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0 comments | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes! Those are red stilettos that Billy Porter is rocking with his tuxedo in the picture above, he's just that fierce!

This amazingly talented openly gay Broadway performer and activist is flexing his directing muscles in the new production of 'Once On This Island' now running through September 14th in Los Angeles at The Freud Theater UCLA. Many of you may be familiar with Porter's work as an actor in the Broadway productions of Miss Saigon, Grease, and a impressive run at New York's Public Theater in his autobiographical show "Ghetto Superstar".

The musical is a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid with some Romeo and Juliet sprinkled on top. Orphaned as a child during a terrible storm, young Ti Moune (Kristolyn Lloyd) believes the gods saved her life for a reason. When Daniel ( Jesse Nager), a wealthy young man from the other side of the island, is mortally injured in a car crash during another storm, Ti Moune strikes a deal with Papa Ge (Bryan Terrell Clark), Demon of Death, to save his life. This, she believes, is why she was spared in childhood -- so she could save Daniel. But of course, her ensuing romance with him ultimately brings tragedy, and while Papa Ge must claim what was promised, the manner and outcome are both unexpected and poignant

In this new production of the Caribbean infused 'Once On This Island' Porter directs an amazing ensemble cast that includes vocal powerhouses Ledisi in the role of Asaka and Bryan Terrell Clark who plays Papa Ge (pronounced "GAY"-seriously). Critics are praising Porter's skillful direction and the brilliance of his talented cast. And gay theater goers are leaving the show impressed with more than just Bryan Terrell Clark's voice but his "assets" too. See what I mean below.

The original 1990 Broadway production included Tony winners LaChanze(The Color Purple) and Lillias White(The Life) in leading roles. Get into my favorite song "Waiting for Life" below sung by LaChanze and if you're in L.A. make sure to catch this amazing production through September 14th.


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