Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration

Musical Mondays, a weekly event showcasing live performances, has been a staple of West Hollywood's nightlife for years.

By: Apr. 29, 2023
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Last Monday, April 24, 2023, the iconic Chapel at The Abbey in West Hollywood was transformed into a musical escape as it hosted the "Defying Labels" live show and competition, produced in collaboration with Studio For Performing Arts LA.

Check out photos below!

Musical Mondays, a weekly event showcasing live performances, has been a staple of West Hollywood's nightlife for years, having started at Eleven nightclub before moving to Rage and now The Chapel at the Abbey and this week's celebration marked its 14th anniversary. Ishka Maher, the producing promoter behind Musical Mondays, made sure the event was extra special, with a red carpet event and food and drinks served "cabaret style" throughout the evening.

The event was a huge success, with a packed audience enjoying an unforgettable night of music and entertainment. The evening started with a special two-hour musical improv/lip-sync performance by "The Fans of MuMo," a group of talented artists who paid tribute to their favorite musicals by accompanying music videos. The audience sang along and cheered as they were transported to different worlds of musical theater.

At the "Defying Labels" live spot and competition, hosted and created by Walid Chaya, three musical theater professionals, Blayne, Brice Corder, and Emily Marsh, were challenged to perform outside their usual casting types. This no type-cast competition aimed to shatter labels and showcase the performers' versatile range of talents. Each performance was judged by two esteemed guest judges, Rawan Chaya and George Khouri, both with extensive experience in the music and entertainment industry.

The show opened with an unforgettable performance by Walid, who defied gender norms with his spectacular rendition of "All That Jazz." The song, originally made famous by Catherine Zeta-Jones in the Academy Award-winning film, was given a thrilling and dynamic twist by Walid's gender-bending performance. Special dance appearances by Emily Rafala and Zoe Farmingdale added to the excitement of the evening.

The first performer to follow was Blayne, who fearlessly took on the classic hit "Money Money Money" from Mamma Mia, infusing the song with their unique style and energy. Brice Corder then took the stage with a powerful and emotionally charged performance of "Maybe This Time" from Cabaret, leaving the audience spellbound. Emily Marsh, the final competing performer, delivered a touching rendition of "Purpose" from Avenue Q and shared the stage with her puppet, in a nod to the Broadway production.

The audience had the chance to vote for their favorite performance, adding to the excitement and suspense of the night. As the audience cast their votes, judge Rawan Chaya surprised the crowd with a stunning performance of "One Night Only" from the hit musical Dreamgirls, showcasing Rawan's own remarkable talent, her extraordinary range, and adding to the electrifying energy of the evening.

In the end, Emily Marsh emerged as the "Defying Labels Champion," winning the vote and wowing the audience with an encore performance of "Grow For Me" from Little Shop of Horrors. The competition had truly shattered labels and showcased the performers' unparalleled talents.

"Defying Labels" is an important event in the entertainment industry, as it challenges traditional labels and stereotypes that can limit opportunities for diversity and inclusion. By showcasing the versatility of performers and breaking free from typecasting, it opens the door for a wider range of casting opportunities and ultimately helps create a more inclusive entertainment industry and community at large.

After the show, the audience was invited to participate in open mic Broadway Karaoke, creating unforgettable moments and making it a night to remember. The success of Walid Chaya's "Defying Labels" is a testament to the talent and passion of the performers, judges, and organizers who made it all possible, and it will surely be remembered as one of the highlights of Musical Mondays' 14-year run.

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Walid Chaya, Emily Rafala, and Zoe Farmingdale.

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
The performers and judges from Defying Labels

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Emily Marsh

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
George Khouri and Rawan Chaya

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Blayne

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Brice Corder

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Walid Chaya

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Walid Chaya, Emily Marsh.

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Walid Chaya and Rawan Chaya

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
The Fans of Mumo 2023

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
Original MuMo Crew

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
The Fans of Mumo

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
The Fans of Mumo

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
The Fans of Mumo

Photos: Go Inside DEFYING LABELS at MUSICAL MONDAYS 14th Anniversary Celebration
The Fans of Mumo



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