Jeff Blumenkrantz, Caroline Bowman and More Set for SONGS IN THE KEY OF EQUALITY, 5/20

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On May 20 some of the brightest stars on the musical theater and cabaret scene will converge at Greenwich Village nightclub Le Poisson Rouge to benefit Swish, an organization of straight allies for the LGBT movement.

Held annually since 2008, Songs in the Key of Equality has presented a potpourri of talent that draws from New York's rich musical communities. For one night, nightclub chanteuses, singer-actors, folkies, rockers and dance divas will meet on one stage in what has become a signature musical event.

Since its inception, Songs in the Key of Equality has played to sold-out, standing-room crowds as diverse as the talent arrayed onstage. The freewheeling night goes beyond the standard presentation of stage acts. With two bars and in a cave-like setting, Le Poisson Rouge is the crown jewel of the Bleecker Street club strip. Boasting one of the best sound systems in town, its ambiance breaks down the "fourth wall" between audience and performer and encourages everyone to get up and dance. And not only inside the club - for the first time this year, the event will be streaming around the world.

Among the more than 16 performers already signed for this year's show, include Broadway vets and current cast members from Tony-nominated shows:

Jeff Blumenkrantz: Tony-nominee (Urban Cowboy score) and Fred Ebb Award winner has composed for Audra McDonald and Megan Mullally, among others.

Caroline Bowman, currently appearing in Tony-nominated hit Kinky Boots

• Christine DeCicco, who alternated the title role of Evita with Elena Rogers in the recent Broadway revival, currently starring in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark

Jill Paice, whose Broadway include Curtains and one of the four multi-character roles in The 39 Steps, and the concert staging of Company with Neil Patrick Harris

Molly Tynes, appearing in Tony-nominated revival of Pippin

Ryann Redmond and Gregory Hainey from Tony-nominated Bring it On

• Event host Sara Haines, contributing correspondent and host of "Backstage Pass" for NBC's Today Show webcast alongside Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb

The show is directed by Stephen Brotebeck (Ghost, Peter and the Starcatcher) and music directed by BrIan Taylor (Evita, Mary Poppins).

The spirit that pervades Songs in the Key of Equality is a perfect reflection of Swish itself.

In 2003, a small group of straight women wanted to make a direct contribution to the struggles they were witnessing among their gay friends. Soon, this core group of "fag hags and damn proud of it" was active in Los Angeles and New York, which remains home base and at the heart of the organization's activities.

Swish long ago superseded its "fag hag" origins. Today, Swish boasts a diverse membership that includes gay men, straight men, lesbians - anyone willing to contribute to the fight for equality.

The unique contribution of Swish to the gay rights movement has earned it several high honors: three times by Heritage of Pride, producer of New York's giant Pride March and once by Christopher Street West, producer of the Los Angeles Pride. In 2008, Swish was selected to represent the United States at EuroPride, the annual pan-European mega-Pride, a singular honor.

As its marquee event, Songs in the Key of Equality not only provides one of the most eclectic and electric talent lineups. It also serves as a platform for Swish's vision of a world where all love between two adults is equal and recognized by our leaders and laws. Many audience members who come to experience the music have been inspired to become active in Swish upon being acquainted with its unique contributions to the LGBT rights movement.

Songs in the Key of Equality is Swish's major annual fund-raiser. The money helps fund core programs, including:

• "Swish Pride," an ongoing initiative to increase straight allies' participation in Pride events around the world

• "Give a Swish," which aides LGBT groups in their day-to-day work and creates opportunities for straight allies to join coalitions in support of legislative campaigns

• "Swish Nights OUT," regularly occurring gay-straight educational, networking and social events

• "Swish Voices," a blog that amplifies the personal stories of members and partners.

The past few years have been the most exciting in furthering LGBT rights in this country since the Stonewall Riots in 1969. The marriage equality movement has moved from state to state, election victory to election victory, culminating in two pending U.S. Supreme Court cases. Two years ago, the Pentagon finally ended the unworkable Don't Ask Don't Tell, which meant LGBT military personnel could finally serve openly. The "It Gets Better" campaign to fight bullying solicited video responses from everyone from Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela. Pro sports leagues did a 180-degree turn from rampant homophobia to becoming some of our strongest straight allies. The mayor of Houston and a Wisconsin U.S. senator are both lesbians, and a lesbian is poised to become the next mayor of New York.

The 3,000 members of Swish are proud to be have played a part of this historic movement for the past decade. By coming down to Le Poisson Rouge onMay 20, you too can become a part of what has been called the "civil rights movement of our time."

Ally Sponsor Package: $1,000: Includes 4 VIP tickets with all benefits, branded "RESERVED FOR" table signage, brand placement in on-site event materials (RSVP by 5/1), and 4 places of honor on Swish's 10th Anniversary Pride float at the NYC Pride March on June 30.

VIP Ticket: $250: Includes premiere center stage seating, premium open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, and a post-show meet-and-greet with the cast.

Premium Ticket: $150: Includes priority center stage seating, limited open bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, and post-show meet-and-greet with Cast.

General Admission Ticket: $75: Includes priority seating, cash bar and pre- and post-show buffet.

Live Streaming Ticket: $20: New this year. The perfect opportunity for Swish members and supporters outside the NYC Metro Area to attend the show "virtually"! (You will receive log on information several days prior to the show.)

"Standing" Room Ticket $25: For a limited time only, these "standing" room tickets include a reserved bar stool with an excellent view of the show!

Tickets are available at exclusively at donate.swishpride.org/SwishConcert2013.

Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street, between Sullivan Street and Thompson Street. It is a short walk from the W. 4th Street Subway Station's A, C, E, B, D, F and Q trains. It is also near the 1 Christopher Street Subway Station.



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