love with, and I'll never forget hearing him spin this song live at Limelight… PRAISE DANCE.

Robert Pendilla: "Coming Out of the Dark" (Gloria Estefan). It's Gloria… It's Miami… It's full of life… It's uplifting… And, who doesn't love Gloria?!

Talia Thiesfield: "A Sky Full of Clover" (Beth Hart). Beth Hart's music has been with me since I was a sophomore in college. Her pain and her words have underscored some of the worst and best times of my life. This song in particular always reminds me there's always something better on the other side of the hurt, on the other end of the tunnel. That someone will always be looking out for me, whether in person or in spirit, and sometimes I can be that person for someone else.

Bryan Campione: "Happiness (Remix)" (Alexis Jordan). When you are with your best friends at your favorite nightspot, the doors open to this song blaring and lights hitting you from all directions, there's a certain happiness that envelops over you. Just as being out, proud and true to yourself. #AlwaysBeHappy #DanceYourCaresAway

Kevin Smith Kirkwood: "The Greatest Love of All" (Whitney Houston). The song and vocals are stunning and classic Whitney. But the message of self-love is what stands out for me. Pride comes out of love and acceptance of who you are, inside and out. After all, like RuPaul says, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen?!"