By George Basler
A gallery of well-known local performers will give a new twist to some old Broadway songs with a special cabaret-style performance, Twisted Broadway, Saturday (April 29) at the Cider Mill Stage in Endicott. The cabaret, sponsored by the Binghamton Pride Coalition, will raise money to support the coalition’s annual Rainbow Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to LGBTQ+ high school students.
The event is “a fun way” for local performers to show off their talents for a good cause, said Rob Egan, artistic director for BLAST (Bold Local Artists of the Southern Tier), who is directing the show.
Songs in the show run the gamut from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Rent, Egan said. The twist is that the performers are swapping gender roles, with men singing songs intended for women, and vice versa.
Twisted Broadway is an off-shoot of Broadway Backwards, which began as a grassroots concert in New York City. The Binghamton Pride Coalition sponsored the local event in 2017, 2018 and 2019 at the Ti-Ahwaga Community Playhouse in Owego. The COVID epidemic forced cancellation of the 2020 event, and the show was not performed in 2021 or 2022. So, this weekend’s cabaret at the Cider Mill Stage marks a return, Egan said.
The 20-member Twisted Broadway cast includes both experienced performers and younger people, Egan noted, and features singers who have appeared in SRO Productions III musicals and at such local venues as the Endicott Performing Arts Center, Cider Mill Stage and the Ti-Ahwaga Community Playhouse.
While many of the numbers will be played for laughs, there are serious ballads as well, Egan said, such as “As If We’ve Never Said Goodbye” from the musical Sunset Boulevard. The show will end with the cast singing “One Day More” from Les Miserables.
The purpose is “to raise our voices to show we stand with the LGBTQ+ community” that is now under attack from anti-gay rhetoric and political action, Egan said.
IF YOU GO: The Binghamton Pride Coalition will sponsor a one-night-only performance of Twisted Broadway at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (April 29) at the Cider Mill Stage, 2 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott. Tickets at $25 can be purchased at www.cidermillstage.com. All proceeds will go to support the pride coalition’s scholarship fund.