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"We're All a
Little Green"

"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.

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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.

There are so many people involved with this show. How have you been able to orchestrate this in just a few weeks? It's actually produced by 4good Productions. We work together so much that we just have a rhythm, a method to the madness. Generally we're just four passionate people, and we're especially driven because it's such a deep issue. It's been interesting because it's three straight women who are all married, and then there's me, with a 6-year-old adopted child and in the process of a separation after nine years, and realizing how unprotected I am.

Has your separation driven your activism for marriage equality even more? It wasn't intentional, but it's amazing how the universe works and that this all happened at the same time. When Proposition 8 happened the cast of Wicked started freaking out. Just talking amongst ourselves we decided to do a benefit concert with all of the companies in North America on one night.

A few years ago Jenna [Leigh Green], Schele [Williams], and I wanted to do a benefit for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, so we did what we knew we could do, and since then we've wanted to do even more.

Looking at this gigantic lineup, what are you looking forward to the most with this show? There's so many moments. I guess the fact that Al Sharpton wants to get up there and yell about gay marriage. And Cyndi Lauper -- she said, "I don't want to sing, I want to yell! I want to say what I have to say." Honestly, it's the straight people. What I'm finding is that the gay community -- there's so much built into us by religion and society, and our own government that we pay taxes toaEUR| This is obviously something that the gay community is very passionate about, but deep down inside, they don't think it's possible. It's really sad. But juxtaposing that, I'm seeing that the straight community is on fire. The people that get it are so pissed off. And they will say whatever they've got to say. It's so validating. Schele Williams is black, and she says that when she looks at pictures of the Civil Rights marches and she sees white people in the front lines, she knows that they took a bullet either literally or figuratively for that cause because they believed it was wrong. She says, "It's my obligation to humanity to take a bullet."

"Defying Inequality" will be staged February 23 at 8 p.m. at the Gershwin Theatre in New York. For tickets and information contact Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4100 or visit .

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"We're All a
Little Green"

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