Drag queens, Broadway stars unite for Divas for Democracy voting variety show
EW can exclusively reveal that divas from the drag world and icons of the stage will come together for Divas For Democracy: United We Slay, a one-night-only variety show extravaganza promoting voter participation and key issues relating to the LGBTQIA+ community in the upcoming 2020 election.
Presented by the nonprofit voter engagement organization Drag Out the Vote and hosted by RuPaul's Drag Race star Nina West and Entertainment Tonight's Keltie Knight, Divas for Democracy: United We Slay features scores of talent who will sing and lip-synch through dazzling performances of theater classics and pop songs.
Special segments will highlight LGBTQIA+ activists in a nonpartisan effort to shine a light on community participation in the political process, including celebrity appearances by Tony winner Cyndi Lauper, Drag Race panelist Michelle Visage, Harvey Fierstein, James Monroe Iglehart, Bianca Del Rio, Shangela, Cheyenne Jackson, Mila Jam, and Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney.
Drag superstars slated to perform during the broadcast include Alaska, Jinkx Monsoon, Jujubee, Valentina, Peppermint (who also starred on Broadway in the Go-Go's musical Head Over Heels), Cynthia Lee Fontaine, Shuga Cain, Honey Davenport, and Drag Out the Vote's national co-chairs Brita Filter, Marti Gould Cummings, and Pixie Aventura.
Broadway figures set to appear include legendary three-time Tony-winning actress Chita Rivera as well as Tony winners Stephanie J. Block (The Cher Show), Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon), Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon), Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), and Annaleigh Ashford (You Can't Take It With You). Also joining the program are stage stars Shoshana Bean (Waitress), Eden Espinosa (Wicked), Jenn Collela (Come From Away), Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman, Waitress), Tamika Lawrence (If/Then), L Morgan Lee (A Strange Loop), and Our Lady J.
The presentation will be directed by Josh Rhodes and Lee Wilkins, whose joint careers include work choreographing Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, First Date, It Shoulda Been You, and Bright Star on Broadway. Tony winner Stephen Oremus (The Book of Mormon) will serve as music supervisor.
"One in five LGBTQIA+ people is not registered to vote, and 100 million people did not vote in the 2016 election. We must fix this," said Drag Out the Vote founder Jackie Huba in a press statement. "We are excited to bring together the worlds of Broadway and drag to inspire voters to sashay their way to the polls or their mailboxes."
Divas for Democracy: United We Slay airs Oct. 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET exclusively on StageIt. Tickets — available on a "donate-what-you-can" basis — go on sale Thursday at 10:00 a.m. ET at divasfordemocracy.com.
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