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Flushing Town Hall to celebrate Pride Month with special musical trilogy

Flushing Town Hall's Pride Trilogy features an extraordinary lineup of multi-award winning performers and vocalists. (From l. to r.) Mark Nadler, Marieann Meringolo and Darius de Haas. (Courtesy of Flushing Town Hall)

In celebration of Pride Month in June, Flushing Town Hall is presenting its Pride Trilogy, a three-part musical series featuring an extraordinary lineup of award-winning performers and vocalists. 

“Inspired by the success of our Black History Trilogy in February, we are very excited to present this new series for Pride,” said Ellen Kodadek, Flushing Town Hall’s executive and artistic director. “As New York City reopens, we are also thrilled to be welcoming artists back to the stage in our Hall while continuing to livestream for audiences at home.”

The Pride Trilogy is supported in part by funding from Councilman Daniel Dromm, who said Flushing Town Hall’s Pride Trilogy is another exciting way that the organization ensures inclusivity in all of its events. 

“Because invisibility is our biggest enemy, making us visible in the arts is so vitally important and no one does it better than Flushing Town Hall,” Dromm said. “I am most grateful to everyone involved for their support of the LGBTQ community of Queens. Happy Pride!” 

Mark Nadler, an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist, tap dancer and comedian, kicks off the trilogy with “Gay As They Say” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 10. 

In this fun and tuneful show, Nadler explores the theory that Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Larry Hart and Billy Strayhorn meant what you think they meant when they wrote provocative, gay-sounding phrases in their lyrics. The virtual audience is invited to stay for a live Q&A with Nadler following his performance.

Nadler is the recipient of the 2015 Broadway World Editor’s Choice Award for Entertainer of the Year. His off-Broadway hit, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” has been honored with the 2013 Nightlife Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and two Broadway World Awards. 

The show was presented at The Adelaide Cabaret Festival in Adelaide, Australia, where it was nominated for the prestigious Helpmann Award. Additionally, Nadler’s “Broadway Hootenanny” performed at Adelaide Festival for several years in a row. He has performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York Pops Orchestra and has been a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Oregon Symphony, National Arts Centre Symphony in Ottawa and others.

On Thursday, June 17, at 7 p.m., the Pride Trilogy continues with Marieann Meringolo’s “Here’s to the Ladies! A Salute to Great Ladies of Song,” celebrating such icons as Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, Joni Mitchell, Dionne Warwick and more. 

Meringolo is a native New Yorker and multi-award winning vocalist who has been called “one of the circuit’s most powerful singers,” and described by “Time Out New York” as “if k.d. lang’s DNA were to get whipped together with Barbra Streisand’s in a genetics lab specializing in divas, the result might well be Marieann Meringolo.” 

Meringolo is a MAC Award-Winning Recording Artist as well as a BackStage Bistro Award-Winner for “Outstanding Vocalist.” She performs in New York’s most celebrated venues, has toured with the late comedian David Brenner and headlines on cruises around the world. She received rave reviews for her 2018 album, released on the BluJazz label, “Between Yesterday and Tomorrow: The Songs of Alan & Marilyn Bergman.”

Meringolo’s gorgeous voice is often played on radio stations and the internet around the world, and has been heard on selected United Airlines flights, as well as on Air Force II. She has also had the honor of performing live at the United Nations.

Flushing Town Hall’s Pride Trilogy will conclude with a very special performance from Darius de Haas at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 24. In Darius de Haas Sings Billy Strayhorn: “Something to Live For,” de Haas will celebrate the composer’s rich contribution to the Great American Songbook with songs like “Take the A Train,” “Lush Life,” “Day Dream,” “Chelsea Bridge” and more. 

An Obie Award-winning actor and singer, Darius de Haas has appeared in Broadway’s “Rent,” “Shuffle Along,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and in Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” He brings an ever evolving and singular perspective to Strayhorn’s tremendous output- celebrating a composer whose music he sung for his debut solo recording 20 years ago, the critically acclaimed “Day Dream: Variations on Strayhorn.”

Known mainly in his lifetime as one of Duke Ellington’s greatest collaborators, Strayhorn has been increasingly celebrated for his own rich contributions, not just to music but as a humanitarian. An out, gay Black man at a time when the norm was to keep that hidden (particularly in the macho-dominated world of jazz), Strayhorn was not only out but held in the highest regard by his fellow musicians and colleagues. 

“Billy Strayhorn is someone who I affectionately call ‘a triple threat’ — gay, Black and a genius,” de Haas said. “I, and certainly many other artists, have benefited from his contribution to the Great American Songbook and stand on his small but mighty shoulders.”

Flushing Town Hall’s Pride Trilogy is presented as part of itsFTH At Home!virtual programming initiative to provide the highest-caliber global arts performances to audiences throughout New York, the country and across the world to enjoy from the safety of home. Since New York City first shutdown to COVID-19 in March of 2020, Flushing Town Hall’s YouTube subscriber audience has grown by more than 220 percent.

To learn more about the upcoming TRILOGY and to reserve virtual tickets ($5 each, plus a $1 service fee) visit flushingtownhall.org/pride-trilogy.

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