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  • Charlie Williams, "Mr. Memphis," Wins Broadway Beauty Pageant

    The fourth annual Broadway Beauty Pageant, benefiting the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth, raised the roof at Symphony Space on Monday evening, April 19. This year's contestants were Eddie Pendergraft (Mr. Wicked), Rickey Tripp (Mr. In the Heights), Wes Hart (Mr. West Side Story), Daniel Soto (Mr. Fela!), and the gorgeous and talented guy who turned out to be the winner: Charlie Williams (Mr. Memphis). Here are my pics from this amazing event.


    A moment from the opening number, with Wes Hart (Mr. West Side Story) front and center.


    This year's celebrity judges for the BBP were (left to right) Christine Ebersole, Charles Busch, and Michael Musto. A real trouper, Musto was a last-minute substitute (literally!) for Jackie Hoffman, who couldn't attend due to a scheduling conflict.


    In the talent portion of the competition, Charlie Williams rapped...


    ...Eddie Pendergraft sang, and later displayed his talents as an illustrator...


    ...and Rickey Tripp delivered a monologue from Precious.


    Memorable moments from the swimsuit competition: Daniel Soto (Mr. Fela!)...


    ...Charlie Williams (Mr. Memphis)...


    ...Eddie Pendergraft (Mr. Wicked)...


    ...Rickey Tripp (Mr. In the Heights)...


    ...and Wes Hart (Mr. West Side Story).


    And the winner is...Charlie Williams!


    Here's the new "Mr. Broadway" flanked by two previous winners of the title, Marty Thomas (left, "Mr. Broadway" 2008) and Frank James Grande ("Mr. Broadway" 2007). Last year's winner, Anthony Hollock, couldn't attend because he's currently appearing in the London transfer of the hit Broadway revival of Hair -- but he sent a really funny video in his place.


    The thrill of victory!


    Here's the lucky winner with the fabulous Charles Busch.


    Finally, here's a post-pageant shot of the event's hilarious host, Tovah Feldshuh, with (left) Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center, and Wil Fisher, who executive produced the pageant for the organization.

    Published on Tuesday, April 20, 2010

    Michael Portantiere has more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has interviewed theater notables for NPR.org, PLAYBILL, STAGEBILL, and OPERA NEWS, and has written notes for several cast albums. Michael is co-author of FORBIDDEN BROADWAY: BEHIND THE MYLAR CURTAIN, published in 2008 by Hal Leonard/Applause. Additionally, he is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several major websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.) He can be reached at [email protected]

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