"We're All a Little Green"

Broadway's cast of Wicked -- together with stars from other Broadway shows and a slew of A-listers --will come together next week in a star-studded fight for marriage equality.

BY Michelle Garcia

February 20 2009 1:00 AM ET

While Broadway is
always good for a laugh, a song, and sometimes a tear, the
people onstage can sometimes bring more than good entertainment
to the table. An example is the upcoming concert "Defying
Inequality," featuring cast members from shows like
Wicked, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys,

and
Sesame Street,

and appearances by Cyndi Lauper, Keith Olbermann, and Al
Sharpton, among many others. The proceeds for the concert will
go to marriage-equality organizations like Family Equality
Council, Empire State Pride Agenda, Equality California, Garden
State Equality, and the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force. We
sat down with codirector Anthony Galde, from the cast of
Broadway's
Wicked

, who talked about putting on this enormous
production.

We've noticed that the cast and crew of
Wicked

has been very involved in the fight for marriage equality. Was
there anything in particular that rallied them together to do
this?

It's a very philanthropic group. I've been in this show
for five years. I remember one time I read a story in the
newspaper about a little boy whose parents couldn't afford
to get his hearing aid. So I came to work the next day and
said, "All right, let's make this happen." So we
got together and raised money for his hearing aid, and he got
to come see the show. This is a very philanthropic group of
people. We're very grateful for what we do, and that we
have this job. It's kind of like a government job.

And then there
are the themes of the show, whether it gets to you
through osmosis or not. We're all a little green --
it's not such a big deal. Maybe we should stop saying,
"Hey, look, there's a green person," and instead
say, "Hey, look, there's a good person." You
can't tell a story like this without it somewhere getting
into you.

How were you able to wrangle so many people into this
production?

When you're in a successful show like this you can either
puff up and say "Look at me," or you can be grateful
and realize that because of your success you have an obligation
to do something. Fortunately, that's the way this place
rolls. We went through the same sort of thing with [our benefit
for the victims of] Katrina -- that ended up enormous. As much
as the process has been enlightening and invigorating and
you've seen the company come together, there's also
been the other side. When you ask some people if they want to
be a part of this, you can tell that they don't agree with
you. It's been, for the most part, really empowering, but
there have been occasions where it hurts. There have been
people that I know -- it's like,
Wow, you don't think that I deserve the same rights as
you.

It's been very hard. I could cry right now.

Tags: Theater

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