Rapp, Bean et al. to Perform at Legends Equality Gala in NJ Tonight

Tonight, June 25, 2011 at the Jersey City Hyatt Regency, Lady Gaga's mother and Tyler Clementi's cousin will join stars from Hollywood, Broadway and politics at Legends, Garden State Equality's famous annual gala. More than 850 people will attend.

Lady Gaga's mother, Cynthia Germanotta, will present the Lt. Laurel Hester Prize for Citizen Courage to seven bullied students from across New Jersey who helped lead the way for New Jersey's new anti-bullying law, now the strongest such law in the country.

Tyler Clementi's first cousin Jennifer will deliver a special tribute to him. Garden State Equality will also premiere a public service announcement, featuring Jennifer, that promotes the organization's new anti-school bullying hotline for New Jersey.

Legends 2011 will have two themes: A celebration of the state's new anti-bullying law and anticipation of the next step to win marriage equality in New Jersey - a step expected imminently.
Performing will be Anthony Rapp, star of the Tony Award®-winning musical Rent; Shoshana Bean, star of the Tony Award®-winning musical Wicked; NaTasha Yvette Williams, star of the Tony Award®-winning musical The Color Purple; Anwar Robinson, a finalist on television's American Idol; Liz Callaway, Emmy Award®-winner and star of the Tony Award®-winning musical Miss Saigon; and the Grammy®-nominated, Broadway and recording star Maureen McGovern.

The comedy star of Legends 2011 will be Carol Leifer, the legendary comedian who has written for Seinfeld, Modern Family and the Academy Awards®. Carol is often called Seinfeld's real Elaine.
Other award winners include six state legislators who were lead sponsors of New Jersey's new anti-bullying law: Assemblywomen Valerie Vaineiri Huttle, Mary Pat Angelini and Mila Jasey; Senators Barbara Buono and Diane Allen; and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. They will be inducted into the Equality Hall of Fame.

Presenters include Tony Award® winner and a star of HBO's True Blood, Denis O'Hare; and the actress, comedian and leader for equality, Judy Gold.

The Rev. Bruce Davidson will receive the Loretta Weinberg Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Barbra Casbar Siperstein will receive Garden State Equality's first-ever John Adler Icon of Equality prize, named after the civil rights hero, Congressman and former state Senator John Adler, who died in April. Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo will receive the Gibbons Prize for Social Justice for his impassioned support of marriage equality and for creating the state's first LGBT advisory board.

Garden State Equality will also honor its 2011 Equality Companies of the Year, which the organization chose from more than 5,600 nominated companies.

For the second year in a row, Broadway veterans Alan George and Gary Stevens are serving as executive producers of Legends. Authors of the book THE LONGEST LINE: Broadway's Most Singular Sensation, A Chorus Line, Alan and Gary celebrate their 25th anniversary in July. They were the first couple in their hometown of Weehawken, New Jersey to enter a civil union, and eagerly await marriage equality.

With more than 82,000 members, Garden State Equality is New Jersey's largest civil rights organization and the only LGBT civil rights organization in history to be the subject of an Academy Award-winning film. Since its founding in 2004, Garden State Equality has guided New Jersey to a national record of 212 LGBT civil rights laws enacted at the state, county and local levels. The laws include America's strongest and most inclusive laws to combat discrimination, hate crimes and school bullying, as well as America's strongest transgender equality law.


Photo Credit: Monica Simoes

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You