Night Of A Thousand Judys: Part 3

Seeing as I've dragged this subject out longer than was probably necessary, I will not belabor my feelings on the show itself, however...there are some parts of it  that I feel really need to be praised, especially those moments, and those performers who approached the material with a true heart.  
Surely, one of the reasons Garland touched a chord with the gays is that she was an incredibly sensitive and emotional person, and a brilliant artist who was courageous enough to let that emotion be her artistic medium.   As a sensitive little boy learning that there was a side of me that should be hidden and repressed, when I found this woman who blatantly tossed that philosophy aside and used all of her surging emotions as a kind of super power?  It hit me that there was a different way to be, and it was just one of the things that made her my hero.

There were some pretty powerful entertainers onstage who illustrated this principal to perfection.  
The host, Justin Sayre, as much as anyone, spoke his truth up on that stage  He opened the show in a black flowing blouse trimmed with beads, sporting high heel pumps, and backed by a bevy of lanky young dancing boys.  He cavorted, he schmoozed, and he sang I Feel A Song Coming On both reveling in the joy of the number, and without a hint of irony.  It was one of the most successful productions of the concert and really got me geared up for a great show.  Throughout the rest of the evening Justin was candid, vulnerable, self deprecating, and really respectful of Garland, as well as the issue that the show is raising funds for, to provide support for homeless LGBTQ youth.

Justin Sayre, Kevin Quilon, Adam Perry, Ryan Steele, and Charlie Williams perform "I Feel A Song Coming On" (photo by Stephen Sotokoff)

Other highlights included Barrett Foa,  singing a sweet and sincere version of I Happen to Like New York, and T. Oliver Reid really nailing the visceral excitement of Judy's Come Rain Or Come Shine--- Sidebar: I couldn't help but notice that the man I couldn't help but notice that the man performed in a bright white tuxedo, and when he came out for the finale, an ensemble sing a-long, he had switched to a black tux.  He was the only one in the concert, that I noticed, who worked in a costume change.  Good on you, T. Oliver Reid.,---   and a band that really soared.

One of the big musical discoveries, for me, was Gabrielle Stravelli.  She sang I Could Go On Singing effortlessly, with a true respect for the material, a gorgeous instrument, and with an approach that made the song her own, and yet, stayed true to the spirit of the original.  She didn't showboat or place vocal stylings above substance, she just let it out.  Every beat, every note, was golden.  I will absolutely be seeking her out in the future.