PHOTOS: Heart strings went zing! zing! zing! Monday night at the New York’s Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center. While perhaps short a thousand or so actual Judys, songstresses like Martha Wash, Carolee Carmello, Madeleine Peyroux, Karen Mason and Justin Vivian Bond gave the audience plenty to “Smile” about.
The Meeting presented this third annual Night of a Thousand Judys, written and hosted by Justin Sayre with music direction by Lance Horne as a special benefit for The Ali Forney Center. The powerful lineup of performers also included Nancy Anderson, Becca Blackwell, Jaime Cepero, John Early, Danielle Grabianowski, Nathan Lee Graham, Natalie Joy Johnson, Telly Leung, Maude Maggart, Scott Matthew, Christiane Noll, Molly Pope, Everett Quinton, and Rachel Shukert.
We snuck in before the show and caught up with Justin Vivian Bond and a few of the other performers in the Green Room as Carolee Carmello sang “When The Sun Comes Out” and Madeleine Peyroux channeled Ms. Garland herself in “The Man That Got Away.” Upstairs, guests mingled over cocktails and bid on Judy Garland-themed raffle prizes. Before the curtain closed the audience joined the entire cast in singing the Garland favorite “Over the Rainbow.” The song’s message of hope rang especially true on a night dedicated to helping the Ali Forney Center, which provides help for so many homeless and at-risk LGBT youth.
Photography by Jeffrey James Keyes
Justin Vivian Bond
Jaime Cepero and Telly Leung
Madeleine Peyroux and Gary Versace
Nathan Lee Graham
Lance Horne and David Berger
Karen Mason, Alex Roque, Justin Sayre, Christiane Noll
Joe Moeller, Will Porter and Taylor Shubert
Natalie Joy Johnson
Taylor Schubert and Devin Nystrom
The Ali Forney Center Team
Karen Mason and the boys
Adam J. Rosen, Justin Sayre and Dan Fortune