Editor’s Pick: True Colors – LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs

Chris Colfer — Photo: Kevin Parisi

The relationship that Luke Frazier cultivated relatively early in the pandemic between his American Pops Orchestra and PBS continues to pay off nearly two years later.

The Virginia-based national broadcast network aired more than a dozen themed concerts featuring APO as part of its pandemic-born #PBSForTheArts initiative in conjunction with Nouveau Productions, which Frazier runs with her husband Robert Pullen.

All told, the special, star-studded programming to date has generated strong interest and appeal for LGBTQ people, ranging from an Ella Fitzgerald-themed Christmas show starring Vanessa Williams to the recently launched series “Broadway in Concert” featuring contemporary stars of the Great White Way paying homage to iconic musicals.

True Colors -- Photo: Kevin Parisi
Peppermint, Jujubee and Alexis Michelle — Photo: Kevin Parisi

None of the specials have been so gay, however, like the last one, the explicitly queer theme True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our stories, our songs.

Timed to kick off June Pride Month, the program features real-life stories of hope, resilience and triumph from members of the LGBTQ community, including former NBA player Jason Collins and the famous sex and the city star and activist Cynthia Nixon, linked to musical performances by a hodgepodge of queer talent, accompanied by APO under Frazier and hosted by transgender people Danger! champion Amy Schneider.

True Colors -- Photo: Kevin Parisi
Indigo Girls — Photo: Kevin Parisi

The line-up of performances includes pioneering lesbian folk/rock duo, the Indigo Girls, with their chart-topping hit “Closer to Fine”, drag race alums Peppermint, Alexis Michelle and Jujubee giving a spin on “(A Little More) Mascara” from La Cage aux Follestrans opera singer Breanna Sinclairé covering “Somewhere” by West Side Storyand Tony, Emmy, and Grammy-winning stage veteran André de Shields (Hadesville) reviving “The Colors of My Life” from the 1980 musical Barnum.

Additional artists include Joy star Chris Colfer, persevering contemporary Christian singer Trey Pearson, alumnus of Everyday Sunday, and young indie-pop artist Morgxn.

Premiering Saturday, June 4 on www.PBS.org, the PBS Video app, and select PBS stations nationwide.

Local affiliate WETA is scheduled to launch the program on Tuesday, June 7 at 8 p.m., while Maryland Public Television has scheduled its first broadcast on Saturday, June 9 at 8 p.m.

Visit www.PBS.org, www.weta.org or www.mpt.org.


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