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Taking 500 L.G.B.T Teenagers to ‘The Prom’ on Broadway

Category: Art & Culture,Theater

If there were a Tony Award for making Broadway even more gay friendly, the winner would be Ryan Murphy, the creator of such television hits as “Glee” and “American Horror Story.”

On Tuesday night, he hosted a special performance of “The Prom” at the Longacre Theater, so that L.G.B.T. teenagers could experience the musical, which is about a lesbian in high school taking her girlfriend to the big dance.

The occasion benefited three L.G.B.T. charities — Glaad, the Trevor Project and the Hetrick-Martin Institute — and Mr. Murphy also used it to announce he was turning the show into a “movie event” for Netflix.

“I relate to the show so much because I’m from Indiana” — where the story is set — “and I was not allowed to take my boyfriend to my senior prom,” he said. “I cried at the end from pure joy, which has not happened since Patti LuPone was a flower girl at my wedding.”

Many students, who ranged in age from middle school to college, loved the show so much that they talked all the way through it, and the glow from their phones made their faces even more angelic. At an after-party at the Edition Hotel, they rubbed shoulders with cast members, including Beth Leavel, Brooks Ashmanskas and Caitlin Kinnunen.

They were joined by Glenn Close, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Morrison, Jane Krakowski, Bernadette Peters, George Takei, Janet Mock and Sandra Bernhard, as well as Christian Siriano, the designer, and Gus Kenworthy, the Olympic skier.

It turned out that sharing two hours of theater with 500 teenagers was an equally affirming experience for the L.G.B.T. adults who attended. “I don’t have kids, and I don’t think I need them,” said Andrew Rannells, the Broadway and Hollywood actor. “I have 10 nieces and nephews. My siblings did the heavy lifting for me.”

Billy Porter, who was wearing a Thom Browne gray woolen skirt over Rick Owens leggings, said he would rather have a dog. “I just don’t want a child,” he said. “I’ve had enough!”

Judging by his penthouse on Central Park West, Josh Sapan must make a decent living as chief executive of AMC Networks.

The main floor of his duplex — think 1990s Malibu Beach house, with driftwood-colored furniture, folk-ish art and a waterfall on the terrace — offers views east over Central Park, and west to the setting sun.

“And you have to see upstairs,” said Mr. Sapan, who was greeting guests at his door Monday night for a cocktail party celebrating the second season of “Killing Eve,” which is on BBC America, an AMC Networks channel. A spiral staircase inside a turret led visitors to a study, with large round windows and bookshelves full of first editions and vintage toys.

Jodie Comer, who plays the assassin Villanelle, mingled with guests including Michelle Wolf, Samantha Bee, Bob Balaban, Steve Kroft and Sarah Barnett, the AMC executive in charge of BBC America.

Draped on a bench among the tchotchkes was Sandra Oh, who won a Golden Globe (as well as hosting duties) for her role on the show. Was she surprised by all the positive reaction?

“We started making this second series before all the accolades happened, so we were halfway into it before the wave hit,” she said. “When it aired in the U.K. in September, then it started becoming a little tricky to shoot.”

She admitted to “geeking out” upon meeting her co-star Fiona Shaw, who won accolades for her title role in “Madea” 18 years ago. “I said, ‘I saw you on Broadway, you were so great,’” Ms. Oh said. “And I acted the whole thing out. I’m glad she still likes me after that.”

Ms. Shaw demonstrated a talent for comedy as well as tragedy. As Ms. Comer spoke to a reporter, Ms. Shaw stood behind her, pulling nonstop funny faces.


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