Laverne Cox and Billy Porter
Laverne Cox, Billy Porter, Chely Wright, and More Join Concert for Global Equality

By Brandon Voss

Originally published on Advocate.com August 27 2014 12:00 PM ET

Emmy-nominated Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox, Tony-winning Kinky Boots star Billy Porter, and country singer Chely Wright have been added to the roster of performers for Uprising of Love: A Benefit Concert for Global Equality.

They join previously announced headliners Sting and Patti LuPone, as well as Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis and Bollywood actress Celina Jaitly. Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, composers of the musical Witness Uganda, will also appear.

In partnership with the United Nations Foundation, composer Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) and out producer Bruce Cohen (American BeautyMilkSilver Linings Playbook) are executive producers of the concert, which will be presented September 15 at Broadway's Gershwin Theatre.

The Uprising of Love campaign, initially launched prior to the Sochi Winter Olympics in response to Russia's antigay laws, is now focused on "raising awareness and funds for activists making a difference on the ground in every part of the globe where LGBTI safety and dignity is compromised."

"As the world converges upon New York City for the United Nations General Assembly and the Clinton Global Initiative, we join together to remind global leaders that that LGBTI people around the world are facing harassment, abuse, and violence, and to raise significant funding for grassroots organizations and activists around the world," read press notes about the event.

The event will feature a script by Uprising of Love cofounder Dustin Lance Black, an Oscar winner for Milk. Additional performers and speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Net proceeds from the event will benefit Fueling the Frontlines, a campaign for worldwide equality led by the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, which bills itself as "the only philanthropic organization in the United States solely dedicated to advancing LGBTI rights globally."

Cox will participate in GenderFluid, a festival celebrating transgender and genderfluid artists, September 9 at Baruch Performing Arts Center. The Advocate cover girl will team up with MTV and Logo this fall to produce a documentary about trans youth.

A Tony winner for his performance as Lola, the drag heroine of the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Porter recently released his third solo album, Billy's Back on Broadway.

Wright came out publicly in 2010, shortly before the release of her memoir, Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer.
 Her documentary, Wish Me Away, premiered in 2012.

Sting composed the music and lyrics for a new musical, The Last Ship, which opens October 26 at Broadway's Neil Simon Theatre. LuPone, a Tony winner for her work in Evita and Gypsy, recently kicked off a two-year cabaret residency at New York's 54 Below.

For tickets and more information visit UprisingofLove.org.

Contributor: 
Brandon Voss