If you’re in NYC in June, there is a full calendar of events to commemorate Gay Pride Month. This year is especially significant in marking the 50th anniversary of the seminal Stonewall Uprising and a half-century of LGBTQ+ liberation. Special programming ranges from themed exhibitions to live performances and outdoor festivities, offering everything from free admission to free-spirited celebrations.
The month of events culminates out on the streets in the annual NYC Pride March, beginning at noon on Sunday, June 30, at 26th Street and Fifth Avenue. First held in 1970, the gay rights demonstration is the biggest pride parade in the world, dually branded in 2019 with the global WorldPride, hosted for the first in the United States.
Among the wide selection of pride-inspired shows, the following five picks provide something for all interests and budgets:
Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 – The New York Public Library presents a photographic and archival exhibition tracing the emergence and development of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement throughout the 1960s and ‘70s. Installed in the library’s main branch, the inspiring exhibit, curated by Jason Baumann, features the photographs of Kay Tobin Lahusen and Diana Davies (two groundbreaking photojournalists who captured the pivotal events and people of the era), along with items from the Library’s vast archival holdings in LGBTQ+ history. Complimentary docent-led tours are offered daily; for the schedule, go online.
Love & Resistance: Stonewall 50 is on view through Saturday, July 13, 2019, at the New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Rayner Special Collections Wing & Print Gallery, Third Floor – Fifth Avenue, between 40th and 42nd Streets, NYC. Admission is free; no ticketing is required.
Camp Morning Wood – Simultaneous with Pride Month is the new musical Camp Morning Wood, playing a four-week limited engagement at Off-Broadway’s Peter Jay Sharpe Theater. Conceived and directed by Marc Eardley, with book and lyrics by Jay Falzone and choreography by Falzone and Ian Coulter-Buford, the outrageously audacious, funny, and heartwarming story follows the adventures of an engaged couple headed out of the city to reconnect with one another. But when their car breaks down outside the titular gay nudist camp, the men are confronted with “super-duper naked” temptations, dance numbers, torch songs, and a handsome right-wing senator who threatens to put an end to all the fun.
Stonewall – Part of New York City Opera’s annual Pride Series, the commissioned world-premiere American opera by Iain Bell (composer) and Mark Campbell (librettist) follows a diverse group of characters whose stories intersect on one historic night in June 1969, at the eponymous Greenwich Village club. Directed by Leonard Foglia, the new work hits all of the notes in a moving, humorous, gritty, explosive, and ultimately hopeful view of the momentous uprising, when the LGBTQ+ community had the strength to fight back against harassment and oppression.
Stonewall plays Friday, June 21-Friday, June 28, 2019, at New York City Opera, performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, Time Warner Center – 10 Columbus Circle, NYC. For tickets, call (212) 721-6500, or go online.
2019 WorldPride Opening Ceremony – Presented by NYC Pride, hosted by Tony Award-winner Whoopi Goldberg, and featuring an all-star lineup that includes Chaka Khan, Todrick Hall, Ciara, Daya, DJ Lina Bradford, and Tony winners Cyndi Lauper and Billy Porter, the three-hour kick-off concert will be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, from 7-10 pm on June 26. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Ali Forney Center, Immigration Equality, and SAGE, three leading LGBTQ+ organizations in NYC. Additional acts will be announced in the days leading up to the event, and you can bet they’ll be as exciting and committed as the initial roster.
I, Candy: Peppermint Live in Concert with Cazwell – RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite Peppermint made history while making her debut on the Great White Way this past season in the musical Head over Heels, as the first transgender woman to create a principal role on Broadway. She will celebrate WorldPride with long-time collaborator Cazwell, joined by a live band for a special one night only event on June 28, at Off-Broadway’s Gramercy Theater. Doors open an hour before the 7:00 show time; full bar and waiter service will be available throughout the performance, and special VIP tickets include a meet and greet with the star.
June is filled with a variety of shows and events that will enlighten, enrich, and entertain, so learn, support, and enjoy Gay Pride Month in NYC!