PHOTO CALL: The Seventh Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant
By Matthew Blank
Orion Griffiths, Mr. Pippin, was crowned the winner of the sold-out, seventh annual Broadway Beauty Pageant, which was held May 20 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.
The event, which was hosted by four-time Tony nominee Tovah Feldshuh, raised over $50,000 to benefit the Ali Forney Center, which provides shelter to homeless LGBT youth in New York City.
The annual Pageant featured male cast members representing their respective Broadway shows, competing for the title crown through talent, interview and swimsuit competitions. The contestants went head to head in front of a panel of celebrity judges, but the final vote was in the hands of audience members.
This year's competitors also included Callan Bergmann (Silence! The Musical), Julius C. Carter (Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark), Yurel Echezarreta (Matilda), Matthew Goodrich (The Nance) and Paul HeeSang Miller (Mamma Mia!).
Celebrity judges included Tony winner Andrea Martin, Billy Porter and Michael Urie. Lisa Lambert, the Tony Award-winning lyricist of The Drowsy Chaperone, penned the opening number.
Previous winners include Frankie James Grande (Mr. Mamma Mia! 2007), Marty Thomas (Mr. Xanadu 2008), Anthony Hollock (Mr. Hair 2009), Charlie Williams (Mr. Memphis 2010), Michael Cusumano (Mr. Chicago 2011) and Andrew Chapelle (Mr. Mamma Mia! 2012).
The Broadway Beauty Pageant was directed by Seth Sikes and choreographed by Paul McGill. The evening was conceived by Jeffrey Self and produced by the Ali Forney Center in association with Ryan Davis.
The creative team also included Brendan Whiting (musical director), Paul DePoo (scenic designer), Brian Tovar (lighting designer), Walter Trarbach (sound designer) and Jason Quinn (production stage manager).
The Ali Forney Center (AFC) was started in June 2002 in response to the lack of safe shelter for LGBT youth in New York City. The Center is "committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together." For more information visit www.aliforneycenter.org.
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