The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) Director of Marketing and Communications Heather Draskin announced their programming of “Pride Anthems” as a wonderful way to kick-off Pride Month in the Hamptons. Ms. Draskin said, “Pride Anthem’s is a great performance. What it is going to be is the kick-off of “Pride-Month,” here in the Hamptons. The kick-off will be the festivities June 2, at 8 PM with ‘Pride Anthems’ at the WHBPAC.” Director Draskin credits Executive Director Julienne Penza-Boone for spearheading the effort to bring “Pride Anthems” to WHBPAC.
Heather Draskin explained Pride Anthems is a musical journey of the past fifty years featuring music from folks like Donna Summer, Queen, George Michael, and Madonna with all those songs that are significant to the “Pride Legacy.” Then, Ms. Draskin added how important this show will be because “There is a storytelling component about the fight for LBGTQ+ Equality, and it’s all performed by Broadway Stars, Broadway performers. It is a show for all ages, and Everyone comes together in song and celebration. It will demonstrate where the community has come from.”
The show showcases the story of the fight for LGBTQ+ equality and how it is linked to the music that “evokes the struggles, heartache, and liberation of queer lives then and now.” The show commemorates “the legacy and power and power of the Stonewall Riots.”
The Stonewall Riots or uprisings, occurred after an anti-gay violent action by the NYC police at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969. Patrons of the other lesbian and gay bars and neighborhood street people reportedly fought back. Many consider this event to be the “watershed event,” of the gay liberation movement of the 20th century. It was a very emotional two days that jump-started in motion, an energy that grows to this day.
The power of awareness hit the zeitgeist those two days of June 1969. Intense sacrifices of those pioneers have definitely had a phenomenal positive long-term effect. Both here is the U.S.A. and around the world.
The performers scheduled for “Pride Anthems” are Natalie Joy Johnson, Kevin Smith Kirkwood, and Jon-Michael Reese. They perform under the supervision of Musical Director Brian J. Nash. Heather Draskins also mentioned, “Pride Anthems will be a brand-new performance. The show is having their World Première on May 24th. The WHBPAC performance will be the second performance.” Draskin added, “Pride Anthems is part of a nationwide tour. What makes this special is that a portion of the proceeds will benefit ‘Pride Lives,” and the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center.” The center is scheduled to open June 2024 in Washington D.C.
Tickets are still available at the website (www.whbpac.org ) or at the box office, or online. As Director Draskin also said, “I want to point out that it is for all ages. It is going to be a fun and uplifting evening of entertainment. This will be the WHBPAC’s first foray into LGBTQ+ programing. That is why we want a great kick-off to all pride festivities. We are working to make the WHBPAC an inclusive space for the community.