John M. Becker

Broadway Responds to Russia's Anti-LGBT Persecution

Filed By John M. Becker | January 24, 2014 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Broadway, musicals, parody, Russia, Russian anti-LGBT laws, Russian propaganda law, satire

broadway-responds-russia.jpgLife for LGBT people in Russia has become significantly more difficult after the Putin government passed its notorious ban on so-called "gay propaganda," which outlaws any public expression of LGBT identity, pride, and support.

Russia's crackdown on its LGBT citizens has sparked ongoing (and wholly justifiable) international outrage. But sometimes, in the face of darkness and hatred, we need a little laughter too. Silver screen legend Mel Brooks put it another way: "The only way to get even with anybody is to ridicule them."

In that spirit, a veritable constellation of Broadway's biggest stars came together to perform and record an epic theatrical protest against Russia's anti-LGBT policies. The nearly 12-minute parody, directed by John Walton West and composed by Jason Michael Snow, is called "Russian Broadway Shut Down -- Government Deems All Theatre Homosexual Propaganda."

The title basically explains the video's plot: the Russian government declares all theatre performances to be "homosexual propaganda" and shuts the whole thing down, and the Russian Broadway community responds.

The results are absolutely delightful, and well worth watching in full. The star-studded cast includes Harvey Fierstein, Laura Osnes, Michael Cerveris, Laura Benanti, Stephen Schwartz, Joanna Gleason, Jeremy Jordan, Victoria Clark, Jonathon Groff, Michael Urie, and so many more. Dan Savage and Michael Musto make cameo appearances as well.

The video is after the jump. Enjoy!

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