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GMHC and Broadway Stars to Honor Andrew Rannells

Rannells will be celebrated on April 29 at the annual GMHC Cabaret & Howard Ashman Award event at Joe’s Pub; past honorees include Terrence McNally, Michael Urie, and Javier Muñoz

Confirmed performers include Nikki James, Jarrod Spector, Alysha Umphress,
Zuzana Szadkowski, Dirty Martini, Lance Horne, and more

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Media Contact:
Cub Barrett: VP, Communications and Public Affairs, GMHC
212-367-1561 |



Purchase tickets:


New York (April 17, 2019)—Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) will honor writer and Tony Award-nominated performer Andrew Rannells with the 2019 Howard Ashman Award for his contributions to the LGBT community and the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Rannells will be presented the award on April 29 at GMHC’s annual Cabaret & Howard Ashman Award event at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. He will be saluted by friends, Broadway stars, and other performers including Nikki James (a Tony Award winner for her role in The Book of Mormon), Jarrod Spector (currently starring as Sonny Bono in The Cher Show), Alysha Umphress (On the Town, Bring It On: The Musical), Zuzana Szadkowski (Gossip Girl, Girls), and Burlesque star Dirty Martini. Veteran Broadway arranger and musician Lance Horne will lead the musical direction, and Rannells will also perform.

Rannells, who first appeared on Broadway in Hairspray in 2005, has been an outspoken advocate since his early acting days in New York City. He has made appearances at numerous AIDS Walks around the country; represented LGBT characters in Broadway productions of The Boys In the Band and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, as well as the HIV-positive character Whizzer in the recent production of Falsettos; and used his platform to raise funds for and awareness of HIV/AIDS. His memoir, Too Much Is Not Enough: A Memoir of Fumbling Toward Adulthood, was released on March 12, 2019 to wide acclaim.

"GMHC was the first AIDS service organization, created by the people of New York to serve the people of New York, and as a New Yorker I’m proud to support the folks who are continuing to fight the good fight,” said Rannells, who has also appeared on TV in shows including Girls and the current Black Monday. “I know the history of the epidemic and the history that GMHC has been a part of—as well as the history it’s creating today through its work. I’m thrilled to be a part of that."

Proceeds from the cabaret will directly support GMHC’s lifesaving programs, which benefit more than 13,000 clients living with or affected by HIV/AIDS each year through testing, prevention, mental health, substance use, legal, housing, and nutrition services.

The Howard Ashman Award is named for the Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy Award-winning lyricist of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Little Shop of Horrors who died of AIDS-related complications in 1991.

"Andrew is hilarious, smart, savvy—and committed to helping us end HIV/AIDS," said GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie. "He shows up when we ask him to appear. He understands the issues we face, and the importance of the work we do. And, most importantly, he knows he has a voice, and that he can use that voice for good. I hope we can count on Andrew’s voice in the years ahead as we continue to make progress toward ending the AIDS epidemic once and for all."



WHO: Andrew Rannells, Nikki James, Jarrod Spector, Alysha Umphress, Zuzana Szadkowski, Dirty Martini, Lance Horne, and GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie

WHAT: 2019 GMHC Cabaret & Howard Ashman Award, benefiting GMHC WHEN: Monday, April 29, 2019

7:00 – 9:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)

WHERE: Joe’s Pub, The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10003

TICKETS: Tickets start at $150 and can be purchased through Joe’s Pub:


PRESS CALL: 6:00 pm at Joe’s Pub





About GMHC
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the world's first HIV/AIDS service organization. GMHC is on the front lines providing services to over 13,000 people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Programs include testing, prevention, nutrition, legal, supportive housing, mental health, and substance use services. GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal levels with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic. For more information, visit

About the Howard Ashman Award & Cabaret
GMHC created the Howard Ashman Award in conjunction with the Ashman family. The award honors a member of the Broadway community whose art and activism have made a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The Cabaret features Broadway stars and celebrities performing Broadway classics and musical selections including songs penned by Howard Ashman himself.

Howard Ashman was an American playwright and lyricist. He collaborated with Alan Menken on numerous works and is most widely known for several Disney animated feature films, for which Ashman wrote the lyrics and Menken composed the music. Ashman's numerous awards include two Oscars, two Golden Globes, four Grammys, a Drama Desk, and a London Evening Standard. He died in 1991 at age 40 from AIDS-related complications.