A streaming version of Bill Russell and Janet Hood's 1989 revue Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens is presented December 1, World AIDS Day, to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
A celebration of the lives lost to AIDS told in free-verse monologues with a blues, jazz, and rock score, the piece streams beginning at 5 PM ET at BroadwayCares.org/Elegies. The show is available through December 5.
The virtual production features Brooks Ashmanskas, Laura Bell Bundy, Robin de Jesús, Stephanie Gibson, Lana Gordon, Alan H. Green, Lena Hall, Jayne Houdyshell, Famke Janssen, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Joaquina Kalukango, Tari Kelly, Nathan Lane, Norm Lewis, Alyse Alan Louis, Andrea Macasaet, Kevin McHale, Varla Jean Merman, Jessie Mueller, Cynthia Nixon, Royina Patel, Anthony Rapp, Krysta Rodriguez, Seth Rudetsky , JK Simmons, Robin Lord Taylor, Alysha Umphress, Anna Uzele, Marisha Wallace, Paul Castree, Richard Chamberlain, Charity Angél Dawson, Fran Drescher, J. Harrison Ghee, Gideon Glick, Lisa Howard, James Monroe Iglehart, Cherry Jones, Francis Jue, Vicki Lewis, Telly Leung, Stanley Wayne Mathis, Eric William Morris, Michael Notardonato, Okieriete Onaodowan, Kirsten Scott, Matthew Scott, Michael James Scott, Evan Todd, Mariand Torres, and Michael Xavier.
Russell and Justin Ross Cohen direct. Musical direction is by Hood with casting by Stephen DeAngelis.
Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens, with a book and lyrics by Russell and music by Hood, premiered in 1989 at the height of the AIDS crisis in the U.S. Each monologue is written from the perspective of a character who died from the virus. The songs represent the feelings of friends and family members dealing with the loss.
The stream is produced by Jim Kierstead and Broadway Virtual, Jim Head, Sainty & Eric Nelsen, Rusty & Molly Reid, The Worx Productions LTD, Linda Karn and Ann Moore/Jane Furse, in association with The Abingdon Theatre Company.
Donations will be accepted at BroadwayCares.org. Every dollar donated will help those across the country affected by HIV/AIDS, COVID-19, and other critical illnesses receive healthy meals, lifesaving medication, emergency financial assistance, housing, counseling, and more. The donations also support and champion organizations focused on social justice and anti-racism.
(Updated December 1, 2020)