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by Michael Portantiere

    Charlie Williams, "Mr. Memphis," Wins Broadway Beauty Pageant

    The fourth annual Broadway Beauty Pageant, benefiting the Ali Forney Center for homeless LGBT youth, raised the roof at Symphony Space on Monday evening, April 19. This year's contestants were Eddie Pendergraft (Mr. Wicked), Rickey Tripp (Mr. In the Heights), Wes Hart (Mr. West Side Story), Daniel Soto (Mr. Fela!), and the gorgeous and talented guy who turned out to be the winner: Charlie Williams (Mr. Memphis). Here are my pics from this amazing event.


    A moment from the opening number, with Wes Hart (Mr. West Side Story) front and center.


    This year's celebrity judges for the BBP were (left to right) Christine Ebersole, Charles Busch, and Michael Musto. A real trouper, Musto was a last-minute substitute (literally!) for Jackie Hoffman, who couldn't attend due to a scheduling conflict.


    In the talent portion of the competition, Charlie Williams rapped...


    ...Eddie Pendergraft sang, and later displayed his talents as an illustrator...


    ...and Rickey Tripp delivered a monologue from Precious.


    Memorable moments from the swimsuit competition: Daniel Soto (Mr. Fela!)...


    ...Charlie Williams (Mr. Memphis)...


    ...Eddie Pendergraft (Mr. Wicked)...


    ...Rickey Tripp (Mr. In the Heights)...


    ...and Wes Hart (Mr. West Side Story).


    And the winner is...Charlie Williams!


    Here's the new "Mr. Broadway" flanked by two previous winners of the title, Marty Thomas (left, "Mr. Broadway" 2008) and Frank James Grande ("Mr. Broadway" 2007). Last year's winner, Anthony Hollock, couldn't attend because he's currently appearing in the London transfer of the hit Broadway revival of Hair -- but he sent a really funny video in his place.


    The thrill of victory!


    Here's the lucky winner with the fabulous Charles Busch.


    Finally, here's a post-pageant shot of the event's hilarious host, Tovah Feldshuh, with (left) Carl Siciliano, executive director of the Ali Forney Center, and Wil Fisher, who executive produced the pageant for the organization.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Item Link

    Michael Portantiere comes to BroadwayStars with more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for such media outlets as TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has also contributed articles and reviews to AfterElton.com, Playbill, and Stagebill, and has written notes for several major cast albums. Additionally, Michael is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several notable websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.)
    He can be reached at [email protected]

    The last five columns written by Michael Portantiere:

    07/13/2010: Presidential Material

    07/04/2010: Hardy Boy

    06/29/2010: High School Stars

    06/21/2010: Falling in Love Again

    06/17/2010: A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    For a listing of all features written by Michael, click here.