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LGBT Pride Pool Party! Get Wet and Wild with Six Out Stage Stars

It’s Pride Week in New York City, and the Big Apple is buzzing with tons of fun events to celebrate LGBT rights, from parades to festivals to sweaty dance parties. Broadway.com got in on the action and threw a Pride pool party on the roof of the Empire Hotel for a crew of awesome out Broadway stars. We snapped sexy shots of the stars and asked them about their gay icons, Pride hashtags, childhood obsessions and tons more. Jump in!


ROBIN DE JESUS
Boq in Wicked


Who’s your favorite LGBT Broadway musical character?
I’m gonna have to say Angel in Rent.

Who was the first musical theater character you found yourself strangely attracted to?
The Judge in Sweeney Todd? Kidding! I mean, the guys in West Side Story kind of turned me on as a kid going to see the musical. The Sharks and the Jets. I’m like the UN. Equal opportunist.

What childhood obsession should have been a clear indicator to your family?
Telenovelas. I loved them so. You couldn’t speak during telenovelas in my house! I’d be like, “Shhhhhhhhh!" You were liable to get an ass-whooping just for talking.

Which LGBT icon needs their own Broadway bio-musical?
There was that Andy Warhol musical happening a while ago. That would be fascinating.

Which three gay icons living or dead would you invite to your fabulous Pride pool party?
I would have RuPaul, Elizabeth Gilbert—even though she doesn’t pretend to be a gay icon, she is to me!—and Karen Olivo!

What’s your Pride 2015 hashtag?
#whenyourereadycomeandgetit

Which Broadway character needs to get over it and come out of the closet already?
Maybe Usnavi in In the Heights? Whenever we were rehearsing the opening number, Lin-Manuel Miranda would change the lyrics “And one day I’ll be on a beach with Sonny writing checks to me” to “With Sonny having sex with me.” I mean, it would have been weird 'cause we were cousins, but if you removed that, it might be OK!


JAY ARMSTRONG JOHNSON
Chip in On the Town


What’s your Pride 2015 hashtag?
#gayjay2015. Everyone called me Gay Jay in the third grade, even though I didn't know I was gay. Apparently everyone else did. So I’m now gonna own it.

Which LGBT icon needs their own Broadway bio-musical?
Caitlyn Jenner? I mean, that’d be a pretty rich.

What childhood obsession should have been a clear indicator to your family?
Reba McEntire. Picture me chasseing around my living room to Reba McEntire as an eight year old Southern boy.

Who was the first musical theater character you found yourself strangely attracted to?
Gavin Creel. I don’t even remember the name of the character. All I remember it was Thoroughly Modern Millie and it was Gavin Creel.

Which three gay icons living or dead would you invite to your fabulous Pride pool party?
Judy Garland, Lady Gaga and Harvey Fierstein, just for some masculinity.

When did you feel the most loud and proud onstage?
At the National Equality March in 2009 performing with the cast of Hair. We sang "Let the Sunshine In” to 30,000 people marching on Washington.

Which Broadway character needs to get over it and come out of the closet already?
Judge Pitkin from On the Town. He's supposed to be marrying Claire de Loon but come on. Let’s be real about it.


BETH MALONE
Alison in Fun Home


Which Broadway character needs to get over it and come out of the closet already?
The Genie from Aladdin. He’s super gay! Super. Gay.

Who was the first musical theater character you found yourself strangely attracted to?
Donald O’Connor in Singin' in the Rain! I wanted to be him. If you think about it he’s kind of like a scrappy little lesbian in that movie. I wasn’t attracted to him, but I wanted to be him! And of course, Debbie Reynolds in movies like The Unsinkable Molly Brown. So scrappy.

What childhood obsession should have been a clear indicator to your family?
Kristy McNichol. I was obsessed with Little Darlings. I wore that VHS tape out. And Jodie Foster in the Disney movie Candleshoe. When I was very young I saw that and it literally was my “Ring of Keys” moment. It was like DING! I like her... I’m like her.. You know what I mean?

Who’s your favorite LGBT Broadway musical character?
When I was in high school I saw La Cage aux Folles and fell in love with Albin. He’s all love and just the mother you wish you had.

Which three gay icons living or dead would you invite to your fabulous Pride pool party?
Judy Garland, Divine and Mary Martin. Can I say that out loud? I really think Mary Martin was gay and I’d love to have her come to my pool party!

Which LGBT icon needs their own Broadway bio-musical?
It would be interesting to hear the genesis of Tom Cruise! That would be a good musical!


CHRISTOPHER SIEBER
Miss Trunchbull in Matilda


Which three gay icons living or dead would you invite to your fabulous Pride pool party?
Harvey Fierstein has to be there because that would be fun, Peter Allen because he could entertain us and Tammy Faye Bakker. Can you imagine?

Which Broadway character needs to get over it and come out of the closet already?
J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland. Just come on out. Tell us about the little boys. Come on.

Who’s your favorite LGBT Broadway musical character?
Albin in La Cage. So deep, so funny. Hands down my favorite.

Who was the first musical theater character you found yourself strangely attracted to?
Robert Preston in The Music Man movie. He was charismatic and amazing. it wasn’t necessary like a crush but I was like, “I wanna be that guy."

What childhood obsession should have been a clear indicator to your family?
I sang along to every Broadway cast recording my parents had and I put on these shows in the living room. My brother Mark was the stage manager. We had floor-to-ceiling curtains in front of a big window that you could open with a drawstring like a theater curtain. The lawn was my audience, the sun was my spotlight, the window frame was my proscenium. My parents would be like, “What are you doing?!” and I’d be like, “I’M DOING A SHOW."

Which LGBT icon needs their own Broadway bio-musical?
Liza’s an opera waiting to happen. She’s wonderful but so many epic things have happened in her life including two gay husbands! That’s totally gonna be an opera one day.


MICHAEL URIE
Car in Shows for Days


Which Broadway character needs to get over it and come out of the closet already?
Max from The Sound of Music. Totally gay.

Who was the first musical theater character you found yourself strangely attracted to?
Does Bernadette Peters count? There was a lot going on when I first discovered her. A lot of confusion, a lot of excitement. But also Billy Bigelow. He’s not my type in life but there’s something about him.

Which LGBT icon needs their own Broadway bio-musical?
A Barry Manilow musical would be pretty fabulous.

When did you feel the most loud and proud onstage?
When I was in The Temperamentals, a beautiful play about the Mattachine Society, the first political group for gay people in the '50s. The older generation of gay people who came to see that play were so moved. It was just really special to get to tell their story.

What childhood obsession should have been a clear indicator to your family?
I was really into film production design when I was a kid—Dick Tracy, Beetlejuice, Batman… Really into style. And when I was 15 or so, I discovered cast albums. One Christmas, I got the album to Miss Saigon and later in the day, I was in my room listening to it and my parents were like, “What are you doing?” and I was like, “I’m FALLING IN LOVE with Miss Saigon!” Even then, I was like, “Wow, that sounded really gay."

Which three gay icons living or dead would you invite to your fabulous Pride pool party?
Peter Allen at the jukebox, Charles Nelson Reilly at the grill and Greg Louganis on the diving board.


MAX VON ESSEN
Henri Baurel in An American in Paris


When did you feel the most loud and proud onstage?
When I was in Jerry Springer: The Opera playing a transsexual named Tremont. It was such a huge challenge and I had to take a big leap to play someone going through this experience But it was so freeing to just jump out there and live this person.

What childhood obsession should have been a clear indicator to your family?
I was obsessed super early on with Liza Minnelli. I remember buying the album to The Act when I was in the fourth grade. I had the entire thing memorized. Nobody told me she was a gay icon. I just discovered it on my own in the record store.

Who was the first musical theater character you found yourself strangely attracted to?
Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl. He was just so cool and romantic and such a gentleman. I loved it.

Which LGBT icon needs their own Broadway bio-musical?
This is so expected but Judy Garland. She needs like a La Vie en Rose kind of stage musical.

Which three gay icons living or dead would you invite to your fabulous Pride pool party?
You’d think for a pool party I’d want people who are really beautiful but I’d pick Oscar Wilde, Judy Garland and Shirley Bassey. I don’t need them in bathing suits. I just need to talk to them.

Who’s your favorite LGBT Broadway musical character?
Henri Baurel in An American in Paris. Even though he’s not quite there yet, I know he is ultimately. And he’s my favorite.

 
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