This year’s Night of a Thousand Judys, coming to Joe’s Pub on Sunday, June 5, is a triple celebration. It not only marks the 10th anniversary of the annual Pride concert, but also the 100th anniversary of the birth of Judy Garland, and the 20th anniversary of The Ali Forney Center – the nation’s largest and most comprehensive agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths – which the event benefits.
Written and hosted by Justin Elizabeth Sayre, directed by Peter James Cook, and choreographed by Jason Wise, with Tracy Stark serving as music director, the all-star concert will honor its iconic namesake with special skits, tributes, and songs from her legendary career as movie star, recording artist, and stage performer. The line-up of luminaries features Tony winner Frances Ruffelle (Les Misérables; Starlight Express), Grammy winner Nathan Lee Graham (Zoolander; Priscilla), Tony nominee Sally Mayes (She Loves Me), Grammy winner and Tony nominee Kathryn Gallagher (Jagged Little Pill; Spring Awakening), Shereen Pimentel (Broadway’s West Side Story), Lortel winner Bonnie Milligan (Kimberly Akimbo; Head Over Heels), Olivier winner and Tony nominee Tracie Bennett (Hangmen; End of the Rainbow), Laiona Michelle (Little Girl Blue; Amazing Grace), Bistro winner Nicolas King (Carnegie Hall; Lincoln Center), singer/songwriter Eleri Ward (Josh Groban Harmony Tour; Joe’s Pub), and Bistro winner Amy Jo Jackson (Joe’s Pub).
“Ten years is a milestone and lining up with Judy’s one hundredth seems like a kind of magic,” said Sayre. “It’s been an honor to present and be a part of this show for so long. To create a community around it, to work with so many wonderful performers and to celebrate Judy. But more so than this, it’s an honor to continually commit to queer kids. Being in a small way part of the work of the Ali Forney Center is the honor of a lifetime.”
The Forney assists more than 2,000 youths per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center that provides over 65,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered site housing program. AFC’s goal is to provide them with the support and services they need to escape the streets and begin to live healthy and independent lives.
So you can pay homage to Judy, be wildly entertained by a fabulous roster of performers, and support an important cause, all in one evening. It’s a win-win-win!
Night of a Thousand Judys plays on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at 7:00 pm (doors open at 6 pm), at Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC. For tickets (priced at $75 partial view, $100 regular, $150 premium, and $175 VIP, plus a two drink or $12 food minimum per person at all levels), go online. Premium seats include preferred seating, a ticket to Ali Forney Center’s Oasis Summer Party on July 20, and a special 10th anniversary poster. VIP seats include all of the above, along with a copy of Justin Elizabeth Sayre’s new book From Gay to Z: A Queer Compendium and an exclusive post-show reception.