Billy Porter has a way with American music. His grasp of its many forms runs as deep as his ability to perform it. And now there’s new video!
Porter is, of course, a Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer, composer, actor, playwright and director. As a recording artist, the Pittsburgh native’s solo albums include his first CD, Untitled, At the Corner of Broadway + Soul – LIVE, and Billy’s Back on Broadway.
Porter is perhaps best known for originating the role of Lola in the Broadway hit Kinky Boots, which won him a Tony in 2013 — along with Grammy, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. His stage work also includes appearances in Shuffle Along, Miss Saigon, Five Guys…, Grease, Smokey Joe’s…, Dreamgirls, Angels in America, The Merchant of Venice, Radiant Baby, Birdie Blue, Songs for a New World, Ghetto Superstar (a one-man show) as well as Topdog/Underdog, and King Lear. His play, While I Yet Live, premiered in 2015 at Primary Stages.
As a director, his credits include Topdog/Underdog and The Colored Museum (both for Huntington Theatre Company); as well as work on Film and TV in Law & Order: SVU, So You Think You Can Dance (as a guest judge), Broken Hearts Club, Shake Rattle & Roll, The Big C, and The Humbling, (starring Al Pacino) as well as Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down.
Porter’s solo concert credits include opening for Rosie O’Donnell and Aretha Franklin, Carnegie Hall, John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Buffalo Philharmonic, Peter Nero and The Philly Pops, soloist for President Bill Clinton and various benefits throughout the United States.
His latest video takes the South Pacific standard “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Of My Hair” and reimagines it as a protest song against the current occupant of the Oval Office. There’s some adult language, but you’d expect that from Mr. Porter:
In addition, Porter is at work on Pose, a landmark TV series set within New York City’s influential and underground ball culture of the 1980s will premiere this summer.
The series is among the latest TV creations from Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Glee and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, and has already been picked up for a full series order by the FX network.
The series is set in New York City at the apex of LGBTQ ball culture scene in the late 1980s — the same scene that led to voguing and the titular Madonna hit that capped off the era. Pose is slated to start shooting in and around Manhattan and its boroughs this month this February, with an air date that could be as soon as this summer. Several allroom legends and survivors served as consultants.
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Last modified: February 15, 2019