A streaming version of Bill Russell and Janet Hood's 1989 revue Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, featuring 50 stars of stage and screen, will be presented on World AIDS Day, December 1. The virtual production will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
A celebration of the lives lost to AIDS told in free-verse monologues with a blues, jazz, and rock score, the piece will stream beginning at 5 PM ET at BroadwayCares.org/Elegies. The show will be available through December 5.
Currently set to perform are Brooks Ashmanskas (The Prom), Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde), Robin de Jesús (The Boys in the Band), Stephanie Gibson (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Lana Gordon (Chicago), Alan H. Green (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Tony winner Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell (The Music Man), Famke Janssen (X-Men), Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera), Joaquina Kalukango (Slave Play), Tari Kelly (Groundhog Day), Tony winner Nathan Lane (The Producers), Norm Lewis (Once on This Island), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Andrea Macasaet (Six), Kevin McHale (Glee), Tony winner Jessie Mueller (Carousel), Royina Patel, Anthony Rapp (Rent), Jeffery Roberson (Funny Girl), Krysta Rodriguez (Hercules), SiriusXM host Seth Rudetsky, JK Simmons (Whiplash), Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham), Alysha Umphress (Scotland, PA), Anna Uzele (Six), Marisha Wallace (Waitress), and Tony winner Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City). More artists will be announced.
Russell and Justin Ross Cohen direct. Musical direction is by Hood with casting by Stephen DeAngelis.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, with a book and lyrics by Russell and music by Hood, premiered in 1989 at the height of the AIDS crisis in the U.S. Each monologue is written from the perspective of a character who died from the virus. The songs represent the feelings of friends and family members dealing with the loss.
The stream is produced by Jim Kierstead and Broadway Virtual, Jim Head, Sainty & Eric Nelsen, Rusty & Molly Reid, The Worx Productions LTD, Linda Karn and Ann Moore/Jane Furse, in association with The Abingdon Theatre Company.
Donations will be accepted at BroadwayCares.org. Every dollar donated will help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling, and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism.