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Celebrities headline San Diego reading of ’8′

Dustin Lance Black

An all-star celebrity cast, including entertainers and LGBT activists Lance Bass (NSync), Annette O’Toole (Smallville) and Bruce Vilanch (Hollywood Squares), are scheduled to perform in a one-night-only reading of 8. Written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk, J. Edgar), the play chronicles the historic trial that challenged California’s Prop. 8.

The San Diego production of 8 will be staged Nov. 19, 7: 30 p.m. at the historic Birch North Park Theatre (2891 University Ave. in North Park). Tickets start at $19, with net proceeds benefiting the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER).

“People need to witness what happened in the Prop. 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” said Black. The playwright is also a founding member of AFER. “The goal of 8 is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right. The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light.”

Black is scheduled to participate in a talk-back session following the San Diego reading. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and his daughter Lisa will also participate in the discussion along with other local celebrities.

Greg Cruz of Production & Celebrity Entertainment, the producer of the San Diego reading, says the show draws attention to the fight for LGBT marriage equality in a way never seen before.

“I’m a younger guy. When I was watching all the different political things that happened throughout the months of No on 8 and prior to the trial, to be honest I thought the approach didn’t get the message out – it just didn’t seem to say what our intentions were to say,” Cruz said. “Then I was able to see this play … and I thought that was a defining moment of exactly what is taking place, what exactly we are looking for, and to show the real reason behind 8. It really intrigued me.”

One of the original readings, produced in September 2011, included stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and was directed by Rob Reiner. More than a year later and after more than 200 productions across the country, the stars are still coming out to support the show.

“Lance (Bass) is doing it because he is very compassionate about this,” Cruz said about the San Diego show. “He’s been an activist, speaking to many different groups across the country about marriage equality and about coming out.”

Cruz said that Bass is also bringing additional celebrities – “eye candy, if you will,” he teased – that plan to perform in the production. Cruz is also working with outspoken gay activist and actress Kathy Najimy, who has expressed an interest in performing in the San Diego show if her schedule permits.

Tickets are available at the Birch North Park Theatre box office or online at birchnorthparktheatre.net. For more information, log on to 8theplay.com. The show is being performed with license from AFER and Broadway Impact.

Cruz is also looking for show sponsors. For information about becoming a sponsor, contact Tom Brown at 619-709-1867 or tom@pcebookings.com



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Oct 11, 2012. Filed under Entertainment News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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