Making Broadway History

Someone I saw at Little Shop was an ebullient Alexandra Billings.  The trans actress has reason to celebrate.  She’ll be joining the Broadway cast of Wicked as Madame Morrible.  The press release announcement states, “Alexandra is the first openly trans actress to play the role.”  Her first night will be January 20th.

On the flip side, Erika Jayne is going into Chicago.  This, too, could be seen in a historic context, because I believe Jayne is the first openly discussed possible transgender performer to play the role of Roxie.  And if you think I’m going to get into the “is s/he or isn’t s/he”, no dice.  That’s between her and her gynecologist and/or proctologist.  What I got a kick out of is that her press release goes to great pains to state that this will be Erica Jayne’s first appearance on Broadway.  Really?  You mean she never did The Cherry Orchard, or Elektra?

Making real history, playwright Charles Busch will lead an all-star Broadway benefit performance of his play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife and he’ll take over the titular role, originally played by Linda Lavin.  But Lavin will still be performing – filling in for the late Shirl Bernheim, who was the original Frieda.  The rest of the original cast will also appear – Michele LeeTony Roberts, and Anil Kumar.  This is an Actors Fund benefit and will take place on November 18th at the Friedman Theatre.  Grab your tix at  See you there (God willing).

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